CJCA Officers Elected at Summer Meeting

Posted by Edward Loughran
August 23, 2016

The Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) elected four officers for a two-year term (2016-18) during its summer meeting in Boston.

The slate was proposed to members by the Board of Directors at the Saturday afternoon business meeting. The new officers are: Fariborz Pakseresht (OR), president, Lisa Bjergaard (ND), vice president, Cindy McKenzie (MT), treasurer and Terri Williams (KS), secretary/clerk. Outgoing president Sharon Harrigfeld (ID) handed the gavel over to President Pakseresht immediately after the unanimous vote of approval. She will continue on the board for two years as immediate past president.

 The CJCA Summer Meeting was a huge success, attracting nearly forty CEOs to the Boston venue. The CJCA meeting was held in concert with the American Corrections Association’s 146th Congress. The Pew Charitable Trusts portion of the Best Practices Committee featured a presentation by Terri Williams, Deputy Secretary of the Kansas Department of Correction, Juvenile Services Division on the juvenile justice reform initiative in Kansas. Last year, Kansas was chosen to receive technical assistance from the Pew Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP), Juvenile Justice Initiative, joining Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Dakota, West Virginia and Utah to receive such assistance. Director Williams focused her remarks on the juvenile justice reform legislation passed in her state and its implications for the Juvenile Services Division. Robin Olsen, Manager of the Pew PSPP, moderated the panel presentation. Immediately following the PSPP Juvenile Justice presentation, Mark Greenwald, Director of Research at the Florida, Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), demonstrated how DJJ uses data to guide placement and treatment decisions for young offenders committed to the agency. An informative discussion among members and Mr. Greenwald followed.

During the afternoon business meeting, in addition to electing CJCA’s leadership for the next two years, Ned Loughran, Executive Director, briefed members on the state of CJCA in his annual report and Kim Godfrey, Executive Director of the Performance-based Standards Learning Institute, updated members on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Cooperative Agreement with PbS and its partner organizations, CJCA and the Vera Institute for Justice to develop Reentry Juvenile Justice Outcome Measurement Standards.

 During Sunday morning’s session, CJCA’s three standing committees offered presentations on their work. The Recidivism Committee, chaired by Susan Burke, (UT) invited Melissa Sickmund, Director of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) and Terri Deal, Sr. Research Associate to share preliminary findings from the Pew Multistate Reoffending Study. The research project, in which CJCA partners with NCJJ, has studied reoffending rates in five youth corrections jurisdictions: California, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Utah and Washington. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Committee, chaired by Kathy Halvorson (MN) invited Alan Beck and Jessica Stroop to share with members the focus and content of the upcoming survey of youth detention and correction facilities to determine the incidence of sexual abuse in facilities across the country.

The summer meeting closed with the Positive Youth Outcomes Committee, chaired by Peter Forbes (MA), which featured six young men and women from the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) who participate in the agency’s Youth Engaged in Services (YES) Program. This innovative program allows youths who have reached 18 years of age, the mandatory discharge age for most DYS youths, to voluntarily remain under DYS supervision in order to achieve goals such as completing their education, job training and learning to live independently. Each youth credited his/her caseworker for encouraging and supporting engagement in the YES program.