Models for Change

Models for Change is a long-term, $100 million investment in more fair, rational, effective and developmentally appropriate approaches to juvenile justice.

The MacArthur Foundation began making grants to organizations in the juvenile justice field in 1996, following years of harsh legislation that threatened the foundations of juvenile justice in this country’s laws restricting juvenile court judges traditional discretion to deal with individuals on the basis of their needs, curtailing their jurisdiction, doing away with confidentiality protections, introducing frankly punitive new sentencing approaches, and requiring the transfer of more and more youth to the adult criminal system. By the beginning of this decade, signs pointed to a reform movement grounded in a commitment to a separate justice system for youth that is responsive to their developmental needs and focused on their practical rehabilitation. The national juvenile justice systems reform initiative Models for Change was launched to harness and direct local reform work into a larger, coordinated effort to share replicable models of reform and catalyze change across the nation.

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