Nationwide, many organizations are working to provide information on status offense systems and to inform local efforts to analyze and reform those systems. Listed below are some key organizations that may have relevant information to inform your work in this area. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and will be periodically updated. If you’d like to recommend additional organizations for this list, please send us a message through our contact page.
The American Bar Association (ABA) is a national association of attorneys committed to improving the legal profession, eliminating bias and enhancing diversity, and advancing the rule of law throughout the United States and around the world. The ABA’s Center on Children and the Law is a technical assistance, training, and research program addressing a broad spectrum of law and court-related topics affecting children. Among its many projects, the Center provides attorneys who represent status offenders with resources and guidance.
Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success starting with school entry. In addition to building public awareness and advancing state and local policies, Attendance Works provides technical assistance and tools to help communities, schools, and school districts work together to better monitor and reduce chronic absence.
The Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) is a public interest law and policy organization focused on reform of juvenile justice and other systems that affect troubled and at-risk children, and protection of the rights of children in those systems. The Center’s work covers a range of activities including research, writing, public education, media advocacy, training, technical assistance, administrative and legislative advocacy, and litigation.
CJJ is a nationwide coalition of State Advisory Groups (SAGs) and allies dedicated to preventing children and youth from becoming involved in the courts and upholding the highest standards of care when youth are charged with wrongdoing and enter the justice system. CJJ’s “Safety, Opportunity & Success (SOS): Standards of Care for Non-Delinquent Youth,” (“SOS Project”) aims to guide states in implementing policy and practices that divert status offenders from the courts to family- and community-based systems of care that more effectively meet their needs. The SOS Project also seeks to eliminate the use of locked confinement for status offenders and other non-delinquent youth.
IACP is a professional organization that supports law enforcement through advocacy, programs and research, training and other professional services. Through its Advancing Juvenile Justice in Law Enforcement project, IACP is working to increase the leadership role of state and local law enforcement executives to effectively address systemic juvenile justice issues as well as improve local responses to youthful offenders, including those alleged of status offenses. In collaboration with the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, IACP also operates the Juvenile Justice Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Project, which is focused on increasing the capacity of law enforcement and justice professionals to address juvenile victimization, delinquency, and crime from a holistic perspective.
The Juvenile Justice Resource Hub is a comprehensive source of information on cutting-edge juvenile justice issues and reform trends. Among the topics covered on the site is an overview of salient issues and links to information on community-based alternatives, including reform approaches for responding to youth who commit status offenses in the community. The site shares recent research, reforms, model policies, best practices, links to experts, and toolkits to take action.
The MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative is a long-term investment in fair, rational, effective and developmentally appropriate approaches to juvenile justice. Through its support of a network of government and court officials, legal advocates, educators, community leaders, and families, MfC has worked to ensure that young people are held accountable and treated fairly throughout the juvenile justice process. Among MfC’s key areas of reform has been on developing local community-based alternatives to formal processing and incarceration, with a specific emphasis on youth who commit status offenses.
NCJJ is the research division of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and conducts national and sub national studies on crime and delinquency. Drawing on data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive, NCJJ produces the Juvenile Court Statistics report, which profiles millions of delinquency cases handled by U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction. The most recent report presents national estimates of petitioned status offense cases disposed in 2009 and examines trends since 1995, including demographic characteristics of the juveniles involved, types of offenses charged, and the flow of cases as they moved through juvenile court processing. NCJJ also includes data on youth who commit status offenses in its Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, enabling users to analyze national data on the characteristics of youth held in residential placement facilities, and the Statistical Briefing Book, which synthesizes key information about status offense system structures and processes.
The National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention’s (National Center) overall goal is to provide technical assistance and training to school districts and communities that receive grants from the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The National Center has produced publications on a number of topics relevant to status offense system reform.
With a special emphasis on truancy and dropout prevention, NCSE promotes school attendance, attachment and achievement through training and technical assistance, research and evaluation to school districts, law enforcement agencies, courts, as well as state and federal agencies
NCJFCJ is a judicial membership organization that provides resources, knowledge, and training to improve the lives of families and children seeking justice. NCJFCJ is committed to the deinstitutionalization of status offenders and is currently working on a project with the Coalition of Juvenile Justice to develop tools and resources to improve outcomes for youth who may come in contact with the juvenile justice system due to committing a status offense.
NGI is a research-based training and resource clearinghouse designed to advance understanding of girls’ issues and improve program and system responses to girls in the juvenile justice system. NGI provides professionals that work with girls with information on best practices, tools, data, and training and technical assistance.
NJDC aims to build the capacity of the juvenile defense bar and to improve access to counsel and quality of representation for children in the justice system. NJDC focuses on addressing practice issues, improving advocacy skills, building partnerships, exchanging information, and participating in the national debate over juvenile crime.
The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) supports and enhances the work of state-based groups to promote the reform of the juvenile justice system at every level. Through education, community-building and leadership development, NJJN enhances the capacity of juvenile justice coalitions and organizations in 33 states to press for state and federal laws, policies and practices that are fair, equitable and developmentally appropriate for all children, youth and families involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in, the justice system, including those who commit status offenses.
The YEF Institute focuses on five core program areas: education and afterschool, youth development, early childhood success, safety of children and youth, and family economic success. The YEF Institute is a national resource, providing guidance and assistance to municipal officials, compiling and disseminating information on promising strategies and best practices, building networks of local officials working on similar issues and concerns, and conducting research on the key challenges facing municipalities in these core program areas.
NN4Y is a membership organization of community-based organizations and their community partners that champions the needs of runaway, homeless, and other disconnected youth. NN4Y does this through sharing resources, encouraging community based services, and federal policy advocacy.