Reno – The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), has a new resource center designed to assist school-justice partnerships to keep kids in school and out of court.
The #RethinkDiscipline movement promotes safe and supportive school environments for teachers and students, conducive to teaching and learning. Creating a supportive school climate, and decreasing suspensions and expulsions, requires close attention to the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all students.
The goal is to replace overused out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and referrals to law enforcement with positive, effective alternatives that keep students in school and engaged in learning while also holding them accountable for their actions.
The purpose of the school justice partnership program and national resource center is to enhance coordination among schools, mental and behavioral health specialists, law enforcement and juvenile justice officials to help students succeed in school and prevent negative outcomes for youth and communities.
The National Resource Center on School-Justice Partnerships (NRC-SJP) will be dedicated to collecting information on evidence-based practices on positive school discipline policies and procedures, alternatives to arrest and formal court processing and applications of the latest research in the field.
“The NRC-SJP serves as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for jurisdictions seeking training and technical assistance to support initiatives to achieve positive school discipline reforms and reduce the school to juvenile justice pathway,” said Cheri Ely, MA, LSW, program director, juvenile justice for the NCJFCJ. “The NRC-SJP will ensure that requests for assistance are met with effective training and technical assistance from experts and will provide access to relevant and current research and resources.”
The NCJFCJ will develop tools, training materials and other resources, including information to educate key stakeholders on collateral consequences and issues related to expungement for jurisdictions throughout the nation. NCJFCJ will directly support a limited number of sites identified as needing assistance in implementing school discipline approaches, such as those school communities that DOJ staff identify as needing training and technical assistance.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention selected and funded four sites to participate in the program. The sites are located in Pinellas County, Fla., Mahoning County, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pa. and Clark County, Nev.
For more information, please visit the new website, SchoolJusticePartnership.org. It provides resources for schools, educators, law enforcement, juvenile justice professionals and mental and behavioral health providers.
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.