CfJJ advocates for a fair and effective juvenile justice system in Massachusetts, designed to promote the healthy development of children and youth so they can grow up to live as responsible and productive adults in our communities.
Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ) is the only independent, non-profit, statewide organization working exclusively to improve the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts. We advocate, convene, conduct research, and educate the public on important juvenile justice issues. We believe that both children in the system and public safety are best served by a fair and effective system that recognizes the ways children are different from adults and focuses primarily on their rehabilitation.
Juvenile justice policies must be informed by solid evidence - not anecdote, media hyperbole, or the inertia of past practice. Moreover, we believe that the only way to determine whether the juvenile justice system is working as it should is to collect and make public comprehensive data about its operations.
CfJJ is a leader in researching and disseminating information about juvenile justice issues and best practices. Our research and reports have served as the foundation of our advocacy efforts.
CfJJ advocates on a variety of issues as need and opportunity arise. Our current priorities include: promoting community-based alternatives to secure confinement or court processing, addressing racial and ethnic disparities in our system, ensuring that sentencing practices and other policies and laws for kids are developmentally appropriate, and highlighting the importance of family engagement in achieving lasting positive outcomes for kids.
CfJJ hosts the professional staff for the Massachusetts Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Leadership Forum, a collective impact group comprised of high-level government and non-profit sector stakeholders who believe that promoting the positive development of young people and families is the best path to child well-being, healthy communities and public safety. The members have agreed upon a set of shared goals to ensure that children and families who come into contact with child-serving systems are treated in a fair and effective manner that promotes the healthy development of self-sufficient and law abiding adults.
CfJJ organizes 2-3 Juvenile Justice Forums each year which present speakers on important current issues in a setting that invites informal discussion with the audience. The Forums are free and open to the public.
CfJJ also hosts an annual Leadership Celebration in late fall. The Celebration is a reception that features distinguished speakers and honors individuals and organizations who have made special contributions to the field. It celebrates the entire community of people who work with and on behalf of at-risk youth - and helps raise money for CfJJ through corporate sponsorships and ticket sales.