“Raise the Age” Legislation as a Prevention Approach to Address Mass Incarceration

Authored by: Danielle Tolson Cooper , Jennifer L. Klein

Handbook on the Consequences of Sentencing and Punishment Decisions

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138608931
eBook ISBN: 9780429466380
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter is a timely discussion of the potential harms of punishing youth through incarceration, and it articulates how attempts to pass legislation to raise the age of inclusion in the juvenile justice system, known as the “Raise the Age” (RTA) movement, can be viewed as an approach to increase tertiary prevention, which focuses on interventions that reduce the likelihood for continued justice-involvement. The RTA movement encourages policies that use an age-responsive approach to punishment that would limit youthful offenders’ contact with the juvenile justice system as well as help keep them out of the criminal justice system. The chapter concludes by addressing next steps for practical and efficient collaborations among researchers, agency personnel, policy makers, and other key stakeholders.

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