November | December 2017

OJJDP Acting Administrator Addresses State Advisory Groups in Colorado and Iowa

In November, OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry participated in Colorado and Iowa’s state advisory group (SAG) meetings. There are 56 SAGs nationwide that are responsible for monitoring and supporting their respective state’s or territory’s progress in complying with the core protections of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. The Act establishes federal standards for the safety and equitable treatment of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. The visits are part of a focused effort by OJJDP to strengthen relationships with the SAGs.

On November 3, 2017, Acting Administrator Garry met with the Colorado Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council in Lakewood, CO. She heralded the SAG’s successful youth engagement activities that have resulted in seven youth members joining the group. These members, known as “Emerging Leaders,” are responsible for using a portion of Title II program funds for planning and programming. With these funds, Colorado's Emerging Leaders recently developed training for professionals working with the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning youth.

Approximately 30 SAG members, state agency staff, and guests attended the meeting to discuss recommendations for coordinating and maximizing the effectiveness of existing juvenile delinquency programs. Acting Administrator Garry praised the SAG for its resourcefulness and for its work on planning through 2020 to improve juvenile justice services and processes—including working to end the use of detention for truants. The meeting also allowed the SAG to advise Colorado’s Governor and Division of Criminal Justice on juvenile justice issues.

Iowa’s SAG, the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, hosted Acting Administrator Garry’s visit on November 6. Ms. Garry congratulated the group for being one of the few chaired by a youth member. Chair Jeralyn Westercamp works as a coordinator of clinical outreach and development at the University of Iowa while pursuing her master’s in business administration at the university. Acting Administrator Garry also lauded the SAG’s efforts to reduce recidivism and racial and ethnic disparities within the state’s juvenile justice system.

A statewide meeting followed the SAG convening. Approximately 100 juvenile justice practitioners—comprising judges, legislators, juvenile court administrators, SAG members, compliance monitors, and disproportionate minority contact coordinators—attended this event and listened to Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg speak about Iowa’s efforts to improve juvenile justice through coalition building and sharing information.

Officials from various boards, commissions, and state agencies discussed the national landscape of juvenile justice and system improvement efforts within the state. Iowa was one of three states to receive a Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative (JJRRI) grant from OJJDP. JJRRI is a recently concluded 3-year demonstration program that aimed to reduce recidivism and enhance cost effectiveness by improving existing services for youth in the justice system. Aided by a subsequent $270,000 Statewide Juvenile Justice Reform Planning grant from OJJDP, Iowa has sustained and is working to expand juvenile justice improvements initiated under JJRRI.

Acting Administrator Garry’s visits are part of a multiyear plan by OJJDP leadership to meet with each of the 56 SAGs. This national outreach effort includes webinars and trainings for SAG members to increase collaboration and enhance compliance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act nationwide.

Resources:

Contact information for all SAG chairs is available on the OJJDP website. State Advisory Groups are welcome to contact OJJDP staff at the following e-mail addresses:

Robin Delany-Shabazz, Associate Administrator, State and Community Development Division: robin.delany-shabazz@usdoj.gov.

Jennifer Yeh, Deputy Associate Administrator, State and Community Development Division:
jennifer.yeh2@usdoj.gov.