Detaining Status Offenders is a Consequence without Understanding

Growing up, I missed zero days of school from kindergarten to graduation. Zero unexcused absences and zero unexcused tardies. My brother, on the other hand, was the exact opposite, often having a phantom “stomach ache” right before we had to walk to the bus stop.

Mockingbird Society status offenses


Washington Weighs an End to Locking Kids Up for Truancy

As a teenager in foster care, Zack Zibrosky was detained eight times, five for running away from the same group home where some of the other kids had a history of aggressive behavior.


Report: A Quarter of California’s Foster Students are Chronically Absent from School

Foster youth in California schools have a rate of chronic absenteeism far higher than the general student population, according to data available for the first time from the state’s Department of Education (DOE).

Youth Services Insider
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Two Big Takeaways from Latest Failure to Pass Juvenile Justice Bill

An attempt to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) has stalled, and its most controversial provision is the reason. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) placed a hold on the JJDPA bill over his concern with a three-year phaseout of the valid court order (VCO), the one exception that allows a system to comply with federal standards while detaining youth for status offenses.

Bret Harte School in San Francisco


Supporting Families Gets Kids to School: San Francisco’s Truancy Action Partnership

The young woman, mother of a first grader, enters the conference room at San Francisco’s Bret Harte Elementary School with a big smile, excited to show the group at the table her appointment card for an upcoming doctor’s visit.

L.A. County truancy rates 2013. Credit:


As Student Citations Drop in Los Angeles, Questions About ‘Ghost Suspensions’ Rise

Amidst mounting criticism of its disciplinary practices in recent years, Los Angeles Unified School District began shifting away from citations and suspensions and toward practices that emphasize keeping students in the classroom in 2012.


    In School + On Track 2015

    Attorney General’s 2015 Report on California’s Elementary School Truancy & Absenteeism Crisis California is starting to take notice that improving elementary school attendance is a critical piece of a smart, cost-effective approach to economic development, public health and public safety.


    The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story

    This report exposes the ways in which the current system criminalizes girls–especially girls of color–who have been sexually and physically abused, and it offers policy recommendations to dismantle the abuse to prison pipeline.


    Bipartisan Juvenile Justice Bill Would Phase Out Valid Court Order, Demand Data on Isolation

    A bipartisan bill to reauthorize federal juvenile justice policy and funding would phase out an exception permitting the detention of status offenders, and require states to report more information each year to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.