February 2019
Reframing our perception of young people in the juvenile justice system
On any given day, more than 45,000 young people are detained in the U.S. juvenile justice system. On Wednesday, February 6 the Justice Programs Office, in partnership with the School of Public Affairs at American University, Georgetown Law’s Juvenile Justice Initiative, and the Campaign for Youth Justice, invited artists, experts, and advocates to reflect on the scope and impact of juvenile incarceration.
During the photo exhibit, award-winning photographer and writer, Richard Ross gave a powerful keynote address during which he discussed his most recent work, “Juvenile in Justice” photo series. His exhibit featured American youth confined in facilities where they are treated, assisted, punished, and, sometimes, harmed.
Moved by the exhibit, JPO Director Kim Ball writes in her blog, “Ross’ sobering photographs brings the images and stories of young people in the juvenile justice system to wider audiences. His photographs help to deepen and extend the conversation about our perceptions of who these young people are and raise national and international awareness about the juvenile justice system and the long-term impacts of what it means to be part of that system.”
Introducing Leola Abraham
We are excited to introduce Leola Abraham, JPO’s Associate Director for Communications. She is a senior communications practitioner with 18 years of experience working with organizations to deliver communications strategies that build awareness for global and domestic campaigns and manage organizational reputations. Leola has supported federal and local government, not-for-profit, and private sector clients. Her communications expertise includes: public relations, media relations, strategy development, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications, brand management, and project management. Her subject expertise includes: environmental and social justice campaigns and community engagement. 
JPO on the Opioid Crisis
Every day more than 130 people in the United States die due to an opioid overdose. Many people suffering from opioid use disorder end up in our nation’s jails and prisons. Continuing its important work to develop resources and inform the field about the devastating effects of the ongoing opioid crisis, the Justice Programs Office is pleased to announce the release of a new issue brief that discusses the causes, effects, and steps being taken to address the opioid crisis.
On February 22, JPO Director Ball will speak to how this crisis intersects with the criminal justice system on the Rethinking the Role of the Criminal Justice System in the Opioid Crisis panel (2:10pm – 3:10pm) at The Opioid Crisis: Rethinking Policy and Law conference. To view the agenda and register for this School of Public Affairs and Washington College of Law sponsored event, click here
MOSAICS Grantee Meeting and Boot Camp
This month JPO Director Kim Ball; Zoë Root, Senior Policy Counsel; and Megan Ward, Research Specialist II, attended the Office for Victims of Crime’s (OVC) 2019 Human Trafficking Grantee Meeting and Boot Camp to gear up for JPO’s new initiative called Maximizing OVC's Survivor Assistance in Court Settings (MOSAICS). MOSAICS is an initiative to provide training and technical assistance to justice personnel on how best to identify and provide assistance to survivors of human trafficking in court settings. The OVC meeting was an informative, and an excellent opportunity for the JPO to meet other Technical Training and Assistance (TTA) and service providers. Zoë’s presentation to the 200 attendees about MOSAICS’ services was met with excitement from multiple interested jurisdictions.  
“What’s the Story?”
Reflection: The Marshall Project Monthly Speakers Series and the Power of Media
This past fall, The Marshall Project launched, “What’s the Story?”, a monthly speaker series that highlights how narratives and media impact criminal justice policies and practices. JPO Director Ball; Leola Abraham, Associate Director for Communications; and Genevieve Citrin Ray, Senior Policy Advisor, attended the latest speaker series featuring Tayari Jones, Piper Kerman, and David Simon. Following the event, Citrin Ray reflects on the power of media and how it shapes the criminal justice narrative, particularly that of public defense. In her blog, she poses several questions for the field to ponder. Questions such as, “Is it possible to change existing narratives or do we need to tell entirely new stories? Are we doing enough to tell real stories that counteract this narrative?”
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Visit the JPO blog to read weekly posts from our staff on issues ranging from right to counsel and juvenile justice to treatment courts.