For ten years, Models for Change hosted one of the keystone working conferences in the field of juvenile justice. Held annually in December in Washington, DC, working conferences included a diverse group of juvenile justice reform stakeholders and Models for Change participants.
These gatherings featured workshops focused on transferring first-hand knowledge of successful reform approaches to those considering similar reforms. National experts and frontline staff joined to encourage decision makers to overcome their hesitation to enact new approaches. Innovation and Knowledge Briefs prepared by Models for Change experts reinforced this exchange.
The Models for Change conferences created a community of learning and support among juvenile justice advocates, researchers, practitioners and others in the field who had often previously toiled in isolation. The Champion for Change Award, initiated in 2008, recognized outstanding leaders in the field, while emphasizing the shared values of reformers.
The conferences contributed to the energetic embrace of reform by both national and local leaders. New reform leaders were nurtured, guided, and empowered by an experienced group of reformers dedicated to creating the best possible outcomes for all young people. Their enthusiasm, the research, and an ever-growing list of successes provided a compelling argument.