A broad coalition in Oregon has been working with youth justice experts to craft proposals for a more humane youth justice system that focuses on accountability for youth and safety for our communities.

SB 1008 focuses on prevention and rehabilitation for youth in the criminal justice system.

  1. Places youth accused of any crimes in the juvenile justice system unless a judge determines that they should be in the adult system
  2. Establishes a process where all youth who are convicted in adult court have access to a “Second Look” hearing halfway through their sentence
  3. Requires an additional review before a youth with a long sentence would be transferred to an adult prison
  4. Eliminates life without parole sentences for youth
  5. Requires that victims receive culturally responsive, trauma-informed services at critical junctures in the criminal justice process

The following research and data are among the many reasons why advocates from across Oregon are working hard to hold youth accountable, while also healing their own trauma and getting them the help they need.

Oregon Youth Authority Department of Corrections Recidivism

Youth and Measure 11 in Oregon: Impacts of Mandatory Minimums (2018)

When youth serve time at adult facilities, public safety decreases. Young people who serve Measure 11 sentences only at DOC are twice as likely to recidivate, compared to those who serve Measure 11 sentences only at OYA. Young people who start their adult sentence at OYA and finish at DOC are still twice as likely to recidivate, compared to those who complete their sentences at OYA. Read more here.

Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach

Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach (2013)

The nation should reform its juvenile justice system to reflect the scientific findings, says Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach, a report from the National Research Council. State and tribal governments should review their laws and policies and ensure that they reflect current knowledge about adolescent development and effective interventions. In addition, federal policymakers should strengthen the capacity of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to improve the field of juvenile justice. Read the 6-page summary here. Read the 442-page report here.


Youth and Measure 11 in Oregon: Impacts of Mandatory Minimums (2018)

Juvenile justice is a broad topic encompassing many interrelated, but often disjointed, topics. To properly examine the issues surrounding justice-involved youth, one must consider not only safety, but also developmental science, political motivation, racial bias, and economic impact, among other factors. While many conversations center on one or two of these principles, this report brings all of these topics together for a more comprehensive analysis of juvenile justice reform. Read more here.

Misguided Measures 2016 cover

Misguided Measures Revisited: Progress and Promise in Oregon’s Youth Justice System (2016)

The evolution of Oregon’s youth justice culture mirrors what has been taking place throughout the rest of the country. Two decades ago, Ballot Measure 11 introduced mandatory minimum sentencing and automatic transfer to adult court for minors ages 15 and older who were charged with certain crimes. As a result, thousands of Oregonians now have permanent adult criminal records for offenses they committed as teenagers. However, state lawmakers are increasingly recognizing that young people—even those who commit serious crimes—are fundamentally different from adults and see better long-term outcomes when they receive age-appropriate sanctions and rehabilitative services. Read more here.

“Juvenile Justice in the U.S.: Facts for Policymakers,” by Columbia University, National Center for Children in Poverty (July 2011)

Reform efforts must place a greater focus on improving access to mental health services for all youth, better serving the needs of youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system, and creating effective alternatives to traditional residential placement facilities. Proper treatment and rehabilitative services can help many youth currently in the juvenile system become healthy and productive members of society. Read more here.

“Highlights from Pathways to Resistance: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders,” Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Us Department of Justice (March 2011)

The most important conclusion of the study is that even adolescents who have committed serious offenses are not necessarily on track for adult criminal careers. … The second conclusion is that incarceration may not be the most appropriate or effective option, even for many of the most serious adolescent offenders. Read more here.

Juvenile Transfer Laws

“Juvenile Transfer Laws: An Effective Deterrent to Delinquency?” United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (June 2010)

The practice of transferring juveniles for trial and sentencing in adult criminal court has, however, produced the unintended effect of increasing recidivism, particularly in violent offenders, and thereby of promoting life-course criminality. Read more here.

Misguided Measures 2009 cover

Misguided Measures: The Outcomes and Impacts of Measure 11 on Oregon’s Youth (2009)

Fifteen years after Measure 11 was enacted, the Campaign for Youth Justice and Partnership for Safety and Justice embarked on a study to determine the impact that Measure 11 was having on youth in Oregon. The authors analyzed data on 3,274 young people indicted with Measure 11 offenses since 1995. The authors also looked at a subset of 759 cases handled between 2006 and 2008 to understand the current way Measure 11 is being implemented in the 36 Oregon counties. Read more here.

Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the Adult Justice System

Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the Adult Justice System (November 2007)

Available evidence indicates that transfer to the adult criminal justice system typically increases rather than decreases rates of violence among transferred youth. … On the basis of these findings, the Task Force recommends against laws or policies facilitating the transfer of juveniles to the adult criminal justice system for the purpose of reducing violence. Read more here.