Reimagining Juvenile Justice Brings Professional Development to Frontline Staff

Posted August 14, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

A Reimagining Juvenile Justice training session with frontline staff

Teams from 15 sites have com­plet­ed the Reimag­in­ing Juve­nile Jus­tice (RJJ) Train­ing Insti­tute — and are ready to share what they’ve learned.

The Insti­tute, launched by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion in 2019, helps juve­nile pro­ba­tion staff and oth­er juve­nile jus­tice pro­fes­sion­als deliv­er the RJJ cur­ricu­lum in their home communities.

The 2019 teams, which span 34 indi­vid­u­als and a num­ber of Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tive Ini­tia­tive® (JDAI) sites, are based in the fol­low­ing places:

  • Ari­zona Supreme Court and Pinal Coun­ty, Arizona
  • Arkansas Admin­is­tra­tive Office of the Courts
  • Cal­casieu Parish Office of Juve­nile Jus­tice Ser­vices, Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Coun­ty of San­ta Bar­bara Pro­ba­tion Depart­ment, San­ta Bar­bara, California
  • Dou­glas Coun­ty Youth Cen­ter, Oma­ha, Nebraska
  • Mary­land Depart­ment of Juve­nile Services
  • Mass­a­chu­setts Depart­ment of Youth Services
  • Ohio Depart­ment of Youth Ser­vices and the Ashtab­u­la, Franklin, Mont­gomery and Sum­mit Coun­ty Juve­nile Courts, Ohio
  • Pierce Coun­ty Juve­nile Court, Taco­ma, Washington
  • Racine Coun­ty, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Ram­sey Coun­ty Juve­nile Cor­rec­tions, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • San­ta Clara Coun­ty Pro­ba­tion Department/​Juvenile Divi­sion and East Side Union High School Dis­trict, San Jose, California
  • State of South Dako­ta Uni­fied Judi­cial System
  • Ten­nessee Depart­ment of Children’s Ser­vices and the Juve­nile Court of Mem­phis and Shel­by Coun­ty, Tennessee
  • Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Juve­nile Justice

Beyond shar­ing RJJ train­ing tools and tech­niques, the Insti­tute helps juve­nile jus­tice pro­fes­sion­als expand their capac­i­ty for divert­ing youth to appro­pri­ate and fair jus­tice options — includ­ing options requir­ing a high degree of cross-sys­tem col­lab­o­ra­tion and coordination.

RJJ will go a long way toward deep­en­ing approach­es and prac­tices that reflect what we know about pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment,” says David Brown, a senior asso­ciate in the Casey Foundation’s Juve­nile Jus­tice Strat­e­gy Group.

The train­ing teams will offer RJJ class­es to local front­line staff by the end of 2019. The hope and inten­tion is that all 15 loca­tions will add class­es in 2020, and train­ers from state-lev­el agen­cies — in Ari­zona, Arkansas, Mary­land, Mass­a­chu­setts, Ohio, South Dako­ta, Ten­nessee and Vir­ginia — will serve new coun­ties in 2020. Inter­est­ed juris­dic­tions in these eight states can con­nect with a state-lev­el RJJ train­ing coor­di­na­tor by send­ing an email to Brown.

As this work unfolds on the front­lines, the Foun­da­tion and its train­ing part­ner — School & Main Insti­tute — will con­tin­ue gath­er­ing input to improve the RJJ cur­ricu­lum and fur­ther pro­mote its use. By 2020, Casey aims to make por­tions of the RJJ cur­ricu­lum avail­able at JDAIcon­nect, which is a free online com­mu­ni­ty sup­port­ing juve­nile jus­tice reform. The Foun­da­tion also is con­sid­er­ing host­ing an RJJ Train­ing Insti­tute in 2020. Sites inter­est­ed in poten­tial­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in this oppor­tu­ni­ty should also con­nect with Brown.

Learn more about the 2019 RJJ Train­ing Institute

Read about the pilot of RJJ in Massachusetts

Read about RJJ in Pima Coun­ty, Arizona

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