In 2016, Virginia incarcerated more than 400 youth in secure facilities at tremendous expense, accounting for roughly one-third of their Department of Juvenile Justice annual operating budget. The return on that investment is poor; three in four youth released from incarceration in 2012 were convicted of a new offense within three years. While the state has seen a 65 percent decline in youth incarceration since 2003, much remains to be done to meet the needs of youth and address the disparate treatment of youth of color in the system. This data snapshot explores youth incarceration in Virginia, providing data to state partners working with the YouthFirst! Initiative, a national advocacy campaign supporting state juvenile justice reform efforts.
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