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Monday 3rd of August 2020

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The Complex Maze of the Juvenile Justice System in Wisconsin and Its Impact on Youth of Color

Race To Equity


Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system operates like a complex maze with many points of entry. Navigating the maze-like-system is difficult and finding a point of exit is even more difficult. The complexities of the juvenile justice system and the biases that exist within the system are preventing many children in Wisconsin from thriving—particularly children of color. Wisconsin is locking up too many youth of color in a system that doesn’t address the needs of developing youth brains, and is threatening the livelihood of families and communities throughout the state. Policy makers and stakeholders should work to address the increasing racial disparities that is harming youth and families of color. This report explores the current state of Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system, within the context of growing disparities between racial and ethnic minority youth. It begins with an overview of the organizational structure of Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system before moving on to an exploration of the historical and current trends as it relates to system outcomes for youth. Lastly, the report examines the changing context of juvenile justice in Wisconsin and concludes with a discussion of steps for moving forward towards a more age-appropriate, evidence-based, and equitable system that benefits all youth in Wisconsin.


North America

Year Language

2018 English

Category Type

Grey Literature Report


Adolescent, Judicial, Justice, Juvenile, Law


Pdf file

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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

    All rights reserved

  • Head Office: Rue Armand Campenhout, nº 72 bte 10. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

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