New Issue Brief on Measuring Juvenile Recidivism

Posted by Lisa Martinek
July 29, 2014

Last summer, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) surveyed juvenile correctional agencies in all 50 states to ascertain how states track recidivism data and use that information in policy and funding decisions.

Key findings from that survey have been highlighted in a new issue brief from the CSG Justice Center—Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation.

The issue brief provides five recommendations for improving measurement, analysis, collection, reporting and use of recidivism data:

1. Measure recidivism for youths involved with the juvenile justice system, considering multiple ways they may have subsequent contact with the justice system;
2. Analyze recidivism data to account for youths’ risk levels, as well as other key youth characteristics and variables;
3. Develop and maintain the infrastructure necessary to collect, analyze and report recidivism data;
4. Make recidivism data available to key constituents and the general public; and
5. Use recidivism data to inform juvenile justice policy, practice and resource allocation.

In addition to the recommendations, the issue brief provides examples of how states have turned these recommendation into policy and practice.

The CSG Justice Center also announced partnerships with five states—Pennsylvania, Utah, Tennessee, Nebraska and Kansas—to test the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the issue brief and white paper.

For more information on the recommendations, read the full issue brief. Additionally, Natassia Walsh from the CSG Justice Center will provide a brief presentation on this issue brief at CJCA’s Summer Business Meeting in Salt Lake City.