Skip to Content

We provide technical assistance to state and local governments interested in using a data-driven approach to design, enact, and implement system-level reforms to juvenile justice systems.

These reforms have goals of:

  • Achieving better rehabilitation outcomes for youth,
  • Improving public safety by reducing recidivism, and
  • Using juvenile justice resources more effectively.

Our Juvenile Justice work includes:

  • Data analysis to identify drivers of the juvenile justice population.
  • System assessment to better understand how the system operates and identify opportunities for improving efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Presentations on research and evidence-based practices to provide system stakeholders with a foundational understanding of how to successfully reduce recidivism for youth.
  • Policy options to support the development of policies grounded in data and research.
  • Legislative & regulatory support to help states develop legislation required for statutory changes as well as necessary agency regulation/policy changes to implement policy reforms.
  • Implementation technical assistance to help agencies effectively implement new juvenile justice policies.
  • Training and education on evidence-based practices for system stakeholders, including numerous trainings targeted toward correctional staff.
  • Performance measurement support to help document and measure the success of different policies, and their effect on reducing recidivism.

Examples of our work in this area include:

Policy Reform

We partner with Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP) to help states advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in juvenile justice that protect public safety, hold youth accountable, and control corrections costs. Our team has had a significant role in the adoption of comprehensive reforms in juvenile justice systems in numerous states, including South Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Georgia, West Virginia, Kansas, and Utah.


We also serve as the primary technical assistance provider for the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Juvenile Justice System Improvement initiative. The initiative is an extension of the success of the 2014 initiative Smart on Juvenile Justice: A Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform that assisted states with implementation of comprehensive juvenile justice reform legislation. The Juvenile Justice System Improvement initiative expands the scope of work by providing training and technical assistance to states implementing system-wide juvenile justice system improvement through enacted legislation or strategic planning.

We work in partnership with OJJDP and state-level stakeholders spanning the system from the point of arrest through disposition and aftercare to support the development and implementation of reforms. The Juvenile Justice System Improvement initiative serves not only to increase the states’ capacity to introduce and integrate legislative reforms and strategic planning, but highlights the commitment toward a sustainable approach that will ensure the success of youth.

Recent Publications