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Juvenile Justice Use of Force Continuum

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2023
24 pages

This document provides guidelines that are designed to help juvenile justice administrators with establishing policies, procedures, and practices that help create a safe environment for youth and staff while providing guidance and prompting discussion within jurisdictions about the existing practices and their alignment with evidence from research.


This Code of Practice document provides guidelines that were designed to guide juvenile justice administrators as they establish policies, procedures, and practices in alignment with research-supported evidence, and to promote discussion within jurisdictions on existing practices. The document is divided into five primary sections: general policy considerations; training; de-escalation and nonphysical interventions; physical interventions; and after-action reviews. The “General Policy Considerations” section provides guidance on how agencies can create and educate staff on their use of force continuum. The sections are presented in a sequence that aims to reinforce their dependency and relationship to other components. The document concludes with sections of term definitions and links resources cited. 

Date Published: December 1, 2023