The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) and Models for Change —a MacArthur Foundation initiative—have released a new online database that will allow policy makers, advocates, researchers and the media to chart nationwide change in juvenile justice policy, practices, and statistics.
This powerful new tool, called the Juvenile Justice GPS (JJGPS - Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics), is a website that monitors juvenile justice system change by examining state laws and juvenile justice practice, combined with the most relevant state and national statistics.
The JJGPS is the first of its kind and will provide a much fuller national and historical overview of the juvenile justice system. It was created with the purpose of increasing clarity on critical issues and encouraging reform.
Director of the NCJJ Melissa Sickmund believes the JJGPS will prove to be an invaluable resource in the years ahead:
“We hope that policy makers will use the information to see where they stand, and when they realize what other states have accomplished, be inspired to make improvements in their own systems.”
The JJGPS will be organized in six main sections, starting with the jurisdictional boundaries section, which includes all laws that transfer juvenile offenders to the criminal court to be tried as adults:
•Status Offense Issues
•Juvenile Justice Services
These sections will provide a thorough overview of the history and current issues facing juvenile justice reforms. Director of Justice Reform at the MacArthur Foundation Laurie Garduque feels that the information the JJGPS will provide can lead to brighter future for those in the system or at risk:
“The JJGPS empowers all interested parties with real benchmarks that can help us move toward a more evidence-based and developmentally-appropriate justice system that better serves young people and communities.”
Visit the JJGPS for more information and check out the live jurisdictional boundaries section now!
Cecilia Bianco is an account executive for Prichard Communications. She contributes to the Reclaiming Futures blog regarding topics of juvenile justice reform and substance abuse prevention.
Updated: February 08 2018