The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is looking for evidence-based programs that are effective in dealing with status offenders and their families. The new NCJFCJ President, Judge Michael Key of LaGrange, GA, sent a letter to his members across the country this week. Here is part of that letter:
August 11, 2010
On March 14, 2010, the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (“the Council”) voted in support of the re-authorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, including the provision which would repeal the Valid Court Order Exception to the detention of status offenders. The re-authorization bill includes a phase-out period, a hardship clause, and support for resource allocation for status offenders and their families.
The Council was aware of the concerns this position raised in places where there are scarce or ineffective resources for the status offender population, and received a resolution from the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges calling upon us to address these concerns. A copy of the Georgia Resolution is available here. The Council’s Board of Trustees presented a resolution addressing these issues to the Membership at the July 2010 Annual Conference in San Diego. The Membership approved the Council Resolution Regarding Efforts to Ensure Availability of Evidence-Based Services to Meet the Needs of Status Offenders and Their Families. (A resolution on this issue passed Aug. 10 by the Virginia Council of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judges is available here.)
The resolution commits the Council to identify evidence-based services from around the country that research suggests are effective in dealing with status offenders and their families, and then to systematically share that information with judges and stakeholders nationwide. The resolution further commits the Council to providing the necessary technical support to implement these evidence-based services, when funding is available.