Innovations in NYC Health and Human Services Policy Juvenile Detention Reform


When New York City began reforming its juvenile detention system in 2006, youth were either sent to detention or released into the community with no formal supervision. The reform effort had the complementary goals of ensuring that costly juvenile detention beds would be reserved primarily for young people who present measurably high levels of risk, and that others would be released or properly supervised at home and in their communities while their cases were pending. This report begins by describing the impetus and context for these innovations and reforms and then provides detailed information on their structure, strengths, challenges, and necessary next steps.