The Juvenile Justice Model Court Project Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary!

December 12, 2011

[Note: This entry posted on behalf of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' Juvenile and Family Law Department project staff.]

The first juvenile justice model court (formerly called juvenile delinquency model courts) was established in 2006 in Pima County, Arizona, shortly after the publication of the Juvenile Delinquency GuidelinesFramed by 16 Key Principles of practice, theGuidelines is an important tool for juvenile courts seeking to improve delinquency case processing and outcomes for system-involved youth.  With training and technical assistance from the NCJFCJ, model court sites form a judicially-led collaborative of stakeholders to assess need, problem solve, and monitor for change on mutually identified goals (usually three per year).  Model court sites are encouraged to share results of their reform efforts with other sites through cross-site visits, annual meetings or conferences, and an annual report.  Model court sites also are encouraged to share results with the public through an annual “report card”.  Some of the improved outcomes reported by juvenile justice model courts sites include substantial reduction in the use of detention, more timely and efficient hearings, improved coordination of care across case types, and prevention of youth becoming unnecessarily involved in the system.

As 2011 comes to a close, we at the NCJFCJ are please to report that a total of 15 juvenile justice model courts have been involved in the project since its launch in 2006, with 12 of those courts still on active status. Click here to view a list of the model court sites. For more information on becoming a juvenile justice model court or the project itself, please click here.

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