Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014

TopHighlight of the Month


CJJ Releases National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses

In December, CJJ released the National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses, concrete policy and practice recommendations for avoiding or limiting court involvement for youth charged with non-delinquent offenses. A status offense is conduct that would not be a crime if committed by an adult (e.g. truancy, running away, violating curfew laws, or possessing alcohol or tobacco). 


The National Standards call for an end to all secure detention for these young people. Research shows that status offense behaviors are often the result of unmet child and family needs, and that pushing these youth into the juvenile justice system worsens individual and community outcomes. The National Standards promote system reform and changes in system culture, and the adoption and implementation of research-supported policies, programs and practices that effectively meet the needs of youth, their families, and the community without unwarranted justice system involvement.


Among the state and national groups that have already endorsed the National Standards are the National PTA, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, and several Juvenile Justice State Advisory Groups. For a full list of organizations that have endorsed, the complete text of the National Standards, information about requesting a training, and additional content on some of the issues covered by the National Standards, please visit the Safety, Opportunity & Success Project section of CJJ's website. 

CJJ Leadership News

New Leadership at CJJ

CJJ is pleased to announce that Marie N. Williams, J.D. has been named the new Executive Director. Ms. Williams served as Interim Executive Director since the departure of Executive Director Nancy Gannon Hornberger in August. Prior to her appointment as Executive Director, she served as CJJ's Deputy Executive Director and Director of State Strategies. Prior to her work with CJJ, Ms. Williams amassed over a decade's experience in public policy including lobbying for a variety of social justice causes as part of a boutique Washington DC consulting firm, acting as a senior lobbyist and Deputy Director of Affiliate Development at NARAL Pro-Choice America, and a policy writer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform.


In February, Lisa Pilnik will join CJJ as the new Deputy Executive Director. Ms. Pilnik is co-founder and for the past several years has been Director of Child & Family Policy Associates, a small consulting firm working on juvenile justice, child and adolescent health, and child welfare issues. In that role, she served as a consultant to CJJ on its status offender reform project, including co-authoring the recently released National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses. Before starting her consulting firm, Ms. Pilnik was a Staff Attorney and Assistant Staff Director for the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and practiced non-profit and corporate law at Arent Fox LLP, a large Washington DC law firm. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ms. Pilnik was an editor for a major national magazine, and she has written for numerous national publications on youth and family issues.  Ms. Pilnik received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, her M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, and her B.A. from George Washington University.


CJJ is Hiring!

CJJ is hiring an Associate, Policy and Government Relations and an Associate, Training and Technical Assistance. The Associate, Policy and Government Relations will assist in the development, management and implementation of nationwide initiatives in juvenile justice leadership and reform with CJJ's state members as well as state and national partners. The Associate, Training and Technical Assistance will plan, develop, and manage the overall provision of national and regional training and technical assistance to the organization's members and allies. The full job descriptions and instructions on how to apply are available on the CJJ website.


Internship Openings

CJJ is looking to hire two or more interns. The Communications Intern will assist with the execution of projects to develop and manage the overall provision of email, web-based, and social media communications with CJJ members and other key audiences. The Policy and Legal Research Intern will assist with the execution of projects to develop resources and information to support CJJ's federal policy agenda and juvenile justice reform efforts. The full internship descriptions and instructions on how to apply are available on the CJJ website.


CJJ Constituent Survey

To better serve you, CJJ wants to ensure that we have the most accurate information about you and your work. We have created a very brief survey and we ask that you take two minutes to fill it out so that you can receive the information, tools, and resources that are most pertinent to your work. The survey is available here. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Mercier at We are looking to collect survey responses by Wednesday, February 5th


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CJJ Government and Federal Relations Alert   


FY'14 Omnibus Spending Bill

Last week, House and Senate negotiators released their FY'14 Omnibus spending bill that included proposed budget levels for key juvenile justice programs. In all key programs, appropriators set levels significantly below those proposed by CJJ's membership in letters to Congress and the Administration last fall. Most notably, the spending measure will terminate the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) program which gives states resources for juvenile justice systems improvement. JABG funding enables states to develop and implement essential system improvements including the hiring of key staff, the development of alternatives to detention, and the training of juvenile justice professionals in evidence-supported and accountability-based practices. Learn more in Act4JJ's Federal Funding Chart and the Overview of FY14 Appropriations for Juvenile Justice. CJJ also sent out a press release about FY '14 Appropriations and Executive Director Marie Williams was quoted on JJIE


CJJ would like to know what the loss in JABG funding will mean to your community. Sharing real life stories with our members of Congress can make all of the difference. To give you an idea of what we are looking for, here are a few JABG success stories from around the country. Please contact Katie Mercier at


CJJ Conference News 

Save the Date for CJJ's Annual Conference and Hill Day

June 18-21, 2014 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC

Join us as we celebrate CJJ's 30th Anniversary along with the 40th Anniversary of the JJDPA.  There will be thematic workshop/training tracks, informative general sessions & plenaries, State Juvenile Justice Specialists & DMC Coordinator Business Meetings, the CJJ Council of SAGs' Meeting & Executive Board Elections, Regional & CJJ Committee Meetings, and much more! The conference immediately follows the OJJDP 2014 Core Requirements Training which runs June 17-18


Please look for a call for presentations and CJJ award nomination forms in the coming weeks!  For any questions, contact Jessica Russell Murphy at


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State Training and Technical Assistance Center News 
OJJDP's STTAC -where CJJ works in partnership with American Institutes for Research and the National Center for Juvenile Justice -aims to support and enhance the work of states and territories with Title II Formula Grants and Juvenile Accountability Block Grants.  

NTTAC Focus for 2014

In FY 2014, NTTAC will be focused on supporting OJJDP's efforts to ensure its training and technical assistance (TTA) is efficient and effective. NTTAC's role has shifted toward operating as a central source for accessing OJJDP TTA resources and the full array of TTA services offered by OJJDP's network of TTA providers. Part of NTTAC's efforts will be on increasing the number of resources available on OJJDP's Online University, which NTTAC maintains. The OJJDP Online University is a central repository for online resources to help the field easily access TTA information and make a wide range of training events and resources available to the field. NTTAC will also be supporting OJJDP in promoting systemic coordination amongst its network of TTA providers through its TTA provider meetings. The focus of these meetings is to ensure the delivery of TTA is responsive to the needs of the field and aligned with OJJDP priorities. 


NTTAC would like to hear your thoughts about TTA and what resources would be helpful to you, as this information will help inform our work.  For more information about OJJDP's NTTAC services or to share your ideas, contact Francis Mendez at Fmendez@NTTAC.ORG.


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SOS Project News 


The National Standards Garners National Media Coverage

In December, CJJ released the National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses. In the last month, the National Standards have been covered in Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Youth Today, and the Chronicle of Social Change. In addition, several prominent juvenile justice leaders composed blog posts about status offenses including:

The Standards have been shared by several national organizations including: the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the National Juvenile Defender Center, the National Center for Homeless Education, the Vera Institute for Justice, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, and SparkAction.


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Models for Change Connections
Each issue, Models for Change Connections is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations and CJJ member participation in the Models for Change Initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

8th Annual Models for Change National Working Conference   

On December 16 and 17, CJJ and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation co-hosted the 8th Annual Models for Change National Working Conference in Washington, DC. The Models for Change Conference brought together juvenile justice leaders and practitioners to share cutting-edge advancements in the field. Please visit the conference website to learn about the 2013 Champions for Change, view pictures from the event, and access resource materials from the conference.


SAMHSA, MacArthur Renew Commitment to Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the MacArthur Foundation are collaborating on an effort targeting the behavioral health needs of youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. Propelled by the success of the collaboration's previous two-year project to divert youth with behavioral health conditions from the juvenile justice system to community-based programs and services, the new initiative will continue to advance such reform. The initiative will emphasize:

  • Diverting youth with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders from the juvenile justice system;
  • Incorporating screening and assessment practices throughout the juvenile justice system;
  • Recognizing the important roles of evidence-based practice, treatment, and trauma-informed services;
  • Increasing collaboration among stakeholders to facilitate access to evidence-based community treatment and services; and
  • Reducing the overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system.

The project will be coordinated by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research Associates, Inc. and the Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. Please visit the MacArthur website to read the full press release.


Vera Institute's Status Offense Reform Center

The Vera Institute's Center of Youth Justice recently launched the Status Offense Reform Center. This one-stop shop provides "virtual" technical assistance based on Vera's 13 years of experience working on status offense system change. Supported by funding from the MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change Resource Center Partnership, the site features a toolkit and other resources designed for developing community-based alternatives to the courtroom that connect young people and their families to the services and support they need while reducing family court caseloads, lowering government costs, and providing meaningful and lasting support to children and families.


The MacArthur Foundation Partners with the International Association of Chiefs of Police

The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the MacArthur Foundation recently conducted a survey of police chiefs to assess the state of the juvenile justice system. The findings were presented by Riverside, Illinois Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in September. 77% of police chiefs felt the justice system was broken, but only 1 in 5 believed that policy chiefs should "exercise a significant role in their community's juvenile justice system." IACP and the MacArthur Foundation will begin to create training seminars for police chiefs over the next year. Read more in an article in Illinois Cops.


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National Juvenile Justice Network News


New NJJN Policy Update: Ensuring Adequate Mental Health Services for System-Involved Youth

Youth in the juvenile justice system often face serious challenges when it comes to mental health, so access to proper mental health services is often crucial to young people's rehabilitation and success. That's why NJJN has put together this handy policy update, "Time for a Check-Up: How Advocates Can Help Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Get the Mental Health Services They Need." The document, which is based on a Models for Change publication, summarizes the major changes on the horizon for the provision of mental health services to youth in the justice system and provides recommendations to help advocates focus their energy where it will matter most. 


Youth Justice Leaders: Meet Elissa Johnson

This month, NJJNspoke with Elissa Johnson, a staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Jackson, Mississippi (an NJJN member). Elissa is a fellow in NJJN's Youth Justice Leadership Institute.


From the interview:  "I think [the Youth Justice Leadership Institute's] strength is the small community that you build throughout the Institute. [The other fellows] work at great organizations, and those conversations happen within those organizations, but it's great to have those conversations with other advocates too-people you might not have met otherwise, mostly folks who have just started this path or are relatively new to this work in some way. It's a renewed energy, it's a great experience to be a part of."

Read the full interview here.


Member News

NJJN Publication: The Comeback and Coming-from-Behind States

In December, NJJN and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) published a report titled The Comeback and Coming-from-Behind States, which uses the most recent federal data to update the findings of The Comeback States, published in June. The new report tracks the ongoing national reduction of youth confinement, provides updates on the nine original "comeback states" that are leading the nation in implementing meaningful youth justice reforms, and identifies four states that are not keeping pace with the national trend of reducing confinement. 


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In This Issue
CJJ Leadership News
Government/Federal Relations
Conference News
SOS Project News
Models for Change
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eventsUpcoming Events

NCCD Conference on Children, Youth and Families

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency will host the 2014 Conference on Children, Youth, and Families May 14-16, 2014, in San Diego, California. This year's conference, "Making Connections," will focus on fostering innovative, cross-systems dialogue on child welfare, restorative justice, juvenile justice, education, and more. For the best rate, register by February 28.


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Center for Juvenile Justice Reform's 2014 Certificate Program Applications

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy has announced that the application window for the 2014 Youth in Custody Certificate Program is open now through February 28, 2014. This program shines a brighter light on the serious, high-risk juvenile offender population, and helps leaders begin or accelerate systemic change to improve outcomes for youth in custody. CJJR, the Missouri Department of Social Services' Division of Youth Services, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's National Center for Youth in Custody are partnering to offer this professional development opportunity. The target audience for the Youth in Custody Certificate Program is public and private sector leaders working in the juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, education and other related systems of care that serve youth in the custody of the juvenile justice system. Please visit the CJJR website where you will find detailed information about the program, including how to applytuition, and available subsidies for those with financial need. Direct questions to or call CJJR at (202) 687-2749.


Vera Institute Releases Report on Zero Tolerance

A new report from the Vera Institute of Justice's Center on Youth Justice, A Generation Later: What We've Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools, examines research that has found that zero tolerance discipline policies do not make schools more orderly or safe, and might actually have the opposite effect. The report also looks at evidence that policies that push students out of school can increase their chances of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system and have life-long negative effects, perhaps severely limiting a young person's potential.

No Child Left Behind: Representing Youth and Families in Truancy Matters

Dean Hill Rivkin, Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee and Brenda McGee, Cooperating Attorney at UT Education Law Practicum, recently penned an article in the Journal of Poverty Law and Policy entitled "No Child Left Behind: Representing Youth and Families in Truancy Matters." In their article, they "propose a counternarrative to the war on truancy, one that focuses more on the systemic defects of school systems, juvenile courts, and child welfare systems than on the blameworthiness of children in families." Read the full article here.


NCMHJJ Launches Resource Center on Mental Health 

The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research Associates recently launched a new Resource Center: The Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change. The Collaborative for Change promotes the mental health reforms that came from Models for Change by actively supporting their adaptation, replication, and expansion in the field. The Collaborative for Change provides juvenile justice and mental health system administrators, policymakers, program providers, and direct care staff with:

  • 24/7 access to information and resources on the new website
  • A help desk staffed with professionals ready to answer questions and provide information
  • Consultation and assistance for complex requests
  • On-site training opportunities

To learn more about the Collaborative for Change, please visit or contact the Help Desk directly at 1-866-962-6455.    


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cjjnewsCJJ in the News


CJJ's DMC Coordinator Representative is Honored by the W. Haywood Burns Institute

Shalinee Hunter, California Board of State and Community Corrections Field Representative, was awarded the W. Haywood Burns Institute 2013 Courageous Leadership Award. Ms. Hunter was recognized for "her tireless work to reduce racial and ethnic disparity in the juvenile justice system in California and across the nation." She serves as California's Juvenile Justice Specialist and DMC Coordinator and is a member of the CJJ Executive Board. CJJ warmly congratulates Ms. Hunter on this incredible honor. Read more about her tremendous achievements on the BSCC website.


Empowering Youth on the Crow Nation

Blog Post by Julie Fischer

Juvenile Justice Specialist, State of Montana


The Crow communities of Lodge Grass, Pryor, and Hardin are in Big Horn County, the poorest county in Montana. Students on the Crow Reservation have the highest high school dropout rate among the seven reservations in Montana. Poor academic performance and negative attitudes toward school, aggravated by poverty and the breakdown of traditional family values, contribute to juvenile delinquency, substance use, and mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Read Julie Fischer's full blog post in CJJ Today.


Imaginary Lines

By Heidi Mueller

Executive Director, Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission

Juvenile Justice Specialist, State of Illinois


For as long as I can remember, politicians have rallied voters with promises of "protecting victims" by clearing our streets of all the "criminals." The picture painted is simple: victims and law abiding community members stand on one side of the line, and offenders stand on the other. This victim/offender dichotomy extends well beyond the world of politics. Even in the advocacy world, an imaginary line seems to be drawn between victims' advocates or anti-violence advocates and those who advocate for people in the criminal or juvenile justice system. Read Heidi Mueller's full blog post in CJJ Today.

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The Juvenile Justice Monitor is brought to you by staff and volunteer leaders of CJJ, and supported by membership fees paid by CJJ's State Advisory Group Members, Members at Large and Allies. We are grateful to all for their ongoing support.


Contact Information
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
1319 F Street NW, Suite 402, Washington, DC 20004