States Strengthen Youth Incarceration Alternatives

Today the National Governors Association (NGA) announced that five states and territories—IllinoisKentuckyLouisianaOklahoma and the Virgin Islands—have been selected to participate in a learning lab focused on alternatives to incarceration for justice-involved youth.

Governors and state officials play a critical role in ensuring public safety, and an effective, efficient juvenile justice system is a major component to achieving public safety goals. Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the learning lab will help states seeking alternatives to youth incarceration improve public safety and youth outcomes, ultimately making the juvenile justice system smarter, fairer and more cost-effective.

Through the learning lab, state teams will explore strategies for reducing juvenile incarceration by limiting involvement of low-risk youth in the juvenile justice system and reducing unnecessary out-of-home placement, closing large residential facilities, implementing developmentally appropriate approaches and expanding community-based alternatives to out-of-home placement.

NGA learning labs provide an opportunity for a small group of state teams to learn about the details of a state program that is successfully putting an innovative practice in place. This opportunity will take place April 11-12 in Richmond, Virginia.

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