November 19, 2015

What a Difference a Decade Makes: Youth Detention Population Drops 44%

Since 2003, the number of youth residing in juvenile detention, correctional and residential facilities has dropped by 44%. This statistic fell across all racial and ethnic groups and translates to about 54,100 youth (ages 0-20) in juvenile detention, correctional and residential facilities in 2013.

Despite this encouraging change in confinement rates, black kids are still overrepresented in juvenile detention centers across America. In 2013, 15% of kids and young adults in the United States were black, yet black youth represented 40% of the juvenile detention population.

This statistical imbalance shouldn’t be the status quo. Creating a fairer juvenile justice system for kids of color is possible. In fact, several sites in Casey’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative have already succeeded on this front.

Explore more juvenile justice data — at the national and state level — in the KIDS COUNT Data Center.