Jerome Miller, revolutionized juvenile justice, Dies at 83

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Dead, Jerome Gilbert Miller, born December 8, 1931 and died August 7, 2015, he was an American social worker who was an authority on the reform of juvenile and adult corrections systems.

Miller was a prominent advocate for alternatives to incarceration for offenders as well as for the de-institutionalization of individuals with developmental disabilities.

His career involved university teaching, administration of juvenile justice services for three states, clinical work with offenders and advocacy for systemic change in public sector correctional services.

Jerome Miller’s work first drew national attention for his leadership in closing several juvenile reformatories in Massachusetts in the early 1970s.

Miller went on to emerge as a prominent national advocate, administrator and educator working for systemic change in public sector corrections and disability service delivery systems. He was the co-founder of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives.

Jerome Miller’s dramatic closure of two juvenile reformatories in Massachusetts in the early 1970s launched a forty year career as a pioneering administrator, educator and advocate for alternative models for responding to offenders and developmentally disabled persons.

Miller’s capacity to articulate the need for reform, to envision models for systems transformation and ability to implement institutional change have been widely acknowledged, sometimes condemned and often praised.

Reflecting on Miller’s impact on juvenile justice reform efforts since the early 1970s, Dan Macallair, executive director of the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, writes, The closing of the Massachusetts reforms schools stands as the premier event in the history of American juvenile justice reform …Miller set the course for the 21st century juvenile justice system and secured his place among history’s great reformers.

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