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Community Based Juvenile Justice

Since its inception in 1994 by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Community Based Juvenile Justice (CBJJ) has worked as an interagency forum to reduce violence and promote the well being of youth in Suffolk County. CBJJ was established to reduce juvenile crime, to increase school and community safety, and to develop innovative intervention strategies for juveniles who are at risk for developing delinquent behavior. Regularly convened meetings are held with school personnel, area police, social workers from the police department, MBTA police, juvenile probation officers, Department of Youth Services, Department of Social Services, the Director of Alternative Education, attendance officers, and the District Attorney's Office. At these meetings, juveniles in need of assistance are discussed and appropriate interventions are recommended. Interventions vary according to the scope and the nature of the juvenile's issues. The progress of the child is then tracked by the participating agency with which the juvenile is most involved, or by the agency to which the juvenile is referred.

Community Based Juvenile Justice is a unique and proactive initiative. Although coordinated by the District Attorney's Office, it's mission is not prosecutorial in nature; rather, CBJJ operates under the supposition that a positive intervention in the life of a child deters future criminal court involvement, increases the safety of the school and neighborhood, and assists in developing youth into successful adults.

Community Based Juvenile Justice is constantly looking for new resources within the neighborhoods in which the juveniles live. It has been found that the most effective interventions for youth are those which are easily accessible, provide a stable environment, and have a supportive and caring adult available to the child. Due to the nature of non-profit programs, it is often difficult to remain abreast of which services are currently available for youth. Therefore, all suggestions of quality programs are welcome.

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