The racial disproportionality of youth of color who have contact with the juvenile justice system in Wisconsin remains among the highest in the nation, according to our latest report from Race to Equity. Too many African American, Native American, and Latinx youth of color are caught up in a complex juvenile justice system that profoundly impacts their future.

The report notes that despite overall juvenile arrest and incarceration rates declining in recent years, racial and ethnic inequities in Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system have been increasing. Some of the contributing factors to these racial disparities include differential police policies and practices, location of offenses, different reactions of victims, punitive juvenile laws, and racial bias within the system.

The report also recommends that Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system rely more on public health, restorative justice, procedural justice and trauma-informed approaches to resolve behavioral issues and promote healthy brain development.

To access more data and read further recommendations on how Wisconsin can reduce racial disparities in the juvenile justice system, read the full report, The Complex Maze of the Juvenile Justice System in Wisconsin and Its Impact on Youth of Color.

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