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Indefensible: The Lack of Juvenile Defense Data

Published Jul 23, 2015, Andrew Wachter, Research Associate, NCJJ

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NCJJ has released a new StateScan publication that summarizes the results from a review of publicly available data that describe the application of juvenile defense across the country. This StateScan publication is the 5th in a series that distills important knowledge from NCJJ’s new Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics website.

The author organizes results from an online search for available juvenile defense data. This publication presents the limited amount of data available, suggests possible reasons for the lack of data, and highlights examples from a few states that report comprehensively. This original analysis illustrates that very few states collect and report data to monitor or evaluate the performance of the juvenile defense field; rather, most simply report to describe a work product of public defender agencies.  


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