July | August 2019

OJJDP Participates in National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Conference

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges logoOn July 28–31, 2019, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) hosted its 82nd Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. NCJFCJ provides training, technical assistance, and research to enhance the effectiveness of the nation’s juvenile and family courts.


At the conference, juvenile justice, child welfare, and court professionals participated in more than 50 sessions on a range of topics, including balanced and restorative justice, the connection between foster care and domestic child sex trafficking, the constitutional rights of children in child protection cases, trauma-informed care to address the commercial sexual exploitation of youth, and judicial responses to the opioid crisis.

On July 29, OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp led two sessions on OJJDP’s Title II Formula Grants program, which helps states address the four core protections of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act—deinstitutionalization of status offenders (DSO), separation of juveniles from adult inmates, removal of juveniles from adult jails and lockups, and system efforts to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the juvenile justice system. The first session provided an overview of OJJDP's new outcomes-based approach to determining compliance with the DMC requirements; panelists shared how they defined and achieved successful reduction of DMC in their jurisdictions. In the second session, Administrator Harp and Memphis and Shelby County (TN) Juvenile Judge Dan Michael facilitated a group discussion about successful programs and strategies to help reduce the number of status offenders held in secure facilities, and reliance on the valid court exception.

In a panel discussion on July 30, OJJDP Associate Administrator Kellie Blue, Children and Family Futures' Senior Program Associate Tessa Richter, and the Colorado Judicial Department’s Dependency and Neglect System Reform Liaison Jenna Quigley discussed an OJJDP-supported initiative to instill research-based family drug court principles into state court, child welfare, and substance abuse treatment systems. OJJDP has provided states with intensive technical assistance, facilitated by Children and Family Futures, to develop a systems change plan and implement the plan. The panel discussion considered strategies to elevate practice and improve outcomes for families involved in the child welfare system.


Information about OJJDP-supported training and technical assistance for juvenile drug treatment courts and family drug courts is available online.

OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide offers reviews and ratings of juvenile and family drug court programs.