NLC to Hold Leadership Academy on Juvenile Justice Reform

Our RFP to participate in the upcoming Municipal Leadership for Juvenile Justice Reform Leadership Academy is out now.

Minneapolis skylineMinneapolis will host NLC’s Municipal Leadership for Juvenile Justice Reform Leadership Academy this fall. Photo credit: AMB-MD

Despite substantial decreases in juvenile crime rates during the past decade, state and local juvenile justice systems remain in need of fundamental reforms. High-quality, community-based alternatives to incarceration for youth — and support systems for re-entry — are not available in every city, and racial and ethnic disparities continue to be a persistent problem in juvenile justice systems across the country.

As part of a strategic partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative, the NLC Institute for Youth, Education, and Families will host its second Municipal Leadership for Juvenile Justice Reform Leadership Academy from September 23-25, 2015 in Minneapolis.

Mayors and other city leaders have unique opportunities to drive improvements in their local juvenile justice systems. Local leaders, city law enforcement agencies and their community- and faith-based partners can explore new roles and resources in collaboration with courts and juvenile probation departments.

The Municipal Leadership for Juvenile Justice Reform Leadership Academy will provide local officials and their teams with the skills and knowledge they need to build on existing city-led efforts and take up leadership roles in juvenile justice reform. Participants will have access to national experts, promising practice examples, and peer learning opportunities, as well as the opportunity to begin the process of developing local action plans. See the RFP for more information. Responses are due by Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

The Models for Change initiative supports reforms to the treatment of young people who come in contact with police or get charged with crimes, and it is playing a key role in reshaping the juvenile justice system. The initiative is grounded in the core principles of fundamental fairness, developmental differences between youth and adults, individual strengths and needs, youth potential, responsibility and safety.

Local officials report that Models for Change and NLC have helped them improve public safety and support youth in their communities, even as they grapple with tight budgets and tough fiscal decisions. NLC is working with Models for Change on juvenile justice reform and concentrating on the issues of status offenders, mental health services, juvenile indigent defense, and racial and ethnic disparities.

Laura Furr
About the Author: 
Laura E. Furr is the program manager for justice reform and youth engagement in the NLC Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Follow Laura on Twitter at @laura_furr.