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Community-based alternatives

Local alternatives to formal processing and incarceration.

Most young people who get into trouble with the law do not need to be formally processed or held in custody. In fact, such measures often do serious damage by disrupting the bonds that connect youth to their families and communities. Unfortunately, the juvenile justice system often errs on the side of formal handling and incarceration. Juvenile facilities are filled with low-level youth who could be safely and effectively managed in other settings. The confinement of low-level delinquents is costly for communities, and doesn’t serve public safety.

The Models for Change initiative is committed to the health and safety of communities and youth by holding young people accountable in the most effective, least restrictive settings of care. 

Read more about community based alternatives at JJIE.org's Resource Hub. 

Featured publications

Initiative tools, research, knowledge, and innovations to promote reform

Publication cover Juvenile Diversion Guidebook
Mar 1, 2011, Models for Change Juvenile Diversion Workgroup
Programs that divert youth from involvement in the juvenile justice system have become more frequent in response to the growing recognition that such involvement often is not necessary to achieve…
Publication cover Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation
Nov 6, 2012, Gina M. Vincent
The primary purpose of this guide is to provide a structure for jurisdictions, juvenile probation or centralized statewide agencies striving to implement risk assessment or to improve their current…
Publication cover Innovation Brief: Using Diversion Fairly, Consistently, and Effectively
Dec 1, 2011, Juvenile Law Center
Juvenile justice leaders in Pennsylvania wanted to create a model system to channel youths away from formal processing. The idea was to hold young offenders accountable withless costly and more…
Publication cover School-Based Diversion: Strategic Innovations from the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network
Apr 1, 2011, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
This report provides a detailed update and summary on the work of the MH/JJ Action Network's School-Based Diversion Strategic Innovation Group. The four participating states (Connecticut, Illinois,…
Publication cover Intake Based Diversion: Strategic Innovations from the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network
Apr 1, 2011, The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
This report provides a detailed update and summary on the work of the MH/JJ Action Network's intake-based diversion strategic innovation group. The intention of the Action Network's Front-End…

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Leading organizations

Network partners advancing reforms and providing assistance, lessons, and support

Center for Children’s Law and Policy
(202) 637-0377
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
(202) 467-0864
Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform
(202) 687-1527
Justice Policy Institute
(202) 558-7974
National Center for Juvenile Justice
(412) 227-6950

More contacts »

News

OP-ED: Automatic Transfer Negates Justice for All Our Children
10/23/2014, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
Restorative Justice: Stats Pointing to Racial Bias in Expulsions and Suspensions Spur a New Look at School Discipline
9/1/2014, Illinois Issues
OP-ED: Juvenile Sex Offender Registries Don’t Make Us Safer
8/18/2014, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

More news »

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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.

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