The AAP advocates for community-based alternatives to incarceration that keep young people in their communities and out of secure confinement.
Research shows that the vast majority of justice-involved youth have experienced at least one form of childhood trauma, and contact with the juvenile justice system has been linked to negative physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. The system is also plagued by racial disparities, with youth of color comprising a disproportionate number of justice-involved youth. Juvenile justice reform efforts that invest in youth and their communities are critical to creating a system that is more appropriate for the developmental needs of children and adolescents.
Health Groups Call for Minimum Age of Jurisdiction
In a new statement, AAP and other health groups collectively endorse action to institute a minimum age of at least 12 years for juvenile justice system jurisdiction.