CJCA President's Message

Posted by Fariborz Pakseresht
March 21, 2017

Dear friends and colleagues,

Many of us are in the midst of our legislative sessions and time seems to be at a premium. Some of us are facing reductions and layoffs due to local budget shortfall while those of us who rely on Medicaid matching funds or other sources of federal funds are eagerly waiting to find out how the budget that is ultimately passed by congress and signed by the President may impact our services. Meanwhile, we still have to deal with our day to day business, handle crisis, manage operations, and not lose sight of the reforms we plan to put in place and the future we envision for our agencies and systems. A director’s job can be overwhelming and stressful but we don’t have to go it alone. I feel grateful to have access to my CJCA friends and colleagues who are always willing to listen, offer guidance and help me process and work through challenging issues.

Our new Executive Director has hit the ground running, meeting with many juvenile justice system leaders and stakeholders as well as partner and sponsoring organizations. In his short time with CJCA, Mike has done an outstanding job forming many new relationships and cultivating existing ones. Please see the Executive Director’s Report and the many projects and initiatives Mike is leading and facilitating.

In late January, CJCA held a successful Winter Business Meeting in San Antonio. For many of us from the East, Midwest, and West who were tired of cold and wet weather, San Antonio provided a temporary and pleasant reprieve! Nearly 75 juvenile justice leaders and partners came together and spent the weekend sharing and learning together. The event was dedicated to “Ned” Loughran, CJCA’s founding Executive Director. Ned would have been proud of the event and seeing his vision of system reform carried forward by CJCA. Please see the article about the winter meeting and the details of presentations and discussions that took place.

Looking forward, CJCA has a busy year planned. We are currently working on a number of projects and initiatives including:

• Planning our Summer Business meeting in St. Louis, MO
• Planning for the New Directors Training
• Planning for the 2017 CJCA Leadership Institute in Chicago
• Working with system partners on a number of joint projects
• Partnering with OJJDP to implement system reform
• Developing a number of other initiatives and projects which we’ll share with you in the coming months

CJCA remains a leader in connecting youth corrections leaders across the country to collaborate and learn together with the goal of improving outcomes for youth and communities. I appreciate all of you who have assumed leadership roles or participate in regional calls as well as those who chair or serve on CJCA committees. These meetings are important mechanisms for sharing, learning, and conversations that help all of us improve our practices and outcomes.

I am honoured to work with all of you and continue learning from you. I look forward to seeing you at the CJCA Summer Meeting in Missouri.