CJJ and OJJDP Will Host Emerging Leaders From Across the Country

On July 23 and 24, emerging leaders in juvenile justice reform age 17 to 25, some of them youth who have been affected by the juvenile justice system, will come together in Washington, DC for the 2015 Juvenile Justice Youth Summit. Juvenile courts handle over 1 million cases each year, some for infractions as minor as skipping school.

This event, co-hosted by CJJ and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), is an opportunity for the next generation of leaders to learn more about the juvenile justice system and trending reform topics. They will build relationships with fellow emerging leaders, explore possible career paths and develop skills to organize and advocate for juvenile justice reform.

The Summit will feature keynote addresses from Theo Shaw of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Scott Budnick and James Anderson from the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). Mr. Shaw will describe how his experience as a member of the "Jena Six" turned into a passion for juvenile justice system reform. He will also share how stories from other system-involved young people have impacted his current advocacy work and his vision to improve outcomes for youth.

Mr. Budnick, film producer and founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, and Mr. Anderson, Program Coordinator at ARC, will discuss how their relationship was forged in a juvenile facility and how it has influenced both of their pathways. They will emphasize the importance of similar relationships in the development of young leaders.

The Youth Summit will open with remarks from OJJDP Administrator Robert Listenbee, CJJ Executive Director Marie Williams, and CJJ National Youth Chair Symone Sanders. Following the opening session, presenters will engage attendees on topics such as effective communications with policymakers, keeping youth out of the adult criminal justice system, and youth organizing. There will also be an opportunity to engage with members of Congress and network with diverse professionals from the juvenile justice and other youth-related systems.

This year’s Summit is supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The program was created and driven by CJJ’s youth members and National Youth Committee.

For more information about the Youth Summit, contact Jonathan Litt at litt@juvjustice.org.