This reform effort is being mounted with resources provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) at Community Resources for Justice. The seven States involved in this reform effort are Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Utah.
Phase I is supported by Pew in partnership with CJI and involves establishing a task force that will analyze data, make legislative policy recommendations, and work with the State legislature to adopt those policy recommendations. The bipartisan, inter-branch task for is established with support from the executive, judicial, and legislative branches, and require a formal technical assistance request letter to Pew that is signed by leaders of all three branches of State government. Stakeholders from across the criminal justice system compose the task force of each State. The task force is charged with examining the State’s juvenile justice system and developing policy options that protect public safety, hold youth accountable for their actions, and reduce taxpayer costs. Pew and CJI conduct a comprehensive data analysis and system assessment in assisting the task force in identifying the current drivers of the system and potential areas needing improvement. Legislators on the task force draft legislation that reflects policy recommendations in the task force report. Phase II is supported by OJJDP by funding CJI in its efforts to help State agencies implement the package of legislative policies enacted in each State.