Shay Bilchik, Administrator March 2000
System Change Through State Challenge Activities: Approaches and Products

Heidi M. Hsia, Ph.D., and Marty Beyer, Ph.D.


Pervasive Problems in the Current System

The State Challenge Activities Program

Systems Change

Approaches Used by States To Effect Systems Change

A Compendium of Products/Resources

For Further Information



Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of OJJDP or the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

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From the Administrator

As we enter the second centennial of the juvenile court and celebrate its historic accomplishments over the past 100 years, we are aware that the promise of the Nation's juvenile justice system has yet to be fully realized. A number of persistent problems remain to be overcome, including inadequate services for youth with special needs, high rates of recidivism, poor conditions of confinement, disproportionate representation of minority youth, and insufficient use of alternatives to detention.

To address these and other problems adversely impacting our juvenile justice system, Congress enacted the State Challenge Activities Program in 1992. Challenge grants serve as an incentive to develop and improve policies and programs affecting one or more Challenge activities, including basic system services, access to counsel, community-based alternatives, facilities for violent juvenile offenders, gender-specific policies and programs, State ombudsman, deinstitutionalization of status offenders, alternatives to suspension and expulsion, aftercare services, and State agency coordination and case review.

For these changes to occur, they must be part of broader systems change. This Bulletin describes how the Challenge activities relate to systems change. Examples of effective approaches to achieving systems change and a compendium of resources are also provided.

Shay Bilchik


NCJ 177625

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