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

Committee Goals:

Membership and Committee Structure: Assess current membership and inquire as to the expectations and interests in remain involved after sharing the goals for the year. Establish an executive committee to help with leadership and consistency for the committee. As well as establishing a committee structure to include both substantive areas and standing subcommittees, like programming for seminars and annual meeting presentations. The substantive committees might change, depending on the topical issues identified from time to time. Additional committees might include a long-range planning committee as a standing committee, and a publications committee.

Collaboration with the Section: Continue to collaborate with the Section on initiatives such as the work on body cameras and implicit bias. Coordinate with relevant agencies/entities to support the “raise the age” campaigns happening around the country.

Collateral Consequences Website: Continue to ensure that the work and ability to keep the website current and relevant to practitioners is an ongoing initiative.

Update of the Juvenile Justice Standards: Coordinate with the Criminal Justice Section on this endeavor through the assignment of a liaison.

Juvenile Life With Out Parole: Some of the agenda here will be affected by Montgomery v. Louisiana addressing whether Miller is retroactive. There are several initiatives by national and local groups looking at this, and perhaps we should empanel a substantive subcommittee with this as its focus.

Criminal Justice Magazine: Ensure regulation submission of materials to this publication.

Restorative Justice in Schools - Resolution: Working with the Section and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, undertake the responsibility of preparing a School to Court resolution focusing on the creation of “color-blind” juvenile intake screen policies focusing on conduct which impairs public safety.


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



Brevard, Jullian
Gray, Ernestine
Pope, Michael

Committee Roster  

The State of Juvenile Justice

ABA Policy on Juvenile Justice


Modified by Kyo Suh on April 26, 2017

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