Law Reform and Policy Research

Since our founding in 1992, The Children and Family Justice Center has actively engaged in policy research and reform efforts impacting children and adolescents. Driven by the principle that youth matters, CFJC attorneys work to advance approaches to justice that center the unique needs, qualities, and capabilities of young people. We collaborate with partners—from community leaders to governmental institutions—to develop fair and evidence-based strategies that support lasting, positive outcomes for youth, families, and communities.

The CFJC’s policy work is a natural complement to our legal representation, which provides vivid and dynamic insight into the ways youth encounter the justice system, and how local and national policy impact their paths through it. The journeys of youth in conflict with the law begin and end far outside the courtroom walls, and so too does our research. From gun violence to record expungement, the CFJC explores the full effects of criminalization and sentencing on youth futures. Our aim is to provide judges, legislators, policymakers, corrections officers, law enforcement and the public with a comprehensive look into the functioning of the juvenile justice system, and to help ensure that practice supports the rehabilitation and long-term success of all youth.