At-risk youth often come to the attention of schools, social service agencies and child welfare systems, which can present opportunities to decrease delinquency, promote healthy development, and prevent future involvement with the justice system.
Risk factors for juvenile delinquency and involvement in the juvenile justice system include association with other delinquent youth, cognitive impairments,academic and learning difficulties, poor parenting, child maltreatment, and high levels of community disorganization and violence. Behavioral research shows that most youth offenders will stop breaking the law as part of the normal maturation process and that adolescents are less able than adults to weigh risks and consequences and resist peer pressure.
Juvenile justice systems have a range of options for monitoring and rehabilitating youth other than incarceration, including probation, restorative justice programs, and evidence-based treatment programs. Alternatives to incarceration have been shown to be more effective in preventing recidivism and more cost-effective. The most successful programs involve families in treatment and promote healthy development at the individual, family, school, and peer levels.
Juvenile justice indicators from the 2016 Factbook
Download the complete 2016 Factbook Safety Section
- Setting a Minimum Age for Youth Incarceration in Rhode Island, 2015
This report provides a brief overview of the policies, data, and implications of incarcerating preteens. It recommends that Rhode Island enact legislation to prohibit any child age 12 or younger from being held in pre-trial detention or sentenced to the Rhode Island Training School unless they are charged with a capital offense.
Child Welfare & Juvenile Justice E-News
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