About the Center
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University supports and educates leaders across systems of care to advance a balanced, multi-system approach to improving outcomes for, and promoting the positive development of, youth at risk of juvenile justice involvement. Shay Bilchik, one of the country’s most influential voices in the juvenile justice arena, founded the Center in 2007. Michael Umpierre, the current director, works closely with Georgetown’s other policy centers and departments in leading the Center’s efforts.
Housed at the McCourt School of Public Policy, the Center is in a unique position to provide strong and sustained national leadership in identifying and highlighting the research on policies and practices that work best to reduce delinquency and achieve better outcomes for this nation’s children. A particular focus of the Center is on youth known to both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, also referred to as “crossover youth.”
The Center works to focus the nation’s juvenile justice and related systems of care on the key principles embodied in an evidence-based juvenile justice reform agenda, utilizing a multi-system approach. These include:
- An effective balance of prevention and intervention services
- An individualized system of justice for youth
- Implementation of proven and effective practices
- Strong linkages to the community
- Significant public engagement and building of public and political will
Beyond providing information on these key principles the Center also provides guidance and instruction on how to implement this reform agenda through the adoption of sound policy and practice. In this regard, the Center supports the development of stronger leaders in the juvenile justice and related systems of care and helps them to achieve better outcomes for the young people in their care.