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May | June 2016

Administrator Listenbee Provides Remarks at Coalition for Juvenile Justice Conference

Coalition for Juvenile Justice logoThe Coalition for Juvenile Justice annual conference, cohosted by OJJDP, was held April 20–23, 2016, in Washington, DC. Titled “Redefining Leadership: Engaging Youth, Communities, and Policymakers To Achieve Better Juvenile Justice Outcomes,” the event brought together key leaders in juvenile justice reform and stakeholders from various state agencies across the nation.

“This is an exciting time for juvenile justice,” said OJJDP Administrator Robert Listenbee in his remarks to conference attendees. “States and communities are embracing reform. They are moving away from a juvenile justice model that focuses on punishment … and implementing policies and practices that promote healing and positive outcomes for system-involved youth.”

Thumbnail of Reducing the Use of IsolationMr. Listenbee applauded efforts being taken by legislatures and states to reduce the number of youth in out-of-home placement, to adopt evidence-based approaches to working with system-involved youth, and to address racial and ethnic disparities within the system.

Administrator Listenbee also stressed the Office’s commitment to helping states find alternatives to the use of solitary confinement for youth. “There is a great deal that we do not know about the impact of isolation on healthy adolescent development,” said Mr. Listenbee. “But, what we do know is that youth subject to solitary confinement have reported increased depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.” With support from OJJDP’s Center for Coordinated Assistance to States, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators has created a toolkit to help states reduce the use of isolation in juvenile justice facilities. Two cohorts of training on the toolkit have already been completed for 13 states, and OJJDP is working with the center to create additional training opportunities.

Conference workshops facilitated by OJJDP staff highlighted the Office’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being of children and reforming the juvenile justice system to better meet the needs of system-involved youth. Presenters offered an overview of the Office’s draft Compliance Guidance Manual and audit process and OJJDP’s policy guidance on girls and the juvenile justice system.

In a session on supporting children of incarcerated parents, Jeff Slowikowski, OJJDP Senior Advisor for Strategic and Community Engagement, discussed a partnership between OJJDP and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to provide services to children with an incarcerated parent and to assist the parents in developing and maintaining healthy family relationships.


Visit the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s Resource Library.