CJJ Leadership News
- Message from Robin Jenkins, CJJ 2008-09 National Chair
- Council of State Advisory Groups (SAGs) and Elections Update
- Circle of Leaders 25th Anniversary Fund
CJJ Government Relations Alert
- CALL TO ACTION: House Proposes Level Funding for FY 2010 Juvenile Justice Programs
- CJJ Releases Policy Agenda for the 111th Congress
- Department of Justice Grants Extension for State Compliance with the Adam Walsh Act
- Youth PROMISE Act Continues to Gain Momentum
- House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Federal Legislation to Eliminate Life Without Parole Sentence for Juveniles
CJJ Conference News
- CJJ Hosts National Conference and 25th Anniversary Celebration
State Advisory Group (SAG) News
- Mississippi Passes Legislation to Improve Juvenile Justice
National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) News
- NJJN Welcomes New Members and Partners
- Announcing NJJN’s Legislative Databank
- Minnesota Governor Signs Bill That Will Lead To Better Juvenile Justice Data
- "Re-Direct New York" Bills Introduced to Decrease County Use of Secure Facilities for Youth
- Youth Tried and Sentenced as Adult for Murder is Exonerated
- Raise the Age Bill Is Introduced in North Carolina
- Illinois Governor Signs Bill to Expand Redeploy Illinois Program
- Campaign for Youth Justice and NJJN Announce Recipients of Mother of Distinction Awards
Resources and Information of Note
- TimeBanks USA Hosts Colloquium: “Dismantling Structural Racism in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare”
- New Report from CFYJ and NCLR Addresses Latino Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
- JPI Reports Highlight Economic Benefits of Alternatives to Incarceration
- OJJDP Bulletin Offers Juvenile Arrest Date for 2007
- Chapin Hall Releases Report on Youthful Offenders Re-entering Their Communities
- Models for Change Launches New Web Site
- JDAI Help Desk Offers Hundreds of Resources for Reform
- In the News
- Upcoming Conferences
CJJ Leadership News
Message from Robin Jenkins, CJJ 2008-09 National Chair
Somewhere there is a swan singing – or maybe that’s just my imagination. But this is my last communication to you as CJJ’s National Chair and I cannot, in any reasonable way, communicate positively enough my feelings of appreciation to you all via this medium. I began my term in 2007 with an aggressive agenda: (1) to help the Executive Board and Council of SAGs further evolve our business model, structure/development and practices so that CJJ’s long term sustainability would become even better situated; (2) to work with our Board, Council and allies to ensure a highly visible and successful government relations agenda (including but not limited to JJDPA reauthorization); (3) to grow our “customer services” or member services so that contributing states feel good about their investments; (4) to advance the field with state-of-the-art conferencing and an information package of training and communications; and (5) to grow our membership via heartfelt outreach, sharing, positive communications, mutual contributions and collaboration. My self-assessment tells me that we were able to achieve some of these things, while others remain works in progress. It has been a fast, splendid and no-regrets two years.
It is customary to use outgoing Chair columns to thank those who supported the Chair along the way. I find that I cannot, in this space, possibly thank all the individuals that guided me, supported my leadership efforts, counseled, mentored or even put up with me over these years. But I do want to impress upon you how appreciative and thankful I am to your volunteer Executive Board and all the committee volunteers and contributors. Nonprofit organizations live and perish by their volunteer corps – and there are none better than CJJ’s. The extraordinary hours of late night, weekend, and “off duty” contributions are amazing and to have a chance to sit in the Chair’s seat and see all that goes on in the name of juvenile justice advocacy and family-strengthening is inspiring.
Thank you, CJJ’s Executive Board and committee chairs and members, for your shining commitments to those who do not have a voice. You’ve touched me immeasurably and I am certain that you’ve improved the outcomes for children involved in juvenile justice in ways that will forever be beneficial.
Thank you, CJJ’s Council of SAGs, for your leadership and passion. The debates and dialogues we’ve shared during my tenure have only reinforced the valuable benefits afforded a society where so many have vote and voice, only to meld that “many” into “one” when the team needs to lead and be heard. The diversity of the Council is truly remarkable and I’ve grown so much personally and professionally because of your memberships, investments and commitments to CJJ.
Thank you, to CJJ staff – par excellence, to be sure. There is none finer in all of nonprofit-land. Sure we’ve sometimes not always gotten it right – but CJJ’s staff, your staff, is always willing to be there for you when you need something and will work to resolve problems. You folks are amazing and I’m honored to have served with you.
What a wonderful 25th anniversary! For those who couldn’t make it to Arlington, VA, on May 3, CJJ outdid itself. A. L. Carlisle rocked the house with her anecdotes and motivational discussions – boy do we have NOTHING to complain about, after listening to her tell about what she and her team did to start and maintain the organization. Funding? Who needs it? A. L. teaches us all that it really is about leadership – volunteer leadership – and a willingness to go the extra mile to collaborate and inform.
And then there was Micheal Cox, the 2009 CJJ Spirit of Youth Award winner, motivating us with his life story; Bill Schramm of Michigan teaching us, once again, that mistakes don’t make the man; Sandy Rempe of Missouri defining excellence through her expertise and effectiveness as the 2009 CJJ Tony Gobar Outstanding Juvenile Justice Specialist; … and then there’s Vinny. Vincent “Vinny” Schiraldi - a man who walks the walk and is a shining example of what reform truly means – receiving the 2009 A. L. Carlisle Child Advocacy Award from CJJ. Vinny has, with his leadership team and staff, redefined the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services with an emphasis on positive youth development and a focus on giving kids opportunities instead of punishment. Way to go, Vinny – we stand ready to support you and to highlight your department as you continue to implement positive changes.
I’ll close by offering some final personal thoughts. Donal Lease, the gentleman who brought Josh White Jr. to the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Concert on May 3, told me something at breakfast the next day that I’ll never forget. Donal is in his own right an accomplished musician and retired educator from the Washington, DC, area. Donal said to me: “Kids don’t care that you know (or what you know) – until they know you care.” Think about this. It all boils down to my favorite mantra – it’s about the relationships! If we’re going to help kids, we must give them long term, positive and developmentally appropriate relationships. We can’t “fix them” in a few months or in short-term programs. They’ve likely experienced a series of shattered or problem relationships over time, and what will help them must come from long-term commitments and caring. That means teaching, disciplining, guiding, loving and yes, sometimes giving them consequences for misbehaving – but also, teaching them a better way and rewarding them with positive self-efficacy and worth when they get it right.
Josh White Jr. “gifted” me by coming to the CJJ conference and sharing his music and stories. Josh knows relationships. I will never forget, and never under-appreciate him coming. Tom Begich also blessed us with his music and songwriting presentations. The reception honoring past CJJ leaders and award winners was heartwarming to say the least. It was very emotional for me to see so many folks whom I’ve looked up to, been mentored by, and befriended in this group. I feel like I’ve had the richest of honors, the most amazing of experiences, and the most blessed of days.
David Schmidt said some of the kindest things about me, but it is David and all of CJJ’s volunteers that make all of this go. You are in the best of hands as David takes the helm as incoming CJJ National Chair on July 1. And, as for Judge Paul Lawrence, don’t expect him to disappear as he steps down, having served as Vice Chair, National Chair and Immediate Past Chair over the past six and half years. His guidance and support has been fantastic—thank you, Paul.
So as has been my habit, I’ll end with a musical wish for you, metaphorically of course. From Jimmy Buffett, my hopes for a wonderful, healthy, positive, accomplished and happy future to each of you. Jimmy sings about his dreams of getting back to a favorite island, of finding peace and perpetual “feeling fine” through the simple sorts of things. In the metaphor of his song, I dream for these happy endings to you and yours —
“I wanna be there
Wanna go back down and lie beside the sea there
With a tin cup for a chalice, fill it up with good red wine
And I'm a' chewin' on a honeysuckle vine”
Robin Jenkins, Ph.D.
Outgoing CJJ National Chair
Council of State Advisory Groups (SAGs) and Elections Update
Bright and early Sunday morning, May 3, 2009, the CJJ Council of SAGs, composed of SAG Chairs/Chair-designees from CJJ-member states, met for the 2009 Annual Meeting. We thank all of the voting representatives who joined us for this year’s meeting and who stay on pace with Council activities throughout the course of the year!
Elections were held to vote in and confirm members of the CJJ Executive Board. CJJ warmly congratulates newly-elected and re-elected officers to the CJJ Executive Board, who join ten ongoing members, as follows:
CJJ bids farewell and expresses heartfelt gratitude for wonderful service to those stepping off of the CJJ Executive Board. We were pleased to celebrate you and your many contributions in person at the Council meeting on May 3:
- David Schmidt of New Mexico, as CJJ National Chair (July 1, 2009-July 1, 2011) was confirmed by the Council of SAGs on May 3;
- Ward Loyd of Kansas, as CJJ National Vice Chair (for the same term) was elected by the Council on May 3;
- Robin Jenkins of North Carolina, as CJJ Immediate Past National Chair (same term) was confirmed by the Council on May 3;
- Benjamin Deaton of Kentucky, CJJ National Youth Chair (same term) was elected by the Council on May 3;
- Patricia Connell of Illinois as CJJ Midwest Region Representative (same term) was elected by the Midwest Region on May 2;
- Susan Kamp of Vermont as CJJ Northeast Region Representative (same term) was elected by the Northeast Region on May 2;
- Eric Williams of Mississippi as Southern Region Representative (same term) was elected by the Southern Region on May 2;
- Katie Wells of Colorado as Western Region Representative (same term) was elected by the Western Region on May 2; and
- Brad Richardson of Iowa as National DMC Coordinator Representative (same term) was elected by the DMC Coordinators throughout the nation on May 2.
The Council also regularly reviews and provides input into strategic and policy decisions that cast new directions for CJJ. In terms of policy decisions, three items were placed on the Council’s agenda for advance review, discussion and voting.
- Paul Lawrence of New Hampshire who served as CJJ National Chair and prior to doing so as CJJ Northeast Region Chair;
- Andrew Jennings of Virginia who served as CJJ National Youth Chair;
- Keith Wood of Missouri who served as CJJ Midwest Region Representative.
As a result, these positions with the needed technical amendment have been incorporated into CJJ’s comprehensive policy agenda for the 111th Congress and the New Administration, described in the Government Relations Alert (see below).
- The CJJ Government Relations Committee proposed and a super-majority of the Council approved (with no objections) a new position to remove the juvenile registry provisions in the Adam Walsh Act;
- The CJJ Government Relations Committee proposed and the Council unanimously approved a new position regarding elimination of earmarks/carve-outs from core federal juvenile justice funds requesting one technical change; and
- The CJJ Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Committee presented recommendations regarding DMC leadership by OJJDP and the Department of Justice for adoption by the Whole, which were also approved by a super-majority of the Council with no objections.
As the U.S. economy has become volatile and states, localities, families and children have experienced increasing pressure due to economic hardships, CJJ has heard from Council members and the Executive Board of strong interest in increasing CJJ’s efforts to assist states to access a range of federal funding streams that can be useful to support state and local juvenile justice needs and reforms. At the Council meeting, we began a discussion of the greatest needs to be met and most effective uses of federal monies by SAGs, states and others. The findings will help to inform an increasing focus on use of CJJ’s government relations program to identify and grow greater opportunities for federal funding to assist CJJ members and their state and local allies. Please look for a report of the findings and intended next steps in the coming weeks.
The Council also received a presentation on the progress of the Models for Change initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, with which CJJ serves as a proud partner. Bob Schwartz of the Juvenile Law Center and Mark Soler of the Center for Children’s Law and Policy provided informative updates on the involvement of the Pennsylvania SAG and others in advancing a comprehensive reform in their state, as well as the activities of eight states engaged in the DMC Action Network, respectively. More information about Models for Change may be found at www.modelsforchange.net.
For additional information on the CJJ Council of SAGs, please feel free to contact the incoming CJJ National Chair, David Schmidt, in New Mexico at firstname.lastname@example.org, or CJJ’s Executive Director, Nancy Gannon Hornberger, in the Washington, DC, office at email@example.com and 202-467-0864, ext.111.
Circle of Leaders 25th Anniversary Fund
The CJJ Fund Raising Committee, chaired by Rev. Jim Kirk of Maryland, is excited and pleased to report outstanding progress toward a $25,000 goal for the Circle of Leaders Fund in honor or CJJ’s 25th Anniversary in 2009. To date, the Circle of Leaders has raised more than $13,000 toward this goal of $25,000, with several gift pledges yet to be received.
The Circle of Leaders is CJJ’s annual contributions fund, which provides any individual who wishes to make a tax-deductible contribution in support of CJJ’s mission with such an opportunity. The Circle was established in 2001 and more than 50% of its donors are annual contributors. Every year, 100% of the CJJ Executive Board contributes to the Circle of Leaders.
The Fund Raising Committee set an ambitious goal in 2008-2009 aimed at more than doubling the total funds raised and growing the Circle’s base of contributors to include a greater number of individuals, as well as business/corporate contributors. The response to the call for contributions has been a wonderful testament to the value CJJ’s members and allies see in our organization.
Many thanks to all Circle of Leaders donors—your gifts helped to sponsor the recent 25th Anniversary Celebration and Concert held at CJJ’s annual national conference in honor of the CJJ Founding Chair, A. L. Carlisle, and CJJ’s past national chairs and awardees. (Click here to view a photo album from the celebration.) Your gifts are put to important use, everyday, as CJJ increases its representation of its members and services to the youth, families, communities and the nation.
For additional information on the CJJ Fund Raising Committee and the Circle of Leaders, please feel free to contact the CJJ Fund Raising Chair, Jim Kirk, in Maryland at firstname.lastname@example.org, or CJJ’s Executive Director, Nancy Gannon Hornberger, in the Washington, DC, office at email@example.com and 202-467-0864, ext.111.
CJJ Government Relations Alert
CALL TO ACTION: House Proposes Level Funding for FY 2010 Juvenile Justice Programs
On June 4, 2009, the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) marked up the CJS appropriations bill, which includes recommended funding levels for the core federal juvenile justice programs. The House proposal closely adheres to the President’s FY 2010 Budget Proposal, recommending level-funding for all existing juvenile justice programs. The U.S. Senate has yet to take action on a CJS bill.
$25 for EUDL
$10 for GREAT
$25 for Tribal Youth
$25 for EUDL
$10 for gang ed
$25 for Tribal Youth
$25 for EUDL
$10 for gang ed
$25 for Tribal Youth
In addition to the above, the House CJS Subcommittee is proposing $80 million for mentoring programs, $68 million for earmarked demonstration projects and $18 million for a new community-based youth violence prevention initiative ($7 million less than the President’s proposal).
NOW IS THE TIME to urge congressional appropriators to build on new programs and restore specific funding for all critical juvenile justice and delinquency prevention funding streams that support the work of the JJDPA in the states. At this juncture, it is critical that we focus on the Senate Appropriations CJS Subcommittee.
Please use the CJJ Template Appropriations Support Letter to communicate the importance of federal juvenile justice funding to your entire congressional delegation.
For more information, contact Tara Andrews, Deputy Executive Director of Policy and Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CJJ Releases Policy Agenda for the 111th Congress
On May 5, 2009, CJJ released a policy platform for the 111th Congress. Titled “Unlocking the Future of Juvenile Justice: A Policy Agenda for the 111th Congress,” the platform sets forth 14 recommendations for members of Congress regarding critical needs and opportunities for federal leadership, legislative and budget initiatives in juvenile justice reform. These recommendations were developed by the CJJ Government Relations Committee and ratified by the CJJ Council of State Advisory Groups, comprising the Chairs/Chair-designees of the governor-appointed State Advisory Groups charged with carrying out the goals and mandates of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).
As the national organization of State Advisory Groups chartered under Sec. 223(f) of the JJDPA with advising the President, Congress and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) on matters of delinquency prevention and juvenile justice reform, CJJ is pleased to release this platform in conjunction with its 25th Anniversary of providing field-tested and field-informed policy guidance to our national leaders.
CJJ’s recommendations to the 111th Congress include:
Click here to view the Policy Agenda in its entirety.
- Appoint a Strong and Visionary Leader to Head OJJDP
- Restore OJJDP Capacity to Spur Evidence-Based Practices
- Strengthen OJJDP Capacity to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities Nationwide
- Restore the Statutory Functions of a National Organization of State Advisory Groups
- Restore Appropriations for Juvenile Justice Programs
- Restore Appropriations for OJJDP
- Eliminate Earmarks on JJDPA Programs
- Fully Fund the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
- Fully Fund the Second Chance Act
- Reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
- Enact the Youth PROMISE Act
- Amend the SORNA Title of the Adam Walsh Act and Related Guidelines
- Reauthorize the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG)
- Enact the National Criminal Justice Commission Act
For more information on the recommendations and the work of the CJJ Government Relations Committee, please feel free to contact committee chair Ken Schatz (email@example.com) or Tara Andrews, CJJ Deputy Director for Policy & Programs (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Department of Justice Grants Extension for State Compliance with the Adam Walsh Act
On May, 26, 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued an order granting a one-year extension of the deadline by which states have to come into compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) provisions of the Adam Walsh Act of 2006.
Under the Walsh Act, states and other jurisdictions, including tribal jurisdictions, must come into compliance with the provisions of SORNA by July 27, 2009 or risk losing 10 percent of their Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program allocation. With less than two months to go, no state or jurisdiction has been deemed compliant with SORNA by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (“SMART Office”).
Attorney General Holder’s order comes two months after a request from Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that the deadline be extended, and after years of advocacy by state and local governments and national, state and local organizations for the Department of Justice and Congress to extend the deadline and amend portions of the Walsh Act and its related guidelines. As of the writing of this article, it is not clear whether the guidelines or the statute will be amended this Congress.
On May 3, 2009, at its Annual Meeting, the CJJ Council of State Advisory Groups (SAGs) approved a formal position recommending that the Adam Walsh Act be amended to remove the federal mandate that any youth adjudicated within the juvenile court for a sex-based offense be required to register as a sex offender on the national registry. Click here to view the position statement.
Youth PROMISE Act Continues to Gain Momentum
CJJ is pleased to report that momentum continues to grow for the increasingly popular – and increasingly bipartisan – Youth PROMISE Act, proactive gang prevention legislation sponsored by U.S. Representatives Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and Michael Castle (R-DE) and U.S. Senators Robert “Bob” Casey (D-PA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
Efforts in support of the Youth PROMISE Act received a big boost on Thursday, May 7, 2009, when children, youth and law enforcement advocates from all over the nation descended on Capitol Hill to attend a forum and visit members of their respective Congressional delegations. Since that time, the number of co-sponsors for H.R. 1064, the House version of the bill, has grown from 83 co-sponsors to 122.
As of the writing of this column, more than 230 international, national, state and local organizations and jurisdictions have signed on in support of the Youth PROMISE Act, including the Boy Scouts of America, the Children’s Defense Fund, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, the National Association of Counties, the National Education Association, the National PTA, World Vision and the Cities of Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Richmond. CJJ is an original and proud supporter of the Youth PROMISE Act, and we look forward to working with CJJ members and allies to educate Members of Congress about the benefits of the PROMISE approach.
House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Federal Legislation to Eliminate Life Without Parole Sentence for Juveniles
On Tuesday, June 9, at 3:00 p.m., the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, held a hearing on H.R. 2289, the Juvenile Justice Accountability and Improvement Act of 2009. If enacted, the legislation would mandate that youth convicted as adults before age 18 and sentenced to life imprisonment be eligible for parole after a period of 15 years, effectively eliminating life without the possibility of parole sentences for juveniles (JLWOP).
Invited witnesses to the hearing included Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative; Mark Osler, Former Prosecutor and Professor of Law, Baylor Law School; Linda White, Ph.D., a violent crime victim from Texas and former Board Member of the Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation, Magnolia, TX; Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, Co-Founder National Organization of Victims of "Juvenile Lifers," Northfield, IL; Anita Colon, sister of a JLWOP inmate in Pennsylvania; James Fox, District Attorney for San Mateo County, CA; and Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, Washington, D.C.
Click here to view a webcast of the hearing.
Sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and endorsed by the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, H.R. 2289 is similar to legislation that was introduced in 11 states so far this year calling for the elimination of JLWOP, including Florida, where the legislation was sponsored by two Republicans, and California, where the legislation has the support of the state’s correctional officers union. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear two cases challenging JLWOP.
To view the legislation in its entirety, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.2289:. To learn more about the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, visit www.endjlwop.org.
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the CJJ Government Relations Committee or Government Relations Program, please contact committee chair Ken Schatz (email@example.com), or CJJ deputy executive director Tara Andrews (firstname.lastname@example.org and 202-467-0864, ext. 109).
CJJ Conference News
CJJ Hosts National Conference and 25th Anniversary Celebration
CJJ is extremely pleased and proud to have hosted more 250 participants representing 43 states, territories and the District of Columbia during its recent national conference held May 2-5, 2009 in Arlington, VA.
The conference theme, “Unlocking the Future of Juvenile Justice,” highlighted work in the states and at the national level to increase access to community-based alternatives to incarceration and to better support the families and communities of troubled youth.
On Sunday evening, May 3, CJJ officially commemorated its 25th anniversary as the national organization of State Advisory Groups with a reception featuring CJJ Founder A. L. Carlisle, past CJJ National Chair Tom Begich and many previous CJJ award recipients. The reception was followed by a musical and spoken word celebration featuring renowned musician Josh White, Jr. and youth from the District of Columbia’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. Click here to view a photo album from the event.
On Monday, May 4, CJJ held its annual awards ceremony which feted the accomplishments of Micheal Cox (NC), the National Spirit of Youth Award recipient; Sandy Rempe (MO), the Tony Gobar Outstanding Juvenile Justice Specialist Award recipient; and Vincent “Vinny” Schiraldi, the A. L. Carlisle Child Advocacy Award recipient.
The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion of a national agenda for the future of juvenile justice. Panelists included Jeff Slowikowski, Acting OJJDP Administrator; Seema Gajwani of the Public Welfare Foundation; Bart Lubow of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and CJJ Executive Board Member and Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Chair, Gina Wood, also of the Joint Center.
Nearly all of the conference’s plenary and concurrent workshops presentations are now available to download on the CJJ Web site. Click here to view them.
If you are interested in serving on the 2010 National Conference Planning Committee, please contact Mark Ferrante, Director for Leadership and Training Programs, at email@example.com.
State Advisory Group (SAG) News
Mississippi Passes Legislation to Improve Juvenile Justice
Governor Haley Barbour, in cooperation with the Mississippi legislature, the United States Department of Justice, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Planning, and the Mississippi Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (the Mississippi SAG), recently took firm action to address juvenile justice issues in the state of Mississippi. On March 18, 2009, Governor Barbour signed House Bill 876 into law, and on March 30, 2009, he issued Executive Order 1017 as a complement to that legislation.
Both the law and the executive order firmly establish juvenile justice as an important issue for Mississippi. While Mississippi has pursued compliance with federal guidelines in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) in order to receive federal funds, until now it had never had its own state laws instating these concepts. With the signing of House Bill 876 and Executive Order 1017, Mississippi now has its own laws by which the state can pursue, and enforce, compliance with these important rules. The guidelines of the federal law and these new state measures require certain policies to be enacted regarding the handling of juvenile offenders including separation of juveniles from adult offenders, time limitations for holding juveniles for certain offenses, and mitigation of excessive minority representation in detention.
Both House Bill 876 and Executive Order 1017 may be viewed at the Mississippi Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee Web site at www.msjjac.org.
National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) News
NJJN Welcomes New Members and Partners
NJJN welcomes four new members – Rhode Island Kids Count, Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition, JUSTGeorgia and Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance – and two new partners – the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth and the NCCD Center for Girls and Young Women.
New NJJN member Rhode Island Kids Count is a statewide children's policy organization dedicated to improving the health, education, and safety of Rhode Island's children. The organization collects and disseminates data on the well-being of Rhode Island's children and advocates for responsive policies and programs.
The Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition focuses on improving the quality of defense for youth (in general and in specific during detention hearings) and in changing the state’s transfer laws, among other issues.
JUSTGeorgia is a broad based coalition of groups that, in collaboration with system stakeholders, recently rewrote the entire Georgia juvenile code and succeeded in introducing the related legislation.
The Wyoming’s Children Action Alliance has been participating in and helping to lead a series of discussions across the state on how to improve Wyoming’s juvenile justice system. As part of its work, the Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance has undertaken a campaign to inform citizens across Wyoming about the importance of reform.
Also joining NJJN as new partners are the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth out of Northwestern University School of Law and NCCD Center for Girls and Young Women headed by Dr. Lawanda Ravoira.
Announcing NJJN’s Legislative Databank
NJJN is pleased to announce the creation of a legislative databank on its Web site (www.njjn.org). NJJN has captured positive juvenile justice reform legislation and catalogued it by issue and by state. For those interested in reviewing the legislation and other advances that correspond to reforms listed in NJJN’s "Advances in Juvenile Justice Reform," go to the publications tab of the NJJN Web site where all of the background documents for the entries listed in these publications are posted.
Minnesota Governor Signs Bill That Will Lead To Better Juvenile Justice Data
On May 21, thanks in part to the advocacy the Juvenile Justice Coalition of Minnesota, an NJJN member, the Minnesota governor signed the Juvenile Justice Data Collection Bill (HF 702) which aims to address racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. The new law mandates that a study group produce a plan by February 2010 to determine how to best collect data on race, ethnicity, gender, geography and offenses in the juvenile justice system.
"Re-Direct New York" Bills Introduced to Decrease County Use of Secure Facilities for Youth
Due to the advocacy work of the New York Juvenile Justice Coalition, an NJJN member, Re-Direct New York has been introduced in the Senate as S5378 and in the Assembly as A7872. Re-Direct New York would provide fiscal incentives for counties to utilize alternatives to detention and placement in lieu of putting youth in facilities.
Youth Tried and Sentenced as Adult for Murder is Exonerated
On May 1, Thaddeus Jimenez (“TJ”) was exonerated and released after 16 years in prison in Illinois for a murder he did not commit. TJ was arrested in Chicago for this crime at the age of 13 and is believed to be the youngest arrestee ever exonerated. A team of lawyers helped secure this exoneration, including attorneys from the Center on Wrongful Convictions, an NJJN partner, and a team of lawyers from the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman. Click here to watch a video summary of the case and footage after TJ's release.
Raise the Age Bill Is Introduced in North Carolina
Due to the advocacy of Action for Children North Carolina, an NJJN member, the state legislature will consider whether to raise North Carolina’s age of jurisdiction from sixteen to eighteen. On March 26, North Carolina State Senator Eleanor Kinnaird introduced Senate Bill 1048 which would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18, and on April 9, State Representative Alice Bordsen introduced the Youth Accountability Act, House Bill 1414. The Youth Accountability Act would raise the age to 18 and also establish a task force to implement the act. Click here to read the Youth Accountability Act.
Illinois Governor Signs Bill to Expand Redeploy Illinois Program
On April 7, Governor Pat Quinn (IL) signed legislation (Public Act 95-1050) to extend the Redeploy Illinois Program from a pilot program to a permanent initiative that will be expanded to other counties. The Juvenile Justice Initiative, an NJJN member, worked to educate lawmakers about the importance of the legislation. The Redeploy Illinois Program reallocates State funds from juvenile correctional confinement to local jurisdictions, in order to establish a continuum of local, community-based sanctions and treatment alternatives for juvenile offenders. Redeploy Illinois provides funding to counties to deliver individualized services such as therapy, substance abuse treatment, and life skills education. The legislation also encourages restorative measures such as victim offender panels, teen courts, competency building, and community service. The law promotes the belief that juveniles should be treated in the least restrictive manner possible while maintaining the safety of the community.
Campaign for Youth Justice and NJJN Announce Recipients of Mother of Distinction Awards
The Campaign for Youth Justice and the National Juvenile Justice Network awarded Mother of Distinction Awards to Lois DeMott of Michigan; Sincilina Beckett and Giana Livingston of Connecticut; Tracy McClard of Missouri; and Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children. The Mother of Distinction Award is presented each Mother’s Day to mothers who have made outstanding contributions to the field by working to reform the juvenile justice system and to change the practice of trying, sentencing, or incarcerating youth in the adult criminal justice system. Click here for more information.
Resources and Information of Note
TimeBanks USA Hosts Colloquium: “Dismantling Structural Racism in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare”
On June 26, TimeBanks USA will host “Dismantling Structural Racism in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare.” The colloquium launches a collaborative initiative, made possible by a planning grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation, built on a new legal strategy designed to redress racial disparity in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Involvement in these systems can cause traumatic and crippling injuries with life-long consequences for the young people, their families and the broader community.
Colloquium topics include:
This inaugural event suggests that the critical barrier to past judicial relief has been the requirement to prove government officials’ intent to discriminate. As such, the colloquium will explore a new legal theory proposing to prove intent by putting officials on formal notice of cost-effective alternatives that work. The theory posits that if officials receive formal notice of alternatives, and then choose to continue present practices, it will constitute intentional disregard of the right to Equal Protection of the law for children and juveniles.
- documenting the injuries for young people, their families and the broader community
- highlighting the social and economic costs of maintaining the status quo
- showcasing what works to secure just outcomes for young people, their families and the broader community
TimeBanks USA invites conference attendees to learn more about this initiative and lend their knowledge as partners in shaping a multi-pronged effort mobilizing communities, advocates and organizations to end rampant juvenile incarceration and practices that undermine the development of children. Participants will also bear witness to the injuries inflicted by current practices and share testimony about demonstrably effective alternatives that enlist children, youth and their families as active co-producers of communities that work.
The colloquium will be an integral part of the 2009 TimeBanks USA Conference: “A Time for Justice, A Wealth of Opportunity.” For more information, visit www.tbusa.org.
New Report from CFYJ and NCLR Addresses Latino Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) held a briefing on May 20 for the release of their new report, “America’s Invisible Children: Latino Youth and the Failure of Justice.” The report details the newest research about Latino youth in the juvenile justice system and offers solutions and policy recommendations to diminish disparities. Some key findings from the report include:
The briefing’s panelists included Raquel Mariscal, Senior Consultant for JDAI Site Support; Francisco Villarruel, Acting Director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University; Elias Elizonda, an activist and youth tried in the adult system at age 16 and sentenced to life with parole; Orlando Martinez, Founder and Senior Partner of Martinez Tjaden; Marcia Rincon-Gallardo, DMC/JDAI Coordinator at Pima County Juvenile Court Center; and Dr. Juan Sanchez, Executive Director of the Southwest Key Program.
- Around 18,000 Latino youth are incarcerated in America each day.
- Latino youth are treated more harshly than white youth for similar offenses at every stage of the justice system.
- One in 4 incarcerated Latino youth are held in adult facilities.
- Latino youth are 43 percent more likely than white youth to be waived to the adult system.
At the briefing, panelists discussed the need to rehabilitate and educate Latino youth offenders rather than simply punishing them. They also noted that it is U.S. citizen Latino youth, not immigrant Latino youth, who are over-involved in the justice system. Panelists pointed out the dangers of high percentages of Latino youth being sent to adult facilities, including higher incidences of suicide, rape, and abuse for juveniles in adult facilities. Orlando Martinez emphasized that “kids are not miniature adults.” There was also solution-based discussion regarding fair treatment for Latino youth and alternatives to incarceration. Suggestions put forward at the briefing included community-based interventions and treatment, making assistance available to youth at all times, focusing on the strengths of the youth and the community, hiring professional Latinos to work with youth and holding programs to the highest accountability. The panelists also indicated the importance of strengthening the JJDPA through reauthorization and the need to appoint a permanent administrator to OJJDP.
JPI Reports Highlight Economic Benefits of Alternatives to Incarceration
The Justice Policy Institute (JPI) released two new reports demonstrating that states could improve public safety and save millions of dollars by investing in community-based alternatives.
“The Costs of Confinement: Why Good Juvenile Justice Policies Make Good Fiscal Sense” finds that states spend about $5.7 billion each year imprisoning youth, even though the majority are held for nonviolent offenses. The brief concludes that most youth could be managed safely in the community through alternatives that cost substantially less than incarceration and could lower recidivism by up to 22 percent. These alternatives are also more cost-effective in reducing crime than incarceration, yielding up to $13 in benefits for every dollar spent.
“Pruning Prisons: How Cutting Corrections Can Save Money and Protect Public Safety” demonstrates that similar benefits can be found in the adult system through investments in treatment and parole services. States could save a combined $4.1 billion by increasing the availability of parole by shifting 10 percent of the prison population into the parole system, and improving parole support and services so that fewer people are returned to prison for technical (rule) violations. Additionally, the report finds that community-based drug treatment provides bigger crime reduction returns than prison--for every dollar spent on drug treatment in the community, the state receives $18 in benefits.
OJJDP Bulletin Offers Juvenile Arrest Date for 2007
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published “Juvenile Arrests 2007,” a 12-page bulletin that analyzes trends in juvenile arrests using data from the FBI’s “Crime in the United States 2007.” According to the bulletin, there were 2 percent fewer juvenile arrests in 2007 than in 2006, and juvenile violent crime arrests declined 3 percent.
Chapin Hall Releases Report on Youthful Offenders Re-entering Their Communities
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago has published “From Corrections to Community: The Juvenile Reentry Experience as Characterized by Multiple Systems Involvement.” The report describes the extent of system involvement among Illinois youth released from correctional facilities, tracking a population of youth under age 18 in Illinois following their release. Using administrative records, researchers developed profiles of reentry experiences across the many systems that serve youth and their families. Researchers examined their involvement with school, public assistance, foster care, and government-assisted services for health, mental health, and substance abuse needs.
Models for Change Launches New Web Site
The Models for Change initiative has launched a new resource to support effective, fair and developmentally sound juvenile justice policies. The new www.modelsforchange.net Web site offers up-to-date information about key research, publications and accomplishments in the field. It also shares recent developments from Models for Change, a comprehensive, multi-state juvenile justice systems reform initiative. Visit www.modelsforchange.net to see the national calendar, learn about new developments and upcoming events, and subscribe for updates.
Models for Change is a national initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to accelerate reform of juvenile justice systems across the country with focused on efforts in 16 select states.
JDAI Help Desk Offers Hundreds of Resources for Reform
Looking for ideas on how to change “the system”? Want to learn what reforms other states have developed without googling county by county? The JDAI Help Desk is a practical tool for practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and others interested in improving the way in which youth are treated within our nation’s delinquency system. JDAI, or Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, has demonstrated for over fifteen years that jurisdictions can safely reduce the use of secure detention and strengthen their juvenile justice systems through a series of inter-related reform strategies. Collaboration is critical in implementing such reforms, and the JDAI Help Desk was designed to ensure that people committed to our youth have the tools they need to protect the rights and welfare of all juveniles involved with the justice system, promote public safety while decreasing the costs of detention, and work on behalf of youth who strive for their own success.
The JDAI Help Desk features hundreds of publications, templates, presentations and other documents that have been generated from successful sites across the country – and the State of New Jersey is a prime example of the benefits of collaboration when sharing successful reform strategies. The "Report to The Administrative Office of the Courts Regarding the Development of a Detention Screening Tool and Its Potential Impact on Current Practice" describes the development, initial testing, and recommendations for proceeding with a pilot of New Jersey’s statewide detention Risk Screening Tool (RST). Upon review of this report, the New Jersey Supreme Court approved implementing the RST on a pilot basis in New Jersey's original JDAI sites. To help sites sufficiently prepare for RST implementation, New Jersey produced a Site-Readiness Planning document for use by the local JDAI sites. The site-readiness document provides a framework for developing an implementation plan around the basic tasks required for successful pilot participation
Come learn what others such as New Jersey are doing to promote juvenile justice reform and share your own ideas and programs at www.jdaihelpdesk.org. The JDAI Help Desk is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
In the News
May 29 – In “Oak Hill Center Emptied and Its Baggage Left Behind,” the Washington Post reported on the closing of Oak Hill Youth Center, a troubled detention facility for Washington, DC, youth in the custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, and the opening of New Beginnings Youth Center, a 30-acre campus that marks a major milestone in the District's effort to move from a system based on punishment to a model that stresses therapy and rehabilitation.
May 22 – CJJ Deputy Executive Director of Policy and Programs Tara Andrews was highlighted in “From Hamilton to the White House?” an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer that profiled new book "She's Out There!" that explores which women in the U.S. will someday become president.
May 21 – “Ex-convict celebrates college graduation, a new life” in the Baltimore Sun profiles R. Dwayne Betts, a featured speaker at CJJ’s recent annual conference, who graduated from the University of Maryland this May despite being sentenced at age 16 to nine years in the adult criminal justice system.
May 5 – In “High Court to Look at Life Sentences for Juveniles,” the Washington Post reports that the Supreme Court will examine two cases from Florida, one involving a 13-year-old convicted of rape and another involving a 17-year-old convicted in a home invasion, to decide whether the penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole violates the Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments.
April 30 – An article in the Washington Post, “Report: Justice Dept. Official Violated Ethics Rules in Grant-Making,” reports that a two-year investigation found that former OJJDP administrator J. Robert Flores violated federal ethics and procurement rules in awarding sole source contracts to ideologically favored companies and individuals.
April 9 – New York Times editorial “Delinquency and Prevention” praises the Senate version of the JJDPA Reauthorization bill, arguing that the bill deserves the full support of Congress along with enough funding to fully implement improved policies detailed in the bill.
Summer 2009 – An article in Washington State Magazine, “Jacqueline van Wormer—Advocacy for juveniles,” profiles van Wormer, who was recognized in December 2008 as a “Champion of Change” for her work in Washington State with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative.
June 15-17 – The National Institute of Justice will host its annual conference in Arlington, VA, bringing together criminal justice scholars, policymakers, and practitioners at the local, state, and federal levels to share the latest research findings and technology. This year's conference includes panels addressing school violence, child abduction, and commercial sexual exploitation of children. Conference registration is free.
July 12-15 – The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges will hold its 72nd Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. The conference will feature juvenile and family law topics, including trauma, custody and visitation, divorce, child abuse and neglect, truancy, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, crossover youth, and substance abuse.
August 3-5 – The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools will host its 2009 National Conference, with the theme “The Power of Change,” in National Harbor, MD. The conference will address issues related to civic and character education, crisis planning, mental and physical health, substance abuse, and violence prevention, among others. Registration is free. Register by July 10, 2009. Early registration is recommended as space is limited.
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