What Is the Juvenile Justice Applied Leadership Network?

Updated August 2, 2023 | Posted September 29, 2015
In an office, a woman sits at table smiling to a male colleague sitting next to her.

Lead­ers capa­ble of achiev­ing pow­er­ful, mea­sur­able and equi­table results are essen­tial to mak­ing a last­ing dif­fer­ence for young peo­ple who face steep bar­ri­ers to suc­cess. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Applied Lead­er­ship Net­work (ALN) aims to devel­op this poten­tial in lead­ers and on behalf of youth — espe­cial­ly young Black and Lati­no men — who are involved or at risk of being involved with the legal sys­tem. The program’s fifth cycle kicks off in 2023

The ALN expe­ri­ence is root­ed in Results Count®, the Foundation’s approach to lead­er­ship devel­op­ment. Its par­tic­i­pants, who are juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem lead­ers, com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers and oth­ers, work togeth­er toward a shared result, which is: All youth involved in the jus­tice sys­tem are treat­ed equi­tably and thrive in their home, school and community.

Learn­ing the Skills and Tools

Dur­ing the 12 to 18-month pro­gram, ALN team­mates learn and apply Results Count skills and tools — with the ben­e­fit of fac­ul­ty and peer sup­port — all while bal­anc­ing the demands of their cur­rent posi­tions. Togeth­er, these 20 or so par­tic­i­pants strength­en their abil­i­ty to make data-dri­ven deci­sions; col­lab­o­rate, strate­gize effec­tive­ly; under­stand sys­tems; and lead through com­plex­i­ty and ambi­gu­i­ty. Each par­tic­i­pant also learns how to iden­ti­fy and dri­ve spe­cif­ic and mean­ing­ful change with­in their respec­tive sys­tem and then part­ner with col­leagues to devise, imple­ment, refine and mon­i­tor a plan for real­iz­ing this change.

Over the pro­gram term, the class con­venes for mul­ti-day sem­i­nars, which are spaced out so that par­tic­i­pants have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to inte­grate ALN learn­ings into their every­day work. The heart of the cur­ricu­lum lies in pro­vid­ing par­tic­i­pants with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to apply the lessons here and now. Our goal is not sim­ply to cre­ate trans­for­ma­tive lead­ers,” explains Bar­bara Squires, direc­tor of lead­er­ship devel­op­ment at the Foun­da­tion. We want to achieve tan­gi­ble results.”

ALN Alum­ni in Action

Since 2008, the pro­gram has pro­duced four class­es of ALN lead­ers span­ning 53 alum­ni across 21 states. As ALN alum­ni, these lead­ers con­tin­ue to draw on peer sup­port to employ a results-dri­ven frame­work in their home organizations. 

ALN lead­ers are uti­liz­ing skills gained from the Results Count expe­ri­ence to intro­duce and accel­er­ate inno­v­a­tive juve­nile jus­tice poli­cies and prac­tices that pro­mote pos­si­bil­i­ty and poten­tial of youth caught in the sys­tem,” says Gail D. Mum­ford, senior asso­ciate with the Foundation.

Using Results Count to Advance and Accel­er­ate Results 

New York, Cal­i­for­nia and Louisiana are three areas where ALN alum­ni are mak­ing an impact and shap­ing efforts to pre­vent youth from enter­ing the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem. These exam­ples, explored in greater detail, run below. 

  • In San­ta Cruz Coun­ty, Cal­i­for­nia Two ALN alum­ni (Fer­nan­do Giral­do, chief pro­ba­tion offi­cer, and Valerie Thomp­son, assis­tant chief pro­ba­tion offi­cer) prac­tice results-dri­ven lead­er­ship in their home pro­ba­tion agency. The coun­ty admin­is­tra­tor took notice and enlist­ed the pair’s help to intro­duce Results Count at the coun­ty lev­el. Accel­er­at­ing the well-being of the county’s res­i­dents — par­tic­u­lar­ly groups who face the great­est bar­ri­ers to suc­cess, which includes young peo­ple at risk of juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem involve­ment — requires close col­lab­o­ra­tion among the County’s agen­cies and com­mu­ni­ty-based orga­ni­za­tions. Work­ing togeth­er in align­ment toward the same goal and rec­og­niz­ing every­one has a con­tri­bu­tion to make is crit­i­cal for us to be suc­cess­ful,” Giral­do says. 
  • In Cal­casieu Parish, Louisiana – Two ALN alum­ni serv­ing in the Office of Juve­nile Ser­vices (Antho­ny Celes­tine, direc­tor, and Joshua Camp­bell, assis­tant direc­tor) run a Mul­ti-Agency Resource Cen­ter. This cen­ter co-locates com­mu­ni­ty ser­vices and sup­port so that young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies can quick­ly secure assis­tance in avoid­ing for­mal involve­ment in the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem. Josh and I have used our ALN expe­ri­ence to focus on the fact that youth and fam­i­lies need to thrive in their home, school and com­mu­ni­ty and want­ed to pro­vide these ser­vices with­out need­ing for­mal entry into our juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem to obtain them,” Celes­tine explains. Lead­er­ship requires vision and the tools to get things done for youth and fam­i­lies, and we are doing it.” 
  • In New York state – Two ALN alum­ni (John John­son and Jim Czar­ni­ak) have imple­ment­ed a statewide fund­ing pro­gram that allows local juris­dic­tions to boost their invest­ment in com­mu­ni­ty-based alter­na­tives to deten­tion and court-ordered out-of-home place­ments. In Ononda­ga Coun­ty, the Super­vi­sion Treat­ment Ser­vices for Juve­niles Pro­gram shift­ed more than $500,000 from deten­tion into com­mu­ni­ty-led pro­grams and ser­vices and youth well-being. The lead­er­ship skills we learned in ALN pro­vid­ed real tools that sup­port­ed align­ment of our com­mu­ni­ty and sys­tem part­ners,” says Jim Czar­ni­ak, for­mer deputy com­mis­sion­er of the Ononda­ga Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­i­ly Ser­vices. Such align­ment, Czar­ni­ak notes, was essen­tial to the program’s success. 

These exam­ples are only part of ALN’s sto­ry. We are see­ing incred­i­ble work being done across the coun­try by ALN alum­ni,” says Casey’s Mum­ford, includ­ing work specif­i­cal­ly focused on racial and eth­nic equi­ty and on com­mu­ni­ty and youth engagement.

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