Eighty percent of the states (40 states and Washington, DC) have changed their laws to make it more difficult to treat children as if they were adults. As a result, the number of youth charged as adults has dropped from an estimated 250,000 to 75,9003, as youth crime and arrest rates continue to fall to their lowest point in 50 years.
This report summarizes lessons learned through the first months of the pandemic, focusing on system responses, both positive and negative, to slow the virus’s spread and to protect the safety and wellbeing of youth in the juvenile justice system while keeping the public informed.
Over the last decade, states and counties have reconsidered many of the ways that juvenile justice systems have traditionally operated. Yet most jurisdictions have not questioned whether the system should take on education-related responsibilities and hold youth accountable if they fail to comply.