5th Annual Juvenile Justice Conference to address youth violence;
raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction
Discussing ways to effectively curb youth violence and evaluating current
juvenile justice programs will be the focus of the 5th annual statewide
Juvenile Justice Conference on Thursday, June 12, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. to
3:30 p.m. in the Lewis B. Rome Ballroom on the University of Connecticut’s
main campus in Storrs.
Frontline caseworkers, law enforcement authorities, youth advocates and
state court officials are expected to attend the conference, Leading Change:
Rethinking Juvenile Justice, Applauding Progress and Planning for the
Chief Court Administrator Barbara M. Quinn will make opening remarks
along with Department of Children & Families Commissioner Susan Hamilton and
UConn Professor Ronald M. Sabatellli, head of UConn’s Department of Human
Development and Family Studies.
Keith Rhodes, a national expert on juvenile delinquency and a gang
specialist certified through the federal Bureau of Prisons and the National
Institute of Corrections, will be the keynote speaker.
Highlights of the conference will include an open discussion with
parents, community leaders and state officials following Mr. Rhodes’ keynote
address at 9:20. Another open
discussion will occur at 12:45 p.m. regarding legislation that expands
juvenile court jurisdiction to include 16- and 17-year-olds starting in
Workshops will include:
- Peacebuilders – An initiative involving the Hartford Police Department and
Hartford’s Office of Youth Services that relies on a Street Outreach Team of
adults to mentor troubled Hartford youth and help mediate disputes.
- Youth and Police Initiatives – This training curriculum brings together
“high-risk” youth and the police officers who patrol their neighborhoods to
share life stories and develop a common goal of bettering the community.
- Employment & Training for Court-Involved Youth – A look at Hartford’s CRAFT
model. This program targets vocational training for court-involved youth.
- Therapeutic Work Crews for Older Juvenile Justice Youth – A look at the
Work and Learn Academy, a new learning and mentoring program.
- Bridging the Gap! – A look at New Haven’s STEP program, which addresses
the education/ vocational needs of 16- and 17-year-olds transitioning back to
their communities after leaving state programs or prisons.
The conference is sponsored by the Judicial Branch’s Court Support
Services Division, DCF’s Bureau of Juvenile Services; UConn’s Department of
Human Development and Family Studies and the University of Connecticut
Family Studies Alumni Society.
For further information, please contact: Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, manager
of communications, Connecticut Judicial Branch, at (860) 757-2270; Gary
Kleeblatt, communications director, Department of Children and Families, at
(860) 550-6305; or Colin Poitras, University Relations, University of
Connecticut (860) 486-4656.