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By: Jason Jowers

On December 2nd, 2021, OneOp hosted a webinar called “Juvenile Justice Responses to Youth in Conflict with the Law.” This webinar was another great installment in our Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth (SBCY) Series. This series has been ongoing since May 2019, with plans to continue into 2022!

The goals of this webinar focused primarily on an introduction to the juvenile justice system and the juvenile court. Information regarding processing juvenile cases, court hearings, roles and responsibilities, adolescent brain science, restoration and rehabilitation for juveniles, and diversion programming for youth was presented. The unique challenges of military-connected youth who enter the juvenile justice system were also addressed.

We were joined in this webinar by Cheri Ely, M.A., LSW, NCJFCJ, who is the Program Director for Juvenile Justice with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. We were also joined by Honorable John Romero (ret.), who is the Chair of the NCJFCJ Military Committee.

Webinar Highlights

  • This webinar began with going over the guiding principles of fairness, equity, and procedural justice when it comes to juvenile justice courts. This includes treating youth, families, crime victims, witnesses, and others involved in PSB-related cases with respect, dignity, courtesy, and cultural understanding.
  • Cheri then spoke on the world of youth confinement today; what it looks like, statistics, and examples of correctional-style facilities that house youth sentenced through juvenile justice courts.
  • She also detailed statistics regarding incidents of problematic sexual behavior (PSB) taking place in these correctional facilities as well as higher rates for mental illness like anxiety and depression.
  • Cheri and John then went over what has been working and ways to create a more effective approach to juvenile delinquency. This included reducing incarceration steeply, reforming punitive approaches, replacing prison-like juvie institutions with a range of interventions and programs, and ultimately reinvesting in what is working, like therapeutic practices.
  • They wrapped things up by talking about how juvenile offenses are handled within military jurisdiction, like with military families living on base.

Archived Viewing and CE Credit Info

If you missed the live event, you can watch the YouTube archived recording on the webinar event page. Free continuing education credits for this event are still available for licensed social workers, professional counselors, case managers, Certified Family Life Educators, and family therapists. The Case Management CE credits are available through December 2022 and the UT Social Work CE credits through December 2023.

And be sure and join us for our next SBCY Series webinars coming up in February 2022, which you can RSVP for now! And be sure to stay up to date on future 2022 SBCY programming!

Image by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels