Juvenile justice services, programs, and interventions are often deemed successful or not based upon a common outcome measure of subsequent criminal behavior commonly referred to as recidivism. Recidivism is defined and measured in many different ways based upon how the measure will be used and what data is available. The most useful recidivism analyses include the widest possible range of events that correspond with actual reoffending and include sufficient detail to differentiate offenders by offense severity in addition to other characteristics (Sickmund and Puzzanchera,2014).
NCJJ reviewed publicly available juvenile justice recidivism reports was conducted to discover which states currently publish recidivism data and do so repeatedly over time. States that only offer point-in-time studies are not included here.
Some states simply provide a recidivism rate, while others provide much more detail to help define recidivism. Recidivism reports are published by different authors, including correction agencies and courts, leading to multiple reports for some states. In this analysis, these reports are combined into a single entry.
Once located, reports were reviewed to identify key elements that help define recidivism in each state. These include which youth are tracked (study population), measures of recidivism (marker event), and how long youth are tracked (follow up period). To summarize the results, the study populations and marker events were synthesized into four categories: Arrest, Court Action, Supervision, and Placement. Some reports include details that provide for a more in-depth analysis, such as age, race, gender, risk level, and prior juvenile justice history.
The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) has a history of helping jurisdictions collect, analyze, and apply data to make juvenile justice decisions. NCJJJ is currently partnering with The Pew Charitable Trust's Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP) and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators on a comprehensive study of juvenile recidivism in five states. NCJJ can assist your jurisdiction to determine how to develop and apply measures of subsequent offending.
The Juvenile Justice Resource Hub is curated by the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) and hosted by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. The Hub is a one-stop resource center for systems reform advocacy. It includes an evidence-based practice area that is designed to support youth advocates with a comprehensive literature review, summaries of key issues and terms and connections to experts.