Category: Juvenile justice reform

Reducing Jail Use in Birmingham, Alabama

I have advocated for many years that municipal courts are an untapped leader in developing reforms that can measurably reduce local jail populations. The jails are currently filled with citizens who quite simply would be better served without the use of confinement. In November 2017, NLC selected the City of Birmingham, Alabama as one of

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Big-Picture Lessons Learned from City Jail Reduction

When we discuss crime, public safety and the reforms needed within our systems, addressing mass incarceration and its inequities are typically considered a high priority. However, what is not always considered as critical in these discussions, is the need for strategic policy changes to address jail reduction in our local systems. Today, NLC released the

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How Local Leaders Can Help Our Most Vulnerable Young People

City governments and city leaders continuously grapple with the costs of the “deep end” of the juvenile justice system. Deep-end youth include the roughly 30,000 young people placed in detention facilities who may be better served in targeted community-based services in the city. Deep-end youth constitute our most vulnerable and marginalized young people. Many deep-end

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What Triage Centers Mean for Cities, First-Responders and People in Crisis

Triage centers provide a strong opportunity to bring first responders and community-based service providers together to effectively address behavioral health crises and improve quality of life across a city. City leaders across the country are prioritizing better police responses to people suffering behavioral health crises, which include mental health or substance abuse crises.  Triage centers

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The Truth About the Curfew Myth

This is a guest post by Ivonne Roman, a captain in the Newark (N.J.) Police Department. Declaring a juvenile curfew to keep troublemaking teenagers off the streets is a summer ritual in many American cities. This year Austin, Texas decided not to sound the alarm. “We looked at the evidence and decided it was time

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MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge Awards Funding to 12 Cities and Counties

Last week the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge announced $22 million in new funding to support 12 new cities and counties working to reduce incarceration and 13 sites already part of the growing national movement. The National League of Cities (NLC) is proud to be part of the movement

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Tailoring Reengagement Strategies For America’s ‘Opportunity Youth’

As American as apple pie, “freedom” and “opportunity” are the ideals our country is supposed to represent — and that every city leader strives toward. But for too many young people today, opportunity is a promise unfulfilled, and their freedom to choose what to do, who to be, and how to live is only nominal.

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How Cities Can Reduce Recidivism for Young Adults

This is a guest post from Emily Morgan, director of content development at the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. As jurisdictions work to increase public safety and reduce corrections costs, a growing number have been exploring strategies targeted at improving outcomes for what is often the most challenging population under justice system supervision: young

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Accelerating Justice Reform and Criminal Record Clearance in Cities

The Council of State Governments (CSG), with funding support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, recently launched the Clean Slate Clearinghouse to support criminal record clearance efforts across the country. On March 27 at 3:00 p.m. EST, the National League of

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MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge Awards $11.3M to Local Sites

Jail misuse and overuse have taken a heavy toll on our communities. They have become warehouses for people with mental health and substance abuse issues — rather than a place for those who pose a flight risk or threat to public safety.  Local policy efforts and practices can contribute to the national movement to end mass incarceration.