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Action networks

Collaborations involving several state and local partners working to advance targeted juvenile justice reform issues.

In addition to the four states for change, other state and local partners collaborate with national experts and each other in knowledge-and skill-sharing action networks devoted to accelerating reform on particular issues. The action network provides peer-to-peer support in an issue-focused forum for the development and exchange of ideas and strategies across states, and for sharing practical information and expertise in support of reform. Ultimately, the action networks are working to create a leadership community that will guide other states and shape nationwide responses.

Models for Change is currently active in four core states—Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana and Washington—and twelve additional partner states— Maryland, Wisconsin, Kansas, North Carolina (Disproportionate Minority Contact Action Network) California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey (Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network) and Connecticut, Colorado, Ohio, Texas (Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network).


Disproportionate Minority Contact Action Network
Sharing practices and information to reduce racial disparities in the juvenile justice system. There are twelve county-level sites in eight participating states: Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin.

Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network
Improving access to and quality of counsel representing youth in delinquency proceedings. The eight participating states are: California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network
Working together to improve services and policies for youth with mental health needs involved with the juvenile justice system. The eight participating states are: Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and Washington.


While network work varies by issue, each network has four main objectives within Models for Change:

  1. To enhance progress and leadership in the existing Models for Change states and four new partner sites by providing them with the latest information and resources;
  2. To foster the development and exchange of ideas, leadership and strategies among the Models for Change and partner sites;
  3. To develop and implement new solutions and strategies; and
  4. To disseminate the lessons learned from the Models for Change initiative across the country.