Judicial Leadership

Juvenile and family court judges serve an important role not only in the lives of the youth and families in their courtrooms, but in their larger communities. As part of the SOS Project, CJJ has published several resources on judicial leadership with respect to status offenses. 

CJJ published "Making the Case for Status Offense Systems Change: A Toolkit," a set of resources which give users the tools they need to educate others about status offenses and the need for better responses to youth charged with these behaviors. The materials in this toolkit will help judges and other professionals work with a wide range of audiences, including those who do not have extensive knowledge about status offenses or the court system. Readers can use these tools as an initial step in educating their colleagues and others about the need for improved responses to status offenses.

CJJ also released, "Exercising Judicial Leadership to Reform the Care of Non-Delinquent Youth: A Convenor's Action Guide for Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Process," which offers concrete steps for judicial leaders who want to take action to achieve better outcomes foryouth charged with status offenses. The Convener Action Guide shares the experiences of judges across the country who have leveraged their roles on the bench to make a difference in the lives of youth and families in need.

"POSITIVE POWER: Exercising Judicial Leadership to Prevent Court Involvement and Incarceration of Non-Delinquent Youth" is a brief that profiled nine judges who have worked to improve the lives of children, youth, their families, and communities. These juvenile and family court judges have established alternatives to court involvement and confinement for youth engaged in behaviors identified to the courts as status offenses.