JJ Monitor
May 2015


On April 30, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced a bipartisan bill, S.B. 1169, renewing their commitment to reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).


The bill strengthens the core protections that the JJDPA affords to system-involved youth. The existing JJDPA, for example, prohibits the incarceration of children who engage in non-criminal "status offense" behaviors; however, an exception is granted when a child is found in violation of a valid court order. In 2012 alone, this exception was used to incarcerate children more than 7,000 times nationwide. S.B. 1169 requires states to phase out their usage of this exception over three years. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention may choose to grant states one-year hardship extensions after that time.


S.B. 1169 also:

  • Strengthens the DMC core requirement by requiring that states consider both race and ethnicity when addressing Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC).
  • Provides funding for training and technical assistance to come into compliance with the Act. 
  • Requires states to invest in evidence-based programming.
  • Includes provisions that recognize the special needs of girls. 
  • Includes provisions promoting trauma-informed care. 

The JJDPA was last reauthorized in 2002 and expired in 2007. You can find the following resources related to the reauthorization of the JJDPA here:

If you want to learn more about this or other federal policy and legislative activity, please sign up for CJJ's Federal Policy Update.

CJJ Announcements
Federal Juvenile Justice Appropriations 

On March 31, the Act4JJ Campaign sent this letter to the ranking members of the Congressional Appropriations Subcommittee, urging them to include adequate funding for critical juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs in the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill.


The subcommittee released their FY'16 Appropriations proposal on May 13 and it went to the full House Appropriations Committee for markup on May 20. If approved by the full House, the proposal could lead to the defunding of Title II programs, which include:

  • Prevention programs for at-risk youth
  • Law enforcement and judicial training
  • Evidence-based interventions for young people
  • Keeping kids out of adult jails and lockups
  • Keeping kids out of jail for non-criminal offenses

In response, Act4JJ Co-Chairs Marie Williams, CJJ's Executive Director, and Marcy Mistrett, the Campaign for Youth Justice's CEO, issued this statement. Click here to view the statements from Senators Whitehouse and Grassley, who condemn the proposal as well. 


Lawmakers have not yet finalized the FY16 budget. Contact your Member today to let them know juvenile justice funding is vital to keeping our children and communities safe. 

CJJ Co-Authors Op-Ed about Baltimore Unrest

CJJ's Executive Director Marie Williams, along with other juvenile justice leaders, published an op-ed entitled, "They're Not Thugs -- They're Our Children" in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. They discuss the language used to describe those involved in the Baltimore unrest. Most commonly, local and national leaders referred to these youth as "thugs" or "criminals," which only further perpetuates harmful narratives. They write, "as adults, we know that labelling people leads us to dehumanize them." To read the full article, click here

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 today! CJJ is excited to announce this year's Summit will feature keynote addresses from:

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

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)


Registration has closed and we look forward to seeing you at the conference! Click here for the draft agenda. If you have any questions about the Annual Conference, please contact us at

Webinar: Racial Impact Statements

CJJ and its Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Committee will host a webinar on Racial Impact Statements on June 1 at 2:00pm ET. Racial impact statements help to determine if legislation will differentially impact racial and ethnic groups and/or will benefit the juvenile justice system. Racial Impact Assessments and Statements have helped several states address policies that relate to the disproportionate minority contact core requirement of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). During this webinar, presenters will give an overview of racial impact statements, discuss recommendations for conducting racial impact assessments, and talk about how these assessments can work in practice. Participants will learn about the history of racial impact statements, as well as legislation and success stories in the states.


Presenters include:

Register here! 

Webinar Recording: LGBT & Gender Non-Conforming Youth in Juvenile Justice

Last month, CJJ held a webinar on LGBT & Gender Non-Conforming Youth in Juvenile Justice: Building an Equitable System with Data, Training, and Policy. Angela Irvine of Impact Justice and Christina Gilbert of The Equity Project served as presenters. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.  


During the webinar, Ms. Gilbert explained that The Equity Project has launched a new website and has released "Toward Equity: A Training Curriculum for Understanding Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression, and Developing Competency to Serve Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth in the Juvenile Justice System." For more information visit 

New Blog Posts on CJJ Today

Visit CJJ's blog for the latest blog posts! "Family Voice in Juvenile Justice," penned by Lisa Lambert and Meri Viano of the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, highlights efforts in Massachusetts to involve parents and families as their children interact with the juvenile justice system. "Getting Diverse Groups Talking about Race, Ethnicity and Justice," penned by Lara Herscovitch and Mallory LaPierre of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, discusses how Connecticut has been facilitating conversations about how race and ethnicity can influence decisions adults make about children. 

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
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: Council of State Governments

Launched in 2013, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center's Juvenile Justice Project works to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth. They provide state and local policymakers with comprehensive research, analysis, and technical assistance and support collaborative and consensus-based strategies to achieve their goals.


In 2014, the Juvenile Justice Project released two documents for the field, "Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation" and "Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System." To test the application of these core principles, which research has shown can improve outcomes for youth statewide, the CSG Justice Center began working with five pilot sites last fall (in Kansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Tennessee).


The Juvenile Justice Project has also spearheaded two initiatives to help advance reform work in the field. The first is the Juvenile Probation Reform Academy, to be held as part of the American Probation and Parole Association's Summer Training Institute in Los Angeles. The second is the Juvenile Justice 50 State Forum, a two-day convening in November designed to galvanize state policymakers to develop plans that will improve outcomes for youth in juvenile justice systems in 2016 and beyond.


For more information about the Juvenile Justice Project's current and prospective portfolio of work, contact Josh Weber or Mark Ferrante.

CJJ Member Cited in Report on 21st Century Policing

The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing released their final report this week. The Task Force was established in 2014 to make recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust. Michael Reynolds, a CJJ member and member of the Youth and Law Enforcement panel at the Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction, was cited in the report several times. He discussed his interactions, both positive and negative, with police during his youth. Click here to read the full report. 

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).

Announcing the 2015 School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy is pleased to announce that the application window for the inaugural 2015 School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program: Fostering Success for Youth At Risk is now open. The program will run September 28-October 2, 2015 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center.


The School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program is open to school and district staff, court professionals, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and other child serving cross-agency community leaders. It is designed to provide the knowledge and understanding necessary to address the educational and related needs of children known to, or at risk of entering, the juvenile justice system. Applications are due by July 10, 2015 and are available here.  Please direct questions to Jill Adam

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.

New Resources on Mental Health

The Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change, in conjunction with the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, released two new research and program briefs.  "Diverting Youth at Probation Intake: The Front-End Diversion Initiative" discusses an effort in Texas to divert youth with suspected mental health needs away from juvenile justice processing. The Front-End Diversion Initiative (FEDI) uses specialized juvenile probation officers to link these youth and their families to community services, instead of the juvenile justice system. "Caring for Youth with Mental Health Needs in the Juvenile Justice System: Improving Knowledge and Skills" summarizes the results of a two-year training project to create greater mental health training capacity within juvenile justice systems across the country.

Ten Strategies for Reducing Juvenile Length of Stay

In "Ten Strategies to Reduce Juvenile Length of Stay," the Juvenile Law Center draws from a review of state statutes, conversations with national stakeholders and decision makers, and input from preeminent researchers and scholars in the field. The publication aims to start a deeper conversation about state policies - including agency policies, state statutes, and regulations - that can address the problem of unnecessarily long stays in juvenile facilities.

Pew Public Safety and Performance Project
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the Pew Public Safety and Performance Project .  

Research on Out of Home Placement and Length of Stay

The Pew Charitable Trusts released a brief that compiles leading research that shows that locking up juvenile offenders for long periods of time doesn't make the public any safer and fails to reduce juvenile recidivism. The publication also highlights states that have recently passed laws limiting juvenile confinement in favor of community programs. Key takeaways from the brief include:

  • Research confirms out-of-home placements do not improve outcomes for most youth
  • Evidence does not support longer lengths of stay
  • Incarcerating youth comes at a high cost to taxpayers with poor results for juveniles
SOS Project
Each issue, CJJ is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations of the Safety, Opportunity and Success (SOS) Project

New Blog Post on Truancy

Insiyah Mohammad penned a blog for the Status Offense Reform Center entitled, "Truancy in Texas: Emerging Critiques and Opportunities." In the blog, she discusses various reform efforts in Texas, one of only two states in the country that sends kids to adult criminal court for truancy. She also highlight's CJJ's Safety, Opportunity & Success (SOS) Project as a resource on issues surrounding truancy. 

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. 

Alabama Member Sues Birmingham Police Department over Use of Pepper Spray in Schools

In January and February, the Southern Poverty Law Center of Alabama (SPLC), an NJJN member, sued the Birmingham Police Department for excessive and unsafe use of pepper spray on Birmingham students. Now awaiting a verdict, SPLC hopes to spur changes in the school police's training, policies, and supervision to ensure student safety. Read the full story here.

DC Member Sparks Citywide Ban on Suspension and Expulsion of Pre-K Students

Thanks to the work of NJJN member DC Lawyers for Youth's Every Student, Every Day Coalition, the District of Columbia has passed a citywide ban on suspension and expulsion of pre-kindergarten students. Check out their report, "District Discipline: The Overuse of Suspension and Expulsion in the District of Columbia." Read the full story here.

Meet the Leadership Fellows: Theo Shaw Shaw

Once one of the "Jena 6," Youth Justice Leadership Institute fellow Theo Shaw now works to ensure that young people in trouble with the law have access to counsel. Read more about his work on behalf of youth and his vision for a more equitable youth justice system.

Other News and Announcements
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' (NCJFCJ) will host the 78th Annual Conference in Austin, Texas on July 26 to 29. 
The National Association of Council for Children will host the 38th National Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice & Family Law Conference in Monterey, California on August 24 to 27, featuring Xavier McElrath-Bey as keynote speaker.

Global Youth Justice's "11th International Training Institute to Enhance, Expand and Learn about Youth Court, Teen Court, Student Court and Peer Court and Peer Jury Diversion Programs" will take place June 16-18, 2015 in Provincetown, MA. 

PBS NewHour spoke to several Baltimore youth about how they felt about what was happening in their city after the death of Freddie Gray. 

New research has emerged, as part of the Northwestern Juvenile Project, entitled "Psychiatric Disorders and Violence: A Study of Delinquent Youth After Detention."

The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors released a guide for states on adolescent treatment and recovery.

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