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Reforming Status Offense Systems: Keeping Kids Away from Court

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $250,000)

This program furthers the Department's mission by providing grants and cooperative agreements for training and technical assistance to organizations that OJJDP designates.

The overarching aim of Vera’s proposed work is to provide tailored, data-driven and best practice-informed training and technical assistance (TTA) to policymakers and practitioners in two jurisdictions to allow those jurisdictions to better respond to the needs of youth engaged in status offense behaviors. Vera will apply the lessons learned from their own work in reforming status offense systems, including national best practices, seeking to limit the use of confinement and enhance community-based supports.

Vera will achieve their goals through these objectives: (1) identifying two jurisdictions poised for reform through an open and fair competition; (2) providing opportunities for active cross-site engagement and learning; (3) supporting the construction or repurposing of an effective multi-disciplinary body in each site; (4) assessing the strengths and gaps in current status offense processing in each jurisdiction through a combination of administrative data analysis, stakeholder interviews, and policy/statute review; and (5) assisting each site in setting priorities and developing a comprehensive set of strategies to achieve reforms.

Vera will collect and report all required performance information on these activities and others as required by OJJDP and will report on achievements related to their goals and objectives and progress toward those goals.


This program furthers the Department's mission by providing grants and cooperative agreements for training and technical assistance to organizations that OJJDP designates.

Vera will build on the momentum of the current training and technical assistance (TTA) project by continuing to support the existing sites in the implementation of their reform plans, and selecting two new sites/jurisdictions to receive tailored TTA under this proposal.

Structured by the modules of Vera’s Status Offense Reform Center Toolkit for Reform, Vera will once again assist the selected sites/jurisdictions in creating the foundation for reform in an effective multi-disciplinary working group, conducting a thorough diagnostic system assessment to identify strengths and gaps, and setting priorities for reform that will be translated into a newly-structured response that will sustain long-lasting change. These elements of the reform process will translate to the metrics by which Vera will measure the sites’ outcomes and progress, and will also track the numbers of TTA activities delivered to the sites. An overarching goal will be to engage the sites/jurisdictions in active cross-learning opportunities, and to disseminate their achievements and lessons learned to a broad audience so other jurisdictions can learn from this project.


Date Created: September 27, 2015