Status offenses are behaviors that are prohibited under law only because of an individual’s status as a minor, including running away from home, skipping school, violating a curfew, drinking under age, and acting “incorrigibly.” They are problematic, but noncriminal in nature. Learn more here.
Increasingly, states and localities are successfully connecting struggling families with social services in their communities, instead of turning to courts. Learn how jurisdictions are transforming their systems.
This profile describes the development of Cambridge, MA's Safety Net Collaborative--a coordinated network of community-based intervention and diversion services for youth and their families.
This infographic outlines the impacts and causes of truancy at the student, family, school, and community-level. It discusses why punitive and court based approaches are inappropriate and presents promising practices, highlighting some jurisdictions that have implemented such strategies.
This profile describes the development of Gloucester Township Police Department's network of community-based responses to youth delinquency and status offenses.
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.Keep Reading //
Status offense cases were petitioned in juvenile court in 2011