Reimagining Youth Justice: A Blueprint for Alameda County examines the existing youth incarceration system in Alameda County. It lays out a roadmap of alternative responses centered in racial equity, healing and empowerment.

The report dives into examining how existing responses to violence and serious harm have failed us. It also shared what alternative responses should look like and examples of such alternatives in the County. The report also outlines examples of the existing youth-serving infrastructure present in the County to highlight the robust network of community support already present and eager to serve our young people.

Key findings in the Reimagining Youth Justice report:

  • Nearly one in three youth incarcerated in Alameda County are later reconvicted. The County spends about $493,000 per youth per year on incarceration. This is an indication of the failure of probation and incarceration to keep us safe.
  • Alameda County’s restorative justice alternatives produce recidivism rates of 5% when working with youth charged with specifically violent and serious offenses such as robbery. 
  • The average cost per year to place a young person on probation in Alameda County is $23,000 while evidence-based restorative justice practices have a one-time cost of $4,500
  • Oakland Black youth are approximately 113 times more likely than white youth to be arrested for a felony.
A sketch of the Oakland hills and bridge in purple

Finally, the report concludes with recommendations regarding ways to improve oversight over youth justice and coordination among the many youth services in communities. Alameda County absolutely can and should meet this historic moment, and this report provides a policy blueprint for it to do so.

Read and download the full report here.

Reimagining Youth Justice: A Blueprint for Alameda County is published in partnership with the Free Our Kids Coalition in Alameda County. The Coalition’s Research and Service Providers Working Group and numerous community partners guided the research and recommendations.