The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), an 80-year-old nonprofit organization, held its National Conference on Juvenile Justice in New York City on February 12-15, 2017. This dynamic conference hosted more than 400 judges and system professionals in juvenile and family law from across the country in an inspiring, informative consortium covering topics like trauma-informed justice, domestic child sex trafficking, child abuse and neglect, ending indiscriminate shackling and solitary confinement, and more.
A premier lineup of keynote speakers included:
- Living Up to the Social Contract: Trauma, Health Equity and Justice in the 21st Century by Isaiah Pickens, Ph.D., assistant director of service systems, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- Stop Solitary Confinement by Mark Soler, JD, executive director, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
- Addiction Neuroscience and Juvenile Brain Development by Steven Hanson, Division of Treatment and Practice Innovation, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
- Gainesville Law Enforcement’s Challenge to Change the Arrest Rates of Marginalized Youth by Troy Jones, MA, chief of police, Gainesville Police Department
The conference highlighted cutting edge information, state-of-the-art programs and current research in the juvenile justice system. Some of the featured topics in the multi-disciplinary program included: alternatives to detention, trauma-informed justice, cross-over youth, deep-end youth, dating violence, ending solitary confinement, recidivism, indiscriminate shackling issues, disproportionate minority contact, LGBTQ issues in the juvenile justice system, sex trafficking of minors, juvenile drug courts, school partnerships, and runaways.
“The NCJFCJ National Conference on Juvenile Justice is a unique opportunity for judges and court professionals to convene and discuss the newest and latest information affecting children and families in our juvenile justice system,” said Judge Katherine Tennyson, NCJFCJ president. “At some point in a person’s life, one will be affected by an issue in juvenile or family court, whether it be directly or through someone they know. It is more important than ever for judges and professionals involved in the juvenile justice system to be educated and informed about best practices, research and data affecting the people they interact with inside and outside the courtroom.”
48 breakout sessions featured relevant trends, insights and important discussions in areas of juvenile justice including the topics of:
- Domestic Child Sex Trafficking – NCJFCJ continues its education and trainings with emerging research, strategies and innovative approaches.
- Transgender and LGBTQ Youth – New findings on trans and gender non-confirming youth, and the judiciary’s role in ensuring equity and access to justice in the juvenile justice system.
- School Pathways – Lessons and case studies from school justice partnerships, and driving effective community and school partnerships to drive success for youth.
- Military Families – Juvenile issues on military installations, and sharing control with local courts and agencies.
- Juvenile Justice Reform – Implementing comprehensive reform and reframing juvenile justice.
This is a vital and important educational opportunity for judges, juvenile and family law professionals, juvenile probation officers, and those interested in the improvement of the juvenile justice system. To effect real system change, all voices involved in the system were invited to be present.
About the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ):
Founded in 1937, the Reno, Nev.-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, is the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization and focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice, the 2,000-member organization is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide.