Introduction: A Toolkit for Status Offense System Reform

Transforming a juvenile justice oriented status offense system – one that is likely complex and has been in place for decades – into one that is community-based, family-focused, and service oriented can be difficult. Questions commonly raised by state and local officials looking to make such changes include: Who should be involved? What should our new system look like? And, most critical, how will we know if it’s effective?

To help address these and many other questions, the Status Offense Reform Center (SORC) has developed A Toolkit for Status Offense System Reform. The purpose of the toolkit is simple: to provide the guidance and tools you need to create—outside of the juvenile justice system—an approach for responding to and serving youth charged with status offenses in the community.

The toolkit is organized into four modules, each of which is available in PDF for download: (1) Structuring System Change (2) Using Local Information to Guide System Change (3) Planning and Implementing System Change and (4) Monitoring and Sustaining System Change

While the modules follow a sequence of steps common to many system reform processes, we recognize that not all jurisdictions will proceed in the same manner. Some jurisdictions may be in the early stages of the reform process, while others may be farther along. Regardless of where you are, we encourage you to explore all of the modules and use them in whichever order seems most useful for your situation and community.

If you have feedback on the toolkit or can’t find what you’re looking for, please send us a message anytime through our contact page.