Despite a 50 percent drop in youth incarceration since 2011, New Jersey still spends more than half of its juvenile justice budget on youth prisons. The return on that investment is poor; nearly 70 percent of youth released from incarceration in 2012 were convicted of a new offense within three years. New Jersey also has the third highest black-white commitment disparity in the nation; black youth are 29 times more likely to be detained than their white peers, and 24 times as likely to be incarcerated. This data snapshot explores youth incarceration in New Jersey, providing data to state partners working with the YouthFirst! Initiative, a national advocacy campaign supporting state juvenile justice reform efforts.
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