Reno, Nev. – The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ (NCJFCJ) National Summit on Courts and the Military has convened. This gathering of high level experts in the field of military, juvenile and family law is designed to help improve practice in juvenile and family law cases involving service members, reservists, veterans and their families.
“In an effort to address the unique issues facing military families, the National Summit on Courts and the Military is one of the first steps toward bringing leaders from all arenas together to identify systemic challenges associated with serving military-connected families,” said Carlene Gonzalez, Ph.D., site manager for the NCJFCJ. “These conversations are crucial and will result in a call to action and next steps for serving military-connected families in a culturally sensitive manner.”
Juvenile and family court judges, high ranking members of the military and Department of Defense are convening on the issues of military service members struggling with substance abuse, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mental health issues, and the complexities of domestic violence. The gathering was intended to be an interactive conversation among juvenile and family court judges, the military, education, law enforcement and other allied professionals.
“Recent experience has shown that juvenile and family court judges are often ‘first-responders’ to mental health conditions and the effects of combat deployments on military families,” said Major Evan Seamone. “Accordingly, juvenile and family courts represent a vehicle for identifying and responding to the special needs of military families. Targeted interventions can prevent transmission of combat trauma, societal consequences and later involvement in criminal courts. The NCJFCJ’s National Summit on Courts and the Military, made possible by a grant awarded by the State Justice Institute, Bradley Turner Foundation, and an anonymous donor, offers an unparalleled avenue for exploring the best way to harness the potential of juvenile and family courts to address the challenges of deployment, combat and operational Stress Injuries, and family reintegration.”
As a result of the summit, key strategies for civilian juvenile and family courts concerning servicemembers, veterans, and their families will be outlined; a shared vision, goals, and objectives will be developed; and next steps to continue the work will be prioritized.
“As a Navy reservist, this military summit demonstrates the seriousness the court, military and other agencies place on the issues facing military families and veterans,” said Franz Braun, site manager for the NCJFCJ. “Each of their experiences and histories are unique and need to be treated as such.”
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.
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