Reducing Racial & Ethnic Disparities Certificate Program

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.

Since 2013, CJJR has partnered with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy to offer this Certificate Program.

Curriculum, Instructors, and Application Guidelines

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 certificate program typically consists of the following modules:

Module 1: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System

–Core Values and Using Data to Identify Disparities

–Talking About Race and Addressing Implicit Bias

Module 2: Reducing Disparities at Arrest and Referral 

–Addressing RED at Arrest and Referral Through Diversion, Policy and Practice

–Partnering with Families and Communities in Culturally Responsive Ways

–Reducing School-Based Arrests: Law Enforcement Leadership in Addressing RED

–RED in the School-to Prison Pipeline

–Special Populations: LGBTQ/SOGIE Youth, Crossover Youth, Status Offenders

Module 3: Reducing Disparities at the Detention Decision Point 

–Assessment and Screening for Structured Decision-Making

–Structuring Detention Decisions Through the Lens of Race/Ethnicity

Module 4: Reducing Disparities at the Disposition and Post-Disposition Decision Points 

–Increasing Access to and Cultural Responsiveness of Alternatives to Out-of-Home Placement

–Reducing Disparities in Case Processing

–Evidence Base Dispositional Practice

–Using Graduated Responses to Support Youth in Community Placements

–Facility Based Services, Transition and Reentry

Module 5: RED Reduction in Practice

–Experienced Practitioner/CJJR Fellows Panel

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Center for Children’s Law and Policy leverage their national networks to provide an innovative blend of practitioners, advocates, and researchers to lead the program. Past program instructors have included:

  • Shawn Ashworth, Ed.D., Program Specialist, Anne Arundel County Public Schools
  • Kaitlin Banner, J.D., Deputy Legal Director, Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
  • Kevin Bethel, Senior Policy Advisor and Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow, Juvenile Justice Research Reform Lab, Department of Psychology, Drexel University
  • Shay Bilchik, J.D., Founder and Emeritus Director, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy
  • Tiana DavisMSW, Policy Director for Equity and Justice, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
  • Kristin HenningJ.D., Associate Dean of Clinics, Center, Institutes and Experiential Learning; Juvenile Justice Clinic Director; Professor, Georgetown Law
  • Regina Lurry, Director of Systems Innovation, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
  • Myrinda Schweitzer Smith, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Center for Criminal Justice Research and Deputy Director, University of Cincinatti Corrections Institute
  • Mark Soler, J.D., Executive Director, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
  • Jason Szanyi, J.D., Deputy Director, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
  • Betsy Fox Tolentino, J.D.Executive Director of Pre-Adjudication Services and Reform, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
  • Michael Umpierre, J.D., Director, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy

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. To learn more about the application process, and if we are accepting applications for this program at this time, please refer to the Certificate Program Application Guideline page.

More Information

As part of the Certificate Program, participants are required to develop and implement a Capstone Project during the twelve-month period following the completion of their Certificate Program session.

The primary goal of all of our Certificate Programs is not simply knowledge, but effective implementation in a local reform effort. We study “what works” and collaborate with leaders to bridge the gap between theory and practice.