NCCD develops research, programs, and policies that promote fair, effective, and age-appropriate treatment of youth. NCCD works to improve young people’s chances to become successful. For those incarcerated, NCCD wants every youth in the juvenile justice system to be safe and healthy, to have the opportunity for academic success, to develop an understanding of his or her behavior, and to gain hope for a better future.
NCCD works to reform the juvenile justice system through comprehensive community planning and by interrupting the cycle of violence experienced by families and communities. Beyond examining the contextual factors surrounding youth violence and the juvenile system, NCCD develops assessment and intervention-planning tools designed to improve outcomes for juvenile offenders in both institutional and community programs. Hence, NCCD engages with and provides solutions for caseworkers, probation officers, families, law enforcement agencies, schools, and community-based organizations.
NCCD focuses on the elements of the juvenile system that are most effective in reducing unnecessary detention and in reducing disparities based on racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identity among detained youth. In an ongoing effort to improve the entire juvenile system, NCCD examines the conditions of confinement of youth in custody with the intent to increase access to services—such as medical and mental health—for those in detention, local correctional programs, or reentry status. Intended system changes will result from using evidence-based screening tools to match youth with services, providing appropriate and culturally sensitive services to youth in custody, and linking youth to post-release services in their home communities.