The Models for Change initiative "supports a network of government and court officials, legal advocates, educators, community leaders, and families working together to ensure that kids who make mistakes are held accountable and treated fairly throughout the juvenile justice process." Models for Change is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
Models for Change selected four strategic states "for their leadership and commitment to change, geographic diversity, differing needs and opportunities, and likelihood to influence reforms in other locations." The states are Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Within our state, five projects are underway in six counties (Benton and Franklin, Clark, King, Pierce, and Spokane). Our state's projects are coordinated by the Center for Children & Youth Justice.
Twelve more states are involved in the Models for Change initiative through the Action Networks. (The four core states participate in all Action Networks.)
- Maryland, Wisconsin, Kansas, North Carolina (Disproportionate Minority Contact Action Network)
- California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey (Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network)
- Connecticut, Colorado, Ohio, Texas (Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network)
The Natural Resource Bank is a group of "16 leading national juvenile justice research, reform, and advocacy organizations that provide expert advice, training, and technical assistance to the core states and action network sites."
Recently Models for Change launched a Resource Center Partnership, in which four different groups focus on four areas to "provide administrators, practitioners and policymakers with technical assistance, trainings, and proven tools and resources."
- Mental Health & Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change (mental health issues)
- National Juvenile Defender Center (public defense for indigent youth)
- Status Offense Reform Center (status offenses include truancy and running away)
- Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice (dual status youth are involved in both the foster care system and the juvenile justice system)