Over the past two decades, the United States has seen a dramatic decline in youth arrests and a fundamental shift in its approach to youth justice. Recognizing the detrimental effects of incarceration on youth and communities, states and localities are increasingly embracing community-based strategies to prevent, intervene, and respond to harmful and/or illegal behavior. Yet, despite this shift, they continue to funnel most funding to incarceration rather than investing in community driven solutions. There is a pressing need to identify proven, promising, and innovative strategies for investing in community-based solutions and, moreover, to follow the lead of those closest to the challenges on the ground in developing and implementing tailored strategies. This is the next frontier of juvenile justice reform and crucial to the kind of transformational change that true justice demands. The report aims to answer one guiding question: How can we support better outcomes for youth and families by investing more resources in programming and community development strategies in neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by incarceration?
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Promoting a New Direction for Youth Justice: Strategies to Fund a Community-Based Continuum of Care and Opportunity