National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

School Justice Partnership: National Resource Center

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


Resources for Schools and Educators

The growing debate over school discipline has led many educators and policymakers to question the value of punishments involving suspensions and the existence of zero-tolerance policies. Many schools and educators are working in local collaborations to examine and reform disciplinary practices. School discipline is often overlooked as a critical component for academic success. Schools and educators should ensure that all students receive equal educational opportunities by creating and overseeing the implementation of policies that improve school climate, promote effective alternatives to exclusionary discipline, and reduce the number of students referred to law enforcement and juvenile justice systems.

Resources for Law Enforcement & School Resource Officers

School-based policing is the fastest growing area of law enforcement. The primary role of law enforcement personnel in schools is to provide safe learning environments, but what role does law enforcement play in managing disruptive students and enforcing student codes of conduct? Law Enforcement and School Resource Officers (SROs) should be engaged in training to learn how to manage adolescent behaviors. Law Enforcement and SROs should partner in local collaborations with schools, mental health providers and juvenile justice representatives to minimize the use of suspensions, expulsions and referrals to the juvenile justice system, while implementing positive school discipline policies.

Resources for Juvenile Justice Practitioners

Judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and probation have very important roles in school-justice partnerships. Juvenile court judges should utilize judicial leadership and engage in system collaboration with schools, law enforcement, mental health providers and community organizations to reduce referrals to the juvenile justice system for school-based misbehaviors. Prosecutors, public defenders and juvenile probation play an important role in the school-justice partnership by screening and diverting referrals from schools for non-serious offenses from entering the justice system. Juvenile justice stakeholders should contribute to policy development for appropriate school-based referrals and procedures to the juvenile court.

Resources for Mental & Behavioral Health Providers

Many youth become involved in the juvenile justice system due to underlying mental and behavioral health issues. Traumatic events in the life of a child that have not been properly addressed by a mental health professional can be the root issue of problem behaviors in school. Through the actions of schools and educators, many youth who are at-risk can avoid involvement in the justice system through appropriate screening and referrals to community resources to treat behavioral issues.

Resources for School-Justice Partnerships

Multi-system coordination among schools, law enforcement, mental health providers and juvenile justice system stakeholders is vital to creating effective policies to keep youth in school. Bringing multiple stakeholders from different parts of the system together to co-create a vision and strategy will aid in the collaborative process. The goal of these partnerships is to achieve positive school discipline reforms and significantly reduce the number of student suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to court for non-serious offenses through the collective development of school discipline reform policies and programs.

Federal Initiatives

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention partnered with the Department of Education and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement a multidisciplinary initiative to improve school climates, respond early and appropriately to student mental health and behavioral needs, avoid referring students to law enforcement and juvenile justice as a disciplinary response, and facilitate a proactive and supportive school reentry process in the rare instances in which a youth is referred. There are several federal initiatives that may be able to provide information that can support school-justice collaborations, identify the latest research on effective programs and interventions, profile local communities across the U.S. that are implementing programs to support positive school climates, and/or identify funding opportunities to support implementation of local initiatives. Some of these federal initiatives are able to provide technical assistance and support to local jurisdictions. Below is a sampling of federal initiatives with similar goals and programming related to the School-Justice Partnership Project. 


The School-Justice Partnership Project is pleased to house a variety of recorded web-based webinars that are beneficial and intended to enhance the collaboration and coordination among schools, mental and behavioral health specialist, law enforcement and juvenile justice officials. Recorded web-based webinars will be housed in our library to provide key stakeholders with the knowledge and skills to achieve positive school discipline reforms and to improve the lives of students to succeed in school and prevent negative outcomes for youth and communities. 

 National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)

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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention