JJ Monitor
April 2020
Judge Sends Young People Home to Combat Dangers of COVID-19
On April 5, the Honorable Judge Teske, CJJ's Immediate Past Chair, signed an order that allows youth to leave detention to be with their families amid the ongoing pandemic. The order also utilizes technology to ensure youth are receiving essential services via video chat.

As a result of this order, the county's detained population has been reduced by 73%. Detention hearings are still being conducted in order to reduce this detained population through video court, and youth are being streamed in from detention facilities, Judge Teske reported. Proceedings are being live-streamed for the parent and child.

Judge Teske stated, "I think we are doing the best we can to ensure that the public has a right to see how we administer justice and to be transparent."

Four youth remain in detention, all of whom are awaiting trial on violent felony offenses.

"There is truly a lot we can do if we are willing to extend ourselves during this crisis and act like that is our child that is in that detention center," said Judge Teske.

During this interim period, Judge Teske is using video to hold conferences with each of these four detained youth to ensure that they have contact with the outside world and especially with the person who decides their ultimate freedom. He asks them how they're doing, and gives them assurances that they will be taken care of as soon as possible, that he will continue to speak to them each week to ensure that they are doing well, to answer their questions, and to allow their parents to see them. Judge Teske sends a link to the parents cell phone so they may join in on the video.

"I know I would want contact with my child, and if I have the means to make that happen for those parents, by God, I should do it, or one day in some shape form or fashion, in my belief system, I believe I will answer for it," said Judge Teske.

To read the full order from Clayton County, Georgia, click here .
CJJ's Annual Conference Moved to November 18-21
 Due to concerns for our members' health and safety, we have decided to reschedule CJJ's  2020 Annual Conference,  Dreaming Big Together: Youth Justice Reimagined  which was originally going to take place June 3-6.

Our annual conference will now take place Nov. 18-21 at the  Grand Hyatt Washington  in Washington, DC.  All registered attendees will also gain access to seven hours of recorded content that they can access at their leisure beginning on June 3, when the conference was originally scheduled to begin. Click here to register.

All registration fees for CJJ’s 2020 Annual Conference will automatically be applied to the new conference registration dates of November 18-21, 2020. If you are in need of a letter confirming this or if you are unable to attend the rescheduled conference, and would like to discuss options, we are ready to assist. Alternatively, if you cannot attend and would like to help further CJJ’s mission, we would be happy to convert your registration fee to a donation and would be very grateful for your support. If you have any further questions, please contact Naomi Smoot Evans at  evans@juvjustice.org .

When we began planning this year's conference in late 2019, we had no idea how timely the theme "Youth Justice Reimagined" would prove to be. Now, judges, attorneys, and law enforcement are working together to keep as many young people as possible at home and out of juvenile detention centers, where there is the potential danger of rapid spread of COVID-19. Probation departments, meanwhile, are finding ways to use new and emerging technologies to connect with young people. Our hope is that this time will result in long lasting lessons that we can share during our 2020 Annual Conference.

We hope that you will be able to join us in November.  To register click here .
Early Bird Registration

Dec 11 - Feb 9

$345/ Members
$445/ Non-Members
$175/ Students
Regular Registration

Feb 10 - Oct 2

$395/ Members
$495/ Non-Members
$185/ Students
Late Registration

Oct 3 - Nov 6

$455/ Members
$555/ Non-Members
$195/ Students
CJJ invites you to consider sponsoring this year's Annual Conference. Sponsorship dollars help support a broad range of necessary functions, including materials production, speaker and workshop support, youth engagement, and other general functions.

To learn more about sponsoring this event, email  evans@juvjustice.org

CJJ is able to waive registration fees for conference volunteers. Volunteers assist staff at registration desk and other onsite tasks. Volunteer space is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Please contact Laura Armstrong at armstrong@juvjustice.org  
for more information.
CJJ's Response to COVID-19
In early 2020, a public health crisis swept our country that has required unprecedented action. CJJ urges lawmakers to take action to protect youth who are involved in the justice system and release as many young people as possible back into the care of their families.

"CJJ is committed to helping states and communities work through this challenging time to ensure that young people involved in the justice system are safe and healthy," said Naomi Smoot-Evans, CJJ's Executive Director. "We recognize that these are unprecedented times and are here to help in whatever way we can."

Over the past month, CJJ and National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) hosted two members only calls to help identify best practices and solve challenges related to COVID-10. Most recently, CJJ hosted a call, "Reentry Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic" for our members. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

Additional Resources:
Deadline Extended to Submit Nominations for CJJ's Executive Board
The deadline to submit a nomination or apply to run for a position on CJJ's Executive Board has been extended to May 15th. Click here to apply.

The following positions will be elected via electronic ballot, with terms to begin July 1:
  • National Juvenile Justice Specialist
  • Serves as the primary point of contact and communication among all Juvenile Justice Specialists, nationwide;
  • Ensures that the concerns and ideas of the Juvenile Justice Specialists are brought to the attention of CJJ's leadership;
  • Develops and maintain a CJJ Juvenile Justice Specialist listserv and/or other Juvenile Justice Specialist resources for information exchange;
  • Provides the CJJ Council of SAGs and Executive Board with regular written and verbal reports highlighting the activities of Juvenile Justice Specialists throughout the nation; and
  • Regularly attends and fully participates in the meetings of the Executive Board and the Council of SAGs.
  • Regional Chairs (Midwestern, Northeastern, Southern, and Western)
  • Serve as the primary point of contact and communication for CJJ with members of one's regional coalition;
  • Provide the CJJ Council of SAGs and Executive Board with regular written and verbal reports highlighting the activities, needs, and concerns of one's region;
  • Develop, where possible, opportunities for states in one's region to host and financially support a regional coalition meeting on behalf of CJJ and provide stewardship for the development of the meeting agenda, etc.; and
  • Regularly attend and fully participate in the meetings of the Executive Board and the Council of SAGs

To nominate an individual or apply, click here . Applications are due Friday, May 15 .
Upcoming Webinars
State Advisory Group 101
April 30, 2020 at 3 p.m. Eastern

For more than three decades, juvenile justice State Advisory Groups (SAGs) have played a critical role in improving juvenile justice systems at the state and local level. These groups, also known as Juvenile Justice Advisory Committees and Juvenile Justice Advisory Groups, were first established through the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) the country's seminal legislation related to juvenile justice. 

This webinar will help develop a greater understanding of the leadership responsibilities and roles inherent in serving as a State Advisory Group (SAG) member. Attendees will also gain insights from fellow State Advisory Group members about ways to have a positive impact on youth justice. 

Naomi Smoot-Evans , Executive Director, Coalition for Juvenile Justice 
Stacie Nelson Colling , Western Region Chair, Coalition for Juvenile Justice

This webinar is free for CJJ members. To become a member, click  here .
To register for the webinar, click  here
Quarantined and Confined: Supporting Incarcerated Youth During the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 6, 2020 at 3 p.m. Eastern

It is essential that we keep in mind the impact that the stress and uncertainty of COVID-19 may have on young people, including those who are at risk of becoming involved with the justice system, or who are already involved with the justice system, particularly those who are locked behind bars. As we advocate for as many young people as possible to return home, we know there are still a number of young people who are left behind and who may need help dealing with the anxiety of the current moment. 

During this webinar, licensed psychologist, Christine Gerchow, Ph.D., will discuss practices youth and staff can apply in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic (and really, anytime!). Dr. Gerchow's presentation will draw from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and integrate meditation and non-meditation based mindfulness techniques as well as relationship nurturing activities. 

If possible, "bring" with you a warm or cool non-alcoholic beverage (depending on what your climate calls for) and wear comfortable clothes.


This webinar is free for CJJ members. To become a member, click  here .
To register, click  here
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Would You Like to Blog for CJJ?
CJJ is looking for bloggers for  CJJ Today  to author stories and posts about juvenile justice. We're particularly interested in stories from  State Advisory Group members  or staff, CJJ  individual  or  youth members , and CJJ  organizational members , about issues at the state or local level, interesting programs or approaches, and perspectives about the course of juvenile justice reform at the local or state level. We also welcome blog posts from other juvenile justice system stakeholders. Blog posts can be between 400-750 words in length. Click  here  to see our other guidelines for blogs.  

Suggested topics could include:  
  • School to Prison Pipeline
  • Girls in the Juvenile Justice System
  • Remedying Racial and Ethnic Disparities
  • Adolescent Brain Development 
  • Evidence-Based Practices
  • Status Offenses
  • Family and Youth Involvement
  • Promising Practices or Program Spotlights

If interested please email  info@juvjustice.org  for more details.
Member Spotlight: Alaska

Providing a wide variety of services based on the principles of restorative justice and trauma informed care, the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) serves youth and their families across Alaska.

Demographics of DJJ youth are approximately 70% male, and 40% Alaska Native/American Indian youth. Approximately three-quarters of youth in custody have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, and 43% of youth in custody experience co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. While DJJ has implemented services for youth with a trauma-informed and resiliency-building approach for a number of years, practitioners lacked concrete tools to identify a youth’s trauma and incorporate that knowledge into case planning and service delivery. In an effort to provide the highest-quality services to youth and their families, DJJ has recently implemented statewide trauma screening and resiliency tools.

The trauma screening tool is a set of 15 questions adapted from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study. In addition to screening for ACEs, this tool gathers information about bullying, homelessness, and intimate partner violence. The screening tool is administered to all youth admitted to DJJ detention and treatment facilities, as well as community-based youth on supervised probation, held in abeyance, or formal diversion orders. Information from the screening tool is then used to make referrals for services, case planning activities, and to develop treatment goals. Mental health clinicians can further use the information to share strategies and recommendations for treatment with facility and field staff.

In conjunction with the trauma screening tool, the Child Youth Resiliency Measure (CYRM 12) is also administered. This standardized tool assesses protective factors and elements of youth resiliency. Results from this tool are used by staff to help identify and tap into each youth’s strengths. Staff then use these strengths to support resiliency through their treatment activities. Additionally, the CYRM 12 can be re-administered to track growth and improvement in youth resiliency measures.

Changes in DJJ policy, handbooks and workplace culture have accompanied the implementation of these tools. Facilities have, for example, established “trauma teams,” groups of stakeholders spanning the spectrum of DJJ services that meet regularly to discuss individual cases. During these meetings, youth trauma and resiliency factors are discussed in relation to behavioral patterns, and individualized intervention strategies are developed to meet the needs of specific youth. Trauma information is additionally shared at unit-based staff meetings, so all front-line staff working with youth have the tools and strategies developed for that youth.

DJJ piloted the Trauma Screening Tool and Child Youth Resiliency Measure at the Johnson Youth Center in Juneau, Alaska. Notable data measures have indicated 40% of youth reported living with or having frequent contact with someone who experienced an alcohol or drug abuse problem, and 30% of youth reported experiencing homelessness. Identifying these aspects of trauma helps inform a tailored case planning process and promotes positive interactions between staff and youth. Due to the success of the pilot project, the tools have been implemented across the DJJ spectrum of services including treatment, detention and probation programming statewide.

Another trauma-informed program used by DJJ is the Trauma Informed Effective Reinforcement System (TIERS). The TIERS program has been shown to promote safe and positive behaviors, build confidence, aid in the healing of past traumas, and help educate staff on youth trauma. It is an alternative to compliance-based behavior management systems, teaching staff effective skills in positive behavior motivation. Since implementing the TIERS program on female detention and treatment units in 2017, DJJ has seen an 85% reduction in youth restraints. Given the success of the TIERS program, DJJ is developing plans to implement the programming at facilities statewide to improve outcomes for youth.
Q&A with Emerging Leaders Committee Member Joseph Huntley
Throughout the next several months, CJJ will be highlighting individual members of our  Emerging Leaders Committee .

Joseph Huntley is a 2020 ELC member.

Q: Why did you join CJJ’s Emerging Leaders Committee?
A:  I joined the Emerging Leaders Committee to bring about positive, more beneficial change in the justice system and to work on ways that could be used for the prevention of criminal offenses.

Q: What does juvenile justice reform mean to you?
A:  For me, juvenile justice reform means to advocate on the behalf of other youth incarcerated so that we can improve and make the system work for them and the community as best as it can.

Q: If you could change one thing in the system, what would it be?
A:  If I could change one thing about the system, I would change the way the government budgets their money so that it would save money for the taxpayer and so that it is not wastefully spent.

Q: What advice do you want to share with other young emerging leaders?
A:  Patience and determination go a long way. Never give up advocating for yourself and what you believe in. Your voice is not unheard, nor your efforts overlooked.

Q: What is one fun fact about you?
A:  I enjoy camping, fishing, and the outdoors.
New Opportunity for Youth
The National Association for Counsel of Children (NACC) is forming a National Youth Advisory Board of young people with lived experience in the child welfare system and hiring a new staff person to coordinate the Board.

NACC's new National Youth Advisory Board (NYAB) will be a group of young professionals, advocates and leaders who have navigated the child welfare system and contribute their expertise to advancing NACC’s mission and core strategies across programs.

The Board will advocate for the rights of children in the child welfare system, especially the right to effective assistance of counsel, and use what they learn to lead change in their communities. The Board will also educate lawyers about how to provide high-quality legal representation to youth.

Board members receive advocacy training and professional development opportunities, in addition to financial stipends for time and travel, and one-on-one professional mentoring. Board members serve two-year terms.

NACC’s newly-created Youth Coordinator staff position will develop and implement youth engagement efforts across NACC’s programs and membership network. The Youth Coordinator’s primary focus will be managing the activities, training and support for a national youth advisory board of young leaders with lived experience in the child welfare system, as they contribute to advocacy and education of legal service providers and policymakers.

NACC seeks an advocate who can exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, with strong written and verbal communication, administrative, and organizational skills, and the ability to maintain a realistic balance among multiple projects. The Youth Coordinator must have experience partnering with young people in advocacy and preferably shares lived experience with the youth leaders. Further, we are seeking a highly collaborative individual to partner with other organizations and individuals in both child welfare reform and children’s legal services.

This is a part-time position with a maximum of 20 hours per week for $25 per hour. With additional funding and program expansion, the position may grow to full-time. Remote staff provided office equipment and supplies as needed.

Click here to learn more and apply for both positions by April 30th .
Other News and Announcements
Events and Trainings
  • The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 Youth Justice Leadership Institute. The Institute is a robust, year-long fellowship program that seeks to clear a broad path for people of color to lead justice system reform. The program is geared towards individuals of color working as professionals in the juvenile justice field, who may also be young adults who are system survivors themselves, or family members of someone in the system. The application deadline is May 1, 2020.

  • The Performance-based Standards Learning Institute (PbS) and the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) are hosting a virtual training on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 from 2-5 p.m. EDT on how to improve reentry data collection. This training is open to agency reentry teams interested in enhancing their reentry data capacity. Up to 10 teams will be selected on a first come, first served basis to participate in the virtual training. Priority will be given to Second Chance Act grantees.

  • The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) is currently accepting applications from individuals interested in becoming a certified trainer in the following curricula:
  • Mental Health Training for Juvenile Justice: Developed specifically for juvenile probation, detention, and corrections professionals, this training provides research-based instruction that increases juvenile justice practitioner knowledge and develops and enhances skills to support effective and safe interactions with youth. More information and the application can be found on the NCYOJ website.
  • Crisis Intervention Teams for Youth: The standard Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training offered to most police officers focuses primarily on response techniques for adults. While there are some general similarities between adults and youth, there are important and unique distinctions that require specialized knowledge and training. CIT-Youth (CIT-Y) trains police officers on response techniques that are appropriate for youth with behavioral health needs. More information and the application can be found on the NCYOJ website.

  • Registration is now open for Race Forward's 2020 Facing Race National Conference. The conference will be held November 12-14, 2020 in Raleigh, NC at the Raleigh Convention Center. Facing Race is for advocates, activists, policy makers, journalists, artists, and organizers - anyone who is committed to building racial equity in their community and is passionate about advancing racial justice through committed and accountable partnerships with communities of color
New Publications and Resources
  • Act4JJ has started a new COVID-19 resource page where new resources will be continually added regarding best practices for youth during COVID-19.

CJJ invites you to share news from your SAG, organization, state, or region! Inclusion and editing of submissions are subject to CJJ editorial guidelines. 
The Juvenile Justice Monitor is brought to you by staff and volunteer leaders of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, and supported by membership fees paid by CJJ's State Advisory Group Members, Members at Large, Organizational Members, and allies. We are grateful to all for their ongoing support. 

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