Newsroom

If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place. Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.

  • Jan 1, 2009 | MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Adolescent Legal Competence in Court

    One of the pillars of the American justice system is the assurance that those who stand accused of crimes be mentally competent to understand and participate in their trials. The conventional standard for competence has typically focused on the effects of mental illness or mental retardation on individuals’ capacities to grasp the nature of their trials or their abilities to decide how to plead. Yet as the courts, both juvenile and adult, see increasingly younger defendants some argue that the law should also take into account adolescents’ lesser capacities owing to emotional and psychological immaturity.

    This brief details findings from the first comprehensive assessment of juvenile capacities to participate in criminal proceedings using measures of both trial-related abilities and developmental maturity. The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice compared the responses of youth and adults in a series of hypothetical legal situations, such as plea bargains, police interrogations, and attorney-client interactions. Responses revealed the degree to which participants understood the long-term consequences of their decisions, their ability to weigh risks, and other factors related to developmental and cognitive maturity. Findings show that a significant portion of youth, especially under age 15, are likely unable to participate competently in their own trials, either in an adult or juvenile court, owing to developmental immaturity.

    Download publication (pdf, 220 KB)

  • Feb 29, 2016 | Models for Change | PUBLICATIONS

    Models for Change 10th Annual Working Conference Conference Highlights

    The 10th and final Models for Change Annual Working Conference was a fitting celebration of the Models for Change initiative and its many successes. Nearly 450 people, representing 46 states, attended sessions from December 13-15th, 2015 at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC.

    While the Models for Change initiative is coming to an end, we hope that the Models for Change community can remain connected. One critical component of our success together was sharing information and resources among participants at the local, state level and national level. The Resource Center Partners are continuing their work and the Models for Change website will remain a valuable resource. These resources and the spirit of collaboration we created will go a long way toward preserving our successes, mitigating threats to reform and advancing the field of juvenile justice. 

    Download publication (pdf, 1531 KB)

  • Jan 1, 2009 | MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Adolescent Legal Competence in Court

    This brief details findings from the first comprehensive assessment of juvenile capacities to participate in criminal proceedings using measures of both trial-related abilities an developmental maturity. The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice compared the responses of youth and adults in a series on hypothetical legal situations, such as plea bargains, police interrogations, and attorney-client interactions. Responses revealed the degree to which participants understood the long-term consequences of their decisions, their ability to weigh risks, and other factors related to developmental and cognitive maturity. Findings show that a significant portion of youth, especially under age 15, are likely unable to participate competently in their own trials, either in an adult or juvenile court, owing to developmental immaturity.

    Download publication (pdf, 220 KB)

  • Jan 1, 2009 | National Juvenile Defender Center | PUBLICATIONS

    Role of Juvenile Defense Counsel in Delinquency Court

    This policy paper describes the critical and specialized role of the juvenile defender and reflects best practices as defined by the field—front-line defenders, social workers, academics, and other juvenile justice advocates working in our nation’s juvenile delinquency courts every day. The goal of Role of  Juvenile Counsel in Delinquency Court is to educate judges, prosecutors, probation officers, and other juvenile justice professionals about the importance of the juvenile defender’s responsibility to advocate for the client’s expressed interests.

    Download publication (pdf, 593 KB)

  • Apr 4, 2016 | National League of Cities | PUBLICATIONS

    Research to Practice Memo: How City Leaders Can Draw Upon Adolescent Development Research Findings To Provide a Framework for Juvenile Justice Reform

    The new Research to Practice Memo: How City Leaders Can Draw Upon Adolescent Development Research Findings to Provide a Framework for Juvenile Justice Reform provides a ready resource for city leaders who want to apply the most up-to-date research on adolescence to local juvenile justice reform initiatives. Supported by a wealth of juvenile justice reform resources, cities across the country continue to reform how local agencies respond to misbehaving or delinquent youth.

    The Memo outlines how city leaders stand to reach better public safety and youth development outcomes by:

    • creating a robust continuum of community-based alternatives to the juvenile justice system,
    • making the first point of contact with police an opportunity for referral to services, and
    • using risk and needs assessments to match the right youth with the right services.

    In addition, city leaders can publicly call for their partners in county or state juvenile justice agencies to align their services and policies with research about what works for adolescents.

    Download publication (pdf, 448 KB)

  • Dec 1, 2015 | JJGPS | PUBLICATIONS

    JJGPS State Assessments of Disproportionate Minority Contact

    States are required to report data to monitor the overrepresentation of youth of color in juvenile justice. In addition to reporting data, states are required to submit an assessment of DMC to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. This four page brief provides an overview which states also make these assessments publicly available and provides an overview of the challenges states faces in conducting the research and the range of reform recommendations they make.

    Download publication (pdf, 659 KB)

  • Mar 16, 2016 | Douglas Thomas, Nina Hyland, Teri Deal, Andrew Wachter, and Samantha Zaleski | PUBLICATIONS

    Evidence-Based Policies, Programs, and Practices in Juvenile Justice: Three States Achieving High Standards Through State Support Centers

    Evidence-Based Policies, Programs and Practices in Juvenile Justice (13 pages) provides case studies of three jurisdictions achieving high standards through state support centers. The jurisdictions were selected based on a 50-state survey of efforts to support evidence-based policies, programs and practices (EBPs) and selects examples that reflect an evolution toward greater sophistication and support for EBPs.  

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  • Dec 21, 2015 | National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Strengthening Our Future: Key Elements to Developing a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Diversion Program for Youth with Behavioral Health Conditions

    Diverting youth from the juvenile justice system to effective community-based services and supports will require systems that recognize and respond to trauma-related disorders. These include the front-end gatekeepers and decision makers (i.e., probation departments and courts), as well as the full array of community agencies that can provide healing, treatment, and support to youth and their families.

    This report is intended to offer a description of a trauma-informed juvenile justice diversion approach with examples of how some states are beginning to address and implement trauma-informed systems of care for youth and their families. It begins with a discussion of trauma and its effects on youth, especially those with behavioral health conditions. This is followed by a discussion of the types of trauma-related disorders, the behavioral manifestations of trauma that youth may display, and a summary of factors that affect the severity of trauma-related disorders. The report then describes nine key elements of a trauma-informed approach within the context of juvenile justice diversion. Case examples are included from each of the states participating in the 2014-15 Policy Academy–Action Network Initiative.

    This initiative, coordinated by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) and the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC), was jointly funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (Foundation). As part of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative on Trauma and Justice and the Foundation’s Models for Change Initiative, this effort focused on improving policies and programs for diverting youth with behavioral health conditions from the juvenile justice system to appropriate community-based services and supports. 

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  • Dec 8, 2015 | Wendy Nussbaum, M.A., LCPC, Stuart M. Berry, M.S.W., LISW, Shannon Hartnett, M.A., Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D. | PUBLICATIONS

    Adolescent Domestic Battery Typology Tool Manual

    There has been an increase in the number of youth referred to the juvenile justice system for charges related to abusing their parents. The Adolescent Domestic Battery Typologies Tool (ADBTT) was developed over the span of five years to provide a greater understanding of these youth. It was designed using a combination of the available research literature, a multi-site validation study, and clinical experience to fill a niche in the assessment of a population that has not been well understood. This assessment tool provides a structured framework to help inform case processing, dispositional, and treatment decisions based on an assessment of youths’ risk for future Adolescent Domestic Battery (ADB). Implementation of the ADBTT early in the juvenile justice process should lead to diverting the “right” youths away from formal processing with minimum intervention.

    Read the executive summary. 

    Download publication (pdf, 369 KB)

  • Feb 15, 2016 | Institute for Public Health and Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    A Legislated Study of Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in Louisiana

    Louisiana should strongly consider raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17-year-old offenders. Findings suggest that this change would benefit public safety, promote youth rehabilitation, and create long-term savings.

    Crime by youthful offenders continues to trouble Louisiana communities but at reduced rates according to arrest trends over the last decade. This reduction in juvenile crime, accompanied with several reforms in the justice system, has created a smaller and more resilient juvenile justice system. Appropriately resourced, it should be able to absorb the impact of raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction while increasing public safety.

    This study, authorized by the Louisiana State Legislature in House Concurrent Resolution No. 73 of the 2015 Regular session, was completed at an expedited pace over a six-month period to meet the deadlines established in the resolution. With the involvement of key stakeholders in the justice system from across Louisiana and input from national partners who have worked to study raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction in other states, three key findings of this study are summarized below.

    • There is a growing consensus, based on a large body of scientific evidence, that 17-year-olds are developmentally different than adults and should be treated as such. They have a far greater potential for rehabilitation and are particularly influenced – for good or ill – by the environments in which they are placed. 
    • The last several years of reform in the Louisiana juvenile justice system have created a capacity to accept, manage, and rehabilitate these youth in a manner that will predictably generate better outcomes than the adult system. 
    • The initial impact projections are generally lower than states that have recently gone before Louisiana in raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction, and those states found that the impact on the system was substantially less than first predicted. In fact, states have reported substantial fiscal savings. We have reason to suspect this will be the same for Louisiana.

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  • Jan 26, 2016 | Matt Ford | The Atlantic | NEWSROOM

    For the Montgomery majority on Monday, Miller clearly created a substantive rule to be applied retroactively. “Because Miller determined that sentencing a child to life without parole is excessive for all but ‘the rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption,’ it rendered life without parole an unconstitutional penalty for ‘a class of defendants because of their status’—that is, juvenile offenders whose crimes reflect the transient…

  • Jan 28, 2016 | Editorial Board | The New York Times | NEWSROOM

    The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly over the last decade that it is morally and constitutionally wrong to equate offenses committed by emotionally undeveloped adolescents with crimes carried out by adults. It made this point again on Monday when it ruled that people who were sentenced to mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole as juveniles have the right to seek parole. . .
    The Montgomery decision will bring justice to some. But the court’s finding that juveniles…

  • Jan 25, 2016 | Staff | Juvenile Justice Information Exchange | NEWSROOM

    Attorneys who specialize in juvenile justice called today’s Supreme Court decision “potentially sweeping” but warned that resentencing hearings were far from a sure path to freedom.
    The Supreme Court ruled today 6-3 in Montgomery v. Louisiana that prisoners serving mandatory life sentences without parole for murders they committed as juveniles should have a chance at release via a resentencing hearing.
    Though parole boards will now have to review the sentences, they won't…

  • Jan 27, 2016 | Samantha Melamed | Philadelphia Inquirer | NEWSROOM

    On Monday, more than 500 Pennsylvania inmates sentenced as juveniles to die in prison - 300 of them from Philadelphia - learned they'll have a chance at release after all.
    The news is potentially life-changing for them.
    And for Marsha Levick, 64, of Bala Cynwyd, it's the culmination of a life's work.

  • Jan 25, 2016 | Barack Obama | Washington Post | NEWSROOM

    "How can we subject prisoners to unnecessary solitary confinement, knowing its effects, and then expect them to return to our communities as whole people? It doesn’t make us safer. It’s an affront to our common humanity.
    The Justice Department has completed its review, and I am adopting its recommendations to reform the federal prison system. These include banning solitary confinement for juveniles and as a response to low-level infractions, expanding treatment for the mentally ill…

  • Jan 25, 2016 | Staff | Juvenile Law Center | NEWSROOM

    In a key win for individuals nationwide who are serving life without parole sentences for crimes committed as children, the United States Supreme Court today ruled 6-3 in Montgomery v. Louisiana that their 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama, barring mandatory life without parole sentences for youth, applies retroactively. Today’s decision guarantees that 69-year-old Henry Montgomery, along with as many as 2,000 others serving similar mandatory life without parole sentences, will receive…

  • Jan 25, 2016 | Adam Liptak | The New York Times | NEWSROOM

    The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that its 2012 decision banning mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile killers must be applied retroactively, granting a new chance at release for hundreds of inmates serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for murders they committed in their youth.
    The vote was 6 to 3, and the majority decision was written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the court’s leading proponent of cutting back on the death penalty and other harsh…

  • Dec 14, 2015 | National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Justice Systems | PUBLICATIONS

    Lessons from Five Years of Accelerating Change

    After two decades of funding cutting-edge research on adolescent behavioral and brain development and pioneering new juvenile justice practice models, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation decided to reinforce those successes with a more direct approach to promoting systemic policy reforms.

    The Foundation launched the National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Justice Systems (National Campaign) in in November 2010. This report outlines the successes of the National Campaign in helping advocates and state elected and appointed officials to replace ineffective and harsh juvenile justice policies with ones that treat youth fairly, enhance public safety, reduce costs to taxpayers and improve outcomes for youth and their families.

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  • Dec 15, 2015 | Vera Institute of Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    The “Becca Bill” 20 Years Later: How Washington’s Truancy Laws Negatively Impact Children

    The Becca laws have made Washington State the country’s foremost jailer of children for “status offenses” like skipping school. It allows parents to use legal petitions called ARY (At Risk Youth) to obtain court orders that require children to participate in social services, attend school, and obey guardians. However, poverty—not insufficient parental authority—is the primary cause of truancy.  The law also makes things much harder for children who are already laboring under social stigma and racism. As momentum builds nationwide toward creating less punitive juvenile justice systems, it is time to examine our truancy laws.

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  • Dec 15, 2015 | Vera Institute of Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Notes from the Field: Newtown County, GA

    This profile describes the development of the Truancy Intervention Board in  Newton County, GA. This Board aims to divert youth away from the formal court process by addressing problems of truancy and educational neglect outside the courtroom, with the support of invested community stakeholders. The profile includes a summary of the county’s planning process, an overview of monitoring strategies, a snapshot of general program outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.

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  • Dec 8, 2014 | Vera Institute of Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    SORC Toolkit Module 4: Monitoring and Sustaining System Change

    Monitoring and Sustaining System Change describes three common strategies for evaluating reform efforts: (1) performance monitoring, (2) process evaluations, and (3) outcome evaluations. Because evaluating system-level reforms can be challenging, this module aims to help you determine the most appropriate approach for assessing your reform efforts right now and provide you with ideas about how to continue monitoring your reform down the line.

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  • Dec 14, 2015 | Juvenile Justice Initiative | PUBLICATIONS

    Fact Sheet on Automatic Transfer Bill from Spring, 2015

    Fact sheet on HB3718 SA1, a bill related to automatic transfer that summarizes the need for the reform, what the bill does and does not do and the list of supporters of the bill.

    Download publication (pdf, 203 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | Juvenile Justice Initiative | PUBLICATIONS

    Arrests of Young Adults in Illinois, CY2013

    Research shows that the adolescent brain does not fully develop until age 25, yet people are criminalized as adults after age 16 or 17.  In order to explore young adults in conflict with the law, JJI looked at the arrests of people ages 18-21 in Illinois in CY 2013.  Findings include that the arrests of young adults has been decreasing in the past 5 years and that over 60^ of all young adult arrests were for misdemeanors.

    Download publication (pdf, 268 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | Council of State Governments Justice Center | PUBLICATIONS

    Juvenile Justice Agency Leaders and Managers Checklist

    Provides a comprehensive online assessment and scoring tool to enable agency leaders to identify system strengths, areas for improvement, and develop an action plan to improve outcomes for youth.

    Download publication (pdf, 302 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | National Center for Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Statewide Risk Assessment in Juvenile Probation

    This StateScan publication released for the project addresses the prevalence of risk assessment tools in juvenile probation. This is the first time NCJJ has conducted a scan of risk assessment practices at the state level in juvenile probation.

    Download publication (pdf, 521 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation | PUBLICATIONS

    Pennsylvania DMC Youth Law Enforcement Corporation Brochure

    This brochure describes the history, mission, and efforts of the Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation in eliminate the over-representation of youth of color in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system.

    Download publication (pdf, 627 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Improving Youth Outcomes, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice 2015 Operating Plan Summary

    To help fulfill the Department's mission and to direct its actions, the agency developed and is now implementing a comprehensive operating plan for 2015.  The Operating Plan was the result of a six-month strategic planning initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  The operational plan focused on five core priorities:  Right-Size: Reduce the use of secure custody for low risk youth; Rehabilitate: Improve programs to meet the needs of high-risk youth; Reintegrate: Improve programs to ensure successful reentry; Respect: Create a safe and respectful environment for youth and staff; and, Report: Increase transparency and accountability.

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  • Dec 15, 2015 | RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Identifying Dual Status Youth with Trauma-Related Problems

    How would an agency put in place a way to identify dual status youths’ trauma-related needs? That is the question addressed in this second brief in a series on trauma-related procedures for youth who have been touched by both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The first brief described the prevalence of trauma-based behavior problems among dual status youth and introduced the need to improve our ability to identify those problems so that we can offer those youth proper interventions. Here we examine how to go about setting up a system for identifying trauma-related problems.

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  • Dec 15, 2015 | Northeast DuPage Family and Youth Services | PUBLICATIONS

    The Adolescent Domestic Battery Typology Tool: Executive Summary

    There has been an increase in the number of youth referred to the juvenile justice system for charges related to abusing their parents. The Adolescent Domestic Battery Typologies Tool was developed to provide greater understanding of these youth. It was designed using a combination of the available research literature, a multi-site validation study, and clinical experience to fill a niche in the assessment of a population that has not been well understood. This assessment tool provides a structured framework to help inform case processing, dispositional, and treatment decisions based on an assessment of youths’ risk for future Adolescent Domestic Battery.

    Download publication (pdf, 82 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | National Juvenile Justice Network | PUBLICATIONS

    Youth Justice Leadership Institute: Outcomes

    Although the brunt of the harmful practices in our youth justice system are borne by youth of color, reform leaders do not always reflect the affected population. NJJN's Youth Justice Leadership Institute cultivates and supports emerging leaders of color to fix our broken justice system. This document summarizes some of their impressive accomplishments.

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  • Dec 15, 2015 | Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation | PUBLICATIONS

    Respecting Differences: A DMC Newsletter Winter 2014

    A quarterly newsletter from the Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation on developments in the effort to end racial and ethnic disparities in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system.

    Download publication (pdf, 1293 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation | PUBLICATIONS

    Respecting Differences: A DMC Newsletter Summer 2015

    A quarterly newsletter from the Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation on developments in the effort to end racial and ethnic disparities in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system.

    Download publication (pdf, 2174 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation | PUBLICATIONS

    A quarterly newsletter from the Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation on developments in the effort to end racial and ethnic disparities in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system.

  • Dec 15, 2015 | Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation | PUBLICATIONS

    A quarterly newsletter from the Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation on developments in the effort to end racial and ethnic disparities in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system.

  • Aug 3, 2015 | Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation | PUBLICATIONS

    Respecting Differences: A DMC Newsletter Autumn 2015

    A quarterly newsletter from the Pennsylvania DMC Youth-Law Enforcement Corporation on developments in the effort to end racial and ethnic disparities in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system.

    Download publication (pdf, 3397 KB)

  • Dec 15, 2015 | National Juvenile Justice Network | PUBLICATIONS

    Protecting Youth Confined for Profit: Policy Safeguards

    NJJN opposes the use of for-profit private youth confinement facilities because they encourage the incarceration of youth and the elimination of services youth need to succeed; and they are morally wrong. Where they are still used, these policy safeguards help protect youth, taxpayers, and public safety.

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  • Sep 14, 2015 | National Juvenile Justice Network | PUBLICATIONS

    Confining Youth for Profit

    In this publication, NJJN's member organizations (in 40 states) recommend ending the use of for-profit private youth confinement facilities of all kinds because they encourage the incarceration of youth and the elimination of services youth need to succeed; and because making money on keeping youth in bondage is morally wrong.

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  • Dec 15, 2015 | Council of State Governments Justice Center | PUBLICATIONS

    Key Steps Policymakers Can Take to Improve Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

    Identifies the 3 key steps that policymakers can take to increase public safety, improve youth outcomes, and maximize the efficient use of resources. Policymakers can also use this interactive checklist to learn more about the research on “what works” in particular areas of interest.

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  • Jan 8, 2015 | Council of State Governments Justice Center, Public Policy Research Institute | PUBLICATIONS

    Closer to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice Reforms

    The report provides the first comprehensive statewide study on the impact of reforms enacted in Texas since 2007 and provides insight into what is happening to kids amid a trend the majority of states are experiencing: declining populations of incarcerated youth in state correctional facilities. A first-of-its-kind study of Texas youth involved with the juvenile justice system shows that juveniles under community-based supervision are far less likely to reoffend than youth with very similar profiles who are confined in state correctional facilities..

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  • Dec 12, 2014 | Melissa Sickmund and Charles Puzzanchera, National Center for Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report

    This report consists of the most requested information on juveniles and the juvenile justice system in the U.S. Developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the report draws on reliable data and relevant research to provide a comprehensive and insightful view of young offenders and victims, and what happens to those who enter the juvenile justice system in the United States.

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  • Dec 12, 2014 | Melissa Sickmund and Charles Puzzanchera, National Center for Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    This report consists of the most requested information on juveniles and the juvenile justice system in the U.S. Developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the report draws on reliable data and relevant research to provide a comprehensive and insightful view of young offenders and victims, and what happens to those who enter the juvenile justice system in the United States.
  • Dec 14, 2015 | Models for Change | PUBLICATIONS

    Sustaining Momentum Assessing and Mitigating Threats to the Fourth Wave of Juvenile Justice Reform

    Fourth Wave reform has made remarkable progress in the past two decades so that juvenile justice looks much different today than it did in the 1990s. There is still work to do, but the reform has taken hold. A developmental perspective in juvenile justice has become dominant in today’s policies and practices—in law-making both legislative and judicial, in federal and state policies, and in local practices. But, can this reform be sustained? 

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  • Dec 11, 2015 | The Equity Project | PUBLICATIONS

    Despite the outstanding work of many dedicated juvenile justice system professionals who have tirelessly advocated on behalf of LGBT youth, many LGBT youth across the country continue to face bias, harassment, and unfair treatment throughout the course of their delinquency cases. In addition, many juvenile justice professionals lack an understanding of the unique challenges confronting LGBT youth, which limits their ability to fulfill their professional and ethical responsibilities. Collaborative action is needed to address the systemic deficiencies that undermine fairness and equity for LGBT youth in the nation’s juvenile justice systems.

    The Equity Project envisions a fair and rehabilitative juvenile justice system that treats every young person with dignity, respect, and fairness, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE). In 2009, The Equity Project published Hidden Injustice, an in-depth report about the experiences of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system, with concrete recommendations for systemic reform. Following the release of that report, The Equity Project received increasing numbers of training requests from a variety of juvenile justice stakeholders around the country. With heightened public awareness of the disproportionate representation of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system and their unique vulnerability, these training requests continue to increase. Hidden Injustice remains the fundamental report used among advocates and juvenile justice professionals to educate juvenile justice professionals about the criminalization and unfair treatment of LGBT youth. 

    We developed this national training curriculum in response to the growing call for training and to fill a gap in existing resources. Toward Equity is the first comprehensive, interactive program dedicated to LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system (as opposed to other youth-serving systems) and flows from the information and recommendations in Hidden Injustice. 

  • Dec 11, 2015 | National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice | PUBLICATIONS

    Policy Statement on Indiscriminate Shackling of Juveniles in Court

    The National Center of Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) strongly opposes the automatic or widespread shackling of youth appearing in court. The NCMHJJ holds that no youth should be shackled for a court appearance unless the court, following a formal hearing, has found that the specific child: (1) poses a credible and substantial risk to himself or others; and/or (2) poses a credible and substantial risk of attempted flight; and (3) there is no other less restrictive means reasonably available to manage risks of harm or flight.

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  • Dec 11, 2015 | National Juvenile Defender Center | PUBLICATIONS

    Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling Toolkit

    The Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling (CAIJS), created in August 2014, works across the country to support advocates in their efforts to amend laws, court rules, policies and practices in their own states to end the automatic shackling of children in juvenile court. CAIJS is a project of the National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Justice Systems and the National Juvenile Defender Center. As states around the country reform shackling, important lessons have emerged about the best arguments against the practice and the most common objections that advocates must overcome. This updated toolkit reflects those lessons.

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  • Dec 11, 2015 | Center for Children's Law and Policy | PUBLICATIONS

    Standing Up to Sexual Misconduct: An Advocacy Toolkit to End the Sexual Abuse of Children in Juvenile Facilities

    This toolkit is designed to equip advocates with the knowledge, tools, and resources to promote practices that will help end the sexual abuse and harassment of children in juvenile justice facilities.

    This toolkit uses the Prison Rape Elimination Act’s (PREA) passage and the issuance of the PREA standards to identify new advocacy opportunities to address the problem of sexual misconduct and to improve conditions of confinement for youth in custody. This is not a comprehensive guide to all of the intricacies of PREA implementation. Instead, it focuses on concrete steps that advocates can take to achieve significant reforms in key areas. 

    The toolkit provides a blueprint for how advocates can achieve these policy and practice improvements. After providing a brief explanation of why the area is important to creating environments free of sexual misconduct, the toolkit outlines what the PREA standards require, tools and resources from the field to assist with implementation, and a checklist of next steps that advocates can take to push for reform.

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  • Dec 8, 2015 | Lucy Louisa Flower (Posthumous) | Models for Change | NEWSROOM

    Dedicated to Improving the Outcomes of Vulnerable Youth
    Juvenile Court Clinic Connecticut Judicial Branch
    Read the complete 2014 Champions for Change program.
    John Chapman made an enormous impact when he dedicated the latter part of his life to the field of juvenile justice. His passing on March 29, 2015 at the age of 52 was a big loss for his colleagues and the juvenile justice field. But, as one of his colleagues noted, that while “there may be no monuments to him or large…

  • Dec 8, 2015 | State Leadership | Models for Change | NEWSROOM

    Training for Compassion and Understanding
    Director, North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services
    Read the complete 2014 Champions for Change program.

    Bjergaard joined the North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services as a Case Manager in 1989 and moved through the ranks until promoted to Director in 2006. In 2014, her department applied to receive mental health training from the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) as part of a program funded by Models for…

  • Dec 8, 2015 | Local Leadership | Models for Change | NEWSROOM

    Leadership for Breaking the Cycle

    Mayor, City of Philadelphia
    Read the complete 2014 Champions for Change program.

    Mayor Michael Nutter has the rare quality of seeing how law enforcement and the juvenile justice system can actively contribute to positive changes n the lives of young people. Even as his second--and final--term as Mayor of Philadelphia winds down, Mayor Nutter is not slowing his efforts to ensure “that every single child has the opportunity to…

  • Dec 8, 2015 | Next Generation | Models for Change | NEWSROOM

    We Want Another Jason
    Director of Institutional Reform, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
    Read the complete 2014 Champions for Change program.
    When he graduated from Harvard Law School in 2009, Jason Szanyi did not use the prestige of his new degree to pursue a position at a high-flying law firm. Instead, he took a fellowship working to address racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. Public interest took precedence over personal gain. Fortunately, all around…