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Getting Smart on Juvenile Justice: Implementing Statewide Reforms

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This is a summary of the model for the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) "Smart on Juvenile Justice: A Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform Initiative" (JJRI) and its implementation in six States since 2014.
The four main implementation goals are 1) to increase capacity within each State to sustain reforms; 2) to implement objective decision-making tools; 3) to improve community-based alternatives to out-of-home placement; and 4) to support performance measurement, oversight, and reinvestment. The six States selected for the reform effort from October 2014 through May 2016 are Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Kansas. All six of these States recently passed legislation intended to address high costs, poor outcomes, and over-reliance on the confinement of youth in residential facilities or other out-of-home placements. Savings from these changes will be reinvested in more effective and efficient methods of supervision and rehabilitation that allow youth to remain in the community. The six States' legislative reforms share the same overarching goals of reducing out-of-home placements, increasing community-based treatment and services, and improving outcomes for youth. The Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) at Community Resources for Justice is providing technical assistance to the six States in their implementation of legislation and policies developed under the JJRI model. Some of the CJI's technical assistance activities are outlined, and the reform policies and their implementation in each of the six States are briefly described.