The Models for Change Resource Center Partnership works to advance juvenile justice systems reform across the country by providing state and local program administrators, practitioners and policymakers with technical assistance, training, and the proven tools, resources, and lessons developed through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change: Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice initiative. The Partnership consists of four complementary, connected Resource Centers and several allied organizations that address important issues in juvenile justice, including behavioral health, stronger public defense for poor youth, appropriate interventions for youth charged with non-delinquent offenses, and coordinated systems of care for young people involved in both the juvenile justice and child protective systems.

The Partnership brings to bear a breadth and depth of expertise from its strategic alliance of national experts and organizations representing state leaders, mayors, law enforcement, prosecutors, corrections professionals, judges, court personnel and justice reform advocates.

The MacArthur Foundation is providing funding through the Models for Change initiative to establish and support the Partnership. Primarily through its Models for Change initiative, MacArthur has supported reform in 35 states, seeking to help accelerate the national juvenile justice reform movement to improve the lives of young people in trouble with the law, while enhancing public safety and holding young offenders accountable for their actions. In the coming years, the Resource Center Partnership will expand the reach of the Models for Change initiative – its lessons, best practices, and knowledge built over a decade of work – to more local communities and states.

In addition to the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice, led by the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, other members of the Models for Change Resource Center Partnership include:


Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change
The Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change, led by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, is a training, technical assistance, and education center designed to promote and support adoption of new resources, tools, and program models to help the field better respond to youth with mental health needs in the juvenile justice system.

National Juvenile Defender Center
The National Juvenile Defender Center builds the capacity of the juvenile defense bar and improves access to counsel and quality of representation for children in the justice system. NJDC bolsters juvenile defense by replicating field-driven innovations, facilitating adoption of new juvenile justice defense standards, and developing a corps of certified juvenile indigent defense trainers.

Status Offense Reform Center
The Status Offense Reform Center, led by the Vera Institute of Justice, serves as a resource clearinghouse and assistance center for practitioners and policymakers in juvenile justice, with a focus on encouraging and showcasing strategies to safely and effectively divert non-delinquent youth, and their families, from the formal juvenile justice system.