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Addressing the Needs of Juvenile Status Offenders and Their Families

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2007
0 pages
Publication Series
This videoconference co-sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Commission on Youth at Risk, and the Family and Youth Services Bureau, focuses on addressing the needs of status offenders and their families.
Moderated by Doris MacMillion, the videoconference presents: (1) opening remarks by OJJDP, the ABA, and the Family and Youth Services Bureau; (2) research findings on youthful status offenders; and (3) three panels of experts on status offences and how to best prevent and respond to these offenders and their families. Status offenses are defined as noncriminal acts by children or youth that would not be considered a crime if committed by an adult. Status offenses include truancy, under-aged drinking, and running away. Following the opening remarks that highlight the need to respond appropriately to status offenders and their families, special guest Laura Bush offers remarks on the importance of youth to our country and the need to appropriately respond to youth at risk. Research on status offenders and offenses is offered that indicates that in 2004, police made 400,000 arrests for status offenses, which was 18 percent of all juvenile arrests that year. Many local and State juvenile justice agencies lack the resources to appropriately respond to these status offenders and must often respond by removing the juvenile from the home, which can result in a host of negative consequences for the youth, their family, and the community. The first panel consists of experts who discuss research and promising programs in the areas of runaway youth, truancy, mental health, and the prevention of status offenses for girls. The 1980 Amendment blocking status offenders from being held in detention is highlighted before the second panel focuses on alternatives to detention and early intervention programs for youth and their families. The third panel follows up on this theme by discussing promising approaches for status offenders from around the country, including underage drinking prevention programs and truancy prevention programs.

Date Published: January 1, 2007