NCJFCJ Selects 16 Court Sites to Participate in its School Pathways to the Juvenile Justice System Project

November 25, 2013

The Atlantic Philanthropies, in conjunction with Public Welfare Foundation and the Open Society Institute, awarded the NCJFCJ the School Pathways to the Juvenile Justice System Project. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is funding an evaluation of the project. The NCJFCJ will provide training and technical assistance to help judicial leaders develop efforts to reduce referrals of youth to juvenile courts for school-based misbehaviors and to expand the use of positive disciplinary practices in schools. The NCJFCJ’s goal for this project is to support student engagement and reduce students’ school exclusion as outlined in the resolution passed by the NCJFCJ Board of Trustees in the spring of 2012. The work is based largely on the successes of Judge Steven Teske (Clayton Co., GA) and former judge Brian Huff (Jefferson Co., AL) that have addressed school-to-juvenile justice system issues in their jurisdictions and have assisted other courts to address the issue as well. 

The NCJFCJ received 55 applications from courts across the country wanting to participate in the project. At this time, the NCJFCJ is only able to fund 16 court sites to participate in the project. The review committee had the difficult task of not only reviewing and scoring applications, but also took into consideration the geographic spread and population size of the jurisdictions in order to ensure that 16 diverse sites were selected for the project. The 16 sites selected for participation in the project are:

  • Tehama County Superior Court (Red Bluff, CA) 
  • Tippecanoe County Superior Court (Lafayette, IN) 
  • Hoopa Valley Tribal Court (Hoopa, CA) 
  • Muskegon County 14th Judicial Circuit Court (Muskegon, MI) 
  • Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Pasco & Pinellas Counties (Clearwater, FL) 
  • Kentucky Statewide Initiative with focus on Fayette & Campbell Counties (Lexington & Newport, KY) 
  • Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County (Memphis, TN) 
  • Fulton County Juvenile Court (Atlanta, GA) 
  • Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of El Paso County (Colorado Springs, CO) 
  • Middletown Superior Court (Middletown, CT)
  • Middlesex County Juvenile Court (Lowell, MA) 
  • 26th Judicial District Court of Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, NC)
  • Superior Court of Sacramento County (Sacramento, CA)
  • Family Court of the State of Delaware (Wilmington, DE) 
  • Third Judicial District Court of Dona Ana County (Las Cruces, NM) 
  • Circuit Court for Prince George's County (Upper Marlboro, MD) 

Selected sites will be assigned a Site Visit Facilitator recruited by the NCJFCJ due to their knowledge of school-court issues and/or experience with team facilitation and strategic planning. Each selected site will receive at least one onsite visit to help identify problematic issues with school referrals to the court system and to facilitate strategic planning to address those issues. Site Visits will begin in 2014 and will continue through March 2015. Free online training and additional technical assistance may be offered to the selected sites on special topics. For more information about this project, please contact Cheri Ely, Program Director for Juvenile Justice at cely@ncjfcj.org or at 775-784-6854.

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