Unbalanced Youth Justice

The Burns Institute is in pursuit of an equitable and excellent youth justice system. A system used sparingly and appropriately.  We know that our current youth justice system is not equitable, excellent, or used sparingly and appropriately. More than 47,000 youth were incarcerated on any given night in 2015, most (73 percent) for non-violent offenses. The majority (69 percent) of those incarcerated were youth of color.  Learn more »

Use the tools below to explore this issue »

One-day count

Data in this section show how many youth are detained, committed, or otherwise sleeping somewhere other than their homes per orders of the court on "any given day" in select years. Data is available for the nation and on a state-by-state basis, and are based upon one-day counts of youth in residential placement facilities conducted in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015. Learn more »

Show table and download this data

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Year White Black Latino Native American Asian Other All youth of color All youth

Annual decision points

This section includes data at nine key juvenile justice annual decision points. Data are available at the county and state-level, but only for counties that report. This section allows you to view the data from many different angles and all of the data is broken down by race and ethnicity. Learn more »

Year

Data not available for every year. (Why?)

Available years are those for which states have submitted data to OJJDP. States do not submit data on an annual basis.

Case flow diagram

Click on a decision-making point to see the data for that point. Click additional decision-making points to the graph to compare.

  1. Youth population

  • 1Comparison of arrest to population is rate per 1,000 youth. All other annual decision points are rate per 100 youth at the prior decision-making point.
  • 2Due to differences in how states define arrests and referrals to court, some states may have more referrals to court than arrests.
Show table and download this data

Click column headers to sort Download

Decision White Black Latino American Indian or Alaskan Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Asian Other All youth of color All youth

67 of 68 counties (Why?)

Originally, states were only required to examine three counties: those with the greatest proportions of minority youth within their juvenile population, as well as those that contained the greatest numbers of minority youth. Only recently has OJJDP required that states track DMC data for all potential DMC reduction sites on a regular basis (at least every 3 years). If a county is not a DMC reduction site, data may not be available.

Detention statute

Juvenile courts may hold delinquents in a secure detention facility if the court believes it is in the best interest of the community or the child. After arrest a youth is often brought to the local juvenile detention facility by law enforcement. Juvenile probation officers or detention workers review the case and decide if the juvenile should be held pending a hearing by a judge.

Jurisdiction ages

0-17
Extended Age of Delinquency Jurisdiction: 20

Age of Detention

10-17

Standard for detention

Alabama detention standards

A child who is allegedly delinquent or in need of supervision shall immediately be released to the care, custody and control of the child's parent, guardian, custodian or other suitable person able and willing to provide supervision and care for such child except when:

(1) The child has no parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, or other suitable person able to provide supervision and care for the child.

(2) The release of the child would present a clear and substantial threat of a serious nature to the person or property of others and where the child is alleged to be delinquent.

(3) The release of the child would present a serious threat of substantial harm to the child.

(4) The child has a history of failing to appear for hearings before the juvenile court.

(5) The child is alleged to be delinquent for possessing a pistol, short-barreled rifle, or short-barreled shotgun, in which case the child may be detained in a juvenile detention facility until the hearing required by Section 12-15-207. Pistol as used in this section shall be as defined in subdivision (1) of Section 13A-11-70. Short-barreled rifle and short-barreled shotgun as used in this section shall be as defined in Section 13A-11-62.

Detention hearing timeline

Ala. Code § 12-15-60.

Within 72 Hours of detention, weekends and holidays included.

Contact

Please email Anna Wong with any updates to contact information for your DMC coordinator, JJS coordinator, or DMC subcommittee chair.

DMC coordinator

Karen Clifton
Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs
401 Adams Avenue, Suite 468
P.O. Box 5690
Montgomery, AL 36103-5690
Phone: 334-353-5311
Fax: 334-242-0712
karen.clifton@adeca.alabama.gov

There is no DMC website

JJS coordinator

Karen Clifton
Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs
401 Adams Avenue, Suite 468
P.O. Box 5690
Montgomery, AL 36103-5690
Phone: 334-353-5311
Fax: 334-242-0712
karen.clifton@adeca.alabama.gov

DMC subcommittee chair

There is currently no DMC subcommittee chair

Reform efforts

States that wish to post their most recent three-year plans or share other relevant publications about their reform work should contact Anna Wong. We would be happy to link to relevant documents and information.

State plan

There is no link available to the current State Plan

Alabama intends to provide ongoing monitoring and record keeping practices and activities to ensure compliance with the JJDPA.

State Advisory Group (SAG)

With regard to the juvenile justice system, ADECA's Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division (LETS Division) is authorized to apply for and administer block grant program funds, discretionary grant funds, or any other funds appropriated from the federal government or the State legislature as they pertain to law enforcement and the criminal justice system, including juvenile justice and delinquency prevention, and any other federal grant program as designated by the Governor. The ADECA LETS Division is authorized to establish and submit the State's plans for obtaining such federal grant program funding, including funds to operate juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs within the State. The ADECA LETS Division is authorized to administratively reject any subgrant application which is not in compliance with the State's comprehensive plans, the policy directives of the Alabama Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention [the State Advisory Group (SAG)], the Safe Streets Act, law enforcement assistance requirements, or any subgrant application which is incorrect with regard to fiscal computations, as well as when no funds are available to be allocated under the grant program area for which such subgrant application was submitted.

In compliance with the JJDP Act's purpose of implementing the various law enforcement and juvenile justice / delinquency prevention programs established thereunder [42 U.S.C. §5633, and §5671(c)(1)], Executive Order No. 5 issued on March 30, 1983, by Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, authorizes ADECA, by and through its Law Enforcement Planning Division (now known as the ADECA LETS Division), to be the sole agency for supervising the preparation and administration of the State's plan and the submission of applications to the OJJDP for federal grant funds to be allocated to the State for the purposes of implementing the JJDP Act's laws, rules, regulations, policies, and program mandates within the State. Executive Order No. 5 also creates the Alabama Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention [the State Advisory Group (SAG)] for the purposes of advising and making recommendations on matters relating to juvenile justice and delinquency prevention within the State. As such grant programs are funded by the OJJDP, Executive Order No. 5 designates the ADECA LETS Division as the sole agency to administer said programs and disburse program funds to the State's units of local government and other qualifying entities for expenditure on their juvenile justice and delinquency prevention program conception, development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation activities.

SAG chair

Gerald H. Love
Director
Southeast Alabama Youth Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 1381
Dothan , AL 36302-1381
Phone: 334-983-8377
Fax: 334-983-1289
Lovegeraldh@yahoo.com
Website

Organizational structure

SAG Chair did not provide information to the Burns Institute.

Committees

SAG Chair did not provide information to the Burns Institute.

About the data

Our website is populated by data provided to us by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Continue reading for details about the One-day count and Annual decision points data.

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Complete downloads of the data are available in several formats:

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Each table of data is also available for download. Click Show table below any table to download just the data shown.