INDIANA (WEHT) – For many months, a task force has been looking into the juvenile justice system in the state of Indiana and how it serves our children and teenagers who have gotten into some trouble with the law. The task force is co-chaired by State Representative Wendy McNamara
The task force convened on October 15 to discuss their findings. There were five key findings that were highlighted in the research:
- Youth are detained for non-public safety reasons, and detention is being used as a sanction for probation violations and as a dispositional option.
- Youth committed to Department of Corrections custody consist largely of moderate risk youth. Youth with low-level offenses are also being placed in secure facilities.
- Youth committed to Department of Corrections custody are not consistently receiving research-based, developmentally-appropriate services and supports, including for reentry.
- State juvenile justice funding is used primarily for residential services, and there are limited funding requirements, quality assurance protocols, or data processes in place to ensure that state dollars are used cost effectively.
- Black youth are disproportionately likely to be placed in secure detention, in Department of Corrections custody, and in Department of Child Services residential facilities compared to their White peers.
This was the second data-findings meeting pertaining to out-of-home placements and services.