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Models for Change supports a network of government and court officials, legal advocates, educators, community leaders, and families working together to ensure that kids who make mistakes are held accountable and treated fairly throughout the juvenile justice process. We provide research-based tools and techniques to make juvenile justice more fair, effective, rational and developmentally-appropriate.
Models for Change has supported counties and states in reforming the way they treat kids who've committed crimes. Local officials say that Models for Change has helped them improve public safety and support kids, even as they grapple with tight budgets and tough fiscal decisions.
The progress we've seen in Models for Change communities shows that when committed people come together, real reform can happen – and create lasting change in communities across America.
This site is owned and operated by the Justice Policy Institute with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation believes that every young person should have the opportunity to grow up with a good education, get a job and participate in our communities. Creating a more fair and effective juvenile justice system that supports learning and growth and promotes accountability can ensure that all kids can grow up to be healthy, productive members of our society.
The Models for Change juvenile justice system reform initiative is working comprehensively on juvenile justice reform in four states and concentrating on the issues of mental health services, juvenile indigent defense and racial and ethnic disparities in an additional twelve states.
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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is collaborating on an effort in eight states to divert youth with behavioral health conditions from the juvenile justice system to community-based programs and services. A collaboration with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will support juvenile justice reform in four target areas: mental health screening and risk/needs assessment; mental health training for juvenile justice; disproportionate minority contact reduction; and juvenile justice and child welfare system integration.
Targeted juvenile justice leverage points where success will stimulate system-wide reforms.
More about these issues »
Strategic states selected for their leadership and commitment to change, geographic diversity, differing needs and opportunities, and likelihood to influence reforms in other locations.
More about the reform states »
Collaborations involving several state and local partners working to advance targeted juvenile justice reform issues.
More about the action networks »