JJ Monitor
April 2015


Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing "to examine improving accountability and oversight of juvenile justice grants" on April 21st at 10:00am ET. The hearing is being held in response to questions that were posed by Sen. Grassley about compliance in several states. CJJ will live tweet from the hearing and encourages members to retweet and share information about the proceedings with their colleagues in the juvenile justice field. Individuals and organizations are able to submit comments to be entered into the record through April 28. 


Last week, CJJ published a report about this topic entitled, "Funding at 40: Fulfilling the JJDPA's Core Requirements in an Era of Dwindling Resources." The report delves into the JJDPA's core requirements, along with other federal funding programs. It outlines how different states use Title II, Title V, and Juvenile Accountability Block Grants (JABG) funds. It also goes into detail about the cost to states for complying with the requirements of the JJDPA. Additionally, it examines the path forward with respect to federal funding, as well as how juvenile justice was funded in the past. Click here to read the full report. 

Additionally, CJJ Executive Director Marie Williams penned an op ed in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange about why the JJDPA Matters. In the article, she urges Congress to re-introduce the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and fully fund the states in their efforts to improve their juvenile justice systems. Click 
here to read the full article. 

CJJ Announcements
2015 Annual Conference

The 2015 CJJ Annual Conference, "At the Forefront: Emerging Challenges and Solutions to Reforming Juvenile Justice," will take place on June 10-13 at The Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The conference will be co-hosted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Click here for the draft agenda.


Register today! CJJ has added more rooms to the room block at The Omni Shoreham Hotel at the group rate of $199/night+tax. To make your reservation, please click here or call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) and mention that you are part of the "CJJ" room block. Unfortunately, the room block is filling up quickly and we can not guarantee room availability throughout the registration period. If you have any issues with respect to the room block, please contact Lisa Pilnik at


Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available at the 2015 CJJ Annual Conference. You can find out more about the various levels of sponsorship and exhibiting and apply here


If you have any questions about the Annual Conference, please contact us at

2015 Youth Summit

CJJ and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) are co-hosting the 2015 Juvenile Justice Youth Summit, "The Time is Now: Creating Change with Young Emerging Leaders." The Summit, which is aimed at emerging leaders (individuals ages 17-25 interested in juvenile justice reform), will take place July 23-24 at the 20 F Street Conference Center in Washington, DC.


Register by April 30 to get the early bird discount rate of just $65! Click here to register. CJJ has a room block reserved at The Liaison Hotel for $189/night. To make your reservation you can call (866) 233-4642 or click here. Please reference the "Coalition for Juvenile Justice" group when making reservations or provide the code: 15CJJ.


CJJ has also launched a new Emerging Leaders Scholarship Fund, which will offer a limited number of scholarships for youth to participate in the Youth Summit. Click here to learn more about the application process. Applications are due Friday, May 1 at 11:59pm ET. Click here if you would like to contribute to the Scholarship Fund. 


CJJ wants your help designing the t-shirt for the Youth Summit! Click here to view the guidelines for the contest. The winner will receive a $500 stipend. All entries are due by Friday, May 15 at 12:00pm ET. 


If you have questions about the Youth Summit, contact Jonathan Litt at

Webinar: How to Make Your Legislative Visit a Success

On April 22nd, CJJ and its Government Relations Committee will host a training webinar, "Improving Your Advocacy Skills: How to Make Your Legislative Visit a Success." The webinar will give key pointers for Capitol Hill visits and an overview of the rules of what does and does not constitute lobbying. This webinar is open to CJJ members and allies, though preference in registration will be given to members.


This webinar is essential for those planning to participate in CJJ's Hill Day on June 10 at the 2015 Annual ConferenceThe training webinar's presenters include: 

Click here to register for the training webinar! If you have any questions about Hill Day, please contact Naomi Smoot at 202-467-0864, ext. 109 or     

Webinar: LGBT & Gender-Nonconforming Youth in Juvenile Justice

Many juvenile justice systems don't know how many young people in their system identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender-nonconforming (LGBT/GNC) and often lack appropriate services and placements that meet the unique needs of LGBT/GNC youth. Juvenile justice systems can take several steps to ensure that these youth are treated fairly and with respect. 


Please join CJJ for a webinar on "LGBT & Gender-Nonconforming Youth in Juvenile Justice: Building an Equitable System with Data, Training, and Policy" on Wednesday, April 29 at 3:00pm ET. This webinar will provide an overview of issues that LGBT/GNC youth experience in the juvenile justice system, including newly released data from the National Council on Crime & Delinquency. Participants will learn how data collection practices, staff training, and anti-discrimination policies can help build an equitable juvenile justice system for LGBT/GNC youth.


Presenters include:

Register here!

Submit Your Nomination for the CJJ Executive Board

CJJ is still accepting nominations for members of the CJJ Executive Board. Executive Board members represent the interests of CJJ's members, set CJJ's organizational strategy, mission and goals, oversee the financial and legal affairs of CJJ, and ensure the steady and sustainable growth of the organization. The positions to be elected in June include:

  • Vice Chair/Chair Elect (must be a State Advisory Group member)
  • Midwest Region Representative
  • Southern Region Representative
  • Northeast Region Representative
  • Western Region Representative
  • National DMC Coordinator (must be a state DMC Coordinator)

The deadline to submit your nominations is April 22. Click here for the nomination form. Please contact Lisa Pilnik at with any questions.  

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Member and Partner News
CJJ's State Advisory Groups (SAGs) and Organizational Members
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations from our State Advisory Groups and Organizational Members. Learn more about our membership. 

Member Spotlight: Colorado Focuses on LGBTQI Youth

In December 2014, the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections implemented a new policy to ensure fair and safe environments for LGBQTI youth. To launch this work, the state drew on experience with PREA training on LGBQTI youth and required all staff to complete online education. Additionally, the Division of Youth Corrections is working with other divisions to obtain certification through the Human Rights CampaignAll Children-All Families LGBT Certification process. It will require ongoing and enhanced training, several non-discrimination practices, family resources, and more. Staff from the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Council, the Colorado State Advisory Group, have also reached out to the Human Rights Campaign to explore potential ways that the Council can support this important work across Colorado.

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).

Solicitation for Two New Certificate Programs

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS) have issued a Request for Applications for the annual Youth in Custody Certificate Program. This program provides an intensive learning experience for leaders seeking to improve outcomes for their serious, high-risk juvenile offenders in post-adjudication custody.  Subsidies through CCAS are available for jurisdictions that show a heightened readiness to utilize the curriculum and to undertake changes in their correctional facilities and secure residential programs. Applications are due April 17. Apply here!


CJJR and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) are also accepting applications for their inaugural School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program: Fostering Success for Youth at Risk. This program provides an intensive learning experience to prepare school and district staff, court professionals, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and other child-serving community leaders with the knowledge and understanding necessary to address the immediate and long term needs of students known to, or at risk of entering, the juvenile justice system. Subsidies through CCAS are available for jurisdictions that show a heightened readiness to utilize the curriculum to undertake changes in their local schools, school districts, and juvenile justice systems. Applications are due July 10. Apply here!

Webinar: Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program

On April 22, the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) will host a webinar on its Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program. The webinar will be an overview of the 2015 certificate program, which will be conducted by CJJR and the Center for Children's Law and Policy (CCLP) from August 3-7. CJJR will also answer questions about program-specific information, application guidelines, tuition, and available subsidies. Click here to register.

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.

Legislative Reforms in Juvenile Detention and the Justice System

The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) recently published "Legislative Reforms in Juvenile Detention and the Justice System." This brief examines legislative reforms that aim to reduce detention and promote community-based alternatives. It also explores the vast cost savings that these alternatives provide to states, how states are approaching their work in DMC, and how they are improving conditions of confinement. 

New Resources on Trauma and Juvenile Justice 

The Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change has created new resources on trauma and the juvenile justice system. This resource package addresses:

  • How psychological trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder affect youth and families,
  • Why youth in the juvenile justice system are especially at risk for problems with traumatic stress,
  • What constitutes trauma-informed services within juvenile justice systems,
  • The benefits and challenges associated with a trauma-informed juvenile justice system, and
  • Critical resources for youth, families, and juveniles.

Additionally, the Collaborative for Change's "In Their Own Words" video shares how to identify youth who have been exposed to traumatic experiences and what interventions are most appropriate for working with these youth. 

The Effects of Adolescent Development on Policing
The International Association of Chiefs of Police has published, "The Effects of Adolescent Development on Policing." The brief highlights the basic principles behind adolescent brain development and how it can impact interactions between youth and police. The report also suggests strategies that can improve law enforcement relations with youth.
SOS Project
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the Safety, Opportunity and Success (SOS) Project
New CJJ Report Finds Incarceration for Status Offenses Still Widespread
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange published an article about CJJ's new resource, "Status Offenses: A National Survey." CJJ's Senior Policy Associate Naomi Smoot discusses why youth who commit status offenses should be kept out of detention: "Often, there's something either going on at home or an undiagnosed disability, for example, that causes a child to fall behind in school. There are better community-based responses and we say, as an organization, incarceration is never an appropriate response." Click here to read the full article.

New Tribal Legal Code Resource

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute recently released, "A Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Juvenile Delinquency and Status Offense Law." The brief is designed to help tribal nations reform their juvenile justice systems and should be used to spur productive policy and planning discussions. It includes sample statutory language and commentary. The brief focuses on both delinquency and status offense laws and offers advice for groups wishing to create specialty courts. 

Webinar Recording: Status Offense Reform

Last month, the National Conference of State Legislators held a webinar on status offense reform. Speakers from the Vera Institute of Justice, Citizens for Juvenile Justice (Massachusetts), and the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts discussed state legislative status offense reforms and the impact such policies have on juvenile populations and practitioners. You can watch the recording of the webinar here

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. 

West Virginia Passes Truancy Reform Bill Authored by NJJN Member

The West Virginia legislature recently passed a bill (H.B. 2550) to reform the state's response to truancy. In West Virginia, truancy is deeply tied to high rates of youth incarceration. Read more about the new bill here.

Texas Member's Complaint Prompts DOJ Investigation of Dallas County Courts

In March, the Department of Justice announced that it will be conducting an investigation into Dallas County's juvenile and truancy courts, based on complaints filed by Texas Appleseed (an NJJN member). The organization contends that Dallas County courts routinely operate in ways that violate young people's constitutional rights, including failure to provide adequate counsel and failure to adequately accommodate youth with disabilities. Read the full story here.

Meet The Fellows: Christy Sampson-Kelly

This week, NJJN spoke with Youth Justice Leadership Institute fellow Christy Sampson-Kelly about her work developing trainings for secure-care staff to better relate to youth with disabilities inside secure facilities. The trainings will help families of incarcerated youth better understand their rights when it comes to their confined children. Read the full interview here.

Other News and Announcements

The National Institute of Justice is hosting a webinar about the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (CSSI). Register here.

Fostering Media Connections will host a webinar on Positive Youth Justice. Register here

The Attorney General's Task Force on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence released their final report: "Ending Violence so Children Can Thrive."

The Youth Transition Funders Group posted a blog entitled: "When It Comes to Youth Justice, A Look Abroad Could Teach Us Lessons." 
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service announced that youth violence continues to decline to a 33 year low. According to OJJDP, the number of offenders in residential facilities hit its lowest point since 1975, but one in five facilities remains overcrowded. Read more here
The National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk released a tip sheet: "Creating and Maintaining Good Relationships Between Juvenile Justice and Education Agencies." 

The Washington Post published: "District Juveniles Will No Longer Be Routinely Shackled in Court."

PBS published a photo essay on "Life Inside a Juvenile Detention Center for Girls" and an article that focuses on the Justice Department probe on the School to Prison Pipeline. 

The New York Times Editorial Board published: "Backing Away From Zero Tolerance."

The Economist published: "Children in Adult Jails."

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth published a blog post entitled: "U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Miller Retroactivity Case."

Reclaiming Futures has named  Evan Elkin their new National Executive Director. Read more
CJJ invites you to share news from your SAG, organization, state, or region! Inclusion and editing of submissions are subject to CJJ editorial guidelines.