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SAN DIEGO, Calif. — During this past November, CJI staff participated in the Justice Reinvestment National Summit in San Diego, California. There were over 400 attendees including funders, media, and representatives from the business community as well as policy makers, experts and other key decision makers from across the country representing federal, state and local government.

On the first day of the summit a kick-off meeting was held for the recently awarded Smart on Juvenile Justice Grant affording CJI the opportunity to continue work in Georgia, Hawaii and Kentucky. The kick-off meeting was facilitated by CJI Managing Associate Kristin Bechtel in partnership with staff from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Delegations from all three states participated in the meeting and used the time to share success stories, challenges and priority areas as implementation of juvenile justice reform gains momentum in their states. OJJDP Chief of Staff Shanetta Cutlar gave remarks thanking CJI for its role as technical providers to the states and offered support as the juvenile justice reform efforts move forward.

Also at the summit, Managing Associate Len Engel, moderated a panel called “Oversight Councils as Reform Leaders.” Len facilitated discussion with panelists Thomas Worthy, Director of Government Relations, Georgia Bar Association, South Carolina Senator Gerald Malloy, and Oregon Representative Andy Olson.

The panelists discussed the ways in which oversight councils are the key vehicle for ensuring that justice reinvestment achieves its stated goals. Panelists shared how oversight councils have taken shape in their states and different strategies for monitoring the implementation of policies, communicating the lessons of reform, influencing ongoing budget appropriations, and tackling new areas in need of improvement.  Other CJI staff focused on business development and relationship building with states that have or are thinking about state level reforms.