Our new infographic can help you spread awareness about status offenses and build consensus among stakeholders in your community.
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.
In 2010, young people in nearly 50,000 cases were taken to court for truancy. Learn what the research has to say about truancy and other status offense behaviors.
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.
Check out A Toolkit for Status Offense System Reform, which offers guidance and tools to help you create a community-based approach for responding to and serving youth charged with status offenses. Access the toolkit here.
This workbook provides guidance on involving youth and family members in system change. It tackles subjects such as structuring meetings to be family and youth friendly, recruitment, youth participation, and evaluation strategies for family and youth involvement.
This white paper aims to spur conversations about how to effectively handle status offense cases by citing several promising examples of state and local reform. It also describes the hallmarks of effective community-based responses to status offenses.
This publication by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice examines status offense laws across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It details the legislative label that each state applies to status offense behaviors, the types of behaviors that fall within that label, diversion options that are available in the case, possible outcomes following adjudication, and whether the state uses the valid court order (VCO) exception or a 24-hour hold for youth who are detained for these behaviors.
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