Ten years after starting a national reform initiative to change juvenile justice, the MacArthur Foundation is ending direct support of juvenile justice reform in the states. The Juvenile Justice GPS is one of the Foundation’s legacy activities to continue charting juvenile justice reform efforts across states.  The website and underlying databases were developed and are maintained by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ).

The MacArthur Foundation's President, Julia Stasch, who at the time was the Director of U.S. Programs, issued a challenge to create an online vehicle for tracking state-level change in juvenile justice. NCJJ proposed a greatly expanded version of a pre-cursor Juvenile Justice State Profiles website they had developed 2000-2005 and that was widely known and used by both state stakeholders and the reform advocacy community. The Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Team, led by Laurie Garduque, helped NCJJ frame and advance the proposal for a greatly expanded website vehicle for charting change.   

Melissa Sickmund, NCJJ Director, coined the Juvenile Justice GPS term and assisted in the conceptualization of the six website areas and numerous underlying topics.  She also helped to scope all national data overlays and address the obstacles and challenges to posting state-level data.

Hunter Hurst directed day-to-day website development and interacted with the web development team at Webitects.  

Andrew Wachter assisted the project at numerous phases and directly collected data to support the Defense, Juvenile Justice Services and Status Offense Areas of the website.  Andrew is the author or co-author of several supporting StateScan and CaseStudy publications.

Charles Puzzanchera, Sarah Hockenberry and Julie Boc extracted data files from national data sets and provided feedback and suggestions about data visualizations. 

Linda Szymanski and Angel Zang provided ongoing comparative statute analysis work of state juvenile codes and court rules for the effort and were supported by Jason Smith to develop and maintain a system of statute analysis databases.

Douglas Thomas, Andrew Wachter, Hunter Hurst, Teri Deal, Anne Rackow, Lauren Vessels and Nina Hyland contributed to state surveys about various practice topics and state reported data and were supported by Greg Chamberlin to organize survey results with online web forms and reports.

A team of designers and programmers at Webitects worked with NCJJ to design the website and designed its data visualizations and exploration tools. Nick Rougeux led the web design and programming team and Sebastian Stefaniuk programmed the website. 

Among the Models for Change partner organizations, the National Juvenile Justice Network and National Conference of State Legislatures provided early input on the first release; the National Juvenile Defender Center assisted with content and review of the Juvenile Defense Area; the W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness & Equity and the Center for Children’s Law and Policy provided feedback to the Racial and Ethnic Fairness Area; the National Youth Screening & Assessment Project and the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice helped develop stakeholder surveys on the subject of risk assessment in probation and standardized mental health screening, reviewed findings and provided feedback; the VERA Institute of Justice helped release and promote the Status Offense Area;  the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice assisted in developing state surveying protocols and vetting findings to support the Systems Integration Area.

At the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Andrea Coleman helped review storyboards for the Racial and Ethnic Fairness area and provided content to help refine topics on state reported data and DMC coordinators.

Finally, this effort was made possible through the efforts of over 250 state stakeholders across 50 states and the District of Columbia who responded to email and phone call surveys.

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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