Status Offense Toolkit Resources for developing and implementing effective status offense reform strategies

Status Offense Reform Square Final


Many jurisdictions across the U.S. seek to reform punitive responses to status offenses, and implement support-focused strategies instead. However, transforming a juvenile-justice oriented status offense system—one that is likely complex— into one that is community based, family focused, and service oriented can be challenging. 

Questions commonly raised by state and local officials looking to change their approach to status offenses include: Who are the stakeholders involved in reform? What should our new system look like? And, most critical: How will we know if it is effective? To help communities change their responses to status offenses, the Center on Youth Justice developed a four-part toolkit outlining how to structure, plan, and maintain system reform.

Key Takeaway

Status offenses often stem from issues best resolved with families and in schools and the community, not in court.  This toolkit provides communities with step-by-step guidance on how to bring stakeholders together to develop and implement effective strategies for keeping status offending youth out of the juvenile justice system.


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  • Alex Frank, Matthew Lowen, Kevin Maccioli, Shawn MacMaster, Selma Djokovic
March 05, 2019