Rethinking Justice for Emerging Adults: Spotlight on the Great Lakes Region

Karen U. Lindell, Esq. and Katrina L. Goodjoint, Esq. ,

New research shows that emerging adults—young people roughly ages 18 to 24—share many of the same characteristics as teens in the juvenile justice system, yet they are treated very differently. Emerging adults also represent a disproportionate share of the justice-involved population—accounting for a third of all criminal arrests nationwide—and they experience the worst racial disparities in incarceration and arrest rates of any age group. This report aims to lay the groundwork for more developmentally appropriate responses to emerging adults at risk of justice system involvement, with a particular focus on opportunities for reform in the Great Lakes region.

About the Expert

Karen U. Lindell joined Juvenile Law Center in October 2014 as a Skadden Fellow. Karen’s fellowship project focused on developing legal strategies to improve outcomes for older youth with disabilities as they transition out of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Katrina Goodjoint is a staff attorney at Juvenile Law Center, where her work currently focuses on addressing economic justice and equity in the juvenile justice system through litigation, amicus and policy advocacy efforts.