The last of the measures remaining from Utah's 2017 juvenile justice reinvestment legislation came into effect in July, and nearly two and a half years after its enactment, initial data already indicate early signs of success.
Data published by the
Utah Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee
(JJOC)--and highlighted in a recent
by the Pew Charitable Trusts-show detention admissions declined 44 percent between fiscal years 2016 and 2018, while the number of youth referred to the juvenile justice system continued a long-term decline, dropping 23 percent. Under new statutory eligibility provisions, in fiscal year 2018, 55 percent of all court referrals were diverted without formal court processing, up from 17 percent in fiscal year 2016. In addition, initial implementation efforts enabled the Utah Department of Human Services to reallocate nearly $19 million toward the expansion of nonresidential programs, including outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment and alternative interventions for responding to behavior in schools.
In March 2017, Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) signed into law H.B. 239, legislation sponsored by Representative Lowry Snow (D) and Senator Todd Weiler (R) and enacted with nearly unanimous support from the legislature. Based upon the consensus recommendations of an interbranch working group appointed by state leaders, the law aims to improve public safety outcomes by diverting low-level cases from court, reducing the number of youth removed from home, and reinvesting averted costs into community-based programming statewide for youth and families. By 2022, the bill is projected to reduce the number of youth in out-of-home placements by 47%, yielding 70 million for reinvestment.
H.B. 239 included staggered implementation dates to facilitate a successful rollout, and the final date passed July 1, 2019.
In subsequent years, the JJOC engaged hundreds of citizens in 18 roadshow meetings across the state, explaining changes to the law and gathering feedback, which Rep. Snow incorporated into H.B. 132 in 2018 and H.B. 404 in 2019 to adjust and clarify the law and to enact further reform.
To learn more, click
2019 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Conference
"A Time for Action: Combating Racial and Ethnic Disparities through Inclusion, Equity, and Respect" will take place November 20-21 at the
Scottsdale Plaza Resort
in Scottsdale, Az. A draft agenda is available here.
This conference brings together juvenile justice practitioners and advocates from across the country to share promising practices and findings, and to strategize about ways to eliminate the racial and ethnic disparities that exist within our juvenile justice systems.
The conference will explore the following:
- How are communities taking action to address and end racial and ethnic disparities?
- How do we shift our focus and work from Disproportionate Minority Contact to Racial and Ethnic Disparities?
- What role does data collection play in eliminating racial and ethnic disparities, and how can collection be improved?
- What changes can be made at the system's front end to reduce racial and ethnic disparities?
- How can youth advocates, law enforcement, attorneys, the judiciary, and community leaders work together to combat the crisis?
Interested in joining us in Scottsdale for this year's Racial and Ethnic Disparities Conference?
Registration for this event is available
Hotel reservations are available at a discounted rate at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, and can be made here.
For questions, please contact Laura Armstrong at
Early Bird Registration
July 10 - Aug 10
$425/Non-Member (includes one year CJJ membership)
Aug 11- Sept 15
$455/Non-Member (includes one year CJJ membership)
Sept 16 - Nov 1
$485/Non-Member (includes one year CJJ membership)
CJJ invites you to consider sponsoring this year's Racial and Ethnic Disparities Conference. Sponsorship dollars help support a broad range of necessary functions, including materials production, speaker and workshop support, youth engagement, and other general functions.
To learn more about sponsoring this event, click
To submit an application to sponsor this event, click
Questions: Please contact Naomi Smoot, CJJ's Executive Director, at
or 202-467-0864 ext. 113.
Please consider volunteering with CJJ at the 2019 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Conference. All volunteers will receive a waiver for registration fees.
For more information, please contact Naomi Smoot, CJJ's Executive Director at
or 202-467-0864 ext.113
CJJ's 2020 Annual Conference
Save the date for the 2020 CJJ Annual Conference! This event is slated to take place June 3-6, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Stay tuned for further information and requests for workshop proposals!
October 23 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Large numbers of youth are pushed out of schools and into the justice system fueling inequalities based on race, gender, perceived sexual orientation, and disability. Additionally, system-involved youth do not have the same access to quality education as their non-incarcerated peers.
The 2018 reauthorization of the JJDPA includes important new protections for youth in the juvenile justice system to support their reentry to school, including timely transfers of education records, partial or full credit for coursework completed while in custody, and ensuring those credits count towards high school graduation.
This webinar will discuss the new JJDPA's educational requirements, information on the school-to-prison-pipeline, and examples of states that have successful and evidence-based educational reentry programs.
November 13 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, gender nonconforming and transgender (LGBQ/GNCT) youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. Nationwide, 7-9% of youth identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, however,
20% of youth incarcerated identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual
. Additionally, about 40% of girls incarcerated identify as such. LGBQ/GNCT youth have less protective and more risk factors than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.
Ceres Policy Research
is currently leading a national initiative that trains youth justice jurisdictions on how to incorporate questions about sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression into their case management systems. They have trained multiple sites in Ohio, New York, and Connecticut.
This webinar will share new data about the LGBQ/GNCT youth involved in these juvenile justice systems, identifying the specific locations in the system where they are the most overrepresented. Attendees will learn about the intersection of juvenile justice and youth who identify as LGBQ/GNCT, successful state and local programs that address this population, and how provisions in the JJDPA can be applied in an equitable way for all youth.
Dr. Angela Irvine
Ceres Policy Research
Ceres Policy Research
Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee are expected to consider Fiscal Year 2020 funding for juvenile justice programs next week. Members of the appropriations committee are expected to take up appropriations on Sept. 24 at 10 a.m.
Specific funding levels for juvenile justice programs in the Senate's bill have yet to be released.
Earlier this year, however, the House put forward a package that would slightly increase federal appropriations for juvenile justice. The House proposal includes
$65 million for Title II of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, $49.5 for Title V, and $100 million for mentoring. These programs are currently funded at $60 million,
$24.5 million, and $95 million respectively. The House also proposed $10 million in funding for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program.
Members of the House and Senate will have to reconcile the proposals they have put forward, and the proposal put forward by the Administration before a final budget is passed for the upcoming fiscal year.
CJJ is looking for bloggers for
to author stories and posts about juvenile justice. We're particularly interested in stories from
State Advisory Group members
or staff, CJJ
, and CJJ
, 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
to see our other guidelines for blogs.
Suggested topics could include:
- School to Prison Pipeline
- Girls in the Juvenile Justice System
- Remedying Racial and Ethnic Disparities
- Adolescent Brain Development
- Evidence-Based Practices
- Status Offenses
- Family and Youth Involvement
- Promising Practices or Program Spotlights
If interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The Ohio Department of Youth Service's Transformative Probation Initiative
In early 2017, the Bureau of Courts and Community Services (recently renamed the Bureau of Community Reinvestment) initiated a process to transform juvenile probation in Ohio. The first steps in this process were to phase out grant funding of supervision-only probation operations and eliminate grant funding for detention per diem payments. The Bureau notified the courts that beginning in FY 2020, all probation operations funded by the Subsidy Grant would need to incorporate one or more evidence-based resource probation interventions. In order to assist the courts in meeting this new requirement, the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) provided additional funding in FY 2018 and FY 2019 to support 22 regional training sessions with staff from more than 58 juvenile courts. DYS also provided special funding to courts to purchase materials associated with these interventions. In FY 2019, 20 courts received these funds for technical assistance and quality assurance. While a few courts that had previously funded a portion of their probation operations on the Subsidy Grant decided to move these budgets off the grant, all courts requesting grant funding for probation in FY 2020 have implemented a resource probation intervention.
Within two to three years, the bureau will engage the intervention proprietors in conducting random quality assurance reviews of those grant-funded probation operations. In the interim, DYS bureau staff will annually monitor these programs using an internally developed tool. Bureau staff will then link probation departments that are lacking fidelity in using the intervention and/or are experiencing poor youth outcomes to additional training or technical assistance.
A parallel initiative to enhance probation services was initiated in late 2018, when DYS partnered with the Anne E. Casey Foundation to provide training to court staff in the following areas: Transforming Probation Overview, Adolescent Development, Promoting Racial, Ethnic, and Socio-Economic Equity and Inclusion, and Engaging Youth and Families. Nationally recognized trainers led four sessions that took place at regional locations across Ohio, with a combined attendance for the first three sessions ranging from 350 to 500 participants. The final session is scheduled for the week of September 30.
In early 2019, DYS developed and presented an RFP to the juvenile courts requesting proposals under the Competitive RECLAIM grant for probation transformation. The intent of these grants is to transform probation services by using the materials, training and technical assistance of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. To date, two courts have been selected and the RFP was recently re-issued in order to fund up to four additional courts.
Another significant initiative involves the transition of all program data reporting to the web-based Ohio Youth Assessment (youth data tracking) System, (OYAS 2.0). Prior to FY 2020, Subsidy Grant program data had been reported to DYS using paper forms, Excel spreadsheets, and/or an outdated online database. In FY 2019, the Bureau decided that courts will need to input all grant program data into OYAS 2.0 beginning on July 1, 2019. DYS scheduled four regional training sessions in the winter and spring of 2019 to train court staff on the use of this system; four webinars were held in the spring. The Bureau also awarded additional funds to three pilot courts to work with their data proprietors in developing an application where data can be uploaded into OYAS 2.0 without manual data entry. This application will then be shared with other courts. The OYAS 2.0 system will allow the Bureau and the individual courts to track short- and long-term probation program outcomes over an extended period and analyze these outcomes based on youth risk, service dosage, and youth demographics.
Events and Trainings
- The Center for Children & Youth Justice will host their annual Norm Maleng Advocate For Youth Award Breakfast on April 22, 2020 at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle, Wa.
- The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice is offering a Mental Health Training for Juvenile Justice (MHT-JJ) November 12-14 in Salt Lake City, Ut. MHT-JJ aims to provide juvenile justice practitioners with the tools needed to better meet the needs of the youth with behavioral health conditions in their care.
- The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice is offering a Crisis Intervention Teams for Youth (CIT-Y) training March 4-6, 2020 in New Orleans, La. CIT-Y is a law enforcement-based, crisis-response and diversion strategy in which specially-trained law enforcement officers respond to calls involving adolescents experiencing behavioral health crises.
New Publications and Resources
- The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges published the latest edition of their peer-reviewed Juvenile and Family Court Journal. This edition is entitled "Special Issue: Scotus Decisions and Federal Law Matter to Juvenile Justice" and includes an article authored by CJJ Executive Director Naomi Smoot on the 2018 reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Institute of Justice recently released a report entitled "Juvenile Arrests, 2017" which documents recent trends by analyzing arrest data reported by local law enforcement agencies to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report.
- The W.K. Kellogg Foundation recently published a report entitled "Cultivating a Community of Champions for Children Through Transformative Family Engagement" that addresses the role of equity-based family engagement in educational and community advocacy.
- The Tow Youth Justice Institute published an issue brief that provides an overview of the use of status offenses in juvenile courts in the United States, and documents changes in approaches to youth charged with status offenses in Connecticut.
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention released a message regarding the 45th Anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
The Juvenile Justice Monitor is brought to you by staff and volunteer leaders of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, and supported by membership fees paid by CJJ's State Advisory Group Members, Members at Large, Organizational Members, and allies. We are grateful to all for their ongoing support.
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
1319 F Street NW, Suite 402
Washington, DC 20004