Officers

The Officers of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) govern through the leadership of its executive director and serve as a consultative and advisory body for the direction of the Council’s policies and affairs. The contact information is presented below.

Lisa Bjergaard, President

Lisa Bjergaard, President

Director, North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services

Lisa J. Bjergaard is the Director for the Division of Juvenile Services in North Dakota. DJS is the state’s juvenile corrections agency, and is organized under the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. DJS operates both institutional and community corrections.

Lisa joined the North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services as a case manager in 1989 and in 1993 became the Regional Manager for the eastern half of North Dakota. In 2006, Lisa was named Director.

Kevin M. Brown Vice President

Kevin M. Brown Vice President

Executive Director, New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission

In his 27 years of service in community corrections and probation services, Kevin has worked in many capacities including Juvenile Probation Officer, Vicinage Assistant Chief of Mercer Juvenile Probation, Chief of the Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program, and prior to joining the JJC, as Assistant Director of Probation Services.

Kevin graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science. He is a certified Criminal Justice Counselor and Certified Court Manager. He has completed the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Orientation Program. He serves as the NJ Compact Commissioner for the Interstate Commission for Juveniles, as a member of the State Employment and Training Commissioner, and is affiliated with ACA; CJCA, and the NJ Council on Juvenile Justice System Improvement (CJJSI).

Steve Lafreniere, Treasurer

Steve Lafreniere, Treasurer

Executive Director, Alabama Department of Youth Services

Steve has extensive experience in providing leadership in the design, implementation and oversight of community based service systems. While employed with the Department of Mental Health he served as the Director of Community Services for the Division of Developmental Disabilities. This position was responsible for supervising the operations of five Regional Community Services Offices across the state, Early Intervention, Autism and Children’s Services within the Division.

He offers skill and experience working on state juvenile justice issues, development of non-residential diversion programs, and in the day to day operation of state institutions for delinquent children. He served for eleven years as Director of Children’s Services for the Department of Mental Health. During that time, he also served on the DYS Board as proxy for ten years for three different commissioners. He is very familiar with the transformative initiatives and direction the department has taken over this time. He also served on the Youth Services Board’s Education Committee and is very familiar with the unique challenges and successes the Youth Services School District has experienced.

Mr. Lafreniere holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Auburn University and a Master’s of Science/Clinical Psychology from Auburn University Montgomery.

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Chris Blessinger,  Secretary

Chris Blessinger, Secretary

Executive Director, Indiana Division of Youth Services

Christine Blessinger serves as the Executive Director for the Division of Youth Services. Chris oversees all areas of the juvenile division to include; operations, case management, programs and re-entry. Chris began her career working for the Department of Correction in 2000 as a Psychiatric Social Service Specialist III at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. She served as a Program Director 2 and was promoted to Program Director 1 at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. Chris was then promoted to Program Director/Assistant Director of the Division in 2008 where she was the State Coordinator for Performance Based Standards (PbS) and Community based Standards (CbS). She was also responsible or program implementation, Comprehensive Case Management and re-entry services before being promoted to the Chief Operations Director of the Division in 2014. Chris is a member of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) and a member of the American Correctional Association (ACA). Chris is also a certified PREA auditor for juvenile facilities. Prior to working in corrections, Chris held positions of Youth Care Worker, Youth Manager and Case Manager at the Henry County Youth Center. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from Indiana State University.

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