CJCA’s Winter Meeting was held in New Orleans on Jan. 11-13, 2019 in advance of the ACA Winter Conference where we had over 40 CJCA members and designees participating in the meeting along with over 50 associate members and guests, making this one of our largest attended winter meetings.

We began our meeting on Friday morning with the CJCA Board of Directors meeting from 9am-noon, followed by lunch sponsored by our partner organization, the Performance-based Standards (PbS). Immediately following lunch, CJCA’s Business Meeting was held from 1:30pm-3:30pm. The Business Meeting featured updates on the Juvenile Corrections (CJRP/JRFC) Data Collection Redesign Study from representatives from the Department of Justice including Social Science Analyst Ben Adams. A second presentation from The Mandt System and JKM Training reviewed a draft Charter of Defining Principles for Violence Prevention and Response Training for Juvenile Justice Systems. Many jurisdictions have expressed an interest in this work. The Business Meeting was followed by the regional and Associate Member meetings with Ines Nieves (NY) chairing the Northeast Region; Phyllis Becker (MO) chairing the Midwest Region; Anders Jacobson (CO) the West; and James Maccarone (MS) chairing the South region. Simon Gonsoulin chaired the meeting with the Associate members.

Our Friday events were capped by an evening reception sponsored by Securus Technologies.

Saturday was filled with a day of various best-practice presentations and workshops aimed at providing everyone with new approaches, resources, training and networking opportunities focusing on improving conditions of confinement, facility culture and environments and, most importantly, the long-term outcomes for youth entrusted to the care of the juvenile justice systems. The Saturday morning breakfast was sponsored by Attenti.

Saturday morning began with two best practices presentations. In our first presentation Dana Schoenberg, Senior Manager and Noah Bein, Principle Associate with the PEW Charitable Trusts Public Safety Performance Project, presented on the National Evolution of Juvenile Justice. Pew has been a regular presenter at our best practices sessions sharing their works with states to advance data-driven, fiscally sound policies and practices in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

The second presentation featured Litsa Williams and Eleanor Haley, Program Directors and Co-Founders, What’s Your Grief, who provided a best-practices presentation on Ambiguous Grief, Understanding and addressing the Grief of Non-death Losses with Youth and Families. Click here for a link to the meeting presentation materials they shared.

The Saturday Luncheon included a powerful Keynote address by Andre Norman, known to many as The Ambassador of Hope. Andre’s experience and expertise is what empowers him to help people turn their lives around. Andre travels around the world to serve as a mentor and listening ear for many in need. He has made an impact working in the countries of Honduras, Bahamas, Sweden, Guatemala, Liberia & Trinidad. With inclusion being the center of his solution based efforts. The luncheon and keynote address was sponsored by TrueCore and Securus Technologies.

Saturday afternoon presentation began with the concluding portion of the Ambiguous Grief, Understanding and addressing the Grief of Non-death Losses with Youth and Families presentation followed by a presentation from ICF providing an overview of the OJJDP Promising Practices Initiative. Saturday afternoon presentations concluded with updates from both the CJCA Data and Analysis Committee and the Behavioral Health Committee.

Our Saturday evening reception was jointly sponsored by The Mandt System, AMI Kids, and Vant4ge.

Sunday morning’s schedule began with breakfast sponsored by The Diana Screen and Abel Screening from 8am-9am. We then had an informative presentation by Families First for Mississippi, followed by a presentation from our Positive Youth Outcomes Committee featuring a presentation from the Youth Empowerment Project from New Orleans. Sunday morning concluded with updates from our PREA Committee and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Our concluding lunch was provided by Aramark.

In addition, CJCA launched our new Staff Recruitment and Retention (SRR) Toolkit during the conference and we are happy to announce that the States of Alabama, Colorado and Tennessee have been selected to participate in the SRR TTA Cohort which is funded by OJJDP through the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS) project. This will be a first year pilot project and we hope to be able to expand the number of jurisdictions to participate in future year TTA cohorts.

CJCA also presented and/or participated in four ACA workshops during the conference, including workshops on Ways to Safely Reduce the Use of Isolation with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, Stop Solitary for Kids Campaign; a workshop focused on Ethics, titled When Staff Cross the Line; a workshop focusing on the Staff Recruitment and Retention Toolkit; and finally a workshop on Staff Wellness.

On behalf of the CJCA Board of Directors, we were grateful to have so many members able to join us for this meeting and hope they found the presentations, workshops and networking opportunities valuable and relevant in providing them with resources and training aiding them in improving the juvenile justice system and outcomes for youth entrusted to their care.  I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors, partner organizations, including the American Correctional Association, Center for Children’s Law and Policy, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, the Pew Charitable Trust, OJJDP, the Center for Coordinated Assistance to State, and all of our associate members for their support and efforts in making the winter meeting a great success.