The Continuing State of Juvenile Justice in Wisconsin

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This report is an update of an earlier report published in October of 2011 and includes data from 2011 and 2012. Fortunately, many of the trends noted in the earlier report have continued, as juvenile arrests have continued to decline and we have seen a growth in support for successful community-based programs.

As noted in the earlier report, juvenile crime in Wisconsin has undergone significant changes over the last decade﹘but in a direction that belies the common perception that things have gotten worse. Youth crime has declined, and in state after state, juvenile facilities that were full or overcrowded are seeing dramatic reductions in the numbers of youth placed. States and counties are facing unanticipated and unprecedented decisions about closing or consolidating facilities. In Wisconsin several counties have already closed or will soon be closing all or part of a juvenile detention facility, and the Division of Juvenile Corrections has made great strides in programming and education at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Schools in Irma, WI.

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