RD207 - Department of Juvenile Justice Transformation Plan – June 30, 2016

Executive Summary:
In recent years, the Department of Juvenile Justice (Department) closely examined its practices and found them to be out of step in many respects with what research and evidence demonstrate are the most effective practices for reducing the recidivism rates of juvenile offenders. The Department also determined that offenders leaving the juvenile justice system, and particularly those offenders released from the Department’s juvenile correctional centers (JCCs), have unacceptably high recidivism rates. Specifically, approximately half of the youth released from commitment are rearrested within one year; over three quarters are rearrested within three years.

In response to these findings, the Department has developed this Transformation Plan (the Transformation Plan) which focuses on three core principles: (1) Safely Reduce the use of the state’s large and aging juvenile correctional facilities; (2) Effectively Reform supervision, rehabilitation, and treatment practices in all aspects of the juvenile justice system; and (3) Efficiently Replace the Department’s two large and outdated JCCs with smaller, regional, rehabilitative and treatment-oriented facilities supported by a statewide continuum of local alternative placements and evidence-based services.

These principles have been instrumental in guiding the Department to meet its fundamental goals of reducing the risk of reoffending for court-involved youth, improving and promoting the skills and resiliencies necessary for youth to lead successful lives in their communities, and improving public safety for citizens throughout the Commonwealth.