An eight-month study by The Pittsburgh Foundation has found that youth involved with the Allegheny County juvenile justice system could play a much greater role in shaping prevention and diversion programs. The report also recommends addressing disproportionate system involvement by youth of color, particularly girls, and that youth have a seat the table with human services staffs, law-enforcement authorities and school officials. The Foundation's study also calls for schools to reform discipline policies and cultivate race-positive curriculum and advocates for changes to court-related fees and restitution policies, which can leave some youth trapped in the system.
The report, “A Qualitative Study of Youth and the Juvenile Justice System: A 100 Percent Pittsburgh Pilot Project,” begun in fall 2015 by the Foundation’s Program and Policy staff, to amplify the voices of youth by gathering first-person data from those who have experienced the juvenile justice system or are at risk of being involved with it in Allegheny County. Read the news release here. Download the study at the link, below.