JJ Monitor
July 2015

In the coming weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to markup S.B. 1169, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2015. The bill was introduced on April 30, by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and John Cornyn (R-TX) have also signed on as co-sponsors. If the bill is approved by the Judiciary Committee, it will go to the full Senate for consideration. Call your Member to let them know their support for this bill is essential to protecting our youth! 


CJJ will also organize a Twitter Day to thank the Senators who have co-sponsored the JJDPA and to encourage members of the Judiciary Committee to fully fund juvenile justice programs that improve outcomes for youth. Additional details are forthcoming. 


To aid in your educational and advocacy efforts, CJJ has released new fact sheets on how juvenile justice is funded in numerous states. Federal investment in juvenile justice plays a crucial role in each state's efforts to reform the juvenile justice system.


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

More Data Needed on New Group 'Emerging Adults'

CJJ's Vice Chair George Timberlake published an op-ed in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. He discusses the latest research on the group that has been coined as "emerging adults," ages 18 to 25.


He writes, "For the adult justice community, we should heed the lessons learned by the juvenile system and seek better data, research, assessment tools and evidence-based practices specific to the 18 to 25 age group. For governments, we must recognize that reducing prison populations and reinvesting in services is sound policy. The principles for both systems are identical: Positive outcomes for offenders - youth or emerging adults - creates public safety and saves us billions." Click here to read the full article.

LGBT Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System

Last month, we celebrated LGBT Pride Month and published, "Young, Queer, and Locked Up: LGBT Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System," on the CJJ blog. The post, written by Christina Gilbert of the Equity Project and Hannah Hussey of the Center for American Progress, discussed the unique challenges that LGBT youth face in the criminal justice system. 


Ms. Gilbert and Ms. Hussey write, "LGBT young people, like all youth, need protection, safety, affirmation, and guidance in order to successfully transition to adulthood...Adult jails and prisons offer no way forward for these young people to obtain the tools they need as they seek to empower themselves and change the world around them." To read the full post, click here. This post was reprinted with the permission of the Campaign for Youth Justice.

"Human Trafficking: Helping Communities Identify Survivors and Improve Responses" Webinar Recording

CJJ held a webinar that focused on learning 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 heard 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. Click here for the webinar recording.

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 has closed and we look forward to seeing so many emerging leaders at the Summit! If you have any questions about the Youth Summit, please email 

2015 Annual Conference

Last month, 385 attendees joined CJJ for the 2015 Annual Conference, "At the Forefront: Emerging Challenges and Solutions to Reforming Juvenile Justice." Resources from the conference have been posted on the CJJ website, including:

  • A photo album of participants and speakers, 
  • The awards program with bios of all three awardees,
  • The conference program, and
  • PowerPoint presentations and handouts from many of the sessions.

The Annual Conference was also referenced in Juvenile Justice Information Exchange articles on shackling and juvenile records.

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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: Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee

The Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee just became CJJ's first State Advisory Group member for 2016! The Committee is comprised of dedicated citizens who have experience with youth and juvenile justice issues from all parts of Alaska. Committee members work to advise and guide their state government and citizens to help reduce and prevent juvenile crime.


The State Advisory Group (SAG) works to ensure that Alaska's youth are provided meaningful opportunities to succeed. Over the last year, they advocated for changes to the state's adult waiver and age of jurisdiction laws. The committee is also focused on reducing youth recidivism rates, bringing statewide attention to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and supporting community detention alternatives. To learn more about the Alaska SAG, visit their website.

Florida SAG Member Leads Sailing Intervention Program

CJJ SAG Member Michael Long is the Executive Director of SailFuture, an intervention program based in Florida and supported by the Florida Department of Justice, that teaches young people in the juvenile justice system how to sail and live on a sail boat. The program is offering an exciting opportunity for six young men to train and participate in a race across the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to sail training, they will receive advocacy, media, and educational training to prepare them to become leaders in the fight against youth incarceration. Applications are due August 1. There is NO cost to participate in the program, if selected. Click here to apply and learn more.  

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 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. We also plan to conduct focus groups with Juvenile Justice Specialists. The ultimate outcome of this project will be to develop a final report on "Principles of SAG Effectiveness," which will help guide the support provided to the states by OJJDP and others, including private philanthropy.


If your state has not already scheduled an interview or you have any questions, please contact Naomi Smoot at

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.

2015 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

New Toolkit for Reducing the Use of Isolation

The Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) has recently released a new toolkit intended to guide policy and practices to decrease the use of isolation within juvenile justice facilities. It presents a synthesis of best practices proposed by over 40 youth corrections leaders from across the country, providing guidance for juvenile justice administrators, agencies, and secure facilities to change cultures that rely on isolation to manage behavior and accommodate administrative needs. Click here to download the toolkit.

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

A Community Policing Response to Runaway Youth

The Vera Institute of Justice's Status Offense Reform Center, a SOS Project partner, published a blog post by Gloucester (NJ) Police Chief Harry Earle on community policing approaches that aims to better serve youth who run away from home. Project MARRS (Missing at Risk Response Strategies) enables officers to assess the underlying issues that cause children to run away and connects them to trusted adults in their schools and communities. This comprehensive strategy helps prevent further victimization, future runaway incidents, and deeper involvement with justice systems. 

Notes from the Field on Truancy

The Status Offense Reform Center also released a fact sheet on Newton County, Georgia's Truancy Intervention Board. This Board aims to divert youth away from the formal court process by addressing problems of truancy and educational neglect outside the courtroom, with the support of invested community stakeholders. The profile includes a summary of the county's planning process, an overview of monitoring strategies, a snapshot of general program outcomes, and reflections from those in the reform movement.

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. 

Pulitzer Nominee Gonnerman to Accept Story of Justice Media Award from NJJN

Jennifer Gonnerman, staff writer for The New Yorker, and author of the 2014 story about Kaleif Browder, "Before the Law" -- a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize -- will be on hand at NJJN's 10th Anniversary Reception on July 20 to accept the inaugural "Story of Justice Media Award." Again and again, Ms. Gonnerman has brought to light the stories of those treated unfairly or inhumanely. Her unflinching commitment to exposing the human tragedy of youth lost in uncaring and damaging systems makes her a perfect example of the kind of balanced and compassionate reporting we'd like to see more often. Learn more.

Nebraska Passes Three Bills to Reduce Youth Confinement

This summer, Nebraska passed three new bills that will:

  • Divert youth convicted of status offenses from institutional placement;
  • Expand funding for Multisystemic Therapy for youth and families; and
  • Create a fund to support survivors of trafficking.

NJJN spoke with Juliet Summers, Policy Coordinator for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice at Voices for Nebraska's Children (an NJJN member), about her work on these bills and what they will mean for Nebraska's youth. Read the full story.

Meet the Fellows: Elijah Wheeler

Recently, NJJN spoke with Elijah Wheeler, Social Justice Director at the Montgomery County Collaboration Council, about his work as a fellow in NJJN's Youth Justice Leadership Institute. Through his fellowship, he has implemented a system for front-end diversion of youth with mental health problems in Montgomery County. Read the full interview.

Other News and Announcements
The Bureau of Justice Statistics, in collaboration with the National Center for Education Statistics, has released "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2014."

Polaris released a new report, "Breaking Barriers: Improving Services for LGBTQ Human Trafficking Victims."

The National Center for School Engagement is offering a "Best Practices in Truancy Prevention and Reduction" training on September 21 in Denver, Colorado. Learn more.

Voices of Youth Count is a recently launched, research effort that seeks a reliable national estimate of youth homelessness and a clearer picture of what it means to be young and homeless in America today. Learn more.

Actress Anna Deveare Smith is currently doing a solo performance piece on the school to prison pipeline, which is based on interviews she conducted with hundreds of people that are involved in this issue at all levels: students, teachers, parents, police, thought and policy leaders, psychologists, and community activists. Learn more about the Pipeline Project.

Rights4Girls released a new report, "The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls' Story."

The District Court for the Northern District of California approved a new Modified Consent Decree (MCD) in the Lau vs. Nichols case. The MCD, among other things, protects the educational rights of the San Francisco School District's most at-risk and vulnerable EL students who are learning in alternative education or juvenile justice settings. Learn more.

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

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