Models for Change is a multi-state initiative working to guide and accelerate advances to make juvenile justice systems more fair, effective,  and developmentally appropriate.

Launched in 2004, 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. 

Models for Change furthers  juvenile justice system reforms that effectively hold young people accountable for their actions, provide for their rehabilitation, protect them from harm, increase their life chances, and manage the risk they pose.  Efforts have been advanced in areas of reform related to: aftercare, community-based alternatives, dual status youth, evidence based practices, juvenile indigent defense, mental health, racial and ethnic fairness, and status offense reform.

The initiative is rooted in an evidence-based approach to juvenile justice reform, and promotes a variety of systems reform models that are grounded in the core principles of fundamental fairness; developmental differences between youth and adults; individual strengths and needs; youth potential; responsibility; and safety.

Ten years into the initiative, more than $100 million has been invested in support of policy and practice reform activities. The initiative has an extensive network of committed partners and a long list of success stories, from local practice improvements to major reforms in state policy, funding and organization. Collaborations with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) allowed Models for Change to expand its reach to 35 states.

The initiative is continuing its focus on key reform areas through the Resource Center Partnerships, which provides administrators, practitioners and policymakers with technical assistance, trainings, and proven tools and resources in the areas of status offense reform, mental health and juvenile justice, juvenile indigent defense and dual status youth. The lessons, research, models and tools generated through the initiative are available on to support reform efforts across the nation.

Source:   ModelsforChange

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