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Better System for Status Offenders - National Best Practice and Case Outcomes

NCJ Number
Annie Salsich; Yumari Martinez; Dee Richter
Date Published
March 2009
22 pages
This power point presentation examines a set of reforms aimed at improving the status offense system.
This power point presentation discusses a set of reforms aimed at improving the status offense system. The status offense system was established in 1960 to help disobedient youth and to use family courts to compel behavioral change. Over the years, problems have developed in the system leading to a need for reform. These problems include courts overcrowded with status offense cases, the overuse of detention, lack of immediate crisis response/service resources, a sense that youth would be better served elsewhere, and increased costs. To address these problems, a set of solutions are proposed that include making court the last resort, providing immediate crisis response, providing services that are tailored, community-based, and evidence-based, avoiding the use of detention, and tracking outcome data. These solutions are discussed in detail in this presentation. The presentation also highlights successful reforms that have been instituted in three States: New York, Louisiana, and Florida.