This report from the Coalition for Juvenile Justice describes the work of juvenile and family court judges who have established alternatives to court involvement and confinement for non-delinquent youth.
This brief presents the work of nine juvenile and family court judges who have established alternatives to court involvement and confinement for juvenile offenders charged with status offenses. Research has shown that detention and incarceration do not address the underlying causes of status offenses and thus are not able to act as deterrents to subsequent re-offending. The Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders was established as a core requirement of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. This requirement states that youth charged with status offenses and non-offenders involved with the dependency court may not be placed in secure detention or locked confinement. Some States however, allow the use of detention for adjudicated status offenders under certain conditions. To prevent the detention and incarceration of status offenders, judges across the country have used their influence to bring together practitioners, parents, families, and other stakeholders to create court alternatives for these youth. The nine judges highlighted in this report come from Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada, Connecticut, Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, and Washington. The alternatives to incarceration that they have instituted in their courts are discussed, along with a set of recommendations for other judges who wish to use their leadership to more respond more effectively to the needs of non-delinquent youth. 28 endnotes
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
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