JJ Monitor
June 2015


Governors in South Dakota and West Virginia recently signed into law comprehensive juvenile justice reforms that are expected to save the states a combined estimated $50 million over the next five years and improve youth outcomes, including reducing recidivism. The savings are a result of a large decline in the number of youth expected to be placed in residential facilities: a 50 percent reduction in South Dakota and a more than 16 percent decline in West Virginia over the next five years. The states are reinvesting millions into effective community-based practices this year.


In West Virginia, the state's bipartisan, inter-branch Intergovernmental Task Force on Juvenile Justice conducted a comprehensive study of the state's juvenile justice system with intensive technical support from the Pew Charitable Trusts' public safety performance project. The Task Force found that a majority of youth in the residential facilities of both the Department of Juvenile Services and in the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) were misdemeanants, probation violators, or status offenders. In fact, half of juvenile justice youth placed in state-funded residential facilities by the Department of Health and Human Resources in 2012 were status offenders. The number of status offenders had increased 255 percent since 2002. For each youth placed out-of-home, the state was spending more than $100,000 per year. Based upon these findings, the Task Force produced a set of consensus-based recommendations. 


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CJJ Announcements
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Reauthorization 

H.R. 2728, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2015, was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 11, 2015 by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA)Cedric Richmond (D-LA)Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Tony Cardenas (D-CA). The bill would reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which expired in 2007, and adds provisions that are currently found in the Youth PROMISE Act. It contains several measures that are similar to S. 2999, legislation introduced in December 2014 by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). These measures include:

  • A three-year phase out of the valid court order (VCO) exception, which enables states to incarcerate youth for behaviors such as truancy and running away from home; 
  • Requiring that children who are awaiting trial in criminal court be separated from adult inmates;
  • Requiring states to collect ethnicity data in addition to data on race.

The bill also includes additional provisions, including plans to expand access to quality indigent defense and data collection on sexual orientation among youth in the juvenile justice system. The bill would also add provisions from H.R. 2197, the Youth Prison Reduction Through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education (PROMISE) Act, to the JJDPA.


If you have questions or need more information about this or other federal policy and legislative activity:

  • Visit our website to learn more.
  • Join the CJJ Government Relations Committee calls on the third Monday of every month.
  • Sign up for the CJJ Federal Policy Update.

Please contact Naomi Smoot at with any questions.

Juvenile Justice Appropriations 

On June 10, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee (CJS) of the Senate Appropriations Committee issued its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016. The proposal included $75 million for mentoring, $65 million for Title II, and $40 million for Title V. The measure was considered the following day by the full Senate Appropriations Committee, which approved $75 million for mentoring, $65.5 million for Title II, $40 million for Title V, and $2 million for girls' programming. The bill will next go to the Senate floor for approval.


The House passed its CJS appropriations bill, H.R. 2578, on June 3. That measure included $95 million for mentoring, but did not fund either Title II or Title V. Before a final budget proposal is sent to the President, members of the House and Senate will have to negotiate which numbers they will use for juvenile justice appropriations in the upcoming fiscal year. 


Learn more about what you can do!

2015 Annual Conference

Last week, 385 attendees joined CJJ for the 2015 Annual Conference, "At the Forefront: Emerging Challenges and Solutions to Reforming Juvenile Justice." Participants visited their members of Congress to discuss the latest policy developments, attended plenaries and workshops on trending topics in juvenile justice reform, and participated in regional and committee meetings. 


We also honored three outstanding leaders in the field:

  • Edward Chargualaf received the Tony Gobar Outstanding Juvenile Justice Award
  • Raul Barreto received the National Spirit of Youth Award
  • Judge Michael Mayer received the A.L. Carlisle Child Advocacy Award

Resources from the conference, including the agenda and the awards program, will be posted on the CJJ website.

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 brings together emerging leaders (individuals ages 17-25 interested in juvenile justice reform), and will take place July 23-24 at the 20 F Street Conference Center in Washington, DC.


Registration will close next Friday, June 26 so register todayClick here for the draft agenda. 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 if you would like to contribute to the Scholarship Fund. 


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

Webinar: Human Trafficking

Join CJJ on July 9 to learn how communities can identify survivors of human trafficking and ensure that they receive the services they need instead of being prosecuted or placed in the juvenile justice system. Participants will hear about work Florida and Maryland undertook in conjunction with Shared Hope International to develop and implement screening tools to help ensure young people are properly identified.


This webinar will feature:

Register here! 

Webinar Recording: Racial Impact Statements

CJJ and its Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Committee hosted a webinar on Racial Impact Statements on June 1. Racial impact statements have been introduced into legislation to address differential impact on racial and ethnic groups. Several states have adopted legislation and some have policies in place to address disparate effects of new laws. Participants learned about the history of legislation and racial impact statements, success stories in the states, recommendations for methods to assess racial impact, and how these assessments can work in practice. Click here to watch the webinar recording. 

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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 Spotlight: Spirit of Youth Award Winner Raul Barreto

During the CJJ Annual Conference, Raul Barreto of California was awarded the 2015 Spirit of Youth Award for his personal triumphs, professional achievements, and extraordinary services to others. His acceptance speech was extremely moving and a highlight for all who attended the conference. It has been reproduced on the CJJ blog. We would once again like to congratulate Mr. Barreto! 

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).

Principles of SAG Effectiveness

CJJ is working with OJJDP's Center for Coordinated Assistance to the States to develop a 360-degree view of State Advisory Group capacity and needs. We have undertaken an ambitious project to interview all State Advisory Group Chairs in an effort to develop a report on the principles of SAG effectiveness. If you are a State Advisory Group Chair and you have not already scheduled an interview, please contact Naomi Smoot at

2015 Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Multi-System Integration Certificate Program

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy is now accepting applications for the 8th Annual Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: Multi-System Integration Certificate Program. It 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. Its purpose is to bring together current and future leaders to:

  • Increase their knowledge about multi-system reform efforts related to crossover youth,
  • Improve the operation of their organizations in serving this population,
  • Provide an opportunity for the development of collaborative leadership skills, and
  • Create a mutually supportive network of individuals across the country committed to systems reform.

Applications are due by August 21, 2015 and are available here. CJJR is also continuing to accept applications for its School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program through July 10. 

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.

National Center for Juvenile Justice Updates JJGPS

The National Center for Juvenile Justice has released a new section of the Juvenile Justice GPS-Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics (JJGPS), an online resource funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This website features national and state information on state laws and juvenile justice practice to help chart system change. The new status offense issues section examines how states classify status offenders and includes a summary of status offenses in each state. This section also profiles national data on status offenses and trends data that states report on formal status offense cases referred to court.

SOS Project
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the Safety, Opportunity and Success (SOS) Project

New Brief on Tribal Youth

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. Although we do not know the exact reasons for these disparities, recent efforts to better serve these youth have focused on responding to trauma and exposure to violence, better addressing substance abuse issues and mental health needs, addressing family needs, and offering more diversion programs and youth leadership development opportunities.


CJJ released a new brief that looks at the disparities faced in the state system by AI/AN youth who are charged with status offenses, the ability of both state and tribal systems to respond to status offenses, and federal funding levels to support efforts to better serve these youth. "American Indian/Alaska Native Youth & Status Offense Disparities: A Call For Tribal Initiatives, Coordination & Federal Funding" was co-written with the Tribal Law and Policy Institute

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. 

Snapshot: Using Reentry Thinking to Guide Placement Decisions

When youth are confined or put in placement, it can jeopardize connections to their families, schools, treatment and others that they need to re-enter society successfully. Download the new snapshot from NJJN, "Using Re-Entry Thinking to Guide Placement Decisions," which highlights frameworks of re-entry that support youth success and community safety. 

Protecting LGBTQ Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Judy Yu, Associate Director of LGBTQ Issues at the Correctional Association of New York (an NJJN member) authored a powerful piece describing the abuses that LGBTQ youth all-too-often face while confined in youth justice facilities. "Protecting LGBTQ Youth in the Juvenile Justice System - Progress and Opportunity" was written for NJJN to highlight one of our principles of reform: recognizing and serving youth with specialized needs. 

Other News and Announcements

There have been many articles in major news outlets on juvenile justice in the last month, including:

The National Disability Rights Network released a new report dedicated to the needs of children and youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system.

The True Colors Fund released a new study on the problems that LGBT homeless youth are facing.

The National Institute of Justice has released "Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program." 

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children have released "Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response."

The Honorable Judge Jay Blitzman published an article in the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section magazine entitled "Are We Criminalizing Adolescence?"

Sarah Cusworth Walker, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, co-authored, "A Multistate Study of Gender-Responsive Reforms in the Juvenile Justice System."

Reclaiming Futures will live stream sessions from the 2015 Leadership Institute on June 23-24.

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