Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities
The Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program is an intensive training program designed to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems. The program seeks to reduce over-representation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system, disparate treatment of youth of color as compared to white youth within the juvenile justice system, and unnecessary entry and movement deeper into the juvenile justice system for youth of color. While the program will primarily address disparities in the juvenile justice system, it will also include a focus on the relationship between disproportionality in the juvenile justice system and disparate treatment in other child serving systems, including child welfare and education.
Participants will receive instruction from national experts on cutting edge ideas, policies, and practices. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive an Executive Certificate from Georgetown University, membership into CJJR’s Fellows Network, and ongoing support from the staff.
As part of the program participants are required to develop and submit a Capstone Project – a set of actions designed to initiate or enrich collaborative efforts related to reducing racial and ethnic disparities. The Capstone Project can be a large, systemic change initiative, or it can be a targeted proposal.
Examples of Capstone Projects include: implementing an objective decision-making tool, such as a detention risk assessment instrument; creating a system of graduated incentives and sanctions for youth supervised in the community; implementing a multi-system strategy to address the disparate treatment of youth that is resulting in disparities in the juvenile justice system, such as the development of a protocol among police, schools, and juvenile justice officials aimed at reducing arrests of students.
Learn more about Capstone Projects.
Tuition & Application
Tuition & Application
CJJR offered the 2017 Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities Certificate Program in partnership with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy. The program was held November 14-17, 2017. Please check back in the future for 2018 Certificate Program dates and tuition information.
Tuition subsidies are available for participants with demonstrated financial need and with heightened readiness to utilize the curriculum to undertake changes in their local community. Read more about tuition.
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there are no minimum education or experience requirements to apply, a preference will be given to those in a professional position to move reform efforts forward upon completion of the program. Participants can be individuals working on best practices for diversion at the local, state, or national level.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as a team of up to seven individuals from the same jurisdiction. While each application will be reviewed on an individual basis, the value of this team approach will be considered in our review of applicants. CJJR particularly encourages teams comprised of both public and private agency leaders.
Teams should be comprised of applicants with demonstrated readiness for implementing reforms, especially efforts that engage leaders in other systems, and their agency’s relationship with other child-serving agencies. Team members can be senior level professionals in the juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, education and other related systems of care.
This program is NOT accepting applications from students who do not also hold a professional role in a child serving organization.
Curriculum & Instructors
Curriculum & Instructors
The curriculum of the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program helps jurisdictions identify the most promising areas for reform at key decision points in the juvenile justice system. The program provides information about specific strategies to address racial and ethnic disparities at those decision points through a series of modules, all of which discuss ways to overcome potential challenges associated with the implementation of strategies. The 2017 program consisted of the following modules:
Overview of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System
This module ensures that participants understand key concepts and values, and foundational elements that are necessary to begin planning for reforms. The foundational elements include collection and analysis of data, family engagement, cultural competence and implicit bias.
Reducing Disparities at the Arrest, Referral, and Diversion Decision Points
This module focuses on the mechanisms that contribute to disparities in arrest, how school discipline, law enforcement and child welfare practices can feed youth involvement in juvenile justice, particularly for youth of color, and options for handling status and other low-level offenders without unnecessary involvement in the juvenile justice system. Participants will also learn about jurisdictions that have successfully implemented reforms at the front end of the juvenile justice system.
Reducing Disparities at the Detention Decision Point
This module discusses factors related to the unnecessary and inappropriate use of secure detention for youth of color. Learning will focus on factors that contribute to disparities at the detention decision point. Participants will also learn how to employ objective and risk-based detention criteria, utilize screening instruments effectively, and develop or enhance community-based alternatives to secure detention.
Reducing Disparities a the Disposition and Post-Disposition Decision Points
This module examines decision-making at the disposition and post-disposition decision points with an emphasis on its impact on youth of color. Participants will learn about best practices in creating effective disposition orders, including the use of structured decision-making tools, and how to avoid and handle violations of probation and other court orders. Discussions will include key policy and practice reforms such as graduated incentives and sanctions for youth supervised in community settings. This module will also present case management strategies at disposition, with a particular focus on implications for crossover youth, and will close with a discussion of facility based services, solitary confinement and transition/reentry planning.
Experienced Practitioners Panel
This panel features experienced practitioners who have made progress in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in their communities. These exceptional leaders will discuss their experiences undertaking reform efforts, and will respond to questions and concerns that participants have about their ability to overcome challenges in their own jurisdictions.
2017 core program instructors included:
- Kevin Bethel, Senior Policy Advisor and Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow, Juvenile Justice Research Reform Lab, Department of Psychology, Drexel University
- Shay Bilchik, Director, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy
- Tiana Davis, Policy Director for Equity and Justice, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
- Kristin Henning, Professor, Georgetown Law
- Jenny Lutz, Staff Attorney and Campaign Manager, Stop Solitary for Kids, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
- Roxanna Matiela, Director of Alternatives to Incarceration, Center for Child’s Law and Policy
- Mark Soler, Executive Director, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
- Jason Szanyi, Deputy Director, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
- Gina Vincent, President, National Youth Screening and Assessment Partners, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School
- Mark White, Deputy Commissioner, Office of Juvenile Justice, New York State Division of Juvenile Justice Services
What our participants are saying
What our participants are saying
“We had the pleasure of participating in the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities Certificate Program at Georgetown University in August 2015. There were so many informative sessions throughout the week and the presenters were very knowledgeable and engaging. The materials provided and the information shared are essential to the outcome that we are striving towards here in Jefferson County. We are very excited about laying the foundation in an effort to effect substantial positive improvement regarding the disparate treatment that has plagued our society for years. Overall, we thought the program served as a well drawn-out road map with intricate details that will help us avoid pitfalls, land mines and other distractions along the way.”
Jefferson County, Alabama Team | Class of 2015
- Davella Malone, Juvenile Probation Officer/Education Liaison, Jefferson County Family Court
- Vanessa Jones, Director of Intake and Programs, Jefferson County Family Court
- Angela Harris, Supervisor of Student Services, Jefferson County Board of Education
“With unanimous agreement, our team from Gainesville, Florida was so impressed with the depth and breadth of the RED Certificate Program. We’ve been working on DMC/RED issues for the past couple of years but never imagined that we would learn so much from the team at Georgetown. We recognize that lives are at stake, families are at stake and our communities are at stake if we do not address this issue with great sobriety, equipped with the most comprehensive knowledge and tools to shift the paradigm, perceptions and bias that impacts our youth of color disproportionately. If you and your community are truly committed to addressing this issue you would be greatly buoyed by the expertise of this training.”
Alachua County, Florida Team | Class of 2015
- Jeffrey Weisberg, Executive Director, River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding
- Paul Pardue, School Resources Bureau 14 Sergeant, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
- William Halvosa, DMC Coordinator, Gainesville Police Department
- Shawnta Walker, Juvenile Probation Officer, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
- Donald Reed, ESE Supervisor, Alachua County Public School System
- Cheryl Twombly, Community Development Administrator, Circuits 3 & 8, Florida Department of Children and Families
“The RED Certificate program at Georgetown University was an incredible opportunity and learning experience. The quality of the faculty and presenters and the engaging learning environment were both excellent. I appreciated receiving the full spectrum of national data and learning about specific jurisdictions that have successfully implemented changes in their system to increase fairness and address disparity. Our team was provided with all the tools and information necessary to “do something” to effectuate change in our local juvenile justice system. This certificate program is highly recommended for any and all juvenile justice professionals.”
Lori Griggs, Deputy County Attorney, Lancaster County Attorney’s Office, Nebraska | Class of 2014
“When I was identified to participate in the Racial and Ethnic Disparities certificate program, I was new to the local RED team and had minimal experience with juvenile processes beyond the arrest decision point. I found the design of your programming incredibly thought provoking and well organized. From the pre-work to the classroom curriculum at Georgetown University, I was able to gain a fundamental knowledge of best practices and policies which helps me better contribute to the goal of reducing these disparities locally. Thanks for what you’ve done and continue to do for our team. It was a great experience.”
Jason Stille, Captain, City of Lincoln Police Department, Nebraska | Class of 2014
Read more testimonials.