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.
As the voice for a fair and effective system, CfJJ also advocates on a variety of other issues as need and opportunity arise, including: reducing unnecessary pre-trial detention; mental health; the adverse unintended consequences of including juveniles on sex offender registries; and the need for skilled and zealous representation of juveniles in trouble with the law.
CfJJ believes that all 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. Accordingly, CfJJ is currently involved in a multi-year campaign to require that all agencies involved in the juvenile justice system collect and make public non-identifying statistical data (including race, ethnicity, gender, age and offense) about youth at all the key points in the system.
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. Learn more about some of our recent events.
For more details about CfJJ's work in the past year, please see CfJJ in 2011.