Indiana Juvenile Recidivism Rate Drops After 2010 Peak

In 2012, 34 percent of juvenile offenders were rearrested within three years, compared to 39.2 percent in 2010.

juvenile offender at Madison Correctional Facility

Photo: Bonnie Layton

An officer at the Madison Correctional Facility speaks to a juvenile offender.

After a spike in recidivism in 2010, a new report shows the rate at which juveniles are returning to prison is on the decline.

According to an Indiana Department of Corrections study, of the juvenile offenders released in 2009 34 percent were returned to custody by 2012. That rate was 36.7 percent in 2011  and 39.2 percent in 2010

DOC Division of Youth Services Director Michael Dempsey says 2010 was a wake-up call to the DOC. He says his department began requiring a number of programs that focused on keeping juveniles in a school like setting for the majority of their week.

The DOC also added programs such as anger replacement therapy, substance abuse and skills training.

“We have a focus on reducing the length of stay and making sure that kids are placed in facilities and have access to services in the least restrictive environment possible,” Dempsey says.

The number of incarcerated juveniles has been reduced by about half since 2008, from nearly 1,000 to about 500.

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