Measuring recidivism is the primary indicator of success for criminal and juvenile justice systems. While other measures of youth development are important, the primary mission of juvenile justice is to reduce delinquency, which is best captured by measuring recidivism. When comparing FY2010 and FY2015 at 12-months, the reconviction rate has decreased by 4.2 percentage points.
It is important to note that the DJS-committed population has been declining, and so the number of youth released home from commitments has also declined. So the rate of recidivism is of a continually decreasing cohort. The reduction in committed cases is due to decrease in referrals to DJS intake, and an increase in evidence-based in-home diversion programs that have served many youth otherwise at risk for an out-of-home commitment.