Reforming Juvenile Detention

No More Hidden Closets

Edited by Ira M. Schwartz and William H. Barton



192 pp. 6x9

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Juvenile detention facilities confine more youths than do any other type of institution in the United States. Essentially jails for juveniles who have been arrested and are awaiting trial, these centers tend to be overcrowded, inadequately staffed, and expensive to operate. Juvenile justice officials and state and local policymakers throughout the country are desperately trying to determine the proper use of these facilities and, more important, how to bring detention systems under control. The eleven essays in this collection assess today’s juvenile detention system, bringing to light problems and inefficiencies and suggesting strategies for improving conditions and eliminating these problems.

The authors of these essays pull together data on national trends in detention policies and practices and examine specific cases to paint a grim picture of a system badly in need of reform.  They also provide practical summaries of reform targets and strategies, and case studies of successful reform attempts, thus offering clear and much-needed guidance toward possible solutions to the nation’s juvenile detention crisis.

Table of Contents

  • National Trends in Juvenile Detention  Ira M. Schwartz and Deborah A. Willis
  • Determinants of Juvenile Detention Rates Teri K. Martin
  • Objective Juvenile Detention Criteria: The California Experience  David Steinhart
  • Reducing the Use of Secure Detention in Broward County, Florida  William H. Barton, Ira M. Schwartz, and Franklin A. Orlando
  • Controlling Juvenile Detention Population: Strategies for Reform  Carl V. Sanniti
  • Toward a Model Secure Detention Program: Lessons from Shuman Center  Joseph T. Christy
  • Secure Detention in Pennsylvania, 1981–1990: The Experience after Coleman v. Stanziani  James E. Anderson and Robert G. Schwartz
  • Implementing Detention Policy Changes  William H. Barton
  • Detention Reform from a Judge's Viewpoint  Sharon McCully
  • What Policymakers Need to Know about Juvenile Detention Reform  Ira M. Schwartz

Ira M. Schwartz is dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include (In)Justice for Juveniles: Rethinking the Best Interest of the Child and Juvenile Justice and Public Policy: Toward a National Agenda. William H. Barton is associate professor at the Indiana University School of Social Work.