A DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH
Committee on Assessing Juvenile Justice Reform
Richard J. Bonnie, Robert L. Johnson,
Betty M. Chemers, and Julie A. Schuck, Editors
Committee on Law and Justice
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. 2009-JF-FX-0102 between the National Academy of Sciences and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013939486
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Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2013). Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach. Committee on Assessing Juvenile Justice Reform, Richard J. Bonnie, Robert L. Johnson, Betty M. Chemers, and Julie A. Schuck, Eds. Committee on Law and Justice, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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COMMITTEE ON ASSESSING JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM
ROBERT L. JOHNSON (Chair), University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School
RICHARD J. BONNIE (Vice Chair), IOM member, University of Virginia
CARL C. BELL, Community Mental Health Council, Inc.
LAWRENCE D. BOBO, Harvard University
JEFFREY A. BUTTS, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
GLADYS CARRIÓN, New York State Office of Children & Family Services
B.J. CASEY, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
KENNETH A. DODGE, Duke University
SANDRA A. GRAHAM, University of California, Los Angeles
ERNESTINE GRAY, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, New Orleans, LA
EDWARD P. MULVEY, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
ROBERT D. PLOTNICK, University of Washington
ELIZABETH S. SCOTT, Columbia University
TERENCE P. THORNBERRY, University of Maryland, College Park
CHERIE TOWNSEND, Texas Juvenile Justice Department
BETTY M. CHEMERS, Study Director
JULIE A. SCHUCK, Senior Program Associate
BARBARA BOYD, Administrative Coordinator
COMMITTEE ON LAW AND JUSTICE 2012-2013
JEREMY TRAVIS (Chair), John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York
CARL C. BELL, Community Mental Health Council, Inc., Chicago, IL
JOHN J. DONOHUE III, Stanford Law School
MARK A.R. KLEIMAN, Department of Public Policy, University of California, Los Angeles
GARY LAFREE, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland, College Park
JANET L. LAURITSEN, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri
GLENN C. LOURY, Department of Economics, Brown University
CHARLES F. MANSKI, Department of Economics, Northwestern University
TERRIE E. MOFFITT, Department of Psychology, Duke University
DANIEL S. NAGIN, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
RUTH D. PETERSON, Department of Sociology, Ohio State University
ANNE MORRISON PIEHL, Department of Economics and Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers University
DANIEL B. PRIETO, Public Sector Strategy & Innovation, IBM Global Business Services, Washington, DC
ROBERT J. SAMPSON, Department of Sociology, Harvard University
DAVID WEISBURD, Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, George Mason University
CATHY SPATZ WIDOM, Psychology Department, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
PAUL K. WORMELI, Integrated Justice Information Systems, Ashburn, VA
JANE L. ROSS, Director
Recent findings from research on adolescent development, and particularly increasing knowledge about the adolescent brain, have led to deep and growing concerns about the treatment of juveniles in the nation’s justice system. There is a fundamental disconnect between what is now known about the characteristic features of adolescents and the apparent assumptions of that system. One reflection of that disconnect is a recent series of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court forbidding the most severe penalties for adolescent offenders, especially the death penalty. There has also been a wide range of reforms in the administration of juvenile justice over the past 15 years, some of which reflect the emerging knowledge about adolescents and some of which do not.
The committee’s charge was to take stock of the juvenile justice reforms undertaken over the past 15 years in light of current knowledge about adolescent development. The study was requested by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. In an austere fiscal environment with so many pressing priorities, OJJDP naturally wants to ensure that it supports the research and programs that best harness the available scientific evidence.
During the two years of our study, we have been struck by the energy and dedication of all the stakeholders and participants in the juvenile justice system who took the time to appear before the committee and to help us to carry out our charge. A diverse array of the nation’s institutions and leaders, both private and public, are playing key roles in the movement for
juvenile justice reform, including elected officials in the states and localities, judges, foundations, advocacy organizations, and research organizations.
The central premise of this report is that the goals, design, and operation of the juvenile justice system should be informed by the growing body of knowledge about adolescent development. If designed and implemented in a developmentally informed way, procedures for holding adolescents accountable for their offending, and the services provided to them, can promote positive legal socialization, reinforce a prosocial identity, and reduce reoffending. However, if the goals, design, and operation of the juvenile justice system are not informed by this growing body of knowledge, the outcome is likely to be negative interactions between youth and justice system officials, increased disrespect for the law and legal authority, and the reinforcement of a deviant identity and social disaffection.
Scientists commonly complain that policy makers are not paying attention to the scientific evidence. Our experience in studying juvenile justice has been quite the reverse. We have detected an impressive consensus among stakeholder groups and public officials regarding the goals of the juvenile justice system, a genuine hunger for evidence about what works, and a willingness to embrace evidence-based policies and programs. This report aims to consolidate the progress that has been made in both science and policy making and to establish a strong platform for a 21st century juvenile justice system.
Advancing knowledge has helped to foster a climate of optimism. However, this energizing spirit of change has not taken root in all parts of the country, and it could dissipate if institutional structures are not put in place to sustain it and to assure a continuing partnership among practitioners, researchers, and policy makers. The locus of reform lies at the state, local, and tribal levels, and most of this report focuses on the opportunities and challenges facing the courts, law enforcement agencies, schools, social service agencies, and mental health agencies in communities throughout the nation. However, OJJDP support and leadership are critically important if the reform process is to succeed, and the report urges Congress to embrace the cause of juvenile justice reform by clarifying and reaffirming the mission of OJJDP.
Many people may argue that the lives of nation’s youth most deeply ensnared by the juvenile justice system will not be substantially improved simply by reforming the juvenile justice system. We do not claim that juvenile justice reform can carry the burden of overcoming the many causes of juvenile crime. Also needed are stronger families, better schools, truly equal opportunity, and safe and healthy communities for the nation’s youth. However, this report shows that a harsh system of punishing troubled
youth can make things worse, while a scientifically based juvenile justice system can make an enduring difference in the lives of many youth who most need the structure and services it can provide.
Robert L. Johnson, Chair
Richard J. Bonnie, Vice Chair
Committee on Assessing Juvenile Justice Reform
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This report would not have been possible without the efforts of many people, each of whom has contributed time and expertise. The committee had the assistance and close cooperation of the staff of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the report’s sponsor. The committee benefited greatly from briefings received from senior staff such as Andrea Coleman, disproportionate minority coordinator; Melodee Hanes, deputy administrator for policy; Elissa Rumsey, compliance monitor coordinator; Jeff Slowikowski, acting deputy administrator; and Greg Thompson, associate administrator, State Relations and Assistance Division. The committee also appreciates the assistance and insight of other OJJDP staff that briefed National Research Council (NRC) staff, including Janet Chiancone, associate administrator, Budget and Planning Division; Brecht Donahue, research coordinator; and Kathi Grasso, senior juvenile justice policy and legal advisor. Robin Delany-Shabazz, director, Concentration of Federal Efforts Program, and Anita Butler, program analyst, also provided information. Kellie Dressler-Tetrick, acting associate administrator, Demonstration Programs, and Marilyn Roberts, deputy administrator for programs, helped coordinate the committee’s activities and assure that all funding requirements were met.
The committee drew on the expertise of many people during the course of its information gathering. The committee extends its thanks to Kristin N. Henning, J.D., LL.M., of Georgetown University Law School for her thoughtful analysis of procedural justice and adolescent’s perceptions of law and legal authority that has been incorporated into Chapter 7; Alex R. Piquero, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Dallas, for a review
of research on racial disparities for Chapter 8; Simon Singer, Ph.D., of Northeastern University, for assisting committee member Jeff Butts with a paper on current juvenile justice practices; Beth Huebner, Ph.D., of the University of Missouri at St. Louis, for her paper on the Missouri Model that appears in Appendix B of this report; Jessica Kostelnik, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, for a background paper on socializing agents and unique characteristics of adolescents relevant to their sense of accountability; Kyle Frankiewich, M.P.A., and Daniel J. Evans, School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, for developing material used in Appendix A on costs and benefits of juvenile justice interventions. The committee also relied on a paper prepared for the NRC/Institute of Medicine Board on Children, Youth, and Families by a member of the committee, Kenneth A. Dodge, Ph.D., of Duke University, and Nancy Gonzales, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona, for a portion of the material on parental and peer influences on adolescent behavior in Chapter 4.
The committee would also like to acknowledge the following people for giving presentations at committee meetings: Neelum Arya, Campaign for Youth Justice; James Bell, W. Haywood Burns Institute; Shay Bilchik, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University Public Policy Institute; Marcia I. Cohen, Development Services Group, Inc.; Susan Davis, Division of Criminal Justice, Colorado Department of Public Safety; Lindsey Draper, Office of Justice Assistance, State of Wisconsin; William Feyerherm, Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University; Laurie Garduque, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Amy Holmes Hehn, District Attorney’s Office, Multnomah County, Oregon; Nancy Gannon Hornberger, Coalition for Juvenile Justice; James C. Howell, National Gang Center, Institute for Intergovernmental Research; Lisa Hutchinson, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Candice Jones, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Valerie LaMotte, Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division, Connecticut Office of Policy and Management; Akiva Liberman, Urban Institute; Mark W. Lipsey, Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University; Daniel J. Losen, Civil Rights Project, University of California, Los Angeles; Bart Lubow, Annie E. Casey Foundation; Katyoon Majid, Public Welfare Foundation; Ashley Nellis, The Sentencing Project; Laura Nissen, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Judy Preston, Special Litigation Unit, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice; Patricia Puritz, National Juvenile Defender Center; Brad Richardson, University of Iowa School of Social Work, National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice; Pili Robinson, Missouri Youth Services Institute; John Ryals, Department of Juvenile Services, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; Vincent N. Schiraldi, New York City Department of Probation; Dana Shoenberg, Center for Children’s
Law and Policy; Mark Soler, Center for Children’s Law and Policy; Thomas Stickrath, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation; Joe Vignati, Governor’s Office for Children and Families, State of Georgia; John Wilson, Institute for Intergovernmental Research; and Jennifer Woolard, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University. Special thanks goes to Dwayne Betts who graciously appeared before the committee and shared his experiences as an adolescent offender confined in adult institutions and the obstacles he overcame on his way to achieving academic and professional success.
Thanks and acknowledgments are due to the members of the committee, all of whom gave generously of their time. Several members took primary responsibility for drafting sections of the report. We wish to thank Terence Thornberry for Chapter 1; Elisabeth Scott for Chapters 2 and 5; Jeff Butts for Chapter 3; B.J. Casey, Kenneth Dodge, Sandra Graham, and Edward Mulvey for Chapter 4; Edward Mulvey and Robert Plotnick for Chapter 6; and Richard Bonnie for Chapter 7. Finally, we would like to thank the NRC staff for valuable assistance with this project: project coordinator Barbara Boyd, for facilitating the panel’s meetings; senior research associate Julie A. Schuck, for providing critical budgetary and programmatic information on OJJDP and pulling together other research materials for the committee; study director Betty M. Chemers, for filling in numerous gaps and turning the report into a coherent whole; Kirsten Sampson Snyder for help guiding the report through reviews, Christine McShane and Eugenia Grohman for skillful editing, and Yvonne Wise for managing the production process.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that assist the institution in making its report as sound as possible, and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Shay Bilchik, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University Public Policy Institute; Barry C. Feld, Centennial Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School; Anne Holton, AECF Child Welfare Strategy Group Consultant, Richmond, Virginia; Antoinette Kavanaugh, Forensic Clinical Psychologist, Chicago, Illinois; Mark W. Lipsey, Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University; Diane Nunn, Center for Families, Children and the Courts, Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts; Alex R. Piquero, Program in Criminology, University of Texas at Dallas; Steven Raphael, Richard and Rhoda Goldman School
of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley; Carol Wilson Spigner (emerita), University of Pennsylvania, and Child Welfare Services and Policy Consultant, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Laurence Steinberg, Department of Psychology, Temple University.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions and recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Alfred Blumstein, The H. John Heinz III College of Public Policy and Information Systems, Carnegie Mellon University, and Ellen Wright Clayton, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all of the review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
|AAG||Assistant Attorney General|
|Act4JJ||Act 4 Juvenile Justice Campaign|
|Archive||National Juvenile Court Data Archive|
|ART||aggression replacement therapy|
|BJS||Bureau of Justice Statistics|
|Centers||Community Learning Centers|
|CIUS||Crime in the United States|
|CJRP||Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement|
|CPC||Correctional Program Checklist|
|CRIPA||Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980|
|DMC||disproportionate minority contact|
|DOJ||U.S. Department of Justice|
|DSO||deinstitutionalization of status offenders|
|DTI||diffusion tensor imaging|
|DYS||Department of Youth Services|
|EUDL||Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program|
|FACJJ||Federal Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice|
|FASD||fetal alcohol spectrum disorder|
|FBI||Federal Bureau of Investigation|
|FFLIC||Family and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children|
|FFT||functional family therapy|
|fMRI||functional magnetic resonance imaging|
|GAO||U.S. Government Accountability Office|
|GGI||guided group interaction|
|IAP||Intensive Aftercare Program|
|IDEA||Individuals with Disabilities Education Act|
|IOM||Institute of Medicine|
|JABG||Juvenile Accountability Block Grant|
|JAIBG||Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant|
|JDAI||Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative|
|JJDPA||Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974|
|JJPL||Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana|
|JRFC||Juvenile Residential Facility Census|
|JUMP||Juvenile Mentoring Program|
|MCAA||Missing Children’s Assistance Act|
|MIP||minor in possession|
|MRI||magnetic resonance imaging|
|MTFC||multidimensional treatment foster care|
|MVPP||Multisite Violence Prevention Project|
|NCJJ||National Center for Juvenile Justice|
|NCLB||No Child Left Behind Act|
|NCVS||National Crime Victimization Survey|
|NIJ||National Institute of Justice|
|NLSY97||National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997|
|NRC||National Research Council|
|NREPP||National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices|
|NTTAC||National Training and Technical Assistance Center|
|ODYS||Ohio Department of Youth Services|
|OJJDP||Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention|
|OJP||Office of Justice Programs|
|OMB||U.S. Office of Management and Budget|
|PbS||Performance-based Standards Program|
|PEP||Parent Empowerment Program|
|PLRA||Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995|
|PPC||Positive Peer Culture Program|
|RRI||Relative Rate Index|
|SACWIS||Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System|
|SAGs||State Advisory Groups|
|SAMHSA||Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration|
|SFY||Strategies for Youth|
|SYRP||Survey of Youth in Residential Placement|
|TTA||training and technical assistance|
|TYP||Tribal Youth Program|
|UCR||Uniform Crime Report|
|VCO||valid court order|
|VOCA||Victims of Child Abuse Act|
|WSIPP||Washington State Institute for Public Policy|