Ryan Shanahan, Margaret diZerega

Family involvement is essential for positive youth outcomes, especially for those youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Family visits, for example, can improve youth behavior during incarceration and are associated with better school performance. In recognition of these facts, Vera partnered with the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy to publish Identifying, Engaging, and Empowering Families: A Charge for Juvenile Justice Agencies. This paper reviews the literature exploring the relationship between family contact and short- and long-term outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. It also identifies ways that agencies, from police through reentry staff, can better engage families and promote both personal contact and active involvement in case assessment, planning, and management.