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 »

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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 67 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

  • 10–17
  • Extended Age of Delinquency Jurisdiction: 20

Age of detention

10–17

Standard for detention

A child taken into custody shall not be detained or placed in shelter care prior to the hearing on the petition unless his detention or care is required to protect the person or property of others or of the child or because the child may abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court or because he has no parent, guardian, or custodian or other person able to provide supervision and care for him and return him to the court when required, or an order for his detention or shelter care has been made by the court pursuant to this chapter.

Detention hearing timeline

42 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 6325.

Within 72 hours of detention.

Contact

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

DMC coordinator

Lenore Wyant
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
3101 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 1-800-692-7292
Fax: 717-772-0551
lewyant@pa.gov

Website

JJS coordinator

Michael Pennington
Phone: 1-800-692-7292
MPenningto@pa.gov

DMC subcommittee chair

Dan Elby
Director
Alternative Rehabilitation Communities, Inc.
2743 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17105
Phone: (717) 238-7101
Fax: (717) 238-6392
daniel.elby@arcfamily.com

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 efforts

Berks County worked with MacArthur Foundation' Model for Change DMC Action Network to reduce disproportionate Latino and African American rates of detention. Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency has is funding 5 additional counties to develop evening reporting centers and implement detention assessment instruments

State Plan

There is no link available to the current State Plan

The SAG reports on DMC progress as part of the monitoring process in its comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention three-year plan and subsequent plan updates in order to demonstrate compliance with Section 223(a)(22) of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Plan updates are required and reviewed annually by the federal OJJDP.

State Advisory Group (SAG)

The state advisory group of Pennsylvania is the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee (JJDPC) of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The most prominent strategy for system enhancement efforts will continue to engage these local juvenile justice professionals in:

  • Continuously refining the visionIdentifying guidelines for good practices and research-based interventionsDeveloping and disseminating resources, tools, curricula
  • Providing training and technical assistance
  • Engaging communities in supporting system goals

Although it has no authority to direct the operations of courts, probation, or public or private institutions, the JJDPC, through the leadership of its chair, the broad-based representation of its members, the non-partisan way in which it conducts its business, and the support of PCCD staff, will continue to shape consensus regarding a comprehensive juvenile justice plan. In this regard, as a result of a year-long strategic planning process, the JJDPC identified eight priorities for addressing critical issues that are aligned with achieving juvenile justice system goals.

SAG chair

Mark Zimmer
Zimmer Law Office
1133 Main Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: 570-253-0300
Fax: 570-253-1430
zimmslaw@gmail.com
Website

Organizational structure

Pennsylvania’s JJDPC (SAG) is organized by federal and state statutes:

  • Members are appointed by the Governor from persons with “training, experience, or special knowledge concerning prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and administration of juvenile justice.”
  • There are 15 to 33 members
  • At least one locally-elected official
  • A majority of the members shall not be full-time government/public employees (including Chair)
  • One-fifth of all members shall be under age 24 (when appointed)
  • 3 members shall have been, or shall currently be, under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system

PA statute Title 71 further stipulates that:

  • JJDC is an advisory committee to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
  • Membership includes units of local government, law enforcement and juvenile justice agency probation personnel, juvenile court judges, the Executive Director of the Juvenile Court Judges Commission, public and private agencies and organizations concerned with delinquency prevention or treatment and services to delinquency prevention or treatment and services to dependent children, community-based youth, youth workers involved with youth programs, persons with special experience and competence in addressing the problem of school violence and vandalism and the problem of learning disabilities and representatives of public agencies concerned with special education.

Selection:

  • Members are nominated by the Chairs of JJDPC and PCCD in consultation with members of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention community
  • Appointments are made by the Governor

Committees

  • DMC
  • Female Services
  • Resource Center Steering Committee
  • System Enhancement

Membership

  • Anne Marie Ambrose, Esq., Department of Human Services
  • Mr. James E. Anderson, Executive Director, Juvenile Court Judges' Commission Pennsylvania Judicial Center
  • Mr. Anthony Bowles, Juvenile Probation Officer, Lancaster County Juvenile Probation
  • Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark, Juvenile Court Judge, Court of Common Pleas
  • Honorable Arthur E. Grim, Administrative Judge, Berks County Court of Common Pleas
  • Mr. John R. Losh, Juvenile Probation Officer, York County Juvenile Probation
  • George D. Mosee, Jr., Esq., Deputy District Attorney, Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Juvenile Division, Chair, Hiring Committee
  • Mr. David H. Mueller, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer
  • Edward P. Mulvey, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Director, Law and Psychiatry Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
  • Mr. Joseph Puglio
  • Ms. Maureen Raquet
  • Mr. Keith Snyder, Deputy Director, Juvenile Court Judges' Commission, Pennsylvania Judicial Center
  • Ms. Angel R. Stewart, Cumberland County Juvenile Probation
  • Honorable Carol L. Van Horn, Franklin/Fulton Counties, Court of Common Pleas, Franklin County Courthouse
  • Mr. Michael J. Vogel, Chief Executive Director, Turning Points for Children
  • Mr. Robert N. Williams, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, Berks County Juvenile Probation
  • George D. Mosee, Jr., Esq., Deputy District Attorney, Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
  • David H. Mueller, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, Lancaster County Juvenile Probation Office
  • Mary I. Ramirez, Director, Bureau of Community and Student Services Office of Elementary/Secondary Education Department of Education
  • Maureen Raquet, Executive Director, Montgomery County Youth Center
  • James Rieland, Director, Allegheny County Probation
  • Angel R. Stewart, Dauphin County Juvenile Probation Office
  • Robert G. Schwartz, Esq., Executive Director, Juvenile Law Center
  • Alan P. Tezak
  • Carol B. Tinari, Consultant
  • Honorable Carol L. Van Horn, Franklin/Fulton Counties
  • Michael J. Vogel
  • Corrie Warfield
  • Kareem Watts

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.