Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group (SAG)

Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group (SAG)

In cooperation with the ND Division of Juvenile Services

The Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group (SAG) is appointed by the Governor pursuant to the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act. The JJDP Act is the single most important piece of federal legislation affecting youth in juvenile justice systems across the country.  Click here for a list of the SAG's current members, along with their contact information and representation.

The role of the SAG is to monitor compliance with the JJDP Act and work on juvenile justice reform, taking into account the latest research on adolescent development and the hallmarks of a developmental approach:

  • Accountability without criminalization;
  • Alternatives to juvenile justice system involvement;
  • An individualized response based on assessment of needs and risks;
  • Confinement only when necessary for public safety;
  • A genuine commitment to fairness;
  • Sensitivity to disparate treatment;
  • Family engagement

 

The SAG recently partnered with the ND Supreme Court, ND Department of Human Services, and ND Division of Juvenile Services on a Dual Status Youth Initiative, which focused on improving outcomes for youth who have come into contact with both child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  Technical assistance was provided by the RFK National Resource Center and culminated in a final report and stakeholder presentation, both of which detail the action strategies for implementation of policy and practice recommendations.  

 

The SAG develops North Dakota's Three-Year Juvenile Justice Plan, which is submitted to the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention pursuant to the JJDP Act and focuses on the state's planned reform efforts. 

One of the mandates of the JJDP Act and reform area identified by North Dakota's SAG is to address the over-representation of minority youth in contact with the juvenile justice system.  North Dakota's Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Plan details the higher rates of contact with the juvenile justice system, particularly at the point of arrest.  Several studies to assess the higher rates of arrest of minority youth were conducted in 2018 for Burleigh and Cass Counties by DLN Consulting Inc.:

Burleigh County Assessment
Cass County Assessment