New Research on Youth Arrests and Diversion Aim to Keep Michigan Kids Healthy and Successful

| Press Release |

Lansing, MI — Human Impact Partners and the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency released companion reports examining both Michigan youth arrests and diversion from formal court involvement. These new research reports add to the growing evidence that juvenile diversion works better than arrest and/or formal court adjudication. Juvenile diversion redirects youth, while still holding them accountable for their actions through strategies like community service, restitution and restorative justice.

One in three U.S youth have been arrested by the time they turn 23 years old. Those arrested as teens are 25% more likely to drop out of high school, have more risk for poor health, and are re-arrested more frequently. In Michigan, a young person’s chance of being arrested is based more on where they live, and often on their race/ethnicity, than on any real or perceived offense. The availability of services within their community also influences whether youth can avoid formal charges or not.

“I just remember thinking: oh God I can’t get arrested. I was small when I was a kid, and the police looked really big. I remember thinking: I’m not big enough to go where they are trying to take me.”

– Former Detroit resident who was arrested as a youth

Key Findings
  • The arrest process can have negative mental and physical health impacts on youth.
  • Arresting youth can limit access to education, employment, and income.
  • Diverting youth before arrest decreases the likelihood of re-arrest.
  • Diversion should occur early and often.
  • Diversion should help drive down racial and ethnic disparities.
  • Diversion programs should offer family-centered interventions.
Additional Information

What is the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency?

The Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (MCCD) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness of policies and systems that address the prevention and reduction of youth and adult crime. Through research, collaboration, and advocacy-oriented strategies we work to shape public policy, educate justice system stakeholders and support the safety of all Michigan communities. Visit for more information.

What other organizations contributed to this project?


Michigan Public Health Institute

Washtenaw County Public Health

Detroit Health Department

Go to Report Page