Written By:  Lisa Bjergaard, CJCA President and Director, North Dakota Division of Juvenile Justice

We at CJCA decided that a good topic for the President’s Message in this issue would be to highlight our upcoming New Directors Seminar, which is scheduled for June 5,6 and 7th this year. New Directors is of course our beloved flagship program which we have delivered annually every year since 1994.

As I thought about the New Directors Seminar, I was reminded of the quote usually attributed to Ben Franklin, “nothing is certain except death and taxes”. Ben might have had it wrong, it seems there is a third certainty: there are always lots of newly appointed youth corrections chief executive officers.

I decided I had better fact check myself, and make sure Ben is the proper source for the quote. Here is what I learned. The full quote is generally credited to Mr. Franklin upon the signing of the Constitution, and is as follows: “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” However, several sources assert that Ben borrowed the “death and taxes” portion of the quote from other sources, who note that the quote appears at least as early as 1716 in other sources.

Regardless of the origin, the phrase still rings true, and I stand by my addition; it is certain the turnover in the Director positions will continue, and therefore the need for a high quality orientation that addresses timely critical issues and helps overcome the sense of isolation a youth corrections director feels in their individual jurisdiction.

We update the curriculum every year in the effort to keep the program fresh and relevant. This year is no exception.   We are very grateful to be conducting this year’s training with funding from The Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS), under a cooperative agreement with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Attending this year’s event will be Michael Crump, Arkansas; Sheila E. Mitchell, County of Los Angeles Probation Department; Monty Prow, Idaho; Raymond F. Debolt, Kentucky; Susie Miller, Nebraska; Steve Ray, Montana; Rhonda Henault, New Hampshire; Ryan Gies, Ohio; Larome Myrick, Rhode Island; Brett Peterson, Utah; and Valerie Boykin, Virginia.