MacArthur Foundation Announces Resource Center Partnership for Juvenile Justice Reform
As part of its Models for Change program, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently announced an additional commitment of $15 million, in part to establish a new Models for Change Resource Center Partnership that will build on the foundation's nearly 20-year, $150 million investment in supporting juvenile justice reform.
As part of the Partnership, four new Resource Centers will be available to help provide judges, prosecutors, defenders, policymakers, advocates, probation officers, and mental health and social service agencies with much needed technical assistance, trainings, tools, and resources to help advance juvenile justice reform across the country. The Resource Centers will focus on areas critical to continued change in juvenile justice:
- The Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change: A Training, Technical Assistance and Education Center, focusing on response to mental health needs;
- The National Juvenile Defender Center, focusing on stronger legal defense for indigent youth;
- The Status Offense Reform Center, focusing on interventions for youth charged with status offenses (activities that are criminalized for those under the age of 18, e.g., truancy, running away, curfew violations); and,
- The Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice, focusing on coordination of practices and policies for youth involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, and enhancement of probation system practices.
Over the last decade, there have been juvenile justice reform efforts in 35 states. Much of this work is grounded in the seminal research funded by the MacArthur Foundation that showed that adolescents are fundamentally different from adults. Treating juvenile offenders as adults, relying on incarceration, and failing to commit resources to rehabilitation and treatment is expensive, jeopardizes public safety, and compromises future life chances for young people in contact with the law. The Partnership presents an exciting opportunity for city leaders to build on this work and be part of a positive wave of change for children, their families, and their communities.
As a new strategic partner in the foundation’s Models for Change initiative, NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families will work with the foundation to support municipal leadership for effective juvenile justice reform strategies and connect city officials with promising practices emerging from Models for Change.
For more information about the Partnership and the individual Resource Centers, visit http://modelsforchange.net/resourcecenters