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

26 of 72 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

  • 10–16
  • Extended Age of Delinquency Jurisdiction: 24

Age of detention

0–17

Standard for detention

W.S.A. 938.205

(1) Criteria. A juvenile may be held under s. 938.207, 938.208, or 938.209(1) if the intake worker determines that there is probable cause to believe the juvenile is within the jurisdiction of the court and if probable cause exists to believe any of the following:

(a) That the juvenile will commit injury to the person or property of others if not held.

(b) That the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the juvenile or other responsible adult is neglecting, refusing, unable, or unavailable to provide adequate supervision and care and that services to ensure the juvenile's safety and well-being are not available or would be inadequate.

(c) That the juvenile will run away or be taken away so as to be unavailable for proceedings of the court or its officers, proceedings of the division of hearings and appeals in the department of administration for revocation of aftercare supervision, or action by the department or county department relating to a violation of a condition of the juvenile's placement in a Type 2 juvenile correctional facility or a Type 2 residential care center for children and youth or a condition of the juvenile's participation in the intensive supervision program under s. 938.534.

W.S.A. 938.208

A juvenile may be held in a juvenile detention facility if the intake worker determines that any of the following conditions applies:

(1) Delinquent act and risk of harm or running away. Probable cause exists to believe that the juvenile has committed a delinquent act and either presents a substantial risk of physical harm to another person or a substantial risk of running away so as to be unavailable for a court hearing, a revocation of aftercare supervision hearing, or action by the department or county department relating to a violation of a condition of the juvenile's placement in a Type 2 juvenile correctional facility or a Type 2 residential care center for children and youth or a condition of the juvenile's participation in the intensive supervision program under s. 938.534. For juveniles who have been adjudged delinquent, the delinquent act referred to in this section may be the act for which the juvenile was adjudged delinquent. If the intake worker determines that any of the following conditions applies, the juvenile is considered to present a substantial risk of physical harm to another person:

(a) Probable cause exists to believe that the juvenile has committed a delinquent act that would be a felony under s. 940.01, 940.02, 940.03, 940.05, 940.19(2) to (6), 940.21, 940.225(1), 940.31, 941.20(3), 943. 02(1), 943.23(1g), 943.32(2), 947.013(1t), (1v) or (1x), 948.02(1) or (2), 948.025, 948.03, or 948.085(2), if committed by an adult.

(b) Probable cause exists to believe that the juvenile possessed, used or threatened to use a handgun, as defined in s. 175.35(1)(b), short-barreled rifle, as defined in s. 941.28(1)(b), or short-barreled shotgun, as defined in s. 941.28(1)(c), while committing a delinquent act that would be a felony under ch. 940 if committed by an adult.

(c) Probable cause exists to believe that the juvenile has possessed or gone armed with a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun in violation of s. 941.28, or has possessed or gone armed with a handgun in violation of s. 948.60.

(2) Runaway from another state or secure custody.

(3) Protective custody.

(4) Runaway from nonsecure custody.

(5) Runaway from another county.

(6) Subject to jurisdiction of adult court.

Detention hearing timeline

Wis. Stat. § 938.21.

Within 24 hours after the end of the day on which the decision to hold the juvenile was made, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays

Contact

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

DMC coordinator

Lindsey Draper
Dept of Justice Training and Standards Bureau
17 West Main St.
P.O. Box 7070
Madison, WI 53707-7070
Phone: 414-550-9731
Fax: 608-266-7869
lindsey.draper@wisconsin.gov

Website

JJS coordinator

There is currently no JJS coordinator

DMC subcommittee chair

Kathy Malone
Phone: 414-412-3952
jjsllc@wi.rr.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.

State plan

There is no link available to the current State Plan

State Advisory Group (SAG)

In 1974, Congress recognized the problem of children in adult jails by enacting the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Emphasizing the widespread abuse of juveniles in adult jails, the Act aimed at eventual removal of all juveniles from adult jails, but mandated "sight and sound" separation of juvenile and adult offenders in states participating in the funding program of the legislation. The Act also required that status offenders (non-criminal youth) be removed from juvenile detention and correctional facilities.

Wisconsin has participated in the Act since its inception. The current Governor's Juvenile Justice Commission (GJJC) works to implement the Act - to examine how services are delivered and to develop a plan which establishes goals, objectives and priorities that will assure a more effective delivery of these services.

The responsibility for the administration of Wisconsin's Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act funds has been assigned to the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance (OJA). OJA has a Juvenile Justice Unit that works with the GJJC to implement the Act in Wisconsin, receive requests for funding from counties, state agencies, local units of government, and tribal and non-profit agencies, and encourage knowledge about research on effective programs and practices.

OJA and the GJJC strive to make Wisconsin a place where children can grow up in safe communities and have the opportunity to be productive, contributing citizens. We also seek to work collaboratively with other state, county, municipal agencies, and tribes to promote practices that effectively address the issues of high risk youth and families and fundamental issues of fairness. The work is guided by the Act and by the goals of the GJJC. Overall, the work of OJA and the Commission is guided in turn by the state's Three Year Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Plan.

SAG chair

Jim Moeser
555 W. Washington
Suite 200
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608-284-0580 x316
jmoeser@wccf.org
Website

Organizational structure

The Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission is created under the authority of an Executive Order issued by the Governor. The Governor makes appointments to the Commission, including appointing the Chairperson. All appointments are “at the pleasure of the Governor”. We currently have around 21 members (but check the final list). The Commission is staffed through the Department of Justice—the prior state agency, the Office of Justice Assistance, was dissolved as of July 1 and staff from there were transferred to DOJ—a new/updated Executive Order will be drafted to reflect that change.

Committees

  • DMC Committee
  • Grant Review Committee
  • Policy/Legislative/Compliance Committee
  • Executive Committee

Membership

  • Carl Ashley, Judge, Milwaukee County Circuit Court
  • Theodore Engelbart, Retired Law Enforcement
  • Andrew Fabry, Youth Member, University of WI-Madison Student
  • Jose Flores, Pastor, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee
  • Tierney Gill, Youth Member, Wisconsin Lutheran College-Student
  • Steven Glamm, Milwaukee County ADA
  • David Huesemann, Lt, Germantown Police Department
  • Eddie Jackson, Sales Consultant, AT&T
  • Tasha Jenkins—COMMISSION VICE CHAIR, Department of Corrections
  • Jessica Jimenez-Youth Member, University of WI-Whitewater StudentDepartment (Full-time Government)
  • Janet E. Proctor, Program Director, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of NW WI
  • Jose Ramos, Youth Member
  • Lucy Rowley, Retired Human Services Director
  • Cavell L. Samuels, Youth Member
  • Carolyn Stanford Taylor, Assistant State Superintendent, DPI (Full-time Government)
  • John Sweeney, Administrator, Northcentral Drug Task Force (Full-time Government)
  • Charles Tubbs, Chief of Police, Wisconsin Capitol Police (Full-time Government)
  • Manee Vongphakdy, Guidance Counselor, Wausau High School
  • Polly Wolner, Executive Director, Barron County Restorative Justice

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.