Overview Cameo House Community Options for Youth (COY) Detention Diversion Advocacy Program (DDAP) Expert Witness, Court Navigation, & Sentencing Mitigation Services Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU) No Violence Alliance (NoVA) Overview Technical Assistance California Sentencing Institute Next Generation Fellowship Legislation Transparency & Accountability

About Us

The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization whose mission is to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems.

In pursuit of this mission, CJCJ provides direct community services, policy research and advocacy work, and public education efforts to promote justice. In unison our work promotes a balanced and humane criminal justice system designed to reduce incarceration and enhance long-term public safety.

Our Programs

CJCJ has numerous model direct service programs that cater to both adult and juveniles at various stages of the justice system. These programs serve Bay Area residents and operate in collaboration with San Francisco’s criminal justice stakeholders and other community-based organizations.

Public Education Efforts

Our public education efforts have generated public information on national criminal and juvenile justice issues that challenge conventional thinking, as well as documented histories of juvenile and criminal justice reform efforts throughout the state and beyond. 

Policy Research & Advocacy

Our policy advocacy, research, and reports help transform community safety. We inform policy makers, journalists, researchers, practitioners, and the public about how to upend the cycle of incarceration.

From our founder

Who can imagine if their own kid is troubled, that you put them in a place with 2,000 other people that are troubled, and put a wall around them? …in practice it provides a rationale for a quick and easy disposal; get them out of sight and out of mind.” — Jerome Miller


CJCJ’s story is one of unwavering commitment and practice in action. For over 30 years we have provided community-based services, led public education, research and advocacy efforts across the nation, and pioneered systems change through technical assistance and support.

Our story begins in 1985, when President of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives and former director of the Department of Youth Services in Massachusetts Dr Jerome Miller founded CJCJ as NCIA’s Western Regional office in San Francisco, CA. NCIA’s mission is to help create a society in which all persons who come into contact with human service or correctional systems are provided with care necessary to live their lives to the best of their abilities. In 1991, Dr Miller supported the establishment of CJCJ as an independent 501 ©(3) organization.

Embodying the spirit of deinstitutionalization, in 1993 CJCJ expanded its community-based services to include the Detention Diversion Advocacy Program (DDAP) and the Supportive Living Program in SF. In 1997, CJCJ created the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), to conduct policy work from a social justice perspective on the east and west coast. In 2003, JPI became its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit on the east coast as CJCJ continued its research and advocacy on the west coast.

Led by our commitment to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration, CJCJ has continued to expand its direct services to justice-involved youth adults and youth. In 2012 the agency merged with the San Francisco based Northern California Service League (NCSL), a 64-year-old agency providing high-quality community-based reentry services to formerly incarcerated adults. As part of that merger CJCJ has proudly continued the Cameo House program.

Established in 1997, Cameo House was created as a transitional housing program to serve mothers who are currently experiencing homelessness and have children ages 0 – 6. In 2014, in partnership with the San Francisco Adult Probation Department (SFAPD), Cameo House established San Francisco’s first alternative sentencing program for women with children. 

Published in 2013, After the Doors Were Locked: A History of Youth Corrections in California and the Origins of Twenty-First-Century Reform by CJCJ Executive Director Daniel E. Macallair offers a comprehensive examination of the California’s youth corrections system over the course of the state’s history. By understanding the relationship between past policies and current practices, we are better able to make informed decisions on the future of California’s juvenile justice system.

In 2013, CJCJ assumed operation of the former Youth Justice Institute (YJI)’s mentoring program. Our programming, along with our systems change work, and research and advocacy illustrate our dedication to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration on individual, county, and state-wide levels. CJCJ maintains a professional staff of 35 – 40 individuals with diverse background and expertise, including practitioners, policy analysts, formerly incarcerated and system-impacted credible messengers, and researchers. Our work has been duplicated throughout the state and nation. We possess over 30 years of experience in action within the criminal and juvenile justice fields including program operations, policy development and analysis, technical assistance, nonprofit management, program evaluation, and organizational reform.