Youth incarceration has dropped by 36% in Illinois since 1997

A new report about youth incarceration in the U.S. was released by the Annie E Casey Foundation last week. The report finds that youth incarceration declined in every state between 1997 and 2010. Specifically:

America’s rate of locking up young people has dropped by more than 40 percent over a 15-year period, with no decrease in public safety, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

A new KIDS COUNT data snapshot, “Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States,” reports that the number of young people in correctional facilities on a single day fell to 70,792 in 2010, from a high of 107,637 in 1995. This downward trend, documented in data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, has accelerated in recent years.

Despite the sharp decline, the United States still leads the industrialized world in locking up its young people. And the majority of this country’s incarcerated youth are held for nonviolent offenses — such as truancy, low-level property offenses and technical probation violations — that are not clear public-safety threats.



Illinois’s youth incarceration rate dropped 36-percent between 1997 and 2010. Below is a chart representing the trend in Illinois.

Youth Confinement in Illinois: 1997 and 2010



Change 1997-2010


Rate per 100,000


Rate per 100,000









SOURCE:  Sickmund, M., Sladky,T.J., Kang,W., and Puzzanchera, C. (2011) “Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement.”

See how Illinois compares to other states here.

Explore posts in the same categories: Facts and Statistics, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, Youth Incarceration

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