Community-Based Alternatives

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Center Aims to Keep Status Offenders Out of Courts

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In Calcasieu Parish, La., a one-stop “Multi-Agency Resource Center” under the Office of Juvenile Justice Services serves as a centralized intake point for families in need of services. Interventions like this are part of a growing effort to keep youths out of court for “status offenses” such as truancy, running away from home or drinking alcohol. Now there’s a vast new online resource for jurisdictions seeking alternatives to the courts for status offenses. The Status Offense Reform Center, launched Friday by the Center on Youth Justice at the nonprofit Vera Institute of Justice, brings together step-by-step guides to the reform process, case studies from the field, advice from experts on handling status offenses, a huge online library and other resources. Continue Reading →

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South Florida Squeezes School-to-Prison Pipeline

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South Florida’s Broward County School Board voted unanimously to sign new rules, written by many hands, which are meant to drive down arrests and their unintended consequences in the state’s second most populous school district. The Nov. 5 Memorandum of Understanding approved by the school board has its signatories promise “appropriate responses and use of resources when responding to school-based misbehavior.” Continue Reading →

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