Home News Center Youth Justice Reform Roundup | September

Youth Justice Reform Roundup | September

September 13, 2018
Josh Gordon

Legislative Advances/Actions

Thanks to the advocacy of NJJN member VA Legal Aid Justice Center, Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne announced his commitment to reduce collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Thanks to the advocacy of NJJN members Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights (LACCR) and Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court adopted a new policy to stop charging administrative fees to families with young people in the youth justice system. More here.

Louisiana lawmakers approved an additional $4 million in funding to support implementation of the Raise the Age law, which will go into effect for non-violent offenses on March 1, 2019. This represents an eight month delay from the effective date of the original Raise the Age law, but NJJN members LACCR and SPLC of LA were successful in limiting the extent of the delay, and eliminating the possibility of perpetual delay.

Youth justice reforms pushed by NJJN member Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance have reduced youth incarceration by 58 percent, while reducing recidivism by 8 percent.

Thanks to the advocacy of NJJN member Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Massachusetts passed a criminal justice reform package that includes several protections for youth, such as raising the lower age limit of juvenile jurisdiction from 7 to 12 and decriminalizing nonviolent school-based offenses.

Thanks to the advocacy of NJJN member Advocates for Children and Youth and YJLI alum Rashad Hawkins, founder of BMore Awesome Inc, Baltimore City School Board adds new policy for officer-student interactions.

Nine Minnesota schools have agreed to address concerns over their disciplinary practices after a report found that youth of color and students with disabilities are suspended or expelled at a much higher rate than their peers. Learn more.

Florida’s Flagler County School Board plans to use state grant money to provide mental health and substance abuse counseling for students at risk of being funneled through the school-to-prison pipeline.

A partnership between the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Motor Vehicles allowed youth behind bars to obtain a valid ID card.

Thanks to the advocacy of NJJN member Youth Justice Coalition (YJC), the California legislature is allocating $4 million to help prevent unnecessary arrests of youth in the foster care system. More here.

Thanks to the advocacy of NJJN member YJC, California passes SB 1421 restoring Californians’ right to know whether and how departments investigate and hold accountable officers who use force, plant evidence or sexually assault civilians. Learn more.

Thanks to NJJN members YJC and Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), California passed a bill setting youth justice minimum age at 12. Read more.

Thanks to NJJN members ARC and YJC, California ended the transfer of 14- and 15-year-olds into adult criminal court. Learn more.


NJJN released a toolkit produced by the Youth Justice Leadership Institute on empowering justice-involved youth.

NJJN released recommendations on the need to end gang databases, safeguard all students and support immigrant youth and families. Learn more.

NJJN Senior Policy Counsel Melissa Goemann published an article on how New Zealand’s adoption of restorative justice practices led to a dramatic decrease in their incarcerated youth population.

NJJN Senior Policy Counsel Melissa Goemann writes in The Hill about how OJJDP’s recent moves will hurt youth of color and send us back to failed policies.

NJJN Senior Policy Counsel Melissa Goemann responds to the Chicago Tribune's piece supporting Alderman Ricardo Munoz's proposal to end the Chicago Police Department's problematic gang database. Learn more.  

NJJN Senior Policy Counsel Melissa Goemann talks with the Pacific Standard about how implementing restorative justice practices allowed New Zealand to drastically change how youth are treated—and the U.S. should follow suit. Read the interview.

NJJN member Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released its newest report, which examines how Texas’ probation system continuously fails young adults.

NJJN member Kids Forward in Wisconsin released a new report on the complex maze of the youth justice system and its impact on youth of color.

NJJN member in Massachusetts, Citizens for Juvenile Justice, released a report, Shutting Down the Trauma to Prison Pipeline, exploring the barriers to accessing behavioral health services for youth who have experienced trauma.

A new documentary play, written by NJJN member Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, shares the stories of people given life sentences for crimes committed as youth.

NJJN member Terrence Sullivan of Kentucky Youth Advocates pens op-ed urging the state to stop locking kids up for simply skipping school.

NJJN’s Tennessee member Josh Spickler talks about JustCity’s advocacy and the intersection of faith and justice.

NJJN member Peter Clarke of Texans Care for Children offers five messaging tips for social justice advocates and policy professionals.

A recent report highlights how the changes made by the Alameda County Probation Department in California led to a 78 percent reduction in the number of youth in out-of-home placement.

UCLA released a report, Getting to Zero: A 50 State Study of Strategies to Remove Youth From Adult Jails, pinpointing exactly where youth are held in jails and why.

The Sentencing Project reports that the population in private prisons grew five times faster than the total prison population from 2000-2016.

Journal of Adolescent Health published a  study that found that LGBT+ youth face harsher punishment from the justice system.

This guide from the Vera Institute of Justice examines the history of gender bias in the youth justice system and what steps to take when incorporating gender into your reform advocacy.

A study by the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Juvenile Justice Institute revealed that the majority of young people housed in Lancaster County’s youth detention center are there due to a violation of probation, rather than a serious crime. More here.

Sibella Matthews, Vincent Schiraldi & Lael Chester wrote an article about how emerging adults are handled in Germany, the Netherlands, and Croatia.

Nationwide, prisoners went on strike demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.


Andrus Family Fund is hosting a learning session on LGBT+ youth impacted by the youth justice and foster care systems on September 18. Register here.  

Join Campaign for Youth Justice for the Youth Justice Action Month in October. Sign up here to participate in events and activities helping to elevate conversations on the need for better youth justice reform as we approach election day in November.

On October 22-25, 2018, the National Partnership for Juvenile Services will host its 24th National Symposium on Juvenile Services in Greensboro, NC. This event will bring together juvenile and human services leadership and professionals for training and the opportunity to share program approaches being implemented within the juvenile justice system nationwide.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform recently released a request for applications for the 2018 School-Justice Partnerships and Diversion Pathways Certificate Program. The training will be held September 24-28, 2018 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center.


NJJN member Children’s Action Alliance seeks a director of finance and operations.

NJJN member Kids Forward seeks an policy and outreach specialist and administrative services manager.

NJJN member Citizens for Juvenile Justice is seeking a new executive director.

NJJN member Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project seeks a reentry supervisor, based in Philadelphia.

Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court seeks superintendent of detention.

The Campaign for Youth Justice seeks a communications associate.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is searching for a director of governmental affairs.

PushBlack, a national nonprofit focused on Black civic engagement, is looking for a new digital organizer, product analyst, and product lead. Learn more.

The Justice Lab at Columbia University is hiring a Staff Associate. Apply here.

ACLU-WA is looking for a legislative director and executive director.

The Council of State Governments Justice Center is hiring a host of positions. Learn more here.

Dexis Consulting Group is looking for a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (ME&L) Expert in Juvenile Violence Prevention / Rehabilitation Activities, who will support a juvenile violence prevention activity in Honduras funded by USAID.

<- Go Back