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National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses

“A status offender is a juvenile charged with or adjudicated for conduct that would not, under the law of the jurisdiction in which the offense was committed, be a crime if committed by an adult. The most common examples of status offenses are chronic or persistent truancy, running away, violating curfew laws, or possessing alcohol or tobacco. The National Standards aim to promote best practices for this population, based in research and social service approaches, to better engage and support youth and families in need of assistance. Given what we know, the National Standards call for an absolute prohibition on detention of status offenders and seek to divert them entirely from the delinquency system by promoting the most appropriate services for families and the least restrictive placement options for status offending youth.” This document contains the following five sections, each with its own specific standards describing key principles and practices: Section 1: Principles for Responding to Status Offenses (12 standards); Section 2: Efforts to Avoid Court Involvement (7 standards); Section 3: Efforts to Limit Court Involvement (12 standards); Section 4: Recommendations for Policy and Legislative Implementation (12 standards); and Section 5: Definitions.