Workshops -- Overview

Track I:

Changing Nature of Juvenile Offenders. This track sets the stage for the conference by providing critical information about the "who" of the juvenile justice system. Using a historical perspective, each workshop will focus on current trends in juvenile offender populations, the special needs of these populations, and the juvenile justice system response. Each workshop in this track will identify those research, programmatic, and policy issues relevant to specific offender populations that have moved the "juvenile justice system to the crossroads."

Forecasting the Future: Scenarios for the Year 2010: What will the juvenile justice offender look like in 2010? How will youth served by the juvenile justice system be similar to today's youth? How will they differ? Are problems such as disproportionate minority confinement likely to be alleviated or exacerbated? The workshop will attempt to answer these important questions using current demographics, population projections, and knowledge of youth currently in the juvenile justice system. The workshop will also discuss substance abusing youth, sex offenders, and others who pose special challenges.

Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders: In Perspective: This workshop will focus attention on serious and violent juvenile offenders. It will take a look at who these offenders are and what their impact is on the juvenile justice system. The workshop will consider their impact today and in the past and attempt to define the challenge that serious and violent juveniles pose for the future. Attention will also be given to the capability of the juvenile justice system to manage this population and the options for linkages with the adult system.

New Challenges Posed by Girls in the Juvenile Justice System: This workshop is designed to increase the knowledge of policymakers, practitioners, and representatives of public and private youth-serving agencies about the changing profile of female delinquents and provide information on appropriate treatment of female offenders by the juvenile justice system. The workshop will also discuss risk factors associated with this population, recent data on females currently in the system, strategies for systemic change, and methods for creating effective alternative community-based programs for female juvenile offenders.

Programming for Younger Populations in Juvenile Detention and Corrections: This workshop will discuss the special problems posed by increasing numbers of younger children entering the justice system. The session will examine programming issues for younger populations in correctional and detention facilities. It will also review judicial needs and issues as they relate to these secure correctional settings.

Juvenile Gangs and Crime: The Challenge to Detention and Corrections: This workshop will focus on the special challenges and problems that juveniles with gang affiliations present within juvenile detention and correctional facilities. The problem will be examined from the perspective of its prevalence, the implications for management of rival gang activity within institutions, the impact upon programming, the interplay of problems associated with overcrowding, and the special challenges to structuring effective aftercare programs for gang-affiliated youth upon release from correctional institutions.

Track II:

Getting Tough on Juvenile Crime: A Paradigm Shift for Juvenile Justice? Recent increases in violent juvenile crime have prompted Governors and State legislatures to take extraordinary "get tough" measures. Since 1992, all but two States nationwide have enacted new laws governing the prosecution, disposition, and confinement of serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders. Although States and localities are experimenting with a range of responses to such youth violence, these responses share a common focus: widespread reliance on criminal justice sanctions. The workshops in this track will examine this evolving change in juvenile justice philosophy and its impact on policymakers, practitioners, and the public.

Changing State and Local Legislation: Using recent research by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, this workshop will report on State legislative changes enacted between 1992 and 1995 that have affected and will continue to affect the handling of both serious and violent juvenile offenders. The workshop will focus on changes that will have an impact on jurisdiction, sentencing, correctional programming, confidentiality, and victims of crime. The discussion will include implications for policy and practice and considerations that lawmakers, policymakers, and practitioners need to take into account.

Federal Juvenile Justice Legislation: This workshop will present an overview of relevant authorizing and funding legislation enacted during the 104th Congress (welfare reform and FY 1997 Department of Justice appropriations). It will also review juvenile justice legislation likely to be introduced in the 105th Congress (Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act reauthorization and revisions to the Federal Delinquency Code and the 1994 Crime Act). In addition, the workshop will summarize possible repercussions of such Federal legislation for State and local juvenile justice efforts.

Responses of Three States to New Juvenile Justice Legislation: This workshop will highlight legislative changes affecting the juvenile justice systems in three States (Florida, Massachusetts, and Oregon). Discussions will focus on substantive and procedural changes resulting from the new legislation. These legislative changes represent both a reaction to the increasingly serious nature of juvenile crime and a fundamental shift in juvenile justice philosophy. This workshop will examine effective approaches and methodologies adopted by these three States in the areas of jurisdiction, sentencing, correctional programming, confidentiality, and victims of crime.

Juveniles in Criminal Court: A Better Answer?: This workshop will summarize the most current pertinent information on legislative trends across the country that require the transfer of certain juvenile offenders to the criminal justice system. Recent research findings from several States will be reviewed. In addition, the workshop will outline new OJJDP studies and future research plans in this area.

Restorative Justice From Probation to Reintegration: Practitioners and academicians will discuss new approaches in community corrections, including the restorative justice model and intensive aftercare. The workshop will highlight the merits of restorative justice in relation to the retributive and rehabilitative models. It will also cover the essential elements of an effective community reintegration program.

Gangs, Guns, and Drugs: Innovative Initiatives of the U.S. Attorneys: Recent increases in violent juvenile crime have prompted several U.S. Attorneys to take innovative and preemptive action in their districts. This workshop will highlight specific initiatives by three U.S. Attorneys: a gun-tracing program implemented by U.S. Attorney Veronica F. Coleman of Tennessee; a juvenile gang intervention program headed by U.S. Attorney Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island; and an anti-methamphetamine education program aimed at school-age children in Minnesota, initiated under U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug.

Track III:

Community Responses to Juvenile Crime. This track will explore how some communities and community-based agencies have approached the issue of juvenile crime by assessing the nature and extent of factors that contribute to delinquency and then developing effective responses. The track will consider the growing problem of violence in and around schools and share promising school-based approaches to this problem. The interaction between law enforcement and the community will be examined with emphasis on youth-oriented community policing. This track will also include discussion of the legal resources available to juveniles and their families and methods for improving access to legal representation.

Taking a Strategic Approach: This workshop will provide an overview of several approaches used by communities to assess the nature and extent of factors that contribute to delinquency and methods to combat it effectively. Speakers will demonstrate the usefulness of the assessment process, identify various models for such community assessments, indicate the community partners needed, and discuss a process for transforming assessment results into program goals, objectives, strategies, and activities.

Unsafe Schools: Responding to the Crisis: This workshop will review the extent and nature of crime and delinquency in and around schools. It will look at some common barriers to effective solutions and promising ways to make schools safe. Collaborative partnerships between schools and violence-prevention programs will be discussed, and consideration will be given to the impact such partnerships have on the problem of school-based violence and crime and on community perception of the problem.

Ensuring Justice for Kids: This workshop will review the legal basis guaranteeing the right to counsel in juvenile court proceedings and examine current data on availability and quality of legal representation in juvenile courts. New options for improving access to legal representation will also be highlighted.

Grassroots Responses to Youth Crime: This workshop will discuss community mobilization efforts and related grassroots programs in response to juvenile crime. How communities organize around youth issues, how they obtain sponsorship and support of projects, and what impact -- both documented and perceived -- projects have will also be discussed. Projects from several cities will be featured with a focus on elements viewed as essential to success. The workshop will also provide information about resources to support grassroots projects, the potential for linking such projects to larger community efforts, and opportunities for project enhancement.

Innovative Law Enforcement and Youth-Oriented Community Policing: Doing Something About Guns and Gangs: This workshop will review the research, intervention strategy, and early results of the Boston Gun Project, an innovative interagency partnership to reduce youth violence by disrupting illegal firearms markets and preventing violent gang offending. Participants will discuss ways to identify and attack illicit firearms trafficking and deter gang violence by using comprehensive, coordinated attention (including drug market enforcement, probation and parole attention, disorder enforcement, and other means) against violent gangs. Youth perspectives will be provided by two high school students who serve on the innovative New Haven Board of Young Adult Police Commissioners.

Track IV:

Intervention and Juvenile Justice System Responses. Increasing rates of juvenile delinquency nationwide have been accompanied by a number of critical juvenile justice problems, including increased juvenile use of and dependency on illegal drugs and alcohol, greater and more complex mental health needs exhibited by juveniles entering the justice system, systematic overcrowding of juvenile correctional facilities, and wider demand for community supervision and services once juvenile offenders are released from facilities. This track will focus on innovative State and local strategies to address such problems. Several workshops will highlight new intervention models, such as the use of community assessment centers and graduated sanctions. Others will underscore new techniques for identifying and treating drug-involved youth, new approaches for addressing the mental health needs of juveniles in the justice system, and new methods of combating juvenile gangs, gun use, and drug trafficking.

Community Assessment Centers: Problem or Solution?: This workshop will focus on assessment centers as a response to the multiple needs of juvenile offenders and at-risk youth. Several promising models will be identified. Discussion will review center designs, resource requirements, and potential impact on existing services. The workshop will also address diversion needs and services and legal issues of confidentiality of juvenile records in the context of recordkeeping and sharing in assessment centers.

Graduated Sanctions: This workshop will discuss a system of graduated sanctions within the context of OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. The workshop will present the theoretical foundations for a system of graduated sanctions from early interventions through secure confinement and aftercare. The workshop will also provide a practical example of how one State has approached implementation of such a system.

Incarceration: The Disproportionate Choice for Children of Color?: This workshop will provide strategies to engage more communities and organizations in efforts to reduce disproportionate minority confinement in the juvenile justice system by presenting approaches that have an impact on this issue in specific and systematic ways in various locations throughout the Nation. Information and research will be presented on State, county, and city programs and policies that assess the needs of children of color. Further, this workshop will describe effective approaches available to service providers, legislators, and judges who have the mission and responsibility of providing adequate wraparound and aftercare services to predelinquent and delinquent youth. The workshop will also report on State progress in addressing disproportionate minority confinement.

Identifying and Intervening With Drug-Involved Youth: The workshop will delineate effective approaches for identifying and constructively intervening with drug-involved youth. Successful methods of engaging courts, treatment providers, schools, and local policymakers for confronting juvenile drug abuse will be presented. Juvenile drug courts will receive special attention as a promising option.

Gangs and Guns: Prevention and Intervention: This workshop will provide an update on research about the connection between gangs and guns. The research continues to demonstrate that a convincing connection between gangs and guns not only exists but presents implications for practitioners attempting to work with gang-involved youth. The workshop will also offer promising approaches to prevention and intervention in light of the deadly combination of gangs and guns.

Programming To Better Serve the Mental Health Needs of Juvenile Offenders: This workshop will provide an overview of the scope of mental health needs of juvenile offenders and discuss mental health needs of diverse youth. A successful mental health evaluation training program and a model program of intervention will be presented. The workshop will also address future challenges in building a system of care to meet mental health needs of youth in the juvenile justice system.

Track V:

Tools for Juvenile Justice Professionals. The demands on the juvenile justice system have intensified over the past two decades, requiring planners and practitioners to have a broad knowledge of juvenile policies, practices, procedures, and effective programming. Professionals can expect an even greater demand for them to broaden their knowledge base and work more collaboratively with a variety of service systems. Workshops in this track focus on selected tools and resources to support the work of juvenile justice professionals into the 21st century. Workshops will discuss the design of low cost evaluations and identify appropriate issues for research. Information will be provided on how to develop a successful planning process, facilitate decisionmaking, and utilize data to define and analyze a variety of juvenile justice issues. Attention will also be given to making effective use of State and local policy boards and the media. Specific issues related to confidentiality will also be considered.

Juvenile Justice Data: How To Find It and Use It: This workshop will provide information about what kinds of national data exist and how participants can access the data. The workshop will also focus on the utility of the data, especially for helping to define and analyze a variety of juvenile justice issues, both national and local. Participants will also gain an understanding of the quality and limitations of the data, so that the most effective use can be achieved.

Policy Boards: A Resource for Sound Juvenile Justice Policy and Programming: This workshop will explore the use of juvenile justice policy boards as tools for development of juvenile policies, procedures, and programs. Boards and councils are often the cornerstone of decisionmaking at State and local levels. The workshop will demonstrate the need to develop key leadership at the local level and showcase the effective use of local boards and councils. Increased utilization of local planning and policy boards is expected as resources shift from Federal to State and local levels.

Building Public Support: This workshop will demonstrate how the media can be an ally to promote policies that support children and youth and how practitioners can help shape the way journalists and reporters view and tell stories about youth. It will help participants understand media perspectives on youth violence and introduce media advocacy skills. Media advocacy moves beyond a public affairs approach (the traditional use of media through public service announcements, press releases, and brochures) to setting the agenda, reframing the issue, and developing the media production capacity of the community.

Confidentiality of Juvenile Records: A Thing of the Past?: This workshop will focus on trends and issues relating to confidentiality of juvenile records. Legal and ethical concerns will be examined, and information-sharing models will be discussed. The workshop will also review recent State legislation affecting confidentiality. Participants will be asked to role-play common scenarios that face State and local policymakers.

Research and Evaluation: Imperatives in the 21st Century: This workshop will explore the critical requirements for documenting and evaluating the various changes in the juvenile justice system resulting from changing policies, practices, and procedures. It will critique the state of the art of evaluation research and identify promising approaches for the future, including the conduct of low budget evaluations.

Track VI:

Delinquency Prevention. This track reexamines the evidence for continued Federal investment in delinquency prevention as the 21st century approaches. Drawing on state-of-the-art research and evaluation data, the workshops in this track will highlight different prevention strategies and approaches. These include a focus on home visitation and early childhood prevention, cross-agency intervention approaches for school-age children, lessons learned from research on the connection between youth violence and previous child abuse and neglect, exemplary programs enlisting the participation of fathers in child and youth development, and innovative community-based prevention efforts.

Delinquency Prevention Begins Before Birth: The workshop will discuss research demonstrating the necessity for early childhood prevention and the effectiveness of prevention programming and policy implications for the juvenile justice field related to research findings, welfare reform, and program development. Other topics of discussion include practice strategies and models for effectively reducing multiple risk factors and addressing multiple needs for families with children ages 0 to 5 years.

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse and Neglect: Selected Findings, Policy Implications, and Promising Practices: This workshop will underscore the documented link between abuse and neglect and later delinquency and criminality as reported in the Causes and Correlates and Cycle of Violence studies, delineate the implications of the findings for policymaking, and feature successful interventions and promising practices. Participants will review the research documenting the correlation between abuse and neglect and later delinquent or criminal behavior. They will consider the potential relationship between the trauma experienced by children who witness domestic violence and later delinquent and violent behavior, and also the implications of the research for delinquency prevention policy. Several promising initiatives will also be discussed.

The Role of Fathers in Child Development: Policies and Programs: The workshop will focus on public and workplace policies that promote or impede the positive role fathers or surrogates play in child development. The discussion will include programs for fostering fathering skills as part of the developmental process of boys and young men and programs for recruiting and training surrogate fathers. Strategies for encouraging fathers to increase their parenting skills and involvement in child rearing will be emphasized throughout.

Serving Youth With Multiple Needs: This workshop will address the issues of serving youth with multiple needs, including learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, alcohol and other drug use, mental health problems, and dual diagnosis. Consideration will also be given to co-occurring disorders affecting juveniles and -- because of the revolution in mental health treatment -- the amenability of these disorders to treatment. Participants will learn what disorders can occur in youth, which of them are amenable to treatment, which ones tend to co-occur more than others, and how the treatment world views these disorders.

Innovative Community Prevention Partnerships: This workshop will focus on how to make community prevention partnerships a reality. Participants will discuss creation of innovative delinquency prevention community-based partnerships, the role of community organizers in bringing diverse groups of community stakeholders together to work to achieve delinquency prevention goals, and techniques related to coordination of community efforts.

Communities in Action to Combat Illegal Drugs: Collaborative efforts across the country are adopting innovative strategies to reduce the use of illegal drugs and alcohol by juveniles. Communities are combating open-air drug trafficking in targeted neighborhoods; law enforcement agencies and young people are taking action by forming teen courts; and national organizations are teaming up with greater emphasis on prevention. This workshop will highlight some of the prevention strategies that respond to three basic questions: What are the most effective tools for community mobilization and action? How do you engage young people as part of the solution to the drug problem? What are the key concepts for developing a comprehensive anti-drug strategy?

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