It is the best and worst of times for youth justice reforms nationally with sharp declines in both youth incarceration and youth crime nationally, while the U.S. still maintains uniquely high rates of youth incarceration by international standards. New York City is at the leading edge of reducing the use of youth prisons through its Close to Home initiative while continuing to enjoy sharply declining youth arrest rates. The city is about to implement Raise the Age, a major juvenile justice reform. Yet these reforms are facing the loss of significant funding need to maintain the quality of services as well as absorb the new youth who will come in under RTA.
The Columbia Justice Lab, founded by Vincent Schiraldi of the Columbia School of Social Work, is conducting a case study of Close to Home, with generous funding from the Casey Foundation. This forum will serve as a pre-publication press conference about the Lab’s initial findings (9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.), followed by a panel discussion with key New York City stakeholders (10:30 a.m. – noon). Casey Foundation President Patrick McCarthy will contribute his reaction to the initial findings, putting them in the context of youth justice reforms nationally.
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