JJ Monitor
August 2015
On July 23rd, by a voice vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved  S. 1169 , the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 2015. During the  hearing , Senators Grassley and Whitehouse both mentioned the Coalition for Juvenile Justice's work in support of this bill.
More than seven years overdue for reauthorization, the JJDPA is the only federal statute that sets out national standards for the custody and care of youth in the juvenile justice system and provides direction and support for state juvenile justice system improvements.

S. 1169 would build upon these national standards by:
  • Reducing the placement of youth in adult jails pre-trial;
  • Providing more structure to the law's requirement to decrease racial and ethnic disparities;
  • Phasing out exceptions that allow the detention of youth who have engaged in status offense behaviors;
  • Promoting the use of alternatives to incarceration;
  • Calling for the implementation of trauma-informed, evidence-based practices;
  • Improving conditions and educational services for incarcerated youth; and
  • Increasing accountability for states receiving funding under the Act.
In addition to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the bill is co-sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The bill will next go to the Senate floor for a full vote. It could be voted on by the Senate after the summer recess. To learn more about this and other federal policy, please sign up for CJJ's monthly Federal Policy Update.
CJJ Announcements
Webinar: Police, Youth, and Community Relations
Recent events have highlighted the need to engage young people in efforts to strengthen relations between police, youth, and communities. The Center for Court Innovation's  Youth Justice Board studied police-youth relations and released a new report with recommendations to improve public safety and restore trust.

Please join CJJ for a webinar on " Police, Youth, and Community Relations: Improving Outcomes and Restoring Trust through Youth Voice" on Wednesday, August 26 at 3:00 pm EST.

Participants will learn how police and youth can work together to improve policing, police-youth contact, and diversion programming. Participants will learn about the Board's policy goals, how it formed its recommendations, and how young people can be meaningfully engaged in improving relations with police in their communities.

Presenters include  Linda Baird, Associate Director of Youth Justice Programs at Center for Court Innovation, as well as various members of the Youth Justice Board.

Register here! This webinar is the first in a series of CJJ webinars on police, youth, and community relations.
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 and 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
  • Adolescent Brain Development 
  • Evidence-Based Practices
  • Status offenses
  • Family and Youth Involvement
  • Promising Practices or Program Spotlights
If interested, please contact Katie Mercier at for more details.
Op Ed: Juvenile Justice Reform: No Longer a Partisan Issue
CJJ Executive Director Marie Williams penned an op-ed in the Crime Report entitled, "Juvenile Justice Reform: No Longer a Partisan Issue." She discussed the recent bipartisan vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee to send the JJDPA to the Senate floor. She writes, "There is a growing consensus that the best way to begin to empty the prisons of tomorrow is by refining and retooling the juvenile justice system to focus on producing positive outcomes for youth, families and communities today." Click here to read the full op-ed. 
Article: The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a Public Health Issue
CJJ Deputy Executive Director Lisa Pilnik wrote an piece for  City Match's journal,  City Lights. CityMatch is a national membership organization of city and county health departments' maternal and child health (MCH) programs and leaders representing urban communities in the United States. The article, entitled "The School to Prison Pipeline: Incarceration Replacing Education is a Public Health Issue" is available  here
Op Ed: Justice System Must Not Worsen Harsh Realities of Life for LGBT Youth
CJJ National Vice Chair George Timberlake wrote a piece for YouthToday entitled, "Justice System Must Not Worsen Harsh Realities of Life for LGBT Youth." He discusses the need for risk assessment tools that are responsive to the challenges faced by LGBT youth. He says, " Most important to the perception and reality of procedural justice is judicial leadership in refusing to tolerate name-calling, joking and discrimination against LGBT youth by anyone in the justice system. Judicial leadership is necessary to find and use LGBT-compatible services and providers." Click here to read the full op-ed. 
Blog Post: Positive Education Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth
Ashley Sawyer of the Stoneleigh Foundation and the Education Law Center (ELC) authored a blog post for CJJ Today. She writes about her experiences during her fellowship at ELC and their efforts to ensure that youth in juvenile justice facilities receive a quality education. Click here to read, "Collaboration between Advocates, Facilities, and Government to Achieve Positive Education Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth."
Tribal Youth and the Juvenile Justice System
CJJ's brief, "American Indian/Alaska Native Youth & Status Offense Disparities: A Call For Tribal Initiatives, Coordination & Federal Funding," written with the Tribal Law and Policy Institute was released last month. The brief, which uses data from the National Center on Juvenile Justice, has been mentioned in news stories from Colorlines and NPR. Click here to read the brief.
Congratulations to CJJ's National Youth Chair 
CJJ congratulates our National Youth Chair, Symone Sanders, on being named National Press Secretary for Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.  For the last few years, in her role as National Youth Chair, Symone has helped us bring youth engagement to the forefront of the national conversation around juvenile justice. Symone and the National Youth Committee also helped plan three extremely successful Juvenile Justice Youth Summits, which brought together emerging leaders from across the country for skill-building and learning on juvenile justice issues.  Congratulations Symone!
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Join CJJ as a member today! 
Member and Partner News
CJJ's State Advisory Groups (SAGs), Individual, and Organizational Members
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations from our members. Learn more about our membership. 
Member Spotligh t: Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group 
The Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) just released its 2015 DMC report, " Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System." The data analysis, performed by the Muskie School of Public Service, was mixed method for the first time in Maine history.
A qualitative component was introduced in the 2015 analysis to include conversations with youth and families of color about their perception of the juvenile justice system. It revealed a series of issues which previous reports had not reflected, including:
  • Limited legal understanding,
  • Difficult relationships with attorneys,
  • A general sentiment that youth of color were unfairly targeted, and
  • A recognition that youth of color, while critical of the system that punished them, also widely accepted responsibility for their actions.
The information garnered from this report has proved invaluable in shaping Maine's response to DMC issues moving forward. Previous initiatives have been driven by the high arrest rates and other quantitative data of previous reports.  A new emphasis will be on addressing the needs of Maine's refugee population, a group whose struggles were particularly highlighted by the 2015 report.
With this new information, JJAG is initiating a contract with Strategies for Youth to provide programming aimed at community education and police-youth interactions. Starting this fall, Strategies for Youth training will take place in two of Maine's refugee-resettlement cities.
As they gain more information about the specific needs of youth of color, JJAG will work to create programming that more efficiently responds to this group's needs in the juvenile justice system. The 2015 DMC report and Maine's  response to it is only another step in the ongoing conversation of improving fairness and outcomes for Maine youth.
New Hampshire Completes Development of a Learning Program for Youth in the Justice System
The Manchester, New Hampshire DMC Committee has just completed the videos and content for their juvenile training program. "The Mirror Project" was developed to provide a learning event for youth to improve their outcomes when they interact with law enforcement. New Hampshire has already trained more than 130 police officers in an "Effective Police Interactions With Youth" training.
A few years ago a group of youths attended the Manchester DMC Committee Meeting as the topic of this Police Training was being discussed.   When the youths were asked, "If a police officer stopped you and said, 'Let me see your hands,' what would you do?" The youths responded in unison: "What for?" 
That was the catalyst for developing Effective Youth Interactions With Police, which is intended to "mirror" the training that the police receive. The free, one hour training program is now available to the Manchester, NH School District and in state community service agencies.  Police officers in NH will be certified to deliver this training as requested. Moving forward, the New Hampshire State Advisory Group will decide if it will be offered outside of the state.
Losing A Generation: The Truth About Juvenile Justice Documentary
CJJ Youth Member Avani Bahl has created a documentary, " Losing A Generation: The Truth About Juvenile Justice." She hopes that the documentary can be used to create change in her community. You can read on her website, how she got involved in juvenile justice reform and more about her most recent reform efforts. 
Blog Post: Much Needed Reform Comes in New Juvenile Justice Bill
Alton Pitre, a CJJ Youth Member, co-wrote a blog post for FirstFocus entitled, "Much Needed Reform Comes in New Juvenile Justice Bill." He discusses the JJDPA's strong bipartisan support and writes, "Let's keep fighting and hope that our U.S. Congress votes to repair our juvenile justice system, ultimately enriching the lives of our young children and adults." Click here to read the full blog post.  
Center for Coordinated Assistance to States
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS).
Applications for Juvenile Diversion and Multi-System Integration Certificate Programs
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy is accepting applications for two certificate programs. First, the 8th Annual Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: Multi-System Integration Certificate Program will take place in Washington, DC from October 29-November 4, 2015. The program will instruct participants on how to improve outcomes for youth known to both the child welfare and juvenile justice system through a multi-disciplinary approach that highlights integration and collaboration. Applications are due by August 21, 2015.

The application window for the 2015 Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program is open through September 18, 2015. The program will be held December 15 - 18, 2015 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center. The Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program was created in partnership with the Juvenile Law Center and National League of Cities following publication of the Juvenile Diversion Guidebook. Its goal is to bring together individuals and teams of law enforcement officers, probation staff, prosecutors, school officials, judges, policymakers, and other local leaders committed to strengthening their diversion efforts.
Models for Change
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of th Models for Change Initiative of th e  MacArthur Foundation.
NCJFCJ Passes Resolution for Juvenile Shackling Reform
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)  passed a resolution on the shackling of children in juvenile court. The resolution calls for the "advancement of a trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate approach to juvenile justice that limits the use of shackles in court." NCJFCJ also published  "Juvenile Shackling Reform: The Judicial Role in Ensuring Trauma-Informed Courts and Why States Are Rethinking Restraints" in their Juvenile and Family Court Journal. In the article, In the article, Judge Donna Quigley Groman discusses how judges are "responsible for safeguarding the rights of young people who appear in court" and reviews several jurisdictions that have limited the practice of shackling. Click here for the full article. 
National League of Cities Releases New Issue Brief
The National League of Cities recently released an issue brief entitled, " Alternatives to Arrest for Young People." The brief highlights cities that are using clear, objective protocols that direct police officers to make evidence-based, developmentally-appropriate decisions in their interactions with youth. Learn more about the brief on the NLC website.
National Center for Juvenile Justice Updates Juvenile Justice GPS
The  National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) has released a new racial and ethnic fairness section of the  Juvenile Justice GPS-Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics (JJGPS). This website features national and state information on state laws and juvenile justice practices to help policymakers and stakeholders chart system change. The new section on racial and ethnic fairness explores the increasing diversity of the youth population, including the different state and local approaches to monitoring racial and ethnic fairness. This content area also discusses transparency in the state reporting of racial and ethnic fairness vital signs, as well as recent trends in resources for advancing the issue with state level coordinators. 
National Juvenile Justice Network
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the National Juvenile Justice Network  and its members. 
NJJN Takes Stand Against Confining Youth For Profit
The National Juvenile Justice Network has just released its latest policy platform, "Confining Youth for Profit." The platform highlights the serious risks that for-profit prisons pose not just to young people's health, rehabilitation, and future success, but also to the public good. The for-profit youth confinement incentive structure works against the goal of healthy development and successful re-entry for youth by encouraging their incarceration and the minimization of needed services. NJJN recommends an immediate end to the use of for-profit youth confinement facilities. You can download the platform here.
DOJ Report: Racial Discrimination & Failure of Due Process Among Constitutional Violations in St. Louis Family Court
Following a nearly two-year investigation, the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division has released a report documenting "a number of constitutional violations" in the St. Louis County Family Court. Their most serious findings included the failure to provide adequate counsel to young people in trouble with the law, the failure of due process, and the disparate treatment of Black youth at four key points of contact with the justice system. Click here to read the full story.
Virginia's New Guidelines Call for Shorter Lengths of Stay
On August 3, Virginia's Board of Justice voted in favor of new length of stay guidelines for young people in confinement in Virginia's youth justice system. The new guidelines reduce the amount of time young people are required to spend in lockup and provide guidance for length of stay to be determined based on individual needs and risk. Reduced stays in lockup are in step with the latest national research, which has generally concluded that incarceration of young people does not reduce recidivism, and can in many cases be counterproductive. Click here to read the full story.
Other News and Announcements
The following events, publications, and questionnaires related to federal juvenile justice policy have occurred in the last month:
  • Congressman Tony C├írdenas penned an op-ed in Roll Call on juvenile life without parole. In July, he introduced H.R. 382, which aims to eliminate juvenile life without parole sentences.
  • On July 22, the White House hosted Rethink School Discipline, a national convening improving school discipline policies and practices. The convening was highlighted in this blog post.
  • President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors' released a new report entitled, "Economic Costs of Youth Disadvantage and High-Return Opportunities for Change."
  • OJJDP's Model Programs Guide has added three literature reviews.
The National Council on Crime & Delinquency issued a process evaluation of a California anti-violence program that engages with shooters to reduce gun violence and improve social outcomes. Learn more
M+R Strategic Services is collecting short videos of people answering three questions about why they care about juvenile justice reform. Contact Marjory Garrison for more information.
Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families (GCYF) has announced the annual Fred Rogers Leadership Award in Philanthropy for Children, Youth, and Families. For information on the nominations process, click  here.
The following news articles on juvenile justice and related issues appeared over the last month:
CJJ invites you to share news from your SAG, organization, state, or region! Inclusion and editing of submissions are subject to CJJ editorial guidelines.