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Past, Present, and Future of Juvenile Justice: Assessing the Policy Options (APO), Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
139 pages
This report presents findings from the Past, Present, and Future of Juvenile Justice: Assessing Policy Options (APO) project. The project focused on three issues: recent changes in juvenile justice, new directions in which juvenile justice has been heading, and research gaps in assessing prominent juvenile justice policies and practices.

Survey findings from the Assessing Policy Options (APO) project suggest a great deal of consensus among juvenile justice professionals from across the justice spectrum, with respect to "what works," what does not, and critical needs facing the juvenile justice system. Highlights of survey findings include: (1) practitioners identified treatment, reentry services and planning, and coordination of juvenile justice wraparound services as the most effective in promoting the fundamental goals of the juvenile justice system: offender rehabilitation, accountability, and public safety; (2) between 2005 and 2007 funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment and community-based programs, as well as mandates for evidence-based approaches figured prominently on State legislative agendas; (3) practitioners identified the need for alternatives to secure detention including more community-based alternatives, support for rehabilitation, and developmentally appropriate services topping the list as critical needs facing the juvenile justice system; and (4) the most notable and greatest gaps identified were for rehabilitation of young offenders, system capacity to measure performance and evaluate programs, and gender responsive services for young offenders. The APO project, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), took stock of recent policy changes and asked juvenile justice practitioners about their impressions of changes within juvenile justice policy. An online survey was conducted between 2005 and 2007 of juvenile justice practitioners to measure their impressions of recent policy changes, the critical needs facing today's juvenile justice system, and how they would recommend improving the administration and effectiveness of this system. References and appendixes

Date Published: January 1, 2010