Connecticut raised the age after already committing to the removal of low-need kids from the juvenile justice system and investment in cost-effective community-based programming. Because of this shift from expensive out-of-home placement or incarceration to community and evidence-based programming, overall spending on juvenile justice in Connecticut decreased, even after the age was raised. Expenditures went from in $139 million 2001-2002 to $137 million in 2011-2012.*
*Spending in inflation-adjusted dollars. Source: Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety and Outcomes for Youth. Justice Policy Institute.
Because the research is clear that keeping older youth in the juvenile justice system promotes rehabilitation, raising the age creates long-term savings by avoiding serial incarceration. An Urban Institute study concluded that Connecticut would save $3 for every $1 it spent raising the age.
DCF report to JJPOCC (pdf file)
CSSD report to JJPOCC (pdf file)