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Family Engagement Listening Sessions Report Just Released!

Jessica Sandoval Monday, 05 August 2013 Posted in 2013, Uncategorised

On Thursday, July 30, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency (OJJDP) released the much anticipated Family Listening Sessions Executive Summary, available online.

In 2011, OJJDP worked in partnership with the Campaign for Youth Justice on a series of listening sessions with families whose children have been impacted by the juvenile and criminal justice systems.  Sixteen states were represented from every region in the country. The purpose of these sessions was to inform OJJDP about the experiences of system-involved youth and their families and to explore ways to improve family engagement to ensure better outcomes for children, youth and families. Thanks to all of the family members who participated in this process, your time and contribution was invaluable to this process.

We applaud OJJDP for their commitment to make family engagement a priority for the agency and for the country. We hope that with these listening sessions and the release of the Family Comes First Report that the issue of family engagement will not be a sideline issue in the immediate future.  To access the Executive Summary, abstract and Family Comes First workbook, please use the links below.

Family Engagement Listening Sessions Executive Summary:
http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/241379.pdf

Family Engagement Listening Sessions Abstract:
http://www.ojjdp.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=263469

Family Comes First: A Workbook to Transform the Justice System by Partnering with Families: http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/family-comes-first.html

Nevada Bill Protects Youth in the Adult System

Carmen Daugherty Monday, 15 July 2013 Posted in 2013, Uncategorised

On June 11th, Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, approved Assembly Bill 202 which protects youth from entering the adult criminal justice system in the state. AB 202 does several things to encourage the safety and rehabilitation of youth in both the juvenile and adult systems. The bill raises the age at which a child will be automatically transferred to 16 for murder or attempted murder. AB 202 also protects youth entering the adult jails by allowing those kids tried as adult to petition the court to be placed in juvenile detention facilities pending their court proceedings. Previously, youth could automatically be housed in adult jails while awaiting trial and research shows us that youth in adult jails are 19 times more likely to commit suicide than youth in the general population and 36 times more likely to commit suicide than youth in juvenile detention facilities.

Finally, the bill will take a retrospective and prospective look at the practice of prosecuting kids as adults by creating a task force to study certain issues relating to juvenile transfer, including blended sentencing as an option, capacity of juvenile  facilities to house youth charged as adults, and costs analysis of housing those kids. The taskforce-- comprised of youth serving agencies, mental health professionals and child advocates--will work on gathering information and providing analysis through the interim session with recommendations for legislation provided to the 78th Session of the Nevada Legislature.

While this is a vast improvement to the Nevada justice system, there is much work to be done to ensure that youth are appropriately charged and rehabilitation is truly an option for all children.

2013 Public Information Officer Learning Collaborative a Huge Success

Aprill O. Turner Tuesday, 21 May 2013 Posted in 2013, Uncategorised

 

  
2013 PIOLC Participants
 

Earlier this month, Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR), the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ), the Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC), and the Public Welfare Foundation (PWF), hosted the 2013 Public Information Officer Learning Collaborative (PIOLC).  The PIOLC is a professional development opportunity for juvenile justice and child welfare public information officers.  The conference is in its fourth year, and 27 public information officers from across the country were in attendance, all committed to working on children and youth related issues.

CJJR has been supporting juvenile justice and child welfare reform efforts through leadership development in various capacities since its inception. The Learning Collaborative allowed the PIOs who work in juvenile justice and child welfare field to learn from one another and from experts in the communication field.

Sessions were led by Shay Bilchik (CJJR), Kathy Bonk (CMMC), and Aprill Turner (CFYJ). Some of the workshop topics were: What it means to be a PIO in a Cutting Edge World, Communicating Reform, Social Media, Polling and Effective Messaging, Reactive/Proactive Strategies Supporting Reform, and a Roundtable Discussion with Journalists.

 “They are very few opportunities and resources available for career development in my current position, so it was extremely valuable to get an  opportunity to learn from and collaborate with such a talented and diverse group of professionals, “ said Jess Harvat, Communications Coordinator for the Colorado Department Of Human Services.

The curriculum for the collaborative also included techniques to deal with crisis situations and ways for PIOs to implement strategies to engage their peers in other child and youth-serving agencies in order to better communicate about their reform efforts and utilize more consistent and comprehensive strategies in reaching their constituencies.

The PIOs who attend the collaborative have undoubtedly formed a cadre of mutually supportive communication specialists in the children, youth and family-serving field that will strengthen their overall work and promote support for reform efforts nationwide.

State of Maryland Abandons the Construction of New Baltimore City Jail For Youth Charged as Adults!!

Jessica Sandoval Wednesday, 23 January 2013 Posted in 2013, Uncategorised

Baltimore Rally 6.17.10196Congratulations to the Maryland Advocates on this tremendous VICTORY!! It was announced on Thursday, January, 17th that the state, according to Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed budget, will not put any money toward the construction of a Baltimore jail for juveniles charged as adults. Instead, the Maryland Department of Juvenile announced an alternative plan, which includes renovating a smaller existing facility that meets national standards for youth in confinement.

Advocates have been opposing the construction of a new youth jail for youth charged as adults for nearly three years. Congratulations to the wonderful organizers Kara Aanenson and Rashad Hawkins from the Just Kids Partnership, CLIA and Advocates for Children and Youth!

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