New Report Reaffirms Crisis in Juvenile Justice System, Devastating Impacts on Families & Proposed Solutions

Contact Media Relations Manager

Abel Habtegeorgis (510) 910 - 2672

On Tuesday, September 11, Justice for Families and the DataCenter will release a new research report, Families Unlocking Futures: Solutions to the Crisis in Juvenile Justice. This first-of-its kind analysis details how the juvenile justice system does more to feed the nation’s vast prison system than to deter or redirect young people from system involvement; and demonstrates the devastating, long-term impacts on families and communities. The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights partnered with other organizations to conduct a thousand interviews with family members to provide the basis for the report’s findings.

The Ella Baker Center has long stood at the forefront of juvenile justice reform in California by highlighting California’s broken and ineffective youth prison system: the Division of Juvenile Justice. In California, it costs nearly $200,000 per youth, per year to lock them up in the state’s outdated youth prisons yet the recidivism rate is 81%.

To speak with family members of incarcerated youth in California please contact Abel Habtegeorgis at

A copy of Families Unlocking Futures and shortened executive summary is available now and can be downloaded at:

Based on over 1,000 surveys with parents and family members of incarcerated youth and 24 focus groups nationwide, Families Unlocking Futures aims to correct misperceptions about system-involved youth and their families, and demonstrates the need for families’ active participation in redesigning the youth justice system in order to secure safer and more prosperous communities.  


Justice for Families is a national alliance working to transform families from victims of the prison epidemic to leaders of the movement for fairness and opportunity for all youth.   DataCenter is a national research organization that supports grassroots and movement organizing for justice and sustainability through strategic research, training and partnerships.
The award-winning Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is named for an unsung hero of the civil rights movement who inspired and guided emerging leaders. We build on her legacy by giving people opportunities and skills to work together to strengthen our communities so that all of us can thrive.