Notes from the Field

5058170While many state and local officials recognize the need for more effective, timely, and community-based responses to youth charged with status offenses, they often lack information about reform approaches that could benefit their jurisdictions. To help address this knowledge gap, the Status Offense Reform Center (SORC) has developed a series entitled Notes from the Field, which provides an insider’s look at jurisdictions that have undertaken status offense system reform, with a focus on the methods and models they adopted in planning, implementing, and monitoring their efforts.

The reform processes documented in this series vary in scope and type: some jurisdictions overhauled their entire status offense systems, while others targeted a specific behavior, such as truancy; some employed well-established models with proven outcomes, while others experimented with new strategies yet to be evaluated. By highlighting such a wide range of efforts, we hope these Notes from the Field will help to inform and inspire others to keep young people who commit status offenses out of court.

If you would like to learn more about any of the reform efforts discussed here, share your jurisdiction’s story, or know of a local reform you think we should profile, please contact us.

Read about our Methodology

To identify jurisdictions to profile in Notes from the Field, we reviewed Vera’s prior technical assistance work under the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change: Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice initiative and earlier projects, and also reached out to juvenile justice organizations focused on status offense issues to learn more about other local reform efforts. To gain an understanding of each jurisdiction’s status offense system and change process, we interviewed one or more stakeholders involved in the reform effort and reviewed publicly available documents and websites. We then synthesized the information we collected into accessible profiles of each jurisdiction’s reform process, using the following format:

  • The Call to Action – a summary of each jurisdiction’s impetus for reforming their status offense system;
  • The Change Process – a description of the steps taken in reforming the jurisdiction’s system, such as convening stakeholders and studying other local status offense change efforts;
  • The Model – an outline of the key changes made to the jurisdiction’s status offense system;
  • Monitoring Progress and Ensuring Success – a description of any methods adopted to monitor the new system and adapt it accordingly, whether data collection or regular meetings between stakeholders;
  • Outcomes – a snapshot of the changed status offense system’s key outcomes;
  • Reflections – tips from those engaged in the reform effort, including why they believed they were successful or what they would have done differently.  
  • Related Resources – a list of resources related to the jurisdictions’ reform effort, such as evaluations and program manuals, available through SORC’s library

 

Notes from the Field: Cambridge, MA

Author:Mahsa Jafarian

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2016
  • Key Words:

Abstract: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. The profile includes a summary of the city's planning process, an overview of the program, a snapshot of general outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE
  • Resource Topics:

Notes from the Field: Gloucester Township, NJ

Author:Status Offense Reform Center

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2015

Abstract:This profile describes the development of Gloucester Township Police Department's network of community-based+

responses to youth delinquency and status offenses. The profile includes a summary of the county’s planning process, an overview of existing programs, a snapshot of general outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Newton County, GA

Author:Status Offense Reform Center

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2015

Abstract: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.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Onondaga County, NY

Author:Status Offense Reform Center

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2015

Abstract:This profile describes the status offense reform effort in Onondaga County,+

NY that has led to a drop in PINS referrals and placement for status offenses. This success can be attributed to local school-based interventions, community-based services and parent education efforts. Download this resource to learn more about the process that led to these changes.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the field: Illinois

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2014

Abstract:This profile describes the process that led to the development+

of the Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services (CCBYS) system, a statewide network of 33 community-based youth service providers in Illinois that responds to status offense behaviors. CCBYS providers ensure that there is an immediate response upon referral, and that youth are connected to appropriate services without court involvement, with excellent results.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Clayton County, GA

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2014

Abstract:This profile describes the collaborative effort that led to a+

drastic drop in school referrals to court in Clayton County, Georgia. Learn more about the Clayton County Collaborative Child Study Team (Quad-C ST), a panel that connects youth and families to services in the community so that status offenses can be effectively addressed out of court.    
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Video: Clark County’s Status Offense Reform Effort

Author:Jodi Martin

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2014

Abstract:Jodi Martin, Models for Change Coordinator for Clark County (WA),+

describes how the current approach to truancy was developed to keep kids in schools and out of court. For more information on this reform effort, visit our Notes from the Field profile for Clark County.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Benton-Franklin Counties, WA

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile provides an overview of the three-pronged strategy used+

by Washington's Benton-Franklin Counties to combat truancy in the community. The profile includes a summary of the counties' planning process, an overview of monitoring strategies, a snapshot of general program outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Calcasieu Parish, LA

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile describes the development of the Multi-Agency Resource Center+

(MARC) in Calcasieu Parish, which connects young people and families to services within the community. 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.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Campbell County, KY

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile provides an overview of recently-developed case management model+

for status offense cases in Campbell County, KY. 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.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Clark County, WA

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2014

Abstract:This profile provides a summary of truancy reform initiatives in+

Clark County, WA, including the creation of truancy workshops and other out-of-court interventions. The profile includes a description 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.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Connecticut

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile provides an overview of Connecticut's comprehensive status offense+

reform process, which began with legislative changes and led to the state implementing extensive treatment and services for youth who commit status offenses. The profile includes a summary of the state's planning process, an overview of monitoring strategies, a snapshot of general program outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Florida

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile provides an overview of Florida’s status offense reform+

process, which began with legislative changes and led to the development of centralized intake and a full continuum of services for youth who commit status offenses. The profile includes a summary of the state’s planning process, an overview of monitoring strategies, a snapshot of general outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Maricopa County, AZ

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2014

Abstract:This profile provides a summary of status offense system reform+

in Maricopa County, AZ, including the creation of a citation court to divert youth alleged of status offenses from traditional court proceedings and the expansion of an existing truancy program. 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.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: New York City, NY

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile documents New York City's efforts to strengthen its+

community-based status offense system by launching a new intake process, screening and assessment tool, and continuum of services. The profile includes a summary of the city's planning process, an overview of monitoring strategies, a snapshot of general program outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Orange County, NY

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile documents efforts in Orange County, NY, to create+

a community-based, service-oriented approach to status offenses. 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.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Rapides Parish, LA

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile provides a summary of status offense system reform+

in Rapides Parish, LA, including the creation of more streamlined referral criteria to encourage out-of-court interventions. The profile includes a summary of the parish's planning process, an overview of monitoring strategies, a snapshot of general program outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Notes from the Field: Spokane County, WA

Author:Vera Institute of Justice

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:This profile provides an overview of Spokane County's approach to+

combating truancy in the community. 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.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE