The North American Council for Juvenile Justice (NACJJ) is a regional initiative of the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). It aims to propose coordinated actions between experts and professionals from Canada, the USA and Mexico, in order to develop or bring together reports, best practices and policy recommendations that identify or support the development of proposals or projects in the North American region. Its mission is to promote Fair Juvenile Justice in the region. As the North American Council is less than a year old, building the membership and identifying specific ways of working and commitments of members will require further input and discussion.
In 2009 the International Juvenile Justice Observatory launched Continental Councils for Juvenile Justice in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, North America, and Africa as part of its commitment to promote the improvement of juvenile justice systems and policies, and to ensure that activities are carried out with the aim to improve aspects at both local and national levels. These Councils were created as cooperative working networks specific to the International Juvenile Justice Observatory, set up with the aim of generating spaces for analysis and reflection; developing initiatives; and establishing codes and principles of good practice across the different continents. In this way the Councils have been established as think-tanks which bring together professionals and representatives of public authorities, academia, the judiciary, and civil society.
The First Meeting of the NACJJ “Improving cooperation and exchange on juvenile justice in North America”, which was held in Washington D.C. in December 2014, focused on the development of juvenile justice strategies between Canada, Mexico and the United States in terms of research and common action programs. During these two days, professionals and experts from the three countries provided input for the Council’s immediate steps for the coming year, in particular policy recommendations on restorative juvenile justice and on how to make deprivation of liberty a measure of last resort (see the Minutes).