Policy Priorities

Policy Priorities image of kids

Advocate & Family Resources for Juvenile Justice

Creating a level playing field for all children is a mission that CDF cannot accomplish alone. We often work with or refer people to many other organizations nationwide who are working to improve the lives of children. A list of some of them is below.

  • Act4JJ.org
    ACT 4 Juvenile Justice (ACT4JJ) is a campaign of the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition composed of juvenile justice, child welfare and youth development organizations exploring opportunities related to the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), scheduled for 2009.
  • Advancement Project
    We are an innovative civil rights law, policy, and communications “action tank” that advances universal opportunity and a just democracy for those left behind in America. We believe that sustainable progress can be made when multiple tools—law, policy analysis, strategic communications, technology, and research— are coordinated with grassroots movements.
  • American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law
    The ABA Center on Children and the Law, a program of the Young Lawyers Division, aims to improve children's lives through advances in law, justice, knowledge, practice and public policy. Their areas of expertise include child abuse and neglect, child welfare and protective services system enhancement, foster care, family preservation, termination of parental rights, parental substance abuse, adolescent health, and domestic violence.
  • American Humane Association
    The Children's Division of American Humane develops programs, policies, training, research and evaluation, and cutting-edge initiatives to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect while also working to strengthen families and communities and enhance child protection systems at the state and county levels.
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation - Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative
    The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) was designed to support the Casey Foundation’s vision that all youth involved in the juvenile justice system have opportunities to develop into healthy, productive adults. JDAI focuses on the juvenile detention component of the juvenile justice system because youth are often unnecessarily or inappropriately detained at great expense, with long-lasting negative consequences for both public safety and youth development.
  • Asian and Pacific Islander Youth Advocacy Network (AYAN)
    The purpose of AYAN is to create a "single voice" for the unmet needs of the Asian & Pacific Islander (API) youth in San Francisco. Partnering with 17 local community organizations and community leaders, AYAN is finding solutions to the Education, Juvenile Justice and Behavorial Health issues facing API youth and their families.
  • Building Blocks for Youth
    In response to current research on the overrepresentation in almost every state of African-American, Latino, and Native American youth in the juvenile justice system and recent trends in more than 40 states to increase prosecution of youths in adult court - the impact of which falls disproportionately on youth of color - the Building Blocks for Youth initiative's goals are to: 1) Reduce overrepresentation and disparate treatment of youth of color in the justice system; and 2) Promote fair, rational and effective juvenile justice policies.
  • California Juvenile Life Without Parole Act
    California Juvenile Life Without Parole Act is a movement to eliminate the sentencing of juveniles to life without parole in California. The Juvenile Life without Parole Reform Act recognizes that all young people, even those serving life sentences, have the capacity to change for the better and should have access to the rehabilitative tools to do so.
  • California State Juvenile Officers' Association
    California State Juvenile Officers' Association is dedicated to safeguarding our youth for the future. Our Association is composed of practitioners from all areas of the juvenile justice system: Law Enforcement, Probation, Parole, Corrections, Judiciary, Social Services and Schools, as well as members from the community at large. CSJOA is devoted to promoting high standards, modern methods and advanced procedures within the field of juvenile justice
  • Californians for Justice
    Californians for Justice is a statewide grassroots organization working for racial justice by building the power of communities that have been pushed to the margins of the political process. They organize youth, immigrants, low-income people and communities of color in order to improve their social, economic and political conditions.
  • Campaign for Youth Justice
    The Campaign for Youth Justice is a national campaign dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating children under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system by empowering those moved to act for youth justice.
  • Center for American Progress
    The Center for American Progress is a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action. They combine bold policy ideas with a modern communications platform to help shape the national debate, expose the hollowness of conservative governing philosophy, and challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter.
  • Center for Children's Law and Policy
    The Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) is a public interest law and policy organization focused on reform of juvenile justice and other systems that affect troubled and at-risk children, and protection of the rights of children in those systems. The Center’s work covers a range of activities including research, writing, public education, media advocacy, training, technical assistance, administrative and legislative advocacy, and litigation.
  • Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University
    The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University advances a balanced, multi-systems approach to fighting juvenile crime that holds youth accountable and promotes positive child and youth development. It supports this reform agenda through a variety of activities, primarily a groundbreaking program of intensive study designed for public agency leaders responsible for policy development and implementation in their jurisdictions.
  • Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
    The Center for Law and Social Policy is a national nonprofit that works to improve the lives of low-income people. CLASP’s mission is to improve the economic security, educational and workforce prospects, and family stability of low-income parents, children, and youth and to secure equal justice for all.
  • Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP)
    For more than twenty years, the Center for Public Policy Priorities has been a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization committed to improving public policies and private practices to better the economic and social conditions of low- and moderate-income Texans. The Center's work is divided into workforce and economic development; access to public benefits, including health care, food, and cash assistance; child protection; school finance; state and federal tax and budget analysis; and family economic security. CPPP is also the Texas home to KIDS COUNT, a state-by-state effort to track and promote the well-being of children. CPPP also chairs and directs the Texas CHIP Coalition.
  • Center on Juvenile Crime and Justice
    The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) continues to lead the way in providing direct service, technical assistance, and policy research in the fields of juvenile and criminal justice.
  • Chapin Hall Center for Children
    Chapin Hall is an independent policy research center whose mission is to build knowledge that improves policies and programs for children and youth, families, and their communities.
  • Child Welfare League of America
    CWLA is a coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families. Their focus is children and youth who may have experienced abuse, neglect, family disruption, or a range of other factors that jeopardize their safety, permanence, or well-being. CWLA also focuses on the families, caregivers, and the communities that care for and support these children.
  • Coalition for Juvenile Justice
    The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) is a national nonprofit association representing governor-appointed advisory groups on juvenile justice from the U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. Beginning in 2005, CJJ is also the proud host and sponsor of the growing National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN).
  • Coleman Center for Children and Youth
    Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth works to improve the lives of San Francisco’s children, youth, and families for over 30 years.They are a successfull a member-driven, community-based organization of working families, youth, advocates and service providers.
  • Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators
    CJCA is one of nearly 200 organizations supporting the Act 4 Juvenile Justice campaign to update and reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) to better support and improve state and local juvenile justice programs and practices.
  • Ella Baker Center
    The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is a strategy and action center working for justice, opportunity and peace in urban America. Based in Oakland, California, we promote positive alternatives to violence and incarceration through our four cutting-edge campaigns.
  • Equal Justice Initiative
    The Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama is a private, nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system.
  • Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
    Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is a national, bipartisan, nonprofit anti-crime organization of more than 3,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, other law enforcement leaders and violence survivors.
  • Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, they give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Their rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse.
  • Justice Policy Institute
    The mission of the Justice Policy Institute is to promote effective solutions to social problems and to be dedicated to ending society’s reliance on incarceration.
  • Juvenile Law Center
    Juvenile Law Center (JLC) is one of the oldest multi-issue public interest law firms for children in the United States. JLC maintains a national litigation practice that includes appellate and amicus work. JLC promotes juvenile justice and child welfare reform in Pennsylvania and nationwide through policy initiatives and public education forums.
  • Los Angeles Leadership Academy
    The Los Angeles Leadership Academy prepares urban secondary students to succeed in college or on chosen career paths, to live fulfilling, self-directed lives, and to be effective in creating a just and humane world.
  • Models for Change
    Models for Change is a national initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to accelerate reform of juvenile justice systems across the country. Focused on efforts in select states, the initiative aims to create replicable models for reform that effectively hold young people accountable for their actions, provide for their rehabilitation, protect them from harm, increase their life chances, and manage the risk they pose to themselves and to public safety.
  • National Center for Youth Law
    NJDC provides support to public defenders, appointed counsel, law school clinical programs and non-profit law centers to ensure quality representation in urban, suburban, rural and tribal areas. NJDC offers a wide range of integrated services to juvenile defenders, including training, technical assistance, advocacy, networking, collaboration, capacity building and coordination. NJDC gives juvenile defense attorneys a more permanent capacity to address practice issues, improve advocacy skills, build partnerships, exchange information, and participate in the national debate over juvenile crime.
  • National Council of La Raza
    The National Council of La Raza is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations (CBOs), NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. To achieve its mission, NCLR conducts applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy, providing a Latino perspective in five key areas – assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health. In addition, it provides capacity-building assistance to its Affiliates who work at the state and local level to advance opportunities for individuals and families.
  • National Criminal Justice Reference Service
    NCJRS offers a range of services and resources, balancing the information needs of the field with the technological means to receive and access support. The following offers a number of highlights of NCJRS services and resources.
  • National Juvenile Defender Center
    NJDC provides support to public defenders, appointed counsel, law school clinical programs and non-profit law centers to ensure quality representation in urban, suburban, rural and tribal areas. NJDC offers a wide range of integrated services to juvenile defenders, including training, technical assistance, advocacy, networking, collaboration, capacity building and coordination.
  • National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)
    The National Juvenile Justice Network enhances the capacity of state-based, juvenile justice coalitions to advocate for fair, equitable and developmentally appropriate adjudication and treatment for all children, youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system.
  • National Network for Youth
    The National Network for Youth is committed to ensuring that opportunities for growth and development be available to youth everywhere. The youth they work with face greater odds due to abuse and neglect, homelessness, lack of resources, community prejudice, differing abilities and other life challenges. For that reason, they are working to create a community of agencies, people and resources to champion the needs of the youth of today and the leaders of tomorrow.
  • National Urban League
    The Urban League is the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
    OJJDP supports states, local communities, and tribal jurisdictions in their efforts to develop and implement effective programs for juveniles. The Office strives to strengthen the juvenile justice system's efforts to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and provide services that address the needs of youth and their families
  • Open Society Institute
    The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses.
  • Prison Law Office
    The Prison Law Office strives to improve the living conditions of California state prisoners by providing free legal services.
  • Public Welfare Foundation
    The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to ensure fundamental rights and opportunities for people in need. They look for carefully defined points where funds can make a difference in bringing about systemic changes that can improve the lives of countless people.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Reclaiming Futures
    Reclaiming Futures helps young people in trouble with drugs, alcohol, and crime. In 2001, with a $21 million investment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 10 founding communities located throughout the United States began reinventing the way police, courts, detention facilities, treatment providers, and the community work together to meet this urgent need.
  • Texans Care for Children
    Texans Care for Children works to improve the lives of Texas children by building commitment and action for improved public policy and programs. Their issues include: child poverty and family economic security; child and maternal health; children’s mental health; early care and education; child welfare; and at-risk youth and juvenile justice.
  • Texas Criminal Justice Coalition - Juvenile Justice Initiative
    TCJC’s Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI) advocates for juvenile justice policy solutions that maximize opportunities for troubled youth to become productive, law-abiding adults. Through educational outreach, JJI promotes reallocation of juvenile justice funding toward community-based alternatives to incarceration, treatment for substance abuse and mental health problems, juvenile drug courts, and restorative justice practices.
  • The Center for Young Women's Development (CYWD)
    The Center for Young Women's Development is one of the first non-profits in the United States run and led entirely by young women. From the beginning, they have organized young women who were the most marginalized in San Francisco—those in the street economies and the juvenile justice system—to design and deliver peer-to-peer education and support.
  • The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
    The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice aims at providing a centralized national focal point that pulls together and links the various activities and research that are currently underway, maximizing the awareness and usefulness of new products and learnings, and using the best available knowledge to guide practice and policy.
  • The Sentencing Project
    The Sentencing Project works for the reform of unfair and ineffective criminal justice policies and promotes alternatives to incarceration. Visit our issue area pages to learn more about the impact and unintended consequences of criminal justice policies.
  • Urban Institute
    The Urban Institute gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs, offers technical assistance overseas, and educates Americans on social and economic issues — to foster sound public policy and effective government.
  • Vera Institute of Youth Justice
    Vera's Center on Youth Justice provides support to state and local governments interested in improving and reforming their juvenile justice systems.
  • Voices for America's Children (Voices)
    Voices for America’s Children is a nonpartisan, national organization committed to speaking out for the well-being of children at the federal, state and local levels of government. Since 1984, Voices has supported child advocates nationwide who have achieved public policy victories for children in early education, health, juvenile justice, child welfare, tax and budget decisions and other areas.