three women at ACA

Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Dakota, and West Virginia are the champions of the Smart on Juvenile Justice Initiative: A Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform.

This program was established in 2014 by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to reduce juvenile delinquency and recidivism nationwide. These five states have utilized evidence-based implementation strategies to advance juvenile justice reforms. The Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) serves as an OJJDP technical assistance provider and partners with these five states to support implementation of comprehensive juvenile justice policies through targeted training and technical assistance.

Tessa Upin and Pamela Lachman, two senior associates at the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI), were joined by Kristi Bunkers, the Director of Juvenile Services at the South Dakota Department of Corrections, to present at this year’s ACA conference in Boston. The three panelists shared the lessons that have been learned, as well as the successes and challenges of implementation efforts in the five Smart on Juvenile Justice states. Conference attendees also had the opportunity to hear how professionals from state and county juvenile justice agencies can integrate these practices into their work. The presentation also discussed how states have approached implementation of system-wide policy and practice changes.

This conference provided an opportunity to broadcast the hard work that has been done to contribute to this initiative, as well as to highlight the collaborative relationship between CJI and the states throughout this journey in juvenile justice reform.