JJ Monitor
March 2015


Status offenses are behaviors that violate the law only because the person engaging in them has not yet reached the age of majority. Common examples of these behaviors include running away from home and skipping school. Currently, status offense laws vary greatly from state to state, with a broad range of terminology and definitions governing the issue.


CJJ is excited to publish "Status Offenses: A National Survey," which examines existing 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 status offense behaviors. This brief may be used by judges, advocates, and legislators to assess national trends and gather ideas for system reform.


This brief was created as part of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ)'s Safety, Opportunity and Success (SOS): Standards of Care for Non-Delinquent Youth Project. It should be used in conjunction with CJJ's National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses and the Model Policy Guide

CJJ Announcements
2015 Annual Conference

The 2015 CJJ Annual Conference, "At the Forefront: Emerging Challenges and Solutions to Reforming Juvenile Justice," will take place on June 10-13 at The Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The conference, which will be co-hosted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), will focus on the latest research, developments, and challenges facing our field today. Click here for the draft agenda.


Register today! CJJ has a room block available at The Omni Shoreham Hotel at the group rate of $199/night+tax. The room block closes Friday, May 8. To make your reservation, please click here or call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) and mention that you are part of the "CJJ" room block. 


Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available at the 2015 CJJ Annual Conference. You can find out more about the various levels of sponsorship and exhibiting and apply here


If you have any questions about the Annual Conference, please contact us at

Hill Day 

CJJ and the Government Relations Committee will host Hill Day on Wednesday, June 10 at the CJJ Annual Conference. This year, the committee will host a training webinar for CJJ members on April 22 at 3 pm ET. This webinar will go over CJJ's priorities for the 114th Congress, key pointers for Hill visits, and the rules of what does and does not constitute lobbying. This webinar is open to CJJ members and allies, though preference in registration will be given to members. Click here to register!  


CJJ will also host two on-site Hill Day Trainings at the Annual Conference on June 10 from 7-7:30 AM and 11-11:30 AM before CJJ members head to the Hill. The on-site training will give members an opportunity to ask questions and learn the keys to successful Hill visits. We hope you will join us! 


Hill Day attendees will receive a 2015 Hill Day Advance Packet, a resource for CJJ members to use in preparing for Hill Day. The Packet includes: information about the 114th Congress including leadership and relevant committee rosters; a map of Capitol Hill; instructions for scheduling appointments; advice for Hill meetings; and sample appointment request and thank you letters. If you are a CJJ member and are unable to attend Hill Day, you are eligible to receive the In-District Advocacy Toolkit, which instructs you on how to reach out to legislators while they are in your home state. 

If you have any questions about Hill Day or the Advance Packet, please contact Naomi Smoot at  202-467-0864 ext. 109, or   
2015 Youth Summit

CJJ and OJJDP are co-hosting the 2015 Juvenile Justice Youth Summit, "The Time is Now: Creating Change with Young Emerging Leaders." The Summit will take place July 23-24, 2015 at the 20 F Street Conference Center in Washington, DC.


The Youth Summit brings together emerging leaders (ages 17-25) interested in juvenile justice reform. Over two days, these next generation leaders gain a better understanding of the current juvenile justice system, examine trending reform topics, and participate in various skill-building, hands-on activities. 


Click here to see the draft agenda and learn more about the content sessions and activities we will offer.


Registration is now open! Register by April 30 for get the early bird discount rate! CJJ has a room block reserved at The Liaison Hotel for $189/night. To make your reservation you can call (866) 233-4642 or click here. Please reference the "Coalition for Juvenile Justice" group when making reservations or provide the following reservation ID: 15CJJ.


Contact Jonathan Litt, CJJ's Field Relations Associate, at

Webinar: Real Costs of Confinement 

Juvenile justice systems have achieved substantial reforms, but many still struggle to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth. Many systems devote significant resources to confining youth, often at the expense of more effective community-based approaches, which would keep youth closer to home.

Please join CJJ for a webinar on "The Real Costs of Confinement and 'What Works' to Improve Youth Outcomes" on Monday, March 30 at 3:00 PM EST.

Presenters will share new findings on the actual costs of confinement, including collateral costs to society, such as missed opportunities to reduce recidivism and promote education. This webinar will highlight the core principles demonstrated by research to improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. Presenters will also offer concrete recommendations and lessons learned from the field for translating this research into policy and practice. 


Presenters include: 

Register here!

LGBT & Gender Non-Conforming Youth in Juvenile Justice

On April 29, CJJ will host a webinar on "LGBT & Gender Non-Conforming Youth in Juvenile Justice: Building an Equitable System with Data, Training, and Policy." The webinar will feature Dr. Angela Irvine of the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD) and Christina Gilbert of The Equity Project. Registration will open soonLearn more about NCCD's research on this issue in Dr. Irvine's recent blog post, "LGBT/GNC Youth in Juvenile Justice." 

The Harmful Effects of Detention of Status Offenders

CJJ's Naomi Smoot recently discussed the harmful effects of detention of status offenders with Northwest Public Radio. She said, "[Detention] doesn't fix the problem that led to them not going to school or running away from home in the first place." Read the full article here.

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Member and Partner News
CJJ's State Advisory Groups (SAGs) and Organizational Members
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations from our State Advisory Groups and Organizational Members. Learn more about our membership. 

Member Spotlight: National Crittenton Foundation

CJJ is a true coalition and proudly represents a diverse body of members including State Advisory Groups, organizations, juvenile justice practitioners, service providers, youth, parents, public officials, and concerned citizens. Our members are dedicated to creating optimal delinquency prevention programs, policies, and practices. We recently created a Members Section of the newsletter to highlight the great work that is being done in our coalition. Each issue, we will introduce you to one of our members in the Member Spotlight and share some of their success stories


CJJ's organizational member, the National Crittenton Foundation (TNCF), works to support girls, young women, and their families so that they may thrive, build skills, break destructive cycles and become powerful agents of personal and social change. The Foundation is the national umbrella for the 27 members of the Crittenton family of agencies. TNCF provides services and resources, builds public will, and activates advocates to advance the rights of girls and young women impacted by trauma, violence, and poverty.


Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, the President of the Foundation, explains: "As forces for positive change in the face of daunting challenges, girls and young women survivors of abuse, neglect and family dysfunction are tenacious, courageous, and resilient 'sheroes,' with the right supports and opportunities they can and do achieve their unique potential and thrive."


For more information about the Crittenton Foundation, please click here

Colorado Judicial Districts Work to Eliminate the VCO in Truancy Cases

Colorado's State Advisory Group, the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Council is addressing the use of detention for juveniles who are court-involved and fail to abide by a court order to attend school. Three judicial districts that implemented the valid court order exception frequently for truants were selected as pilots to devise and implement a problem-solving court model. The goals of these pilots include:

  • Improving school attendance;
  • Improving school performance;
  • Maintaining attendance; and
  • Improving behavior and academic performance.

These pilots were informed by several policy documents including CJJ's National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses and the June 2011 Colorado Department of Education study, "Needs Assessment of Truancy Courts." The latter identified the basic needs in Colorado's truancy courts.


The projects began with a six month planning process and are now in the beginning stages of implementation. In these three judicial districts, there was an 85% percent reduction in the last six months of 2014 from the first six months (from 47 to 7) in the use of detention for violating a valid court order. 

DC SAG Implements "Alternatives to the Court Experience" Program

This past summer, members of the DC Juvenile Justice Advisory Group created and implemented a new delinquency and status offender diversion program called "Alternatives to the Court Experience" (ACE). ACE is a collaboration among the City's Departments of Human Services and Behavioral Health, the nonprofit DC Trust, and the juvenile justice entities (police, probation, and prosecution). 


Youth diverted to ACE are assessed using a comprehensive tool called the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS). This tool assesses the youth's moods and emotions, as well as their participation in school and at home. Using these results, parent and youth interviews, and information gathered from the schools and existing providers, ACE selects individually-tailored diversion services for the youth's six-month diversion period. 


No matter what offense brought the youth to the attention of ACE, each youth receives the same assessment and attention to ensure the service(s) selected match to the youth/family's greatest needs. ACE works with behavioral health and community-based providers to expedite implementation of services. Since opening its doors in June of 2014, more than 300 youth have been diverted to ACE.

Juvenile Probation Reform Academy for Probation and Parole Professionals

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), and the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice have partnered to establish a Juvenile Probation Reform Academy for juvenile probation and parole leaders and managers. The program will be held at the 40th annual APPA training institute in Los Angeles on July 13-15, and is made possible through the support of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.


The Juvenile Probation Reform Academy is designed to instruct probation and parole directors and managers on the core principles demonstrated by research to reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. Participants will develop strategies for applying this research to their own agencies and will learn how to conduct a systematic review of agency policies, practices, and performance, and implement agency-wide reforms. For more information and to apply, click here. Applications are due April 17.

Center for Coordinated Assistance to States
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS).

CJJR Accepting Applications for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR), in partnership with the Center for Children's Law and Policy, is now accepting applications for its annual Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program. The program seeks to help jurisdictions reduce overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system through a data-driven and research-based approach. Subsidies through the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS) are available for jurisdictions that show a heightened readiness to utilize the curriculum and to undertake changes in their correctional facilities and secure residential programs. Applications are due May 15, 2015.  

Models for Change
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of th Models for Change Initiative of th e  MacArthur Foundation.

Juvenile Law Center's Series on Roper v. Simmons 

The Juvenile Law Center is currently doing a series on the 10th anniversary of Roper v. Simmons. Part 1 focuses on the team of lawyers, researchers, and advocates who fought against the juvenile death penalty. Part 2 reveals the strategies involved in this effort. During Part 3, contributors reflect on their feelings immediately after the Supreme Court's decision in 2005 and Roper's legacy.

Webinar: Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System

The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change will hold a webinar on March 24 on "Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System." The webinar will provide an overview of:

  • Evidence-based strategies for identifying and responding to youth in need of trauma-informed services
  • Fostering a more trauma-informed juvenile justice staff
  • Integrating a trauma-informed model into juvenile justice polices and practice

Register now!

The Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth's Trial Defense Guidelines

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth recently released guidelines for representing children who face our country's harshest penalty. Trial Defense Guidelines: Representing a Child Client Facing a Possible Life Sentence was drafted in collaboration with attorneys and advocates and has been endorsed by dozens of national and local organizations that provide defense services.

National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition (NJJDPC)
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, which is co-chaired by CJJ and the Campaign for Youth Justice.
NJJDPC Recommendations to 114th Congress

The National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition has released the third edition of Promoting Safe Communities: Opportunities for Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Reform. Its comprehensive recommendations for the 114th Congress promote safe communities by investing in policies that are both effective and based on adolescent development research regarding at-risk youth and the juvenile justice system. 


For more information about the NJJDPC and to download the Recommendations click here.

National Juvenile Justice Network
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the National Juvenile Justice Network  and its members. 

Juvenile Justice Coalition of Ohio Will Release 18 Fact Sheets to Encourage Continued Investment in System-Involved Youth

The Juvenile Justice Coalition of Ohio has led an ambitious project through the Ohio Juvenile Justice Alliance (OJJA) to create eighteen fact sheets, each describing issues relevant to young people involved in Ohio's youth justice system. These documents will cover points of involvement from prevention to adult court and specific issues and populations, such as attorney representation, girls, and African American, Latino, and LGBTI youth. The purpose of the fact sheets is to educate stakeholders in the juvenile justice system, the public, the media, and policymakers. Read the full story here.

Youth Justice Leadership Institute Now Accepting Applications!

Know a professional of color who wants to set the youth justice world on fire? Tell them to apply to the National Juvenile Justice Network's 2015-2016 Youth Justice Leadership Institute. The Institute is a robust, year-long fellowship program run by the National Juvenile Justice Network that focuses on cultivating and supporting professionals of color. The goal is to help build the foundation for a more effective juvenile justice reform movement by developing a strong base of advocates and organizers who reflect the communities most affected by juvenile justice system practices and policies. Learn more and apply today!

Member Pushes for New Restraint and Seclusion Regulations in Virginia Schools

JustChildren, a NJJN member and part of the Legal Aid Justice Center (VA), recently participated in a campaign to pass legislation to restrict the use of restraint and seclusion in Virginia schools. H.B. 1443 and S.B. 782, passed with overwhelming support in both the State Senate and House and now awaits the governor's signature. These bills require the Virginia Department of Education to issue regulations incorporating principles issued by the U.S. Department of Education, which include:

  • Limiting restraint and seclusion to emergency situations, 
  • Requiring schools to use preventive strategies to address student behavior,
  • Immediate parental notification when restraint or seclusion are used, and 
  • Mandatory staff training to help prevent injury or death from restraint or seclusion.
Other News and Announcements

Senator Leahy and Holly Austin Smith wrote an op-ed entitled "To Human Traffickers, Runaway & Homeless Youth Are Walking Prey."

The Urban Institute released two reports: "Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex" and "Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement."

The Editorial Board of the New York Times wrote "Steps Against Juvenile Sex Trafficking."

Mishi Faruqee of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote a blog post entitled "U.S. Looks Overseas for Human Rights Abuses and Ignores U.N. Report Criticizing Its Youth Detention Practices at Home."

German Lopez writes for Vox: "Solitary Confinement is Terrible for Youth - and Some Places are Trying to Get Rid of It."

SAMHSA has announced the second phase of the Project Aware Mental Health First Aid grant initiative: Now Is the Time Project AWARE-Community Grants.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania released the updated report: "Beyond Zero Tolerance: Discipline and Policing in Pennsylvania."

Politico Magazine interviewed local DC teens who talk about policing, the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, and violence in their community.

CJJ invites you to share news from your SAG, organization, state, or region! Inclusion and editing of submissions are subject to CJJ editorial guidelines.