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

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

2 of 26 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: 18

Age of Detention

None specified
In practice youths between 12 and their 18th birthday can be housed in detention. Juveniles can be held in adjudicated treatment until their 19th birthday or until their 20th with their consent.

Standard for detention

AS47.12.240-250

Sec. 47.12.240. - Detention of minors.
(a) When the court commits a minor to the custody of the department, the department shall arrange to place the minor in a detention home, work camp, or another suitable place that the department designates for that purpose. Except when detention in a correctional facility is authorized by (c) of this section, the minor may not be incarcerated in a correctional facility that houses adult prisoners.

(b) When a minor is detained under this chapter, the person having responsibility for the facility in which the minor is detained shall immediately make reasonable attempts to notify the minor's parent, guardian, or custodian of the minor's detention.

(c) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, a minor may be incarcerated in a correctional facility

(1) if the minor is the subject of a petition filed with the court under this chapter seeking adjudication of the minor as a delinquent minor or if the minor is in official detention pending the filing of that petition; however, detention in a correctional facility under this paragraph may not exceed the lesser of

(A) six hours, except under the criteria listed in (e) of this section; or

(B) the time necessary to arrange the minor's transportation to a juvenile detention home or comparable facility for the detention of minors;

(2) if, in response to a petition of delinquency filed under this chapter, the court has entered an order closing the case under AS 47.12.100(a), allowing the minor to be prosecuted as an adult; or

(3) if the minor is at least 16 years of age and the court has entered an order under AS 47.12.160 (e) imposing an adult sentence and transferring custody of the minor to the Department of Corrections.

(d) When a minor is detained under (c)(1) of this section and incarcerated in a correctional facility, the minor shall be

(1) assigned to quarters in the correctional facility that are separate from quarters used to house adult prisoners so that the minor cannot communicate with or view adults who are in official detention;

(2) provided admission, health care, hygiene, and food services and recreation and visitation opportunities separate from services and opportunities provided to adults who are in official detention.

(e) Notwithstanding the limitation on detention set out in (c)(1) of this section, a minor whose detention is authorized by (c)(1) of this section may be detained in a correctional facility for up to 24 hours when the authority having jurisdiction over the minor under this chapter is outside a metropolitan statistical area under the current designation of the United States Bureau of the Census and the authority has no existing acceptable alternative placement available for the minor. The minor may be held in secure custody beyond the 24-hour period if the criteria set out in this subsection are met and if the correctional facility is located where conditions of

(1) distance to be traveled or the lack of highway, road, or other ground transportation do not allow for court appearances within 24 hours, in which case the minor may be held for up to an additional 48 hours at the correctional facility; or

(2) lack of safety exist, such as severely adverse, life-threatening weather conditions that do not allow for reasonably safe travel, in which case the time for an appearance may be delayed until 24 hours after the time that the conditions become safe.

(f) A detention authorized by (e) of this section may not exceed the time necessary to satisfy the requirement of (c)(1)(B) of this section.

(g) [Repealed, Sec. 42 ch 12 SLA 2006].

(h) In this section,

(1) "correctional facility" has the meaning given in AS 33.30.901 whether the facility is operated by the state, a municipality, a village, or another entity;

(2) "official detention" has the meaning given in AS 11.81.900 .

Detention hearing timeline

AS § 47.12.250

  • Immediately, and in no event more than 48 hours later.
  • For those minors held securely in correctional facilities that house adult prisoners, the court shall immediately, and in no event more than 24 hours after the custody begins, hold a hearing at which the minor and the minor's parents or guardian if they can be found shall be present.

Contact

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

DMC coordinator

Angelina Ahrens
Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice
P.O. Box 110635
Juneau, AK 99811
Phone: 907-465-3855
Fax: 907-465-2333
angelina.ahrens@alaska.gov

Website

JJS coordinator

Barbara Murray
Division of Juvenile Justice
Department of Health and Social Services
240 Main Street, Suite 701
P.O. Box 110635
Juneau, AK 99811-0635
907-465-2116
907-465-4390 (fax)
barbara_murray@health.state.ak.us

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.

DMC reform effors

Timeline of activities

State plan

There is no link available to the current State Plan

State Advisory Group (SAG)

It is the mission of the Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee to provide support, advice and guidance to the government and citizens of the State of Alaska, in accordance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, to help reduce and prevent juvenile crime, while ensuring that Alaska's youth are provided meaningful opportunities to succeed.

SAG chair

Jasmin Smith
11417 Celestial Street
Eagle River, AK 99577
Phone: 907-694-5530
jasminsmith85@gmail.com
Website

Organizational structure

The Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (AJJAC) is comprised of committed citizens from all parts of Alaska who have experience with youth and juvenile justice issues. This non-partisan group of volunteers includes parents, teachers, social service workers, court and corrections employees, and youth. They are appointed by the Governor to serve in accordance with the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974.

Committees

Compliance Monitoring, DMC, Legislative, Youth, and Grants Review

Membership

  • Chris Allridge - Public/Restricted
  • Vicki J. Blankenship - Vice-Chair
  • Carol A. Brenckle - Chair, Secretary-Juvenile Justice Committee
  • Seth Church - Juvenile/Under 24
  • John Combs - Local Elected Official
  • Michael I. Jeffery- Alaska Court System
  • Beverly Jenkins
  • Larry S. LeDoux –Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development
  • Judy L. Norton-Eledge – ACHAA Education Services
  • Laura M. Ogan - Juvenile/Under 24, Alaska Advisors and Associates
  • Michael J Reed – Department of Corrections
  • Barbara B. Tyndall - Chair
  • Samantha Wheaton - Juvenile/Under 24
  • Tina M. Woods

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.

Download

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.