WHAT: A two-day convening of teams of city officials and local partners to learn about opportunities to engage in and lead juvenile justice reform efforts, to take place in September 2015.
Despite substantial decreases in juvenile crime rates during the past decade, the nation’s juvenile justice systems remain in great need of fundamental reforms. For example, the availability of high-quality, community-based alternatives to incarceration for youth and supports for reentry is uneven and racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system are unacceptably large. A number of states and local jurisdictions have made significant progress in improving these systems, relying on evidence-based models that hold youth accountable for their actions in developmentally appropriate ways. In some states, local governments – including cities – have assumed greater responsibility for community-based treatment, diversion programs, and re-entry. These promising developments provide the basis for new and expanded city-led efforts to improve outcomes for young people and communities across the nation.
The Models for Change
initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is playing a key role in reshaping the juvenile justice system, grounded in core principles
of fundamental fairness; developmental differences between youth and adults; individual strengths and needs; youth potential; responsibility; and safety. Models for Change has supported counties and states in reforming the way they treat young people who are charged with crimes. Local officials say that Models for Change has helped them improve public safety and support youth, even as they grapple with tight budgets and tough fiscal decisions.
Mayors and other city officials have unique opportunities to drive further improvements in their local juvenile justice systems. Municipal leaders and their community-based and faith-based partners can explore new roles and resources in collaboration with the courts and juvenile probation. City agencies (particularly in consolidated city/county governments) may also stand to benefit financially from the adoption of promising juvenile justice reinvestment strategies.
As part of a strategic partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National League of Cities (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families will host a Municipal Leadership for Juvenile Justice Reform Leadership Academy
on September 23-25, 2015
. This convening will provide city officials with the skills and knowledge they need to consider and take up leadership roles in juvenile justice reform, giving participants intensive access to national experts, promising practice examples, peer sharing, and local action planning.
WHERE: The Marriott-Renaissance Depot Hotel, Minneapolis, Minn.
WHO: City elected officials, senior city staff and other community or juvenile justice system stakeholders applying in city teams of up to three persons each.
NLC will select teams up to 10 cities to attend the leadership academy. Each city may nominate a team of up to three representatives that must include at least one of the following individuals: the mayor; a city council member; or a senior representative of the mayor’s or city manager’s office. Other team members may include but are not limited to: senior representatives of city agencies including police departments; juvenile court officials including detention or probation officials, prosecutors, public defenders, or judges; and community-based service providers implementing programs for youth at-risk of involvement or youth currently involved in the juvenile justice system.
NLC will select, on a competitive basis, a diverse set of cities of various sizes from different regions of the country to participate in the leadership academy. Preference will be given to cities that are members in good standing of NLC. NLC will use selection criteria that include evidence of high-level municipal leadership and commitment to improving outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system, collaboration among relevant city, county and state agencies, and a clear indication of how the leadership academy can catalyze local efforts.
WHEN: The leadership academy will take place on September 23-25, 2015, beginning with an opening dinner and program on Wednesday evening and concluding with lunch on Friday. Interested cities must submit applications via e-mail (see instructions below) on or before July 15, 2015. We encourage early applications. NLC will announce all selections by July 29, 2015.
BENEFITS: Selected city teams will learn about best practices and lessons learned from the Models for Change initiative; explore successful efforts to improve juvenile justice initiatives in cities across the country, especially through diversion and re-entry initiatives and efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities; gain access to and guidance from juvenile justice experts; and strengthen their relationships with peers in cities across the nation.
Following the Leadership Academy, NLC will invite participating cities to join the NLC Juvenile Justice Peer Learning Network, s group that provides ongoing opportunities for city leaders to learn and receive support from nationally-recognized experts in the field and from peers in other cities.
TRAVEL: NLC will reimburse participants for airline travel (up to a maximum of $500) as well as hotel and other travel-related costs in accordance with NLC’s travel reimbursement policies. Meeting participants will receive reimbursements promptly upon submission of travel receipts following the convening.