In her June 9 address at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice Annual Conference, Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones highlighted OJJDP's partnership with state advisory groups, its support for tribal communities, and the Office's open funding opportunities.
The virtual event brought together state advisory group members, juvenile justice specialists, compliance monitors, racial and ethnic disparities coordinators, and other professionals to discuss the latest challenges facing practitioners.
In line with the conference theme, Creating Healing Systems: Serving Today's Youth While Transforming the Future, Acting Administrator Jones also highlighted some OJJDP initiatives that help to promote healing. These include the Family-Based Alternative Sentencing program, the Family Drug Court and Juvenile Drug Treatment Court programs, and the Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts initiative. To support the Biden Administration's effort to deter gun violence, the Office will now give priority to grant applicants who use community violence intervention strategies, the Acting Administrator said.
Several OJJDP staff participated in the conference:
- Dr. Andrea Coleman, senior policy advisor and author of the OJJDP bulletin, Expunging Juvenile Records: Misconceptions, Collateral Consequences, and Emerging Practices, discussed the misconception that juvenile records are automatically expunged when youth turn 18, the collateral consequences of juvenile records, and emerging practices in records sealing and expungement.
- Program manager Kara McDonagh moderated a session on fostering tribal, state, and federal collaboration. Presenters highlighted effective tribal-state partnerships and shared best practices for working collaboratively with tribes.
- Program manager Keisha Kersey moderated a session on prevention and intervention programs, and alternatives to detention for tribal youth.
- Program manager Darian Hanrahan moderated a panel on OJJDP-funded community efforts to develop and implement intervention models for children and adolescents with sexual behavior problems.
- Senior program specialist Scott Pestridge moderated the session, Prosecutors as Leaders Beyond the Courtroom: Strategies for Developing and Maintaining Meaningful Community Partnerships.
The Coalition for Juvenile Justice is a nationwide coalition of state advisory groups and allies dedicated to preventing children and youth from becoming involved with the courts and upholding the highest standard of care when youth enter the justice system. This year's conference took place June 9–11.