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Washington State’s Juvenile Justice System: Evolution of Policies, Populations, and Practical Research

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Lauren Knoth, Elizabeth Drake, Paige Wanner, Eva Westley - January 2020

Over the last 20 years, the Washington State Legislature has taken a number of steps to develop an “evidence-based” juvenile justice system. Through collaboration between the research community and policymakers, reforms have facilitated a significant shift in court practices and characteristics of the populations of court-involved youth.

Recent findings suggest that a new era of juvenile justice research is needed to identify how changes in justice-involved populations and court practices may affect the long-term effectiveness of juvenile court reforms. This report provides an overview of the evolution of legislative and administrative policies, justice-involved populations, and juvenile justice research over the last two decades. The report concludes with a discussion about pathways forward for Washington State’s policymakers and research community.

Report ID: 20-01-1901
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