Highlight of the Month: Year-end Message from CJJ National Chair
- Message from David R. Schmidt, CJJ National Chair
CJJ Government Relations Alert
- FY 2010 Juvenile Justice Appropriations Bill Passes Senate, Moves to Conference; Congress Extends Continuing Resolution
- U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Schedules Markup of JJDPA Reauthorization Bill
- U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Also Schedules Markup of National Criminal Justice Commission Act
- U.S. House Subcommittee Passes Youth PROMISE Act
- U.S. Supreme Court Hears Cases Challenging Constitutionality of Juvenile Life without Parole Sentences
CJJ Conference News
- CJJ Southern Region Conference – Registration to Close December 18, 2009
- Save the Dates! CJJ 2010 National Annual Conference and Council of SAGs’ Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., April 9 – 13, 2010.
National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) News
- Birmingham and Delaware Stem School to Prison Pipeline
- Parties Agree to Consent Decrees Regarding Conditions at Orleans Parish Detention Center in Louisiana
- North Carolina Task Force Begins Evaluation of Raising the Age of Adult Jurisdiction
Resources and Information of Note
- CJJ’s Partnership with Models for Change
- Back on Track: Supporting Youth Re-entry
- Filling in the Research Gaps: New Cost-Benefit Unit at VERA
- OJJDP Invites Juvenile Justice Professionals to Complete Needs Assessment
- OJJDP Announces Availability of Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) Best Practices Database
- New Research: Adolescents may reason as well as adults, but emotional maturity lags
- Court delays cause problems – New Report
- New Report: Hidden Injustice: LBGT Youth in Juvenile Courts
- Child Welfare League of America national conference
- SAMHSA Accepting applications for the Offender Reentry Program
In the News
- News from Maine: Support JJDPA Reauthorization!
- Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson confirmed
- Juvenile Justice and Race: A new piece by James Bell
- Girls in the Court System
- U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Juvenile Life Without Parole Cases
- Clayton County, Georgia, heralded as Innovator against Zero Tolerance
Highlight of the Month: Year-end Message from CJJ National Chair
Message from David R. Schmidt, CJJ National Chair
Dear CJJ Members and Allies:
Late fall is a good time to reflect on the year and CJJ’s accomplishments in 2009.
I am thankful and humbled to be able to serve in the role of National Chair of CJJ—elected by the State Advisory Group Chairs. Each day I am impressed by the vital efforts to advance the work of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and many other significant reforms in juvenile justice, made by CJJ’s highly-engaged membership in concert with our skillful staff in Washington, DC.
In 2009, CJJ has also been thankful and deeply honored to celebrate 25 years of collective service to youth, the nation and our members. We were very pleased and proud to host our CJJ founder, Ms. A.L. Carlisle, in May, and share in her vision that gave life to CJJ and that has unfolded over the years in CJJ’s important work.
We are also thankful for the mission that binds us together. Thirty-five years ago the JJDPA set in motion a federal-state relationship that has productively engaged state and local governments, via SAGs composed of citizen-volunteers and professional staff, to work to:
The results of the JJDPA over these 35 years demonstrate the effectiveness of timely, fair and productive prevention and intervention efforts. Whereas 35 years ago it was, regrettably, commonplace to find non-delinquent youth – such as truant students and runaways – in locked detention – this is no longer the rule in most jurisdictions. For 35 years, youth in the juvenile justice system have been barred from confinement in adult jails; again, an all too common occurrence 35 years ago.
- improve juvenile justice and delinquency prevention practices;
- safeguard court-involved youth; and
- support the success of youth, families and communities across the nation.
The value and success of JJDPA standards are undeniable. Yet, as a new Administration continues to take shape, and as Congress prepares to reauthorize the JJDPA, we must overcome ongoing challenges under the JJDPA to truly reduce the disproportionately high contact minority youth have with the justice system; to increase alternatives to detention and jail for youth in both the juvenile and criminal justice systems; to eliminate any and all detention of status offenders; and to ensure effective assistance of counsel for youth at all stages in the court process, among other critical challenges.
Earlier this month, Ward Loyd, CJJ National Vice Chair, and I were guest authors in Roll Call – a newspaper that blankets Capitol Hill. Our article, which is linked here, “Juvenile Justice at a Pivotal Moment” highlighted the urgency of this time and CJJ’s commitment to support the states in exemplary efforts to implement the JJDPA. In this article, we invite the President, Congress and the Department of Justice to:
In closing, thank you to CJJ members, executive board representative, allies and our staff for all of your hard work in 2009. I extend my warmest wishes to you and yours for the holidays. Please feel free to contact me at anytime with your ideas and comments: email@example.com.
- collaborate with the states, and with juvenile justice reform leaders nationwide;
- provide the necessary funding and supports that states need to stay the course and make additional improvements; and
- ensure that every court-involved youth is given an opportunity to reclaim his/her life and to connect positively with family and community.
CJJ Government Relations Alert
Click here for the full Government Relations Update.
FY 2010 Juvenile Justice Appropriations Bill Passes Senate, Moves to Conference; Congress Extends Continuing Resolution
On November 5, 2009, the U.S. Senate amended and passed H.R. 2847, the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) bill, which provides funding for all federal juvenile justice programs. The bill now moves to conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate proposals.
Click here to learn more about the status of the FY 2010 CJS bill.
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Schedules Markup of JJDPA Reauthorization Bill
On December 3, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. EST, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to “mark-up” S. 678, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2009, bi-partisan legislation to strengthen the JJDPA and provide improved resources to the states to support its optimal implementation. The bill will possibly be held over until December 10, 2009.
S. 678 is authored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), with original co-sponsors Senators Arlen Specter (D-PA), Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). Since its introduction this past March, S. 678 has also garnered the support of Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
Click here to learn more about the status of the JJDPA reauthorization bill.
Click here to see CJJ’s letter of support sent in advance of the markup.
The Act-4-Juvenile Justice Campaign is ramping up its efforts on JJDPA reauthorization. CJJ urges you to become a fan of ACT-4-JJ on Facebook.
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Also Schedules Markup of National Criminal Justice Commission Act
Also on Dec. 3, 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark-up S. 714, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009. Originally sponsored by Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Arlen Specter (D-PA), S. 714 would create a blue-ribbon commission charged with conducting an 18-month, top-to-bottom review of the nation's entire criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform.
Click here to learn more about S. 714.
U.S. House Subcommittee Passes Youth PROMISE Act
On October 29, 2009, by a vote of 8-1, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security approved H.R. 1064, the Youth PROMISE Act, with no amendments. The bill, which has gained the broad-based support of 232 co-sponsors since its introduction, now awaits consideration by the full House Judiciary Committee.
Click here to learn more about the Youth PROMISE Act.
U.S. Supreme Court Hears Cases Challenging Constitutionality of Juvenile Life without Parole Sentences
On November 9, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases, Graham v. Florida and Sullivan v. Florida, to determine whether the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which bans cruel and unusual punishment) prohibits life imprisonment without the possibility of parole where the defendant was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense and where the offense did not result in a homicide.
Both cases are ones of “first impression,” which means they represent the first time the Court will rule on the legality of juvenile life without parole sentences (JLWOP).
CJJ is a proud member of the Campaign for Fair Sentencing. Click here to learn more about the cases and CJJ’s position on JLWOP. Click here to read the friend of the court brief endorsed by the Campaign for Fair Sentencing.
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the CJJ Government Relations Committee or Government Relations Program, please contact committee chair Ken Schatz (KSchatz@ci.Burlington.vt.us
), or CJJ deputy executive director Tara Andrews (firstname.lastname@example.org
and 202-467-0864, ext. 109).
CJJ Conference News
CJJ Southern Regional Conference – Registration to Close December 18, 2009
CJJ’s Southern Region conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Downtown Charleston, SC, on January 29-31, 2010. The theme of the conference is “New Tools for a New Decade: Working with the Media to Advance Juvenile Justice Systems Change.”
For more information about the conference, including a draft agenda, registration form and hotel information, click here. Please register and book your hotel room(s) no later than Friday, December 18, 2009. The conference is open to all! For more information, please contact Mark Ferrante at email@example.com.
Save the Dates! CJJ 2010 National Annual Conference and Council of SAGs’ Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., April 9 – 13, 2010
CJJ will host its Annual National Conference and Council of SAGs’ meeting on April 9 - 13, 2010, at the Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel. The theme of the conference is “Ensuring School Engagement and Success for Youth At Risk.”
CJJ is inviting co-sponsors for the conference, with levels of sponsorship ranging from $1,000 to more than $25,000. For more information on potential co-sponsorships, or to join the conference planning committee, please contact Mark Ferrante at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-467-0864, ext. 102.
More details regarding conference registration and a Call for Presentations will follow early in 2010.
National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) News
Birmingham and Delaware Stem School to Prison Pipeline
A new School Offense Protocol developed by the Birmingham City Schools Collaborative is designed to reduce student arrests in schools and improve graduation rates by ensuring that minor student misbehavior is addressed in the schools, rather than in juvenile court. Studies have shown that a first-time arrest during high school nearly doubles the chances a student will drop out of school; a court appearance nearly quadruples the chances of a student dropping out. The protocol establishes a three-step process for handling minor infractions in school: a student’s first offense results in a warning notice from the school resource officer, the second offense results in a referral to the School Conflict Workshop, and the third offense results in a referral to court. The Birmingham agreement is based on a similar agreement in Clayton County, Georgia. Since the Georgia agreement was signed in 2004, court referrals have been reduced by 60 percent and graduation rates have increased 20 percent.
In June 2009, the Delaware legislature addressed the school to prison pipeline. H.B. 120 allows school boards to modify the terms of expulsions that result from zero tolerance policies or to determine that such expulsions are not appropriate. H.R. 22 establishes a School Discipline Task Force to investigate the state’s zero tolerance policy on school infractions. NJJN members in both Alabama (Alabama Youth Justice Coalition) and Delaware (Delaware Collaboration for Youth) were instrumental to the changes made in the two states. A comment in The Nation (“New Rules for Schools,” Amy Bach, November 2) and an editorial in The New York Times (“Back Where He Belongs,” October 16) highlight the issue of the school to prison pipeline and call for an end to zero tolerance policies and the criminalization of minor offenses. Click here to read Birmingham’s School Offense Protocol.
Parties Agree to Consent Decrees Regarding Conditions at Orleans Parish Detention Center in Louisiana
On October 26, the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL), an NJJN member, joined with the City of New Orleans and the Orleans Parish School Board to file consent decrees that set forth remedial plans for conditions of confinement and education at the Youth Study Center. The consent decrees were filed following 22 months of negotiations after JJPL filed a class action lawsuit in December 2007. The lawsuit included allegations of locked fire doors with no available keys, insects and rodents biting youth, children with serious conditions being denied their medication, and suicidal youth not receiving mental health services. Click here to read an editorial from The Times-Picayune about the consent decrees. Click here to read a press release about the consent decrees.
North Carolina Task Force Begins Evaluation of Raising the Age of Adult Jurisdiction
Through legislation passed last session (H.B. 2436), North Carolina established the Youth Accountability Planning Task Force to determine whether the state should amend its law that automatically prosecutes all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in the adult criminal justice system. NJJN member Action for Children North Carolina was a key advocate for the creation of the Task Force. The Task Force kicked off its first meeting on Wednesday, October 21 in Raleigh and heard from experts from the UNC School of Government, North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission, North Carolina Department of Corrections, and North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Representative Toni Walker (D-New Haven) from the Connecticut House of Representatives also spoke on Connecticut's successful "Raise the Age" Campaign that resulted in a law change to prohibit the automatic prosecution of youth under age 18 as adults, effective January 1, 2010. North Carolina's Task Force is required to submit an interim report during the 2010 regular session and a final report by January 15, 2011. Click here to view the legislation.
Resources and Information of Note
CJJ’s Partnership with Models for Change
The MacArthur Foundation-supported Models for Change juvenile justice systems reform initiative is in its sixth year and active in four Core States—Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana and Washington—with Action Network members, addressing mental health, juvenile indigent defense and racial-ethnic fairness/DMC in 12 more.
Throughout these 16 states, State Advisory Group members and CJJ allies are actively involved, along with many other juvenile justice practitioners, experts and advocates. CJJ is pleased and proud to be co-hosting the Models for Change working conference again this December with the Foundation.
See the Models for Change website for a wealth of information on systems reform and critical juvenile justice issues. The publications section of the website features reports and research summaries on a range of topics.
Each of the three Action Networks – DMC, Mental Health, and Juvenile Indigent Defense – has its own homepage with links to publications, promising findings, and work planned for each of the active sites. The Reform Progress section features updates about developments in Models for Change, and longer features related to juvenile justice reform.
Back on Track: Supporting Youth Re-entry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community
On November 17, 2009, a very effective Capitol Hill briefing was held by the Youth Re-entry Task Force of the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition. The briefing report, “Back on Track,” was authored by task force chairs, Ashley Nellis of the Sentencing Project, and Richard Hooks Wayman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. It includes information on the characteristics of youth in re-entry, the collateral consequences associated with out-of-home placements, and recommendations for the essential components and the forms of federal leadership and policy needed to support successful outcomes for youth re-entry.
G. Roger Jarjoura, Chair of the Indiana State Advisory Group (SAG), who is an associate professor of criminal justice at Indiana University and the founder of Aftercare for the Incarcerated through Mentoring (AIM), was among the expert panelists that also included Jeff Slowikowski, the Acting Administrator of OJJDP, and others. Roger was also joined by youth from the AIM program. His powerful testimony underscored the value of well-implemented mentoring initiatives for youth in re-entry and provided substantive evaluative evidence of improved outcomes and lowered recidivism.
Click here to read the report.
Filling in the Research Gaps: New Cost-Benefit Unit at Vera
The Vera Institute of Justice has introduced a new Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit. This unit will help lawmakers and policy makers get a better handle on justice-related costs so they can spend money more effectively. They also provide assistance to jurisdictions to do their own cost-benefit analyses.
OJJDP Invites Juvenile Justice Professionals to Complete Needs Assessment
OJJDP Acting Administrator, Jeff Slowikowski, invites juvenile justice professionals to complete the newly launched Training and Technical Assistance Needs Assessment. OJJDP hopes to use the information to gain more current knowledge of challenges and local needs in order to better support juvenile justice organizations.
OJJDP Announces Availability of Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) Best Practices Database
OJJDP has announced the availability of the Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) Best Practices Database, designed to assist jurisdictions in identifying and implementing evidence-based initiatives that lead to the removal of status offenders from secure detention or correctional facilities. The DSO Best Practices Database was launched at the OJJDP State Relations and Assistance (SRAD) Division National Training Conference on October 26 in Austin, TX. In accordance with the DSO requirement of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 2002, OJJDP hopes that this resource will contribute to preventing status offenses and help jurisdictions identify programs, policies, and practices that address the needs of status-offending and at-risk youth.
The second in OJJDP's Core Requirements Best Practice series (the DMC-Reduction Best Practices Database went online in 2007), it provides useful background information on the DSO provision and a variety of DSO-related resources. It also contains profiles of more than 100 direct service programs and systems change strategies in the five major status offense categories - truancy, running away, ungovernability or incorrigibility, violating curfew laws, and violating underage liquor laws. The site also contains a nomination page and invites nominations of strategies and programs believed to be effective in keeping status offenders out of secure confinement. The DSO Best Practices Database can be accessed at www.dsgonline.com/dso. For more information, contact Marcia Cohen, Project Director, Development Services Group, Inc., 301-951-0056 or email@example.com.
New Research: Adolescents may reason as well as adults, but emotional maturity lags
Leading researchers Laurence Steinberg and Elizabeth Scott explain how adolescents are mature enough to decide important life decisions, yet are less culpable than adults in the delinquency/criminal context. Click here for the press release and article.
Court delays cause problems: New Report
According to a new report by Jeffrey Butts, Gretchen Cusick and Benjamin Adams, delays in processing youth through juvenile court can have negative affects on them, their families and communities. The report explores the swiftness of justice in relation to the effectiveness of interventions. Click here to read the report.
New Report: Hidden Injustice: Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Youth in Juvenile Courts
In a collaboration of the National Juvenile Defender Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Legal Services for Children, a new report by Katayoon Majd (NJDC), Jody Marksamer (NCLR) and Carolyn Reyes (LSC) looks at the barriers to fair and effective juvenile court services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) youth. It offers 11 recommendations for juvenile court professionals working with LGBT youth. Click here for the full report.
Child Welfare League of America National Conference
Child Welfare League of America national conference will be held January 25 - 27, 2010 in Washington, DC. The theme of the conference, Leading a New Era, will cover a broad range of topics including juvenile justice. Click here for more information.
SAMHSA Accepting applications for the Offender Reentry Program
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is currently accepting grant applications for the Offender Reentry Program. The purpose of the program is to expand or enhance substance abuse treatment and related recovery and reentry services to sentenced juvenile and adult offenders returning to the community from incarceration for criminal/juvenile offenses. Programs should help those who have been incarcerated make a stable transition back to the community, provide treatment for drug and alcohol abusers, and reduce future offending.
Grants will be awarded through SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, for fiscal year 2010. The deadline for submitting applications is January 19. Click here to see the full grant announcement.
In the News
News from Maine: Support JJDPA Reauthorization!
Bangor Daily News editorialized on November 18, 2009, in favor of a strong reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), following interviews with Paul Vestal, the Maine State Advisory Group Chair; Kathryn McGloin, the state’s juvenile justice specialist; and Jill Ward, a board member of the Campaign for Youth Justice and active member of the ACT-4-JJ working group. Click here to read more. The Pine Tree State is also the only state (so far!) that can boast that both of its U.S. Senators are current co-sponsors of the current Senate bill to reauthorize the JJDPA.
Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson confirmed
Laurie O. Robinson was sworn in on November 9, 2009, as the Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. Click here to read more.
CJJ was pleased to send a letter of congratulations to Assistant Attorney General Robinson. Click here to read letter.
Juvenile Justice and Race: A new piece by James Bell
James Bell, the founder and executive director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, analyzes the current Supreme Court case with a critical eye towards the politics of race. Click here to read the article.
Girls in the Court System
Malika Saada Saar, founder and executive director of The Rebecca Project for Human Rights, writes about our “precious” girls at the margins in The Washington Post. The movie Precious ends happily, but not all young women are so lucky. Click here to read the article.
U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Juvenile Life Without Parole Cases
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the issue of whether juveniles should be permitted life sentences, without the possibility of parole. The two cases before the court involved a sexual assault case of a 13-year-old, and parole violation involving a burglary by a 17-year-old. Neither involved a death.
Click here for The New York Times op-ed by Laurence Steinberg and Elizabeth Scott, arguing that juvenile life without parole should be abolished.
Click here to read The New York Times Editorial on the case.
Clayton County, Georgia, heralded as Innovator against Zero Tolerance
In the wake of the Birmingham case (recounted above in NJJN news), it is time to rethink how we approach “zero tolerance” policies in schools. The New York Times editorialized in favor of reevaluating which cases, especially which minor school offenses, should find their way into the courtroom. Click here to read the editorial.