behavior. This legislation expanded federal oversight of juvenile courts and correctional facilities.
During this time, there was a complete organizational change in the juvenile justice system in Missouri. The Missouri DYS was created as a new free-standing agency in the Department of Social Services through the Omnibus State Reorganization Act of 1974. The division was developed using a decentralized organizational design, and offices were separated into five geographic regions, enhancing administrative and service delivery at a local level. In 1975, DYS Director Max Brand called for a five-year reorganization plan that included building several additional dormitory-style facilities, based on the positive reports garnered from the original Poplar Bluff facility. During this time, several states were questioning the efficacy of the congregate punishment model for juvenile offenders. Most notable was the Massachusetts Experiment, in which Jerome Miller led the charge to close all training schools in the state, including the prototypical training school, the Lyman School for Boys (Miller, 1991). The changes in juvenile corrections also came on the heels of the larger deinstitutionalization movement of this era.
The biggest challenge to juvenile corrections in Missouri came in 1975, when the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri filed a consent decree challenging the conditions at Boonville. The Missouri system continued to expand the dormitory-style system; Chillicothe was closed in 1981, and Boonville shut down in 1983. In 1983, as a partial result of the consent decree, the Missouri House of Representatives created a standing committee on children, youth, and families, one of the first of its kind. In 1987, a DYS blue ribbon panel was convened to explore the needs of youth. The panel recommended the development of a 15-member bipartisan Youth Services Advisory Board, consisting of local and state lawmakers and experts, to help plan for expanding the juvenile treatment and correctional services in the state. The board is legislatively mandated and initially included several high-ranking conservative stakeholders, such as Stephen Limbaugh, an influential judge. The diverse nature of the board helped bridge political gaps and negotiate scarce resources for DYS programming. The board was a catalyst for the system-wide implementation of the new juvenile corrections model and helped quadruple the budget from $15 million in 1985 to $60 million today (Abrams, 2003). The dynamic, enduring support of the board was a central element in the development and sustainability of the Missouri model.
The progressive juvenile justice era, however, was short-lived. Starting in the 1980s, there was a decisive change in the focus of the juvenile justice system. The change was fueled by the perception that the juveniles were more violent than ever, and the criminal justice system was too lenient on juvenile offenders (Dilulio, 1995; Wilson, 1995). Missouri was not immune