Strengthening the Network of Leaders in Juvenile Justice

Posted April 23, 2014
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog strengtheningnetworkofleadersinjj 2013

The JDAI Applied Lead­er­ship Net­work (ALN), launched in 2008, is intend­ed to sup­port key indi­vid­u­als around the coun­try par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Foundation’s Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tives Ini­tia­tive (JDAI) to accel­er­ate the achieve­ment of JDAI results. Since its incep­tion in 1992, JDAI has become one of the nation’s most effec­tive, influ­en­tial and wide­spread juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem reform ini­tia­tives, in large part because of the lead­er­ship of part­ners on the ground. 

This lead­er­ship pro­gram pro­vides the oppor­tu­ni­ty for in-place and emerg­ing lead­ers to build their results-based lead­er­ship skills and apply those skills to cur­rent or new JDAI plans and projects. Dur­ing the year-long pro­gram, each cohort of lead­ers works to mas­ter lead­er­ship com­pe­ten­cies through par­tic­i­pa­tion in exec­u­tive sem­i­nars, appli­ca­tion of new skills in their sys­tems between sem­i­nars, coach­ing and peer-to-peer sup­port. While par­tic­i­pat­ing in the net­work, each team works to achieve a spe­cif­ic result for improv­ing juve­nile jus­tice in their com­mu­ni­ties. In tes­ti­mo­ni­als, ALN par­tic­i­pants cred­it the lead­er­ship net­work with help­ing them safe­ly reduce secure deten­tion, man­age their rela­tion­ships with part­ners as they pur­sued reforms and suc­cess­ful­ly com­mu­ni­cate their work.

To date, 41 juve­nile jus­tice pro­fes­sion­als rep­re­sent­ing 21 JDAI sites have tak­en part in three cohorts of the ALN and become an endur­ing part of the net­work. Teams are made up of a sea­soned juve­nile jus­tice leader who selects as a part­ner an emerg­ing leader from with­in his or her juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem. As a group, the Applied Lead­er­ship Net­work mem­bers pro­vide ongo­ing pro­fes­sion­al and peer sup­port to one anoth­er and serve as a resource to the larg­er field of juve­nile jus­tice leaders.

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