New Directors Seminar

Since 1994, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) has conducted the annual New Directors Seminar for newly appointed youth corrections chief executive officers.  Originally sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).  The seminar for 2015 is supported by funding from the Center for Coordinated Assistantance to the States (CCAS) and the Council of State Governments (CSG).  The New Directors Seminar, a proven training vehicle for new directors, uses a peer-to-peer training forum that connects veteran administrators with newly appointed administrators.  An average of ten new directors have attended each year.  The seminar usually runs over two-and-a half days and addresses pertinent topics such as:

  • New Directors Issues and Expectations
  • Creative Leadership Strategies
  • Managing Change
  • Maintenance of vital programs with diminishing resources
  • Creating positive outcomes for youths
  • Communications and Media Relations
  • Implementing Evidence-based Programs
  • Implementing PREA
  • Managing Crises in Youth Corrections

Each topic is introduced by a veteran administrator and usually includes personal experiences as case studies.  The veteran trainer then facilitates a group discussion. The seminar also includes segments on contemporary issues and topics facing youth corrections.  A featured presentation each year at the kick off dinner on the first evening has been “Ready to Lead” by Phil Harris, CJCA Advisor and Professor of Criminal Justice, Temple University.

Prior to the seminar, each veteran director is paired with new administrator a as a mentor.  The mentor is expected to maintain the relationship for at least six months through conference calls and in person meetings at one of the semiannual CJCA meetings.  Many directors have continued the working relationship far into their respective tenures.  One of the principal goals of the founders of CJCA was to overcome the sense of isolation a youth corrections director feels in individual jurisdictions. The New Directors Seminar and mentor program has helped build relationships and camaraderie among the CJCA members.

Below is testimony from previous directors who have participated in the New Directors Seminar.

"I found the New Directors Seminar a safe place where I could discuss the critical issues I was facing with plenty of support from my peers.”

“This was a great experience for me, affording me the opportunity to learn and listen from folks who have not only had many years of experience, but who are equally passionate about the important work we do.  I thought each presenter was very well versed in their topic and responded well to questions.”          

“The relationships developed during the seminar are priceless – both the CJCA staff and state colleagues. Thank You!”

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