Keeping Teens Out of Facilities: “Supervision Strategies for Justice-Involved Youth”

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency recently released the brief “Supervision Strategies for Justice-Involved Youth [PDF],” which reports on improved supervision strategies for young people on probation or parole by juvenile departments to help keep them out of facilities.
The brief is based on a field survey of more than 140 juvenile justice system leaders around the country, and found that the following three supervision strategies are working effectively:

  • Systems Are Improving Practice by Reducing Supervision for Youth Who Do Not Need It: The overall approach to supervision relies on risk assessments, screening instruments, and other tools to help systems shift youth to the lowest form of supervision needed to meet their needs and, in some cases, to divert youth from the system entirely;
  • Justice Systems Are Working to Reduce Revocations: Juvenile departments are engaging in training with line staff to encourage different responses to behaviors to avoid revocation, clarifying which rules may no longer result in revocation, and problem solving with the youth and families around the right response;
  • Systems Are Working to Build Stronger Supervision Partnerships With Families and Service Providers: Strategies include clearly articulating roles for each member of the supervision team in the work and their relationships to each other, shared access to information systems, joint trainings, reliance on models that seek to place families at the center of the process, hiring people to work with families in the system, and developing family orientation programs.

To summarize these results, the brief notes,

Simply stated, juvenile justice stakeholders are creating smart and effective supervision strategies in an effort to keep more youth in their homes and communities rather than in out-of-home placements and secure facilities.

The brief also covers how to improve supervision practices, reduce unnecessary revocations, and engage young people and their families.
Note: This publication is part of an eight-part series of information sheets and reports developed from a national study on deincarceration conducted by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. The complete series, along with a ninth piece containing notes and resources, is available online.

Cecilia Bianco is an account executive for Prichard Communications. She contributes to the Reclaiming Futures blog regarding topics of juvenile justice reform and substance abuse prevention.

Updated: February 08 2018