How City Leaders Can Draw Upon Adolescent Development Research Findings to Provide a Framework for Juvenile Justice Reform
The YEF Institute recommends that cities adopt a framework for juvenile justice reform that draws upon current research into adolescent development. The research confirms the common sense notion that adolescents are especially prone to risky behaviors including breaking local laws, even though adults commit more crimes overall. Further, most youthful offenders do not commit crimes as adults. Evaluations of efforts to reduce youth crime indicate: 1) The certainty of being held accountable, rather than severity of punishment, most effectively prevents youth misbehavior and 2) well-targeted interventions most effectively reduce re-offending.