Widening the Lens: A Panoramic View of Juvenile Justice in New York State

Source: Annie Salsich, Paragini Amin, Ben Estep, Vera Institute of Justice, December 2008

In February 2007, the Vera Institute of Justice and the New York State Task Force on Juvenile Justice Indicators, a committee of key juvenile justice stakeholders chaired by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), published the state’s first-ever set of statewide juvenile justice statistical indicators–data that offer insight into an organization’s work or the environment in which it operates. Using 2004 data collected from four state agencies, Widening the Lens: A Panoramic View of Juvenile Justice in New York State, summarized indicators within five key areas of the system: arrest, referral to court, detention, court processing, and disposition (sentencing). The report allowed practitioners, policymakers, and officials to view the juvenile justice system in its entirety for the first time, making it possible to begin pinpointing system needs and designing and implementing data-driven reforms.

This new publication, which relies on data from 2004 to 2006, is the first sequel to the 2007 report. It sets forth analytical observations from the most recent juvenile justice figures and identifies state and local trends, an important development since the first report. With a snapshot of how county and state juvenile justice systems have been operating from 2004 to 2006, stakeholders will be able to begin to identify promising trends and isolate areas that are ripe for reform. The observations and trends provided in the report are intended as examples only; local stakeholders are encouraged to examine the full set of indicators with an eye toward their own particular needs and concerns.

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