March 2014

TopHighlight of the Month


Become a CJJ Member!

CJJ's members are an important part of our mission, work, and success. We bring together juvenile justice practitioners, service providers, public officials, youth, parents, and concerned citizens. By joining CJJ, your membership strengthens our coalition and creates a greater opportunity to influence policy at the state and federal levels. 

As a member-based organization, CJJ develops and supports the broad range of leaders in juvenile justice reform. We represent our members at the national level by maintaining close relationships with federal policymakers, enhance communication among juvenile justice stakeholders, and provide training and technical assistance on innovative practices.


Apply now! Learn more about joining the Coalition for Juvenile Justice as a(n):

Questions? Contact Jessica Russell Murphy, CJJ's Associate Director, Member Relations and Office Administration at

CJJ Leadership News

CJJ Hires Two New Associates

CJJ has hired two new associates. Naomi Smoot, JD, who joined us in February as Policy and Government Relations Associate, will work on the development and implementation of nationwide initiatives in juvenile justice leadership and reform with CJJ's state members and support our work on Capitol Hill. She is a recent graduate of the University of the District of Columbia Law School, has done juvenile defense work, and was a newspaper reporter prior to law school. Jonathan Litt, JD, MSW joined us this month as Policy and Field Relations Associate and will be responsible for the provision of national and regional training and technical assistance to CJJ's members and allies, as well as translating and communicating juvenile justice reform trends and initiatives to the field. He previously worked as a youth advocate and teaching assistant at Michigan State University Adolescent Diversion Project, and as a research assistant for a juvenile court and the Michigan Race Equity Coalition. He received his Bachelor's Degree in International Relations & Psychology, Master's Degree in Social Work in Organizational and Community Practice, and law degree from Michigan State University.


Internship Openings

CJJ is looking to hire two or more interns. The Communications Intern will assist with the execution of projects to develop and manage the overall provision of email, web-based, and social media communications with CJJ members and other key audiences. The Policy and Legal Research Intern will assist with the execution of projects to develop resources and information to support CJJ's federal policy agenda and juvenile justice reform efforts. The full internship descriptions and instructions on how to apply are available on the CJJ website.


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Government and Federal Relations 


Federal Policy Alert Now Available

Last week, CJJ began a series of bi-weekly updates while Congress is in session on key federal policy and legislative activity related to juvenile justice. You can view the first CJJ Federal Policy Update here. In the future, you will only receive CJJ Federal Policy Updates if you sign up. Subscribe here!


Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act

Representative Cardenas (D-CA) also introduced, H.R. 4123, the Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act of 2014, legislation to eliminate the Valid Court Order (VCO) exception to the Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders protection of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The bill reflects the recommendation of the ACT4JJ working group by giving states a year to phase out use of the VCO exception and provides additional protections for youth who continue to be detained under this exception while the state works to eliminate the practice. Click here to see Act4JJ's sign on letter supporting the bill for national, state and local organizations. Note that the letter is for organizations only. If your organization would like to sign on, please contact Naomi Smoot at or (202) 467-0864 ext. 109.


Protecting Youth From Solitary Confinement Act

On Feb. 28, Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29) introduced H.R. 4124, the Protecting Youth From Solitary Confinement Act, which prohibits solitary confinement of individuals who are being held in juvenile facilities, and are under federal custody. The bill further requires that the Director of the Board of Prisons compile and present annual data on the number of juveniles who are placed in solitary confinement at their facilities. The report will include demographic information, and data on why and how long the youth was placed in solitary confinement. H.R. 4124, was sent to the Judiciary Committee for their review.


CJJ Conference News

CJJ Conference - Register Now!

CJJ's 2014 Annual Conference, "Looking Back, Planning Ahead: A Vision for the Next 40 Years in Juvenile Justice" will be held on June 18-21, at The Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Join us as we celebrate CJJ's 30th Anniversary along with the 40th Anniversary of the JJDPA! There will be thematic workshop/training tracks, informative general sessions & plenaries, State Juvenile Justice Specialists & DMC Coordinator Business Meetings, the CJJ Council of SAGs' Meeting & Executive Board Elections, Regional & CJJ Committee Meetings, and other events. The conference immediately follows the OJJDP 2014 Core Requirements Training, which runs June 17-18. You can view the draft agenda here.    


Conference registration fees are $295 for CJJ members and $425 for registration for non-Members (this includes a Member at Large membership). For more information about the conference, please click here. Click here for online registration. Registration closes on May 2.  


Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available at the 2014 CJJ Annual Conference.  For more information click here or contact Marc Fomby at or 601-939-0020.

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SOS Project News 


Use of the VCO in the States

In 1980, the JJDPA was amended to add the valid court order (VCO) exception to the deinstitutionalization of status offenders core requirement. Judges are allowed to put youth charged with status offenses in locked detention if they violate a direct order from the court (e.g. to stop running away or skipping school). Last week, CJJ released a fact sheet entitled, "Use of the Valid Court Order," which examines how the VCO is used in states. The fact sheet was released as a follow up to the National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses, as part of CJJ's SOS Project.


CJJ Op Eds on Status Offenses

In the last month, CJJ has contributed two op eds to the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange on status offenses. The first, "To Address Disproportionate Minority Contact Keep Status Offenders Out of Courts," was penned by Marie Williams, CJJ's Executive Director. She wrote, "All children deserve to be treated fairly in the juvenile justice system. Unfortunately, all too often, that is not the case for minority youth." The second op ed was co-authored by Marie Williams and Ellen Kahn, Director of the Children, Youth and Families Program at Human Rights Campaign. In "We Can Do More to Ensure Equitable Treatment of LGBTQ Youth in the Juvenile Justice System," they discuss recommendations to improve the care of LGBTQ youth charged with status offenses.


There's Still Time to Endorse the National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses

As part of its Safety, Opportunity and Success (SOS Project), CJJ released the National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses. The National Standards include concrete recommendations for limiting or avoiding court involvement and eliminating secure confinement for non-criminal juvenile offenders. Recently the Nevada Juvenile Justice Commission (State Advisory Group), the National Juvenile Defender Center, and The Equity Project joined other national, state, and local organizations in endorsing the National Standards. If your organization is interested in endorsing, please contact Lisa Pilnik at


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Models for Change Connections
Each issue, Models for Change Connections is pleased to highlight the latest news and innovations and CJJ member participation in the Models for Change Initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 


New Webinar: Facilitating Access to Health Care Coverage For Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) will host a webinar, supported by the MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change initiative, on state approaches to providing seamless health care coverage for juvenile justice-involved youth. Expert speakers from NASHP will provide an overview of successful strategies that states are using to facilitate health care coverage for this population, and a speaker from the state of Oregon will discuss the state's integrated approach to providing Medicaid coverage to juvenile justice-involved youth. These strategies are also highlighted in NASHP's new publication, Facilitating Access to Health Care Coverage for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth. Speakers will include:

Register here. If you have any questions regarding the webinar, please contact Kimm Mooney at


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National Juvenile Justice Network News

2014 a Milestone Year for Youth Justice Reform

Betsy Clarke, President of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Initiative (an NJJN member), has penned an article discussing the momentous 40th anniversary of the passage of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and the 25th anniversary of the United Nations' adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both occurring this year. Clarke emphasizes the importance of incorporating the internationally recognized rights of children into all our national laws and policies, highlighting both the great strides that have been made on that front and the amount of work that is yet to be done. Read Clarke's article here.  


Action Alert: Juvenile Justice Month of Faith and Healing 
March is the Juvenile Justice Month of Faith and Healing, organized by the Healing Justice Coalition (HJC). The month is an opportunity for organizations, communities, and individuals to initiate dialogue about the social needs that arise from the juvenile justice system, the causes of youth crime, and actions that can be taken to disrupt cycles of poverty and violence-- a great opportunity for youth justice advocates to engage with faith communities with whom they may not otherwise connect.


Interested in hosting an event? Click here for HJC's list of A Dozen Things You Could Do! for the Juvenile Justice Month of Faith and Healing, then click here to access the event registration page. (Note: you have until June to complete whatever action you commit to in the spirit of the month). HJC also offers this helpful toolkit for finding and engaging faith communities in discussions about juvenile justice. Learn more about the Juvenile Justice Month of Faith and Healing


Apply to the Youth Justice Leadership Institute

The National Juvenile Justice Network is now accepting applications for the 2014-15 Youth Justice Leadership Institute. The Institute is a robust, year-long program for emerging professionals of color that includes leadership development, training in juvenile justice system policies and practices, study of theories of change, and advocacy skills development. Interested in applying? We conducted two informational webinars with Institute coordinator Diana Onley-Campbell that were recorded and will be available for viewing on the NJJN website. You can also browse the Youth Justice Institute Leadership page for more information, FAQs, and application materials. Learn more and apply to the Institute.


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In This Issue
CJJ Leadership News
Government/Federal Relations
Conference News
SOS Project News
Models for Change
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eventsUpcoming Events
A More Effective JJDPA: The Role of an Educated Judiciary

On March 12, CJJ and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill. The discussion was framed around the four core requirements of the JJDPA, and the panel of judges discussed federal programs and resources that have effectively offered training, technical assistance, and research and evaluation resources for juvenile and family court judges and other professionals working to improve juvenile justice policies and practices. CJJ's National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses were also discussed. In addition, Judge Steve Teske and Judge Joan Byer both wrote blog posts that covered the roundtable and status offenses. 


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OJJDP Releases Juvenile Arrests 2011

OJJDP recently released a bulletin on Juvenile Arrests 2011. The data comes from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. OJJDP found that arrests in 2011 decreased 11 percent and juvenile violent crime arrests decreased 10 percent since 2010. Overall, arrests are down 31 percent since 2002, and violent crime is at its lowest point in 32 years.


Georgetown University Training Institutes

The National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development is offering Training Institutes on improving services and supports for children, adolescents, and young adults with or at risk for mental health challenges and their families. Participants will receive in-depth, practical training on innovative approaches in policy, financing, services, family- and youth-driven care, cultural and linguistic competence, training, strategic communications, and outcome measurement and quality improvement. The Institutes are designed for diverse participants across child-serving systems, including state, tribal, territorial, and local policymakers, administrators, planners, leaders, advocates, clinicians, care managers, peer support providers, health and behavioral health managed care organizations, families, youth and young adults, educators, evaluators, technical assistance providers, and others concerned with improving care for children and families. Click here for complete information on the 2014 Training Institutes!


Youth Advocate Programs Launches Safely Home Campaign

In March 2014, Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) launched the Safely Home Campaign, a collaborative, national movement to make community-based programs the norm and out-of-home placements the alternative, with a special focus on reducing disproportionate minority contact, and improving community safety. The framework is focused on juvenile justice reinvestment that ensures dollars saved by reducing the incarcerated youth population follow the youth home, and are reinvested in the community to expand community-based programs that utilize an individualized approach for all youth, even those with the most complex needs. Nearly 20 national and local advocacy and provider organizations have signed on as Campaign partners, including the Campaign for Youth Justice, the National Juvenile Justice Network, the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, the Justice Policy Institute, and the Burns Institute. Contact Shaena Fazal at if you would like to sign on as a partner.


JJIE Hub on Racial and Ethnic Fairness

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange launched a comprehensive Juvenile Justice Resource Hub on racial-ethnic fairness. The new Hub section covers the persistent problem of racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system and details some promising reforms aimed at addressing this inequity. To kick off the Hub launch, JJIE held a live video chat with DMC experts James Bell of the Burns Institute and Katayoon Majd of the Public Welfare Foundation .


School Discipline Changes Coming to Maryland

By Ebony Harley, Community Engagement Manager, Advocates for Children and Youth


After the debates, public hearings and letter-writing campaigns, advocates for school disciplinary reform heard a decision from the Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE) that was three years in the making. The Board decided to eliminate zero tolerance policies and enact a common-sense approach to school discipline.  


Read the full blog post in CJJ Today 


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NewsCJJ in the News

More Harm Than Good: In Support of Eliminating the Use of Secure Confinement for Non-Delinquent Youth

Marie N. Williams, JD, CJJ Executive Director recently penned a blog post for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. She writes, "We now know from the research that placing youth who commit status offenses in locked detention facilities jeopardizes their safety and well-being and may actually increase their likelihood of committing unlawful acts." To read her full post visit NCCD's website.

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CJJ invites you to share news from your SAG, state or region! Please submit items by email to Inclusion and editing of submissions are subject to CJJ editorial guidelines.

The Juvenile Justice Monitor is brought to you by staff and volunteer leaders of CJJ, and supported by membership fees paid by CJJ's State Advisory Group Members, Members at Large and Allies. We are grateful to all for their ongoing support.


Contact Information
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
1319 F Street NW, Suite 402, Washington, DC 20004