American Bar Association
Criminal Justice Section: Juvenile Justice Committee

Criminal Justice Section:
Juvenile Justice Committee

About The Committee

Develops CLE programs for juvenile justice practitioners, develops policies to further national juvenile justice reform, and coordinates selection of the Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award.

News & Announcements

OJJDP has released "Reentry Starts Here: A Guide for Youth in Long-Term Juvenile Corrections and Treatment Programs." This user-friendly guide is designed to help youth in juvenile corrections and treatment programs prepare for reentry and success in their community.


Committee's Current Goals:

Develop policy and action plans relating to recently passed resolutions: Dual Jurisdiction Standards; Abolishing Cash Bail for Juveniles; Abolishing Solitary Confinement for Juveniles

Propose Resolutions addressing: Fines and Fees for Juveniles; Sex Offender Registry for Juveniles

Partner with Commission on Youth at Risk on President Hilarie Bass’ initiative on Youth Homelessness

Publish an article for the CJS newsletter


The Juvenile Justice Committee leadership is committed to distributing relevant and interesting news and announcements to our committee members. If you have relevant news or announcements, please contact Michael Pope.


Useful Articles:

Reexamining Juvenile Detention(April 2015)

The Burdens of Leniency: The Changing Face of Probation (April 2015)

Are We Criminalizing Adolescence? (Spring 2015)


Key Legislative Items:

The Juvenile Justice Committee stands behind the ABA in urging the legislature to reauthorize of the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). More information on this pivotal legislation, including status of the current bill, can be found here.

IJA-ABA Standards for Juvenile Justice

The American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Standards address the entire continuum of the juvenile justice system, from police handling and intake to adjudication, disposition, juvenile corrections, and appeals.

Developed in conjunction with the Institute for Judicial Administration, the standards were the result of several years of research, discussion and deliberation by 300 professionals in a variety of disciplines. The recurring themes in the IJA/ABA Juvenile Justice Standards hold that any intervention or encounter with youth should involve the least restrictive or least drastic alternative available to decision-makers throughout the system, and any sanction imposed on the youngster should be proportionate to the seriousness, or non-seriousness, of the offense. Sentences imposed by a court should be determinate, and not open-ended.

The IJA/ABA Joint Commission on Juvenile Justice Standards recommended the adoption of 23 volumes addressing the functioning of the juvenile justice system to the ABA House of Delegates in 1979. That year, the House approved 17 volumes of the standards and a year later, adopted three more. [Read a history of the development of the JJ standards.] Three volumes addressing child abuse and neglect, education and non-criminal misbehavior were withdrawn.

The standards are based on the concept that a family or juvenile court should be the centerpiece of any juvenile justice system, dealing with all but the most egregious offenses committed by youth, transferring those cases to the criminal justice system only after a comprehensive hearing. Provocative and transformative, they are available to judges and lawyers, law-makers, policy makers, teachers, administrators and other professionals to review and improve the juvenile justice system in their jurisdiction. [View a summary of the Juvenile Justice standards.]

Three decades of developments in law and sociological or psychological research implicate updating or revision of the standards. [Read a discussion of the standards and implications for revision.] The Criminal Justice Section has empaneled a task force to undertake that endeavor and it is underway.

View IJA-ABA Standards for Juvenile Justice

Join Us



Gray, Ernestine
Pope, Michael

Committee Roster  

The State of Juvenile Justice

ABA Policy on Juvenile Justice


Modified by Kyo Suh on August 14, 2018

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