Data Snapshot of Youth Incarceration in Ohio (Urban Institute)

Consistent with national trends, youth incarceration in Ohio has declined significantly during the past decade. Notably, however, the average daily population in the state’s youth prisons actually increased each year between 2016 and 2019. Reductions in youth incarceration allowed the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) to close five of its eight juvenile correctional facilities over the last decade, yet the state still spends one-third of its juvenile justice budget on these facilities. Further, though racial and ethnic inequities in Ohio’s juvenile justice system declined in the past several years, significant disparities persist, particularly for Black youth. This data snapshot explores youth incarceration in Ohio and provides data to state partners working with the YouthFirst Initiative, a national advocacy campaign supporting state juvenile justice reform efforts.

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