JJ Monitor
March 2020
A Message From Our National Chair

The Coalition for Juvenile Justice is taking seriously the threat of COVID-19. We are practicing social distancing, with staff working from home and limitations placed on travel. We recognize, however, the importance of continuing social connection and remain committed to making ourselves available for our members and allies.

"Do not go in to 'social isolation' which can lead to fear and depression. Use your technology to stay 'socially connected' and use your 'social capitol' to help yourself, your friends, and your loved ones make it through this crisis," said Pastor Edward Palmer, CJJ National Chair.
Reducing the Impact of COVID-19 on Youth in the Justice System
In recent weeks, a public health crisis has unfolded across our country which will require unprecedented actions to contain. As federal, state, and local governments plan their responses to COVID-19 and attempt to slow the spread of the virus, it is essential that we keep in mind the impact that this emergency 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.

In a statement from the Act4JJ Coalition, CJJ and our allies urge responses that bring youth home whenever possible instead of keeping them in detention facilities where disease can spread rapidly. We further recommend that states and communities provide virtual opportunities for counseling services, probation appointments and education. We call on Congress to provide funding to ensure that young people in the justice system do not become victims of this pandemic are not overlooked during this emergency.

"We have long known that detention centers pose potential dangers to our young people. That is true now more than ever. The safer alternative for our young people and communities is to bring them home with their families," said CJJ Executive Director Naomi Smoot Evans.

To read the full statement here. To join our collaborative online conversation about COVID-19 and share resources with other allies, please email armstrong@juvjustice.org.
10 Self-Care Tips for a Stressful Time

Author: Tracey Wells-Huggins is CJJ's Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Chair and is a member of New Jersey's State Advisory Group.

1. Listen to your body! As a Somatics Practitioner, it is important that I have you understand that we are holding things within our soma/bodies that can lead to an immuno-compromised state. Rest and disengage when you need to! Breathe deeply, often, and intentionally.

2. Do something for your peace of mind and increased positive energy. Pray, meditate, do yoga, do calisthenics, take a walk. Data indicates that 10-15 minutes of dedicated activities like these daily are incredible effective for stress relief.

3. Limit social media, especially in the first hour of your waking day.

4. Get enough sleep! Disconnect! Again, I say, BREATHE!

5. Declutter and clean your key areas: Desks, closets, those "junk" drawers almost everyone has somewhere in the house. It's cleansing! 

6. Read some great books. As the uber geek that I have always been, there is absolutely NOTHING like turning pages to soothe my nerves. However, I have found that audiobooks can be a great asset, too. Whichever you prefer, do it.

7. Make room for simple fun. You determine what that looks like for you and rock out!

8. Love on one another! Cuddle when you can! Observe social distancing practices with common sense, please. When safely at home, love heartily to help sustain one another.
9. Re-assess the things YOU value in life.

10. Celebrate each day! While there are so many things seemingly beyond our control, let's control the things we can: our thought life and the things we speak over our lives, loved ones, and circumstances. As any anxiety attempts to creep in, hold fast to your faith. Speak life, abundance, and health over yourselves and your loved ones often.
Upcoming Webinars
Engaging Policymakers: How Youth Advocates are Leading State Juvenile Justice Reform
March 20, 2020 at 3 p.m. Eastern

Engaging policymakers, advocating for legislative changes, and reforming systems can be difficult, especially when there are significant barriers including incarceration. While at Green Hill School, a state-run detention facility in Washington, a group of young men have played an integral role in state juvenile justice reform. Since March 2018, this group of young men has helped pass bills that extend juvenile court jurisdiction to age 25, remove the auto-decline requirement, phase out the placement of youth charged with status offenses in detention facilities, and increase the use of community-based alternatives and enrichment opportunities in place of confinement. 

This legislative season they are focusing on a bill that will provide the opportunity for youth who were automatically sentenced as an adult to be re-sentenced as a youth in the juvenile justice system. The young men believe this bill will be effective in tackling the internal issues of the justice system by letting youth who are charged as an adult to be treated as a youth and not as adults. 

During this webinar, the young advocates from Green Hill School will present their impressive story of engagement with policymakers in Washington State and how they were able to effect change. Attendees will learn about the importance of advocacy within the juvenile justice system and how State Advisory Groups and adult partners can support youth advocates, especially those currently involved in the system. 

Aaron Toleafoa , Emerging Leaders Committee Chair, Coalition for Juvenile Justice; Member, Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice
Guillermo Padilla, ELC Member
Joseph Huntley, ELC Member
Edgar Calixto, ELC Member
Garrett Comer, ELC Member

This webinar is free for CJJ members. To become a member, click  here .
To register, click  here
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. Thesegroups, 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
Want to see news that's important to you in the CJJ Members and Partners section? 

Join CJJ as a member today!
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: Arizona
Pinal County, Arizona is strengthening relationships between law enforcement and community members to reduce arrests for youth of color.
In Arizona, Pinal County Juvenile Court Services (JCS) and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) have been collaboratively working towards reducing racial and ethnic disparities at the point of arrest by strengthening relationships between community members and law enforcement. In 2017, JCS completed a comprehensive analysis of racial and ethnic disparities throughout the system from arrest to disposition. They found the greatest disparity was at the point of the arrest for African American youth. African American youth were being arrested at more than 3 times the rate of white youth. After further analysis, JCS identified which cities and neighborhoods had the highest arrest rates for African American youth and shared this information with the county sheriff. Leadership from both agencies agreed that action needed to be taken.  

In 2018, JCS and PCSO brought system and community partners together for a collaborative meeting to discuss what was contributing to disproportionately high arrest rates for youth of color and how members of the systems and communities could work together to create solutions. There were over 40 participants including representation from the bench, local behavioral health agencies, Board of Supervisors, Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, Home Owners’ Associations (HOA), County Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders’ Office, and local school districts. The group reviewed crime maps and statistics, discussed identified disparities and potential contributing factors, and ultimately decided that in order to create sustainable change, relationships between community members of color and law enforcement needed to be strengthened. Local law enforcement needed to get to know the children and families in their jurisdictions, and vice versa, so there could be mutual trust and respect.

The group who attended that first meeting became the planning committee for Community Outreach Events (CORE), a collaborative effort to put on community events in neighborhoods with high arrest rates for youth of color with the goal of providing opportunities for youth and families to build and strengthen relationships with local law enforcement.

The CORE Planning Committee, led by JCS and PCSO, put on four events in four different neighborhoods in 2019. Every event had over 1,000 community members in attendance. There were face painters, bounce houses, recreational activities, and raffles. Attendees were given “police officer autograph cards” and had to introduce themselves to local police officers and obtain their signatures which could then be redeemed for raffle tickets. Culinary students from a local community college barbecued all day and provided free meals to all attendees.

Overall, the events were incredibly successful and brought out even more community members than the planning committee had planned for. The collaborative planning process resulted in events that belonged to the community and resembled neighborhood block parties. Local police officers were playing basketball with kids, talking to families about issues in their neighborhoods, and learning more about the people they serve in their jurisdictions.  
The 2019 events were just the beginning. The CORE Planning Committee is already identifying which neighborhoods to go to next in 2020. Pinal County still has a lot of work to do as they continue their mission to eradicate racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice. Data does suggest, however, that they are heading in the right direction. Since the implementation of CORE, there has been a 15% decrease in all juvenile arrests and a 28% decrease in African American juvenile arrests county-wide. Furthermore, there has been a 27% decrease in all juvenile arrests and a 38% decrease in African American juvenile arrests in the targeted areas where community events have taken place. Pinal County expects to see greater reductions in arrest rates for youth of color as they continue to strengthen relationships between community members and law enforcement in more neighborhoods across the county in 2020. 
Q&A With Emerging Leaders Committee Member Kristen Powell
Throughout the next several months, CJJ will be highlighting individual members of our Emerging Leaders Committee.

Kristen Powell is a 2020 ELC member from Wichita, KS.

Q: Why did you join CJJ’s Emerging Leaders Committee?
A: I joined CJJ because I saw it as a good opportunity to use my own personal experiences and challenges that I endured as a youth to create positive change and make a difference for youth who will be affected by these systems in the future.

Q: What does juvenile justice reform mean to you?
A: To me Juvenile Justice reform is about creating change that will benefit the youth who are served by the juvenile justice system. Change can be created in every avenue of the criminal justice system from the moment they are arrested and how they are treated by the officer, in the courtroom, the court processes
and in policies and laws that impact courtroom and sentencing structure.

Q: If you could change one thing in the system, what would it be?
A: I would change the way the jails and prisons are structured for juveniles, their time spent in these jails needs to be beneficial to their healing journey, their trauma needs to be addressed, and positive rehabilitation needs to occur for all youth. Staff in juvenile facilities have so many opportunities to impact the youth’s lives, make sure they are equipped to face society after they are released and to prevent them from entering into the adult system. We should not be treating youth like inmates in a jail we should be recognizing that they are kids who were dealt a
bad hand and had to make choices that kids should NOT have to make.

Q: What advice do you want to share with other young emerging leaders?
A: Keep fighting for what you believe in and keep being a voice for those who do not have a voice because the work will always be worth the reward even small successes are wins. Bystanders do not create change!

Q: What is on fun fact about you?
A: I love DIY crafts, a couple of the crafts I have done around my house are making things like a Christmas wreath, a dream catcher, a hairbow frame and a rose mobile.
Georgetown University Launches New Youth in Custody Certificate Program
The Youth in Custody Certificate Program is designed to help leaders implement or accelerate systemic change to improve outcomes for youth in custodial settings. Most efforts to date have focused on ensuring that low and moderate-risk youth are not committed to juvenile justice facilities. Less attention has been paid to best practices for serving the high-risk youth who are in the custody of the juvenile justice system. Also, while research has shown the juvenile justice field “what works” for this population, it is often difficult for juvenile justice systems to reform their practices to be in line with best practices.

The training provides an interactive and dynamic learning environment with instruction from national experts on cutting edge ideas, policies and practices from across the country. Specifically, the program focuses on the serious, high-risk juvenile offender population and utilizes modules that review and integrate best practices around culture change and leadership, addressing racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and trauma-informed treatment services, strength-based approaches and reentry planning and support.

To learn more and apply, click here .
Other News and Announcements
Events and Trainings
  • 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.

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.

  • The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) will host their annual National Conference on Juvenile Justice on March 22-25, 2020 in Pittsburgh, PA at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. This conference will explore gaps in services, discover new and improved practices, share cutting edge research, and motivate participants to explore positive case outcomes for youth involved in the delinquency system.

New Publications and Resources

  • A case study explored the consequences of fines and fees in the juvenile system in Dane County, WI. The report recommends ending all fines and fees and revising how community service is used as an alternative to restitution.

  • Florin | Roebig Trial Attorneys created a guide on how discrimination affects the LGBTQ+ community.
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
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