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Executive Director Daniel Macallair and Senior Research Fellow Mike Males investigate the validity of the Incapacitation Theory through the recent report titled The California Miracle: Drastically Reduced Youth Incarceration, Drastically Reduced Youth Crime.” This report serves as an update to a prior CJCJ publication, Testing Incapacitation Theory: Youth Crime and Incarceration in California.”

Our recent analysis calls incapacitation theory into serious question. Incapacitation theory indicates counties with higher and increasing youth incarceration rates are expected to experience lower rates of and accelerated reductions in juvenile crime. This study examines California’s juvenile incarceration and crime trends over the past five decades, with special attention to recent trends.