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Navigating Concerns on Youth Crime, Violence, and Behavioral Health:
What Does the Data Say?

The Council of State Governments Justice Center analyzed the most recent behavioral health, arrest, and juvenile justice system data available to help policymakers better understand current national trends, place them in historical context, and identify key implications. Policymakers can use this data to achieve two important goals:

  1. Refocus the juvenile justice system on youth who commit serious and violent offenses, and ensure that limited resources are invested in programs and practices demonstrated by research to reduce violence and improve public safety and youth outcomes.
  1. Develop a statewide plan that addresses the systemic reasons for youth’s behaviors and ensures that they receive the services and supports they need to transition to a safe and healthy adulthood. 

What Policymakers and System Leaders Should Know” provides three top-line facts that policymakers and state and local agency leaders and managers should know along with three steps they can take to effect change. “National Data” details key national data trends (with the ability to hover to see the raw numbers in charts) and implications for the following areas:

  • Youth mental health and victimization 
  • Youth arrests
  • Youth court cases
  • Detention and placement
  • Racial and ethnic disparities

Project Credits

Writing: Josh Weber, CSG Justice Center

Data Analysis: Matt Herman, Rebecca Cohen, CSG Justice Center

Editing: Leslie Griffin, CSG Justice Center

Web Development: Nick Gehring, eleventy marketing group

Public Affairs: Sarah Kelley, CSG Justice Center

We would like to thank the Prudential and W.T. Grant Foundation for their leadership and support.  

Findings and insights are those of the CSG Justice Center only.

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