The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Helping vulnerable kids & families succeed

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

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JDAI Site Updates

Detention Reformers Gather in Massachusetts for Inaugural Conference

State and county officials and representatives from police departments, schools and youth-serving organizations gathered for the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services' (DYS) first statewide JDAI Conference on June 6, 2008. The goal of the conference was to further educate juvenile justice system stakeholders and partner agencies about detention reform.

The Honorable Martha P. Grace, chief justice of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court, and DYS Commissioner Jane E. Tewksbury welcomed conference attendees.

Barry Holman, director of quality assurance at the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services in Washington, D.C., gave the keynote address. Holman presented findings from the growing body of research on the negative outcomes for youth in detention.

Experienced practitioners from JDAI sites across the country brought their expertise to Massachusetts.

Scott Reiner, program development manager at the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, spoke about the challenges and experience of developing and implementing a risk screening tool to guide detention decision-making; Jennifer Lebaron, senior research associate at the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, illustrated the role of data in system diagnosis and solution development; and Joanne Fuller, director of the Multnomah County Department of Human Services in Oregon, highlighted strategies to reduce disproportionate minority confinement, drawing on her experience as the former director of a JDAI model site.

Bart Lubow, director of programs for high-risk youth at the Casey Foundation, presented the luncheon address. He recognized that the work required to reform juvenile systems is hard, and often feels uncomfortable. He pointed out that changing behavior and the culture of juvenile justice systems is always a challenge but also necessary in order to improve outcomes for youth.

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services Commisioner Jane E. Tewksbury and Brookline Police Capt. Michael Gropman

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