Juvenile Justice

Publications

Homeless Not Hopeless: A Report on Homeless Youth and the Justice System in New York City

Homeless Not Hopeless: A Report on Homeless Youth and the Justice System in New York City

By Members of the Youth Justice Board

This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Youth Justice Board, a youth leadership program that gives teenagers an opportunity to inform public debate about issues that affect them. During the 2016-17 school year, members examined the intersection between youth homelessness and the justice system in New York City in order to identify opportunities to better support homeless youth, reduce their interactions with the justice system, and prevent homelessness in the future. Recommendations in the report include policy changes to improve diversion programs and access to housing for homeless youth, and to increase support for LGBTQ youth in foster care.

Publications

Community Perceptions of Youth Gang Activity: Results from Four Tribal Sites

Community Perceptions of Youth Gang Activity: Results from Four Tribal Sites

By Elise Jensen, Amanda Cissner and Warren A. Reich

This study sought to document the nature and extent of youth gang involvement in Indian Country. Through interviews at four tribal sites, we identified three primary themes: the prevalence and characteristics of youth gangs; the prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies developed by tribes to counter them; and more general problems faced by tribal youth—such as substance use and suicidality—that may be more pressing to address than concerns over gang activity. Indeed, the study’s findings suggest that previous accounts of gang activity among tribal youth may have been overstated. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for funders and those looking to conduct research in tribal settings.

Publications

Creating Off-Ramps: A National Review of Police-Led Diversion Programs

Creating Off-Ramps: A National Review of Police-Led Diversion Programs

By Jennifer A. Tallon, Melissa Labriola and Joseph Spadafore

This study maps the current landscape of police-led pretrial diversion programs. It presents the results from a survey on diversion given to a representative sample of law enforcement agencies nationwide along with case studies of eight promising police-led programs, including programs targeting mentally-ill individuals, juveniles, and low-level or first-time adult defendants. Funded by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office of the Department of Justice, this report explores why these programs were created, how they work, and how they differ.

Publications

Meeting the Needs of Infants in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases: A Process Evaluation of the Strong Starts Court Initiative

Meeting the Needs of Infants in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases: A Process Evaluation of the Strong Starts Court Initiative

By Josephine W. Hahn

This report is a process evaluation designed to document the first nine months of the Strong Starts Court Initiative, a collaborative problem-solving approach for infants (three years or younger) and families involved in child abuse and neglect cases in Bronx Family Court.

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Publications

Sustainability Strategies for Youth Advisory Boards: A Symposium on Youth Engagement

Sustainability Strategies for Youth Advisory Boards: A Symposium on Youth Engagement

By Linda Baird

This paper highlights key takeaways from Sustainable Strategies, a one-day event organized by the Center for Court Innovation and Coro New York Leadership Center in September 2015. The event brought together facilitators and conveners of youth advisory boards across New York City, and focussed on the role of youth-led policy programs in spearheading important changes in the city. Representatives from 11 organizations discussed successes, challenges, and strategies used to meaningfully engage young people and elevate their voices in policy discussions through youth advisory boards.

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Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in the Bay Area

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in the Bay Area

By Nikki Jones, Joshua Gamson, Brianne Amato, Stephanie Cornwell, Stephanie Fisher, Phillip Fucella, Vincent Lee and Virgie Zolala-Tovar

This study in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. included 136 interviews with youth engaged in the sex trade. Findings show that young people’s involvement in the sex trade mostly fell into three categories: pimps, renegades, and street kids. Although the Bay Area site saw the highest percentage of youth working with pimps (29%) as compared to the other five sites in the study, the large majority of those interviewed were identified as “renegades”—a term used to describe individuals who work on their own without anyone to facilitate their involvement in the sex trade. The third group, “street kids,” typically reported engaging in sex work sporadically, as necessary to meet immediate needs for money or shelter, and understood their involvement in sexual exchanges as one among a range of “hustles” they use to get by.

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Miami

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Miami

By David J. Maurrasse, Cynthia C. Jones and Marga Incorporated

This study of youth engaged in the sex trade in Miami, Fla. included 264 interviews with young people ages 13-24, nearly all of whom were black or Hispanic and from lower income backgrounds. Most of the respondents faced various social and economic challenges throughout their young lives, and engaging in the sex trade served as a way to support an insecure living situation. Many worked on the streets year-round, given Miami’s warm weather even in winter months. Findings show that many of the youth are essentially freelancers, working independently in an underground economy. 

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Las Vegas

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Las Vegas

By Brooke M. Wagner, Jennifer M. Whitmer and Andrew M. Spivak

This report discusses the context and findings from 169 in-depth interviews conducted with youth ages 24 and younger in Las Vegas, Nev. Researchers found that many of the youth drifted in and out of the sex trade, engaging when quick money was needed, but also going through non-working periods, mirroring the instability that participants also faced in their living situations and in their relationships with family and school. Researchers suggest that the sexualized cultural climate of Las Vegas strongly contributes to the way the sex trade has manifested itself there.

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in North Texas: Shattered Lives

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in North Texas: Shattered Lives

By Marcus Martin, Heather Champeau, Susan Ullrich, Aja Johnson and Kathryn Cardarelli

This study in Dallas, Tex. included interviews with youth, ages 13-24, who were engaged in the sex trade. Most of the youth interviewed worked on their own and were not closely networked to others in the sex trade. Researchers repeatedly found strong-willed survivors who enjoyed substantial autonomy in the selection of customers, work hours, and living conditions. For many transgender and gay youth, personal or familial struggles as a result of their sexuality and/or gender identity may have led them into the sex trade.

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Chicago: Issues in Youth Poverty and Homelessness

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Chicago: Issues in Youth Poverty and Homelessness

By Laurie Schaffner, Grant Buhr, deana lewis, Marco Roc and Haley Volpintesta

This study of youth engaged in the sex trade in Chicago, Ill. included interviews with over 200 young people, ages 13-24. The sample was composed of a considerable number of males—47%, the highest percentage of male interviewees from any of the sites in the larger study. An additional 11% were trans female. The research team divided the city into three distinct sections and recruited participants from those areas: Northside, which they found to be a relatively "safe" neighborhood for young, African-American trans females and gay males; Southside, whose interview participants tended to be networked to those on the Northside (despite notable differences in neighborhood context); and Westside, where the team found there to be more pimps and adults controlling and monitoring the streets.

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Atlantic City

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Atlantic City

By Anthony Marcus, Robert Riggs, Sarah Rivera and Ric Curtis

This report discusses the context, methodology, and findings from in-depth interviews conducted with nearly 100 youth in the sex trade in Atlantic City, N.J. Classic street ethnography gives this study strong insight into the nature of street-based sex trade in Atlantic City and its surrounding environs. Findings suggest that very few of the street-based sex workers in that area are younger than 18 years of age and that the typical market-involved youth in Atlantic City is white, between ages 19 and 24, uses drugs regularly, is a runaway from a challenging family situation, has experienced rape or other sexual abuse at some time in his or her life, and is highly vulnerable to street-based violence.

Publications

Youth Involvement in the Sex Trade: A National Study

Youth Involvement in the Sex Trade: A National Study

By Rachel Swaner, Melissa Labriola, Michael Rempel, Allyson Walker Franklin and Joseph Spadafore

This report presents findings from nearly 1,000 youth interviews conducted across six sites, a population estimate for underage youth in the sex trade in the United States, arrest patterns and prosecution and recidivism outcomes for these youth when they encounter the juvenile or criminal justice systems, and findings from interviews with service providers and police officers. The findings revealed that youth who are engaged in the sex trade are a diverse population in their identities and experiences. More than three-quarters of those interviewed had their first experience in the sex trade when they were under the age of 18. Many reported having complex social relationships and collaborations with others in the underground economy. Notably, the most pressing need identified by both the youth and service providers was for safe housing.

Publications

Youth Involvement in the Sex Trade

Youth Involvement in the Sex Trade

With funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Center for Court Innovation conducted a multi-site study designed to increase scientific knowledge concerning youth involvement in the sex trade. Nearly 1,000 youth, ages 13-24, were interviewed across six sites on subjects including entry into the sex trade, earning a living, finding customers, involvement of pimps and market facilitators, health issues and service needs, interactions with law enforcement, and outlook for the future. 

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Publications

Bridging the Gap: Strengthening LGBTQ Youth and Police Relations

Bridging the Gap: Strengthening LGBTQ Youth and Police Relations

This report was written by the Queens Neighborhood Youth Justice Council composed of seven young people ages 14 to 19 who met twice a week for eight weeks at the Queens Youth Justice Center. The Council engages adolescents in Queens in public policy issues that affect young people. In the summer of 2015, the Council focused on community-level interactions between LGBTQ youth and police. Council members researched issues affecting LGBTQ youth and relationships and interactions between the youth and police officers.

Publications

Advancing Community Justice: The Challenge of Brownsville, Brooklyn

Advancing Community Justice: The Challenge of Brownsville, Brooklyn

By Greg Berman

This monograph starts with a question: What can we do differently to enhance public safety, reduce the use of incarceration, and improve public perceptions of justice in a Brooklyn neighborhood that experiences both high crime and high rates of incarceration? The paper provides answers by looking at new reforms (including place-based interventions, procedural justice and new strategies for crime prevention) that have the potential to reduce offending, reengineer the relationship between the justice system and the public, and help activate a neighborhood’s capacity to help produce safety for itself.

Contact
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