The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) leads a movement of state-based juvenile justice reform organizations and a growing cadre of Youth Justice Leadership Institute alumni to secure state and federal laws, policies and practices that are fair, equitable and developmentally appropriate for all children, youth and families involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in, the justice system. Founded in 2005, NJJN is currently comprised of 51 organizational members in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-seven alumni of the Youth Justice Leadership Institute have elected to serve as individual members.
As the only organization of its kind in the United States, the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is a membership-led organization that exists to support and enhance the work of state-based juvenile justice advocacy groups, and to join and raise their voices in demanding change both locally and nationally. Initially formed by a small and dedicated group of local organizations that recognized a need for an increased focus on state-level change, peer support and a national presence, the network has grown by connecting these organizations to others across the country and amplifying their individual successes and struggles for collective gain. Through education, community-building and leadership development, NJJN provides strategic and substantive assistance to state-based change agents to help them address a wide array of juvenile justice reform needs. NJJN believes that durable reforms are the result of inclusive, democratic movements for change; thus, we strive to include families, youth and victims in our reform community and to broaden the system reform movement through provision of resources to the public. NJJN and our members push towards the development of juvenile justice systems in which youth in conflict with the law are treated with dignity and humanity, in accordance with the latest research and science, and through processes that assist them in becoming successful members of society.
Principles of Juvenile Justice Reform
NJJN and its members adhere to these guiding principles of reform:
- Divert Youth from the Justice System
- Reduce Institutionalization
- Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities
- Ensure Access to Quality Counsel
- Create a Range of Effective Community-Based Programs
- Recognize and Serve Youth with Specialized Needs
- Improve Aftercare and Reentry
- Engage Youth, Family, and Community
- Keep Youth Out of Adult Courts, Jails, and Prisons