In the past three decades, state and local governments implemented various reform strategies to reduce the youth justice system’s reliance on confinement facilities and serve as many youths as possible in their own homes or at least in their own communities when removal from the home is warranted. The various reform strategies may be conceptualized as relying on three distinct but interrelated mechanisms: resolution, reinvestment, and realignment (Butts and Evans 2011). Resolution refers to the use of managerial authority and administrative directives to influence system change; reinvestment entails using financial incentives to encourage system change, and realignment employs organizational and structural modifications to create new systems. This report describes the history and implementation of the most well-known reform initiatives that draw upon one or more of these mechanisms to achieve system change and considers their impact on juvenile confinement at the state and local levels.
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