CJCA Leadership Institute 2016 Meeting

Posted by Mike Dempsey
November 18, 2016

CJCA was honored to have Shay Bilchik, Research Professor and Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University join us for this year’s Leadership Institute Meeting in Chicago on Oct. 5-7 to deliver the keynote address to the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) members.

His  engagement with CJCA members both formally and informally throughout the day was invaluable in reinforcing our shared goal of returning each youth to the community better off than when they entered the juvenile justice system.

The theme of this year’s conference was Leading Strategically to Achieve Better Outcomes for Youth and Communities and was made possible thanks to a generous grant from The Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Tanya Washington, Sr. Associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation provided the welcome address to meeting attendees along with CJCA President Fariborz Pakseresht. Nate Balis, Director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Juvenile Justice Strategy Group (JJSG) also joined the meeting. 

Immediately following the keynote address, Shay moderated the panel on “Leading Strategically to Achieve Better Outcomes for Youth and Communities” made up of four participants including: Lisa Bjergaard, Director, North Dakota Division of Juvenile Justice; Clinton Lacy, Director, Washington, D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services; Terri Williams, Deputy Secretary, Kansas Dept. of Corrections, Juvenile Services and Sharon Harrigfeld, Director, Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections.  Following the panel presentation, agency heads joined one of four working groups charged with establishing goals and discussing barriers and strategies for leading strategically within their organizations; leading strategically within the larger stakeholder community; and using data to guide and energize relevant policy decision making.

The afternoon’s program featured the CJCA Business Meeting where the membership unanimously voted Michael Dempsey in as CJCA’s new Executive Director.  See the recent blog posting for more details.
Following there was a session and discussion on Principles for a Developmentally-Grounded Model for Secure Care led by Jeff Butts, Ph.D., Director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Tanya Washington and Marc Schindler, Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute helped moderate the discussion with members on the principles. 

The CJCA Awards Dinner took place on Thursday evening at the 312 Chicago restaurant.  Sharon Harrigfeld, Director of the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, was presented with the 2016 Outstanding Administrator Award and  Kevin M. Brown, Director of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission received the President’s award.  

Xavier McElrath-Bey, an impressive youth who speaks on behalf of incarcerated youths was the dinner speaker for the evening.   Arrested for a gang-related murder when he was just 13, he earned his college degree while in prison and also developed remorse for his role in the crime. Xavier has committed his life to working for change on behalf of the victim in the case. He works with the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth promoting public education and advocacy efforts and in 2014 launched the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network(ICAN). 

Friday morning’s presentation and panel discussion on Data Management and Leadership was moderated by Kim Godfrey, Executive Director, PbS.   Discussants for the panel included Fariborz Pakseresht, OR; Christina McMahan, Clackamas County Juvenile Department; Peter Forbes, MA; and Harvey Reed, OH. This was a very informative panel discussion where participants shared much information including what essential data is needed to help run their systems and how data can be used to overcome misconceptions and lead reform efforts within their systems.

Sharon Harrigfeld of Idaho led the closing session: "Bringing it all Together: Creating the CJCA Leadership Toolkit" working session.   During the roundtable discussion, participants contributed and shared many of their ideas for the Toolkit, which will guide members in their efforts to increase their leadership strategies and build on system reform efforts.

A review of the evaluations by members has indicated the extraordinary success of the meeting.  We were pleased to be joined by youths and staff from Free Spirit Media who filmed the event.   The video created by Free Spirit along with the meeting welcome, keynote address and Leadership panel can all be viewed on CJCA’s youtube account.   Pictures were taken by professional photographer David Kindler. Here is the gallery of images  you can download  by clicking on the link and entering code CJCA.

We were glad to be with so many CJCA members and guests at this event and wish you all the best.