The has announced an additional investment of $15 million in the initiative.
The additional funding will be used in part to establish a new through which judges, prosecutors, defenders, policy makers, advocates, probation officers, and mental health and social service agencies are provided with technical assistance, trainings, tools, and resources to advance juvenile justice reform nationwide. Comprising four resource centers, the partnership will focus on a number of critical areas, including response to mental health needs, stronger legal defense for indigent youth, interventions for youth charged with status offenses, and coordination of practices and policies for youth involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, as well as enhancement of probation system practices.
Scheduled to be fully operational by the end of the 2013, the partnership includes the , led by the at Policy Research, Inc.; the ; the , led by the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps; and the , led by the .
The funding from the foundation, which boosts its financial support for the Models for Change initiative to $165 million, also will support the development of the , a comprehensive source of information on juvenile justice issues and reform trends, and other initiatives.
"Reforms like the elimination of life without parole for juveniles and raising the age at which people are tried as juveniles are examples of progress toward a system that is fair, just, and humane in its treatment of our nation's youth," said Laurie Garduque, the foundation's director of justice reform. "There has been so much progress made over the past decade toward better outcomes for kids, their families, and their communities. But there is so much more to do, and juvenile justice reform must continue."