Policy Agenda Item 5

Support policies in education, law enforcement, and the legal system that reflect evidence regarding brain development, combat systemic racism, and address the impact of trauma on individuals and communities.

  • Policymakers can recognize that adolescents’ brains are not fully developed and adopt policies that view a child’s behavioral health needs as an opportunity for intervention to prevent further delinquent behavior.
  • Parents can model good behavior and teach children how to resolve conflict appropriately.
  • Everyone can get involved in community organizing with Community Organizing and Family Issues


Giedd J N., et al., Brain Development During Childhood and Adolescence: A Longitudinal MRI Study, Nature Neuroscience 2, no. 10 (1999): 861; and Neir Eshel, et al., “Neural Substrates of Choice Selection in Adults and Adolescents,” Neuropsychologia 45, no. 6 (2007): 1270–1279. Neir Eshel, et al., “Neural Substrates of Choice Selection in Adults and Adolescents,” Neuropsychologia 45, no. 6 (2007): 1270–1279. Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University, In Brief: The Science of Early Childhood Development. 2007. Web. https://46y5eh11fhgw3ve3ytpwxt9r-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/InBrief-The-Science-of-Early-Childhood-Development2.pdf. Barnert E., et al., How Does Incarcerating Young People Affect their Adult Health Outcomes?. 2018. Pediatrics, Vol 129, number 2. Web. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/01/19/peds.2016-2624. Winkleman T., et. al, Emergency Department and Hospital Use Among Adolescents with Justice System Involvement, 2017. Pediatrics Vol 140, number 5. Gatti U, Tremblay RE, Vitaro F., Iatrogenic Effect of Juvenile Justice. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2009;50:991-8. Petrosino A, Guckenburg S, Turpin-Petrosino C. Formal System Processing of Juveniles: Effects on Delinquency. The Campbell Collaboration; 2010. The Pew Charitable Trusts, Re-Examining Juvenile Incarceration: High cost, poor outcomes spark shift to alternatives. April 20, 2015. Web. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2015/04/reexamining-juvenile-incarceration.

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