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JJ Monitor
February 2015

MOST VOTERS SUPPORT ALTERNATIVES TO JUVENILE INCARCERATION

According to a national poll conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts, more than eight in 10 voters say it does not matter whether youth are sent to a corrections facility or supervised in the community. What really matters is that the juvenile justice system does a better job of changing young people's behavior to ensure they do not commit future delinquent acts.

 

Pew's poll, conducted by The Mellman Group and Public Opinion Strategies, reveals that 85% of voters agree that youth who commit status offenses should not be incarcerated, while 87% believe that schools, families, and social service agencies should deal with these kinds of offenses. The poll showed strong agreement on these points across party affiliation.

 

"Research shows that for many lower-level juvenile offenders, correctional facilities fail to produce better outcomes than alternative sanctions, cost more, and can actually increase reoffending," said Jake Horowitz, State Policy Director for Pew's Public Safety Performance Project.

 

A recent poll released in West Virginia shows similar results. According to the state poll, voters strongly support reforming the state's juvenile justice system by reducing the use of costly state-funded facilities and reinvesting in community supervision and alternatives.

 

States including GeorgiaHawaii, and Kentucky have recently passed comprehensive juvenile justice reform legislation that reflects this growing public sentiment.

 

Since 2012, The Pew Charitable Trust's Public Safety Performance Project has worked with several states to advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in juvenile justice systems that protect public safety, hold young people accountable, and improve outcomes for youth and their families. CJJ has partnered with Pew to assist in the education of juvenile justice leaders, and to share information about trends and practices to enable further reform. 

CJJ Announcements
2015 Annual Conference: Registration is Open!

The 2015 CJJ Annual Conference, "At the Forefront: Emerging Challenges and Solutions to Reforming Juvenile Justice," will take place on June 10-13. The conference, which will be co-hosted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), will focus on the latest research, developments, and challenges facing our field today. Specifically:

  • What are the key emerging issues facing the field today?
  • How can practitioners and stakeholders use the new research and other knowledge we now have available to improve outcomes for youth?
  • How do these new trends and issues impact the core work of juvenile justice agencies and stakeholders? 

Register today!

 

CJJ has a room block available at The Omni Shoreham Hotel at the group rate of $199/night+tax. The room block closes Friday, May 8. 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. 

 

While in D.C. please consider taking part in CJJ's Hill Day. During this event, participants meet with their legislators about the importance of reauthorizing the JJDPA and protecting federal funding. Please contact Naomi Smoot at smoot@juvjustice.org with any questions about this event and how you can participate.

 

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

 

CJJ has extended the deadline for nominations for our annual awards to tomorrow, February 20 at 5pm ET. Click here to fill out the application.

 

If you have any questions about the Annual Conference, please contact us at info@juvjustice.org.

2015 Youth Summit: Save the Date!

CJJ and OJJDP are excited to announce they will be co-hosting the 2015 Juvenile Justice Youth Summit, "The Time is Now: Creating Change with Young Emerging Leaders." The Summit will take place July 23-24, 2015 in Washington, DC. Registration will open in March.

 

The Youth Summit brings together emerging leaders (ages 17-25) interested in juvenile justice reform.  Over two days, these next generation leaders gain a better understanding of the current juvenile justice system, examine trending reform topics, and participate in various skill-building, hands-on activities.

 

CJJ is currently planning the content for the 2015 Juvenile Justice Youth Summit. We would love to hear from young adults between 17 and 25 on what topics, activities, and skill building sessions to include on the agenda. Please take a few moments to complete this survey, which will ask about your interests in juvenile justice reform and this year's Youth Summit.

 

For questions about the Youth Summit, please contact Jonathan Litt, CJJ's Field Relations Associate, at litt@juvjustice.org.

JJDPA Webinar Recording 

CJJ and the National Juvenile Justice Network co-hosted a webinar on "The JJDPA: Updating Federal Law to Reflect New Reforms" earlier this month. Speakers gave an overview of how the JJDPA has helped drive reform at the state and local levels, how we can help ensure that federal policy reflects the new knowledge, advancements, and promising practices from the field, and how a reauthorized JJDPA might change the future landscape of juvenile justice practice. Click here to watch the recording.

Webinar on Protecting the Confidentiality of Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth

State laws and policies may create significant obstacles for juvenile justice-involved youth in obtaining employment, housing, education, and other opportunities. These obstacles impede successful transitions to adulthood. Does your state do a good job of protecting the confidentiality of youth in the juvenile justice system? Does it make the process of sealing and expungement accessible to youth? 

 

Please join CJJ and the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) for a webinar on "Protecting the Confidentiality of Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth: Access to Records, Expungement, and Sealing" on Wednesday, March 4 at 3:00 PM ET.

 

This webinar will provide a national overview of laws on juvenile record confidentiality, sealing, and expungement, as well as core reform principles featured in the Juvenile Law Center's recent report "Failed Policies, Forfeited Futures: A Nationwide Scorecard on Juvenile Records". Participants will learn about current reform efforts in Delaware and strategies to reform existing laws and policies in their jurisdiction.

 

Presenters include:

Register here!

Want 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 Members at Large, 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 mercier@juvjustice.org for more details.

Status Offense Initiatives: We Want to Hear from You!

CJJ is currently working on a project that will highlight community-based responses that states and localities are using to address status offense behaviors. We are particularly interested in programs that have not been highlighted previously and that have data that demonstrates their efficacy. If your state or community has a program you would like to share, please contact Naomi Smoot at smoot@juvjustice.org.

Office Space Available in DC

CJJ is seeking a sub lessee for one office space. We are centrally located in downtown DC. Click 

here to learn more. Interested parties should contact Lori Benning at benning@juvjustice.org

Want to see news that's important to you in the CJJ Members and Partners section? 

Join CJJ as a member today! 
Member and Partner News
SAGs and Organizational Members
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations from our State Advisory Groups and Organizational Members. You can learn more about our members on our website

SAGs Offered Complementary Copies of National Academy of Sciences Reports

The National Academy of Sciences would like to offer up to ten free copies of "Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach" and "Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role" to CJJ's Member State Advisory Groups. Please contact Katie Mercier at mercier@juvjustice.org if you are interested. 

Florida's State Advisory Group and Electronic Medical Records

The Florida State Advisory Group continues to promote projects that improve the juvenile justice system by supporting the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice development of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Module within its Juvenile Justice Information (JJIS) System. The EMR incorporates medical, mental health and substance abuse services forms and other documents that comprise an Individual Health Care Record. The EMR Module is currently being used by health care practitioners in all Florida detention centers. It improves accessibility of healthcare information by providing secure, web-based medical records, which can be accessed by practitioners. The EMR Module also improves timeliness and accuracy of health care documentation by continuously updating the youth's healthcare record at the point of care and by providing prompts when incomplete information is entered in the system. Learn more about the work of the Florida State Advisory Group on their website.

Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania State Advisory Group has incorporated a Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) into their Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy.  SPEP, developed by Vanderbilt's Dr. Mark Lipsey, is a way to assess both evidence-based and "home grown" programs on evidence-based factors that determine a service's likelihood of reducing recidivism.

 

SPEP in Pennsylvania is a partnership that focuses on improving outcomes for youth.  Information from the SPEP assessment is incorporated into a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) that suggests modifications with the goal of reducing recidivism rates for future program participants. PIPs are developed jointly by SPEP consultants, program personnel, and probation officers often include improvements to service delivery and referral patterns based on risk, needs and responsivity, all leading to getting "the right kids, to the right programs, for the right amount of time." 

Annie E. Casey Foundation
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Youth Advisory Council

Thank you to everyone who submitted applications to become a member of the Youth Advisory Council! If a candidate is selected for an interview, he or she will be contacted directly. All candidates will be notified of final decisions in early-March. The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange recently covered Casey's work in juvenile justice and the planned Youth Advisory Council.  

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).
Webinar to Discuss Youth in Custody Certificate Program Solicitation 

On March 5, the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy, as part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS), will present "CJJR Youth in Custody Certificate Program: How to Develop Capacity, Effectuate Change and Sustain System Improvements for Serving High-Risk Youth." The webinar will be an overview of the 2015 Youth in Custody Certificate Program, which will be held July 6-10, 2015. CJJR will also answer questions about program-specific information, application guidelines, tuition, and available subsidies. Click here to register for this webinar.

nullModels for Change
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of thModels for Change Initiative of the MacArthur Foundation.

The Status Offense Reform Center: New Resources and Upcoming Webinar

The Status Offense Reform Center (SORC) recently published A Toolkit for Status Offense System Reform. Each of the four modules that make up this toolkit provides guidance and tools for a discrete phase of the system change process: structuring change, assessing local needs, planning and implementing change, and finally, monitoring and sustaining the change to ensure improved outcomes. 

 

Additionally, the SORC released an informative infographic on status offenses. This new resource presents data on status offenses, discusses why court based approaches are inappropriate, and highlights some states that are finding innovative approaches to keeping kids in the community and out of court.

 

Finally, the Status Offense Reform Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures will jointly host a webinar on "The Role of State Legislatures in Status Offense Reform" on March 20 at 2 pm ET. Presenters will speak about state legislative status offense priorities and reforms and the impact such policies have on juvenile populations and practitioners. Click here to register. 

Webinar on "Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System"

Each year, millions of children in the United States are exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities. Left unaddressed, the traumatic effects of this violence can lead to mental and substance use disorders, school failure, increased risk taking, and delinquency. The majority of youth in contact with the juvenile justice system have experienced traumatic events and serious adversity. To achieve better outcomes for these youth, juvenile justice professionals should understand the role exposure to violence plays in the lives of these youth, develop policies that reflect this knowledge, and employ interventions that address the traumatic stress.

 

The Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change will host a webinar on "Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System" on February 26. The webinar will provide an overview of:

  • Evidence-based strategies for identifying and responding to youth in need of trauma-informed services; 
  • Integrating a trauma-informed approach into juvenile justice policies and practices; and
  • Fostering a more trauma-informed juvenile justice staff.

Register here!

NCSL Juvenile Justice Quarterly

The National Conference of State Legislatures released the latest issue of the Juvenile Justice Quarterly, a newsletter for state legislators, legislative staff, and others interested in state juvenile justice policy. This newsletter provides quarterly updates on state juvenile justice legislation and budgets; highlights innovative policies and programs; and connects you with reports and news of upcoming NCSL events. This issue highlights 2014 Year-End State Policy and Legislative Reviews.

New Information Sharing Toolkit

The Juvenile Law Center and the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice released an updated Information Sharing Tool Kit. Originally developed in 2008, the updated Tool Kit has spurred an interactive website designed to assist jurisdictions in creating and implementing information and data sharing initiatives in order to achieve better outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. 

NACO Publishes Resources on Juvenile Justice

The National Association of Counties released a set of juvenile justice resources including:

Learn more about NACO's work as part of the Models for Change Initiative on their website.  

Executive Director Openings

The Juvenile Law Center and the National Juvenile Defender Center are searching for Executive Directors. Click here to learn more about the JLC position description; applications should be submitted to Robert J. Reinstein. Click here to learn more about the NJDC position description; applications should be sent to Elizabeth Humphrey or Susy Howard.

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. 

Meet the Next Generation of Juvenile Justice Reform Leaders

Don't miss these great interviews with Ekundayo Igeleke and Maheen Kaleem, two fellows in NJJN's Youth Justice Leadership Institute. Here are two small samples of what they had to say:

 

Ekundayo Igeleke: "The majority of people within the justice system are people of color, but the majority working on this issue are not ... It's not to say white people aren't doing good work, but it's the voices of the people affected most who aren't heard, and that's an issue." Read more.

 

Maheen Kaleem: "[W]hat's low-risk in a delinquency context could be high-risk in a victimization context. When we look at the school-to-prison-pipeline, for example, people will say, 'Well, girls aren't as affected as young men.' That's not necessarily true; it's just that girls aren't necessarily getting into fights at school. Of course some do, but a lot of the time they'll become truant. They'll disengage. So they go missing and people aren't looking for them. There's a tendency when it comes to girls and LGBT youth that is, 'Well, there aren't as many, so let's focus on the majority.' But really we need to be serving all our kids appropriately." Read more

NJJN's Reform Network Grows: New Members in Three States

NJJN recently welcomed new organizational members from three states: Kansas, Missouri, and New Jersey. 

  • "Kansas ranks eighth to worst [in the country] for out-of-home placement," says the Executive Director of Kansas Appleseed. "We still send kids to our state secure facilities for misdemeanors." As a result, his organization will focus primarily on issues of deincarceration and exclusionary school disciplinary practices in the coming months. Learn more
     
  • Tracy McClard founded Families and Friends Organizing for Reform of Juvenile Justice (FORJ) after she lost her son to suicide while he was held in solitary confinement in an adult correctional facility. Her advocacy eventually resulted in the 2013 passage of Jonathan's Law, which provided new guidelines for Missouri that meant more young people could remain in youth facilities despite being charged as adults. This year, FORJ-MO is promoting legislation to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction, and remove youth from adult jails pre-trial. Learn more.
     
  • "Detention reform has been enormously successful in New Jersey," says Craig Levine of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition, "so the coalition came together to address both what comes before and what comes after detention." Presently, NJJJRC is involved in a campaign to eliminate the use of punitive isolation in youth facilities, and is working with legislators on a bill that would address issues relating to waiver, isolation, transfer, and continuing jurisdiction. Learn more.

Don't Miss NJJN's February Roundup

Check out NJJN's roundup for juvenile justice reformers! Find selected juvenile justice-related news, reports, research, and events here

Other News and Announcements

The Council of State Governments released "Closer to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice Reforms," which shows that youth incarcerated in state-run facilities are 21 percent more likely to be rearrested than those who remain under supervision closer to home.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a Request for Applications for its System of Care Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements.

The Children's Defense Fund released "Ending Child Poverty Now." This report examines how to end child poverty in America and improve the economic circumstances of poor children by investing more in existing programs and policies that increase parental employment, make work pay, and ensure children's basic needs are met.

"A Path Appears" on PBS uncovers the harshest forms of gender-based oppression and human rights violations, and solutions being implemented to combat them. Episode 1, "Sex Trafficking in the USA," focused on survivors trafficked into a life of prostitution in the US, as well as effective programs that combat commercial sexual exploitation and restore lives. 

The Christian Science Monitor published a cover story on "How Communities are Keeping Kids out of Crime."

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange published an article, "Trafficked Boys Overlooked."

Members of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law published "What Caused the Crime Decline?" which examines the dramatic decline in crime nationwide over the past two decades and analyzes various theories for why it occurred, by reviewing more than 40 years of data from all 50 states and the 50 largest cities.

The Criminal Justice Policy Review published a paper on "Diverting Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Issues from Detention: Preliminary Findings from Ohio's Behavioral Health Juvenile Justice Initiative."

CJJ invites you to share news from your SAG, organization, state, or region! Inclusion and editing of submissions are subject to CJJ editorial guidelines.