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.
As part of the Certificate 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
Tuition subsidies are available through CJJR’s Janet Reno Scholarships. These competitive scholarships of up to $1,000 per person will be provided to teams that show a heightened readiness to utilize the curriculum to undertake changes in their local community, as determined by CJJR’s review of the individual and team applicants. There will also be a separate category of need-based subsidies available through CJJR to support the participation of individuals and teams with demonstrated need. 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 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
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 Davis, MSW, Policy Director for Equity and Justice, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
- Kristin Henning, J.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
What our participants are saying
What our participants are saying
“The RED Certificate Program gave us the opportunity to be part of a community of leaders from across the country who share our dedication to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice. We thoroughly valued and appreciated the time we spent in the classroom as well as the time we spent sharing successes and challenges with our fellow participants. The instructors were incredibly knowledgeable in their respective fields and provided applicable, relevant information that helped us look at our practices and policies through a different lens. We learned new tools and strategies that helped us facilitate difficult conversations with system partners, engage stakeholders more effectively, and improve collaborative efforts in our communities. This program challenged us to think of new ways to reduce disparities and disparate treatment at every decision-making point in our system. We returned to our jurisdiction with a deeper understanding of racial and ethnic disparities, a rejuvenated sense of motivation, and a readiness to break down barriers and move our work forward.”
Pinal County, Arizona Team | Class of 2017
“The participation in the Capstone Project was instrumental in creating sustainable system change in Onondaga County (Syracuse, NY). When examining our local data, our team was able to clearly recognize deficiencies, but did not have specific strategies to address the identified problems. The model employed by CJJR is so effective because it provides a venue for education, relationship building (both with local partners as well as with other s whom are going through similar processes), and technical assistance from well renowned professionals who have seen what strategies have been effective/ineffective in other locations. Not only did the rich experience allow for personal/team development, but our county team was able to walk away with a concrete action plan that could be implemented upon our return. The highest compliment that a certificate program can receive is when a group/team/county which has participated in the past valued the experience to such a high degree that other programs are attended at a later time. This was not Onondaga County’s first time participating in a program delivered by CJJR, and it is also not likely to be the last.
Onondaga County, New York Team | Class of 2016
“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
“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
“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, Lincoln Police Department, Lancaster County, Nebraska Team | Class of 2014
Read more testimonials.