What Our Participants Are Saying

We are incredibly proud to have dedicated professionals participate in our certificate program training, complete their Capstone Project, and continue on to our Fellows Network. Here’s what some had to say about the program.

Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities

“As the adults leading, managing, and serving juveniles, we have a responsibility to ensure the agencies we run and the systems we are part of are fair, are developmentally appropriate, and generate equitable outcomes for youth, families, victims, and communities. The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform’s RED Certificate Program (including its instructors, speakers and participants) is a ‘must’ experience for elected officials, judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, probation professionals, education representatives, community providers, and others who are entrusted to carry out this responsibility. The program lays the groundwork for innovation, authentic collaboration, and measurable results, and also provides the strategies and tools for system partners to reduce and eliminate disparities that are real barriers to an effective and just system. Our multi-disciplinary team of nine from Multnomah County brought what we learned home, and we have used our enhanced knowledge to ignite awareness, commitment, and action in our community. I highly recommend this program for anyone who is passionate about addressing racial and ethnic disparities and ensuring all juvenile justice involved youth receive the services and supports they need to be successful.”

Christina McMahan | Juvenile Services Division Director, Multnomah County, Oregon

“Absolutely one of, if not the best training that deals with disparity in the criminal justice system. I was literally amazed at how well the material was presented. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable from their life experiences. Our team has continued to forge forward with the Capstone Project and we are making incredible progress. I’m pleased to be a part of the Georgetown training and predict this effort will continue long term. It finally seems like a program is run in a way that encompasses many disciplines and gives the team goals that are obtainable to make change short and long term.”

Kevin Bailey | Detective-Juvenile, Iowa City Police Department, Iowa

School-Justice Partnerships

“I participated in the inaugural School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program with a seven-person team from Hamilton County, Ohio. I was completely impressed by the entire week. The CJJR staff put together a program of high quality speakers that were engaging, thoughtful, and probing. It was refreshing and invigorating to have such intellectual, resourceful, and articulate speakers. The sequence of topics really prompted systemic reflection and will result in true reform. I know my team spent many hours outside of the structured day continuing the discussions and challenging each other and our system based on the presentations. Our team is excited by the plan we were able to put together with feedback from CJJR and CCLP and are currently sharing it with our organizations.”

Darrell Yater | Assistant Director of Curriculum and Special Education, Northwest Local School District, Ohio

“It was an honor to participate in the inaugural School-Justice Partnership Certificate Program with the Douglas County, Nebraska team. We valued the opportunity to connect with and be inspired by leaders from a variety of jurisdictions. This program reinforced our responsibility to ensure each youth known to, or at risk of entering the juvenile justice system has access to a safe and supportive educational experience. The cadre of instructors challenged and empowered our team to develop and begin implementing innovative strategies to effectuate improved educational outcomes for youth in Douglas County. We are confident the cross-system project we have selected will make an irrefutable, lasting impact on our community.”

Douglas County, Nebraska Team

“The CJJR programs are an invaluable experience. The instructors are the nation’s experts and pioneer leaders. The time spent in the classroom is unique and unparalleled; a chance to compare ideas with other leaders and brainstorm successes and shortcomings. Conversations with classmates are extremely fruitful. The curriculum is well thought out and broad yet also manages to be fine-tuned and focused. The CJJR programs bring great value to my day-to-day work. They provide a framework and launching pad for excellence. The concepts taught are transferable to my agency and partner agencies and provide a platform for positive change. I have attended three CJJR programs and remain impressed by the caliber of instructors, the depth of knowledge shared and the overall superior organization (from application to ongoing technical support). I would highly recommend this program to anyone seeking sound expert guidance to serve our children better.”

Leah Panuzzo | CWS Policy Analyst, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency

Supporting System-Involved LGBTQ Youth

“The Supporting the Well-Being of System-Involved LGBTQ Youth Certificate Program provided our state with an unparalleled opportunity to address issues impacting a very vulnerable population of youth, through the provision of informative training modules that challenged us as individuals and in our professional roles. As a stakeholder group of representatives from youth and family serving agencies, we were engaged in an open environment to learn from experts, LGBTQ youth themselves, as well as an array of professional allies. It was a rare opportunity to be brought together in this manner, to learn and reflect on the needs of our promising youth, and to develop collaborative strategies to help Arizona evolve an affirming, respectful response to the needs of LGBTQ youth and their families.”

Arizona Team

“Attending the Certificate Program provided us with increased knowledge and awareness of the myriad of issues facing system involved LGBTQ youth as well as provided us with the information needed to better support these youth. The connections that we formed through this experience have enabled us to enhance our Capstone Project, connect with peers across the country, and ultimately, have our Capstone Project become a state-wide initiative due to the connections formed, knowledge, tools and resources gained from attending this program.”

Suffolk County, New York Team

“Our team from Washington State was fortunate to be able to participate in CJJR’s Supporting LGBTQ Youth Certificate Program. The week was an amazing learning experience due to the quality of speakers and overall engaging, positive atmosphere. We were provided thought provoking exercises, as well as concrete steps to understand and better help our system involved LGBTQ youth. The ancillary learning that occurs from jurisdictions around the country greatly enhances the experience and provides valuable contacts for future efforts. We highly recommend any team or individual take the opportunity to participate.”

Washington State Team

Youth in Custody

“The facilities and amenities were first class. The instructors are leaders in their respective fields and are incredibly informative and engaging. It was by far the best run, most enlightening and beneficial training seminar I have ever attended. I would highly recommend this program to all leaders in the juvenile justice field.”

Tom Theleritis | Assistant Superintendent, Peoria County, Illinois

“The Georgetown Center for Juvenile Justice Reform Youth in Custody Certificate Program has been one of the most comprehensive and rigorous programs that I’ve ever been in. We were privileged to not only be challenged, but to receive expert evidence driven guidance on how we can effectively change the face and culture surrounding youth in custody. We were empowered to transform; and in our case develop a new therapeutic youth facility that will help young people grow beyond their current issues, ultimately reducing the ‘revolving door’ that we see so often in juvenile justice. I would highly recommend this program to others interested in the transformation!”

Jeff Campbell | Director of Youth Services, Children’s Home Association of Illinois

“Being selected to participate in this inaugural Youth in Custody Certificate Program provided me with validation regarding my chosen initiative for reform within our agency. Each session was quite informative, the instructors and the guest speakers were articulate, lively, and thought-provoking, and networking with the other participants from around the country was phenomenal. Being able to present your reform ideal to any instructor for review, feedback, and recommended action was invaluable. I recommend this certificate program to those professionals who seek to leave a positive legacy in the field of juvenile justice regarding youth in custody.”

Jerome K. Williams | PREA Coordinator, Texas Juvenile Justice Department

“The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform’s Youth in Custody Certificate Program provides an opportunity to become part of a robust learning community focused on best practices in juvenile justice. Participating in this program has allowed our team to develop strategies for enhancing our service continuum for youth in custody to ensure we are meeting the needs of our most at-risk youth and their families.”

Delaware State Team

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Youth Services (DYS) was honored to have a team selected to participate in the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform’s inaugural Youth in Custody Certificate Program. The curriculum covered during the week long course of study was both intensive and extremely relevant to the duties that each of us performs in our distinctive roles within our agency.

Our experience began with the requisite pre-course work, which prepared each member of the team to fully engage in subsequent discussions and activities on an array of juvenile justice topics. The course instructors are not only recognized leaders in the field of juvenile justice, but are also considered experts in their respective content areas. Each possessed theoretical knowledge and practical field experience that proved to be an invaluable resource for the team. In addition to our interactions with the staff, we were able to learn from the experiences and ideas presented by our colleagues representing a variety of other youth services agencies from around the country. It was helpful to our team to increase our professional networks through sharing common challenges and celebrating demonstrated successes amongst our peers.

Highlights from the Youth in Custody Certificate Program included instruction on a wide range of content areas including, but not limited to; collaborative and transformative leadership, family and youth engagement, trauma informed care and youth assessment and screening. Many of these lessons will be applied throughout the upcoming year as we continue to work on the Capstone Project. Furthermore, the tenets of the Youth in Custody Certificate Program’s curriculum align with our Department’s vision and strategic plan goals.

This has contributed to a very supportive and favorable environment for DYS as we strive toward our own project goals. In closing, we would like to thank the entire staff at the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform for challenging us beyond our individual and collective ‘comfort zones’ while maintaining an environment conducive to the open exchange of ideas. The support and encouragement offered by the cadre of instructors was extremely helpful and truly appreciated. Each member of Team Massachusetts counts this experience as one of the most meaningful events of his or her juvenile justice career. Most importantly, the youth entrusted to our care, along with their families, will be better served through the information and skills obtained by our having attended the Youth in Custody Certificate Program.”

Nancy Carter | Director of Residential Services
Department of Youth Services, Massachusetts

Juvenile Diversion

“Our Nebraska team of diverse professionals was honored to participate in the Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program at Georgetown University.  Our team was comprised of rural, urban, state and local individuals, and this diversity allowed us to each bring a unique perspective about diversion and about the numerous benefits of the Georgetown learning experience.  Additionally, each of us was able to benefit from the diversity of presenters in attendance. The atmosphere was warm, welcoming and perfectly conducive to a learning atmosphere for such an educational opportunity, and the caliber of professionals that was assembled by Georgetown was tremendous. The Georgetown program gave us a stronger background to better work toward our goal of providing useful diversion resources to counties throughout the State for diversion improvement and implementation during the upcoming years.”

Nebraska Department of Probation Team

“The team from Idaho selected to attend the Diversion Certificate Program began with a goal to develop a more consistent diversion process throughout the state. The Certificate Program solidified the team’s belief that collaboration with key stakeholders was paramount to the project. We learned key information from the well-organized sessions that provided us with a more developed plan. The ongoing support and technical assistance will help us attain our goal.”

Idaho Team

Multi-System Integration

“My last 7 days, an awakening call. Support and engage youth and families to utilize all resources and strengthen communities. Shift the mindset of two systems that separates and incarcerate youth from families. We trust you care.”

Jeanette Bocanegra | Family and Community Organizer, Community Connections for Youth

“Overall this intense week-long program [provided] insight and tools for becoming a truly collaborative leader. I also gained a much deeper and more subtle insight into the challenges of improving the long term outcomes for crossover youth.”

Miles C. Jackson | Division Director, Good Shepherd Services

“I had the wonderful privilege of attending the Certificate Program. The information provided was extensive, useful and relevant to my ongoing work as an Administrative Judge in a Juvenile Court. In addition to receiving the most recent information from experts on each of the topics, I was challenged daily to consider how I was going to use the information to effectuate and quantify changes that I would put in place in my own community and thereby improve outcomes for youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. I am sure that my continued work in the juvenile court system will be enhanced not only by my attendance at the program but also by my ongoing participation in the CJJR Fellows Network.”

Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio | Summit County Juvenile Court, Ohio

“One of the biggest challenges leaders experience while working with children and families is navigating the multiple systems that are involved. The Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform’s Certificate Program is a meaningful and valuable program, the likes of which I have never experienced before. I was able to learn and network with other professionals, along with the superb Georgetown staff. These are people who also have dedicated their careers to changing the trajectory of these youth and families. I highly recommend this program to anyone in this field.”

Mark Werner Deputy Chief | Juvenile Probation and Court Services, Cook County, Illinois

“The Certificate Program provided our team with a unique opportunity to improve our child-serving systems by expanding our knowledge of current research, best practices, and strategies to lead system-level change. The opportunity to come to the program as a team, to learn together and strategize about how to apply this information to our local systems, was invaluable. The structure of the learning experience, ongoing technical assistance, and Capstone Project helped us to develop and implement a cross-system plan to fundamentally change the way that juvenile justice and child welfare services work together. We highly recommend the Certificate Program to public sector staff who want to enhance their ability individually and collectively to lead change efforts in their community.”

Onondaga County Team, New York

“I was privileged to participate in the Certificate Program. The comprehensive curriculum gives a new meaning to “collaboration” and offers a know-how for multi-system improvement efforts. The instructors introduce cutting edge research and ideas, Shay Bilchik inspires excellence, the CJJR staff members exude hospitality, and the company of fellow participants from all over the country brings joy and hope. Truly a memorable and pivotal professional experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat! Thank you very much!”

Anya Sekino Juvenile Crime Prevention Manager | Juvenile Justice Specialist, State DMC Coordinator, Oregon Commission on Children and Families

“I attended the Certificate Program with very high expectations, and the value of the intense one-week education session that I received met and exceeded those expectations. The experience offered me the opportunity to sit with EXCELLENT instructors, as well as other kind and experienced individuals, who presented me with new and innovative ideas and concepts that I would not have developed without their assistance, guidance, and support. As the CEO and Founder of a non-profit agency, and as a community leader, I feel as though I gained the knowledge that I will need to better guide my organization in advocating for more opportunities to assist these youth and their families towards success. I would HIGHLY recommend the Certificate Program to anyone who is truly interested in improving the well-being of crossover youth.”

Myriam Campo-Goldman | President/CEO/ Founder, Harmony Development Center, Florida

“I benefited greatly from the Certificate Program. To say that the instructors and staff are knowledgeable does not seem to be enough. It is thinkers/leaders like this that move our systems forward; not just looking at programs and services but addressing how our systems must change to meet the complexities of today’s world and the issues we face. The program is dynamic; shifting, examining, and using the science to push us forward. Our team was challenged in our thinking, causing us to change our perspective just a few degrees to create a whole new landscape and opportunities.”

Patsy Carter | Director, Children’s Clinical Services, Missouri Department of Mental Health

“I would highly recommend the Georgetown Certificate Program! The work we did together has given me renewed hope in the work and enabled me to see more clearly how working across systems will help our youth three-fold. As an educator, I was able to clearly see that integrating with juvenile justice and child welfare takes work. It is the work of individuals who are passionate about what they do, but who also are willing to take the time to listen to what the other system has to offer. It was a time to sit amongst many passionate people who truly have the power to work together, opening the door to greater services for youth in our states. Working together with national practitioners and outstanding speakers opened my eyes to a variety of wonderful programs and practices throughout the nation, not to mention having a week to get to know some very dedicated, knowledgeable and special individuals. Thank you for renewing my passion!!”

Kathleen Sande | Institution Education Supervisor
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington

“This is the most dynamic educational and professionally enriching program I have attended in my judicial career in an incredible setting – Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The ability to personally connect with leaders from around the country and nationally known experts in child welfare and juvenile justice is invaluable. The CJJR staff and instructors inspired reforms in my community to integrate systems of care to enhance the quality of life for children and families. The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform transforms strong leaders into great ones who share the passion for helping our youth and whose fellowship work continues. Many thanks to all for motivating action through education.”

Thomas H. Broome | County Court Judge for Rankin County, Mississippi

“The Georgetown Certificate Program provides professionals in juvenile justice and child welfare with an opportunity to come together and learn about some of the progressive work being done in other states and nationally. Thinking outside the box is a critical aspect of doing this work if we are to better serve children and families involved in these systems. This program helped to generate new ideas, foster collaboration amongst the agencies represented on the Connecticut team and renew our commitment to improving these systems. It was also a great privilege to meet so many dedicated people from across the county who share our vision.”

Elizabeth R. Duryea | Director of Development
Connecticut Department of Children and Families

“I was honored to have been selected to attend the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform’s Certificate Program. The wisdom and expertise of the instructors on juvenile justice and child welfare was extraordinary. The information that was presented throughout the week was so useful and applicable and the connections I formed through colleagues and instructors have been priceless. I would and have recommended this program to anyone in a juvenile justice or child welfare leadership position who seeks to improve how their system serves children and families.”

Corey Steel | Juvenile Justice Specialist, Nebraska Office of Probation Administration

“The Certificate Program was the most provocative and dynamic experiential process that one can participate, and participate is what was expected. The instructors were the authorities in the field of research that surrounds the needs and challenges of crossover youth. An individual’s personal assumptions and knowledge base of the needs and barriers of the juvenile justice population are challenged and in return, the problem solving process among the cohort was dynamic and thought provoking. We would recommend this experience to all private non-profit organizations that are looking to challenge and change the system from within through the collaborative development of a juvenile justice system that services not only the individual client, but also the community at large.”

William Sabado | Deputy Executive Director, St. Vincent’s Services, Inc., New York

Shari Richardson | Coordinator, Social Services and Permanency Planning, St. Vincent’s Services, Inc., New York

“This is the best program in the nation that will prepare today’s executives in cross-systems integration. The instructors at CJJR are nationally renowned for their scholarly and practical work in the fields of juvenile justice and child welfare. The participants represent a cadre of professionals from all over the nation who are managers and executives from a variety of sectors, including government agencies and the judiciary. I strongly encourage those working in these fields to apply to this fantastic program.”

Felix Martinez | Community Coordinator for Special Prosecutions, Queens County District Attorney’s Office, New York

“Attending the Certificate Program at the Center for Juvenile Justice provided me with an awareness I had not yet achieved after nearly 10 years of working for a child welfare agency. While never performing direct services child welfare work, I was a member of the senior leadership team that was driving the work of our agency. I was directly connected to our child welfare reform efforts and to our efforts to improve collaboration with our juvenile justice partners. The information I learned through this Certificate Program opened my eyes to our failings. More importantly, it opened my eyes and my heart to the possibilities we have for meaningful change and to the responsibilities we have to improve the fate of the crossover youth of our state.”

Mike Lesmann | Special Assistant, Office of Governor Sean Parnell, Alaska

“I had the opportunity to attend this program at the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University. The program and curriculum were delivered at a high level. Our session focused on the challenges associated with youth “crossing over” from the child welfare system to the juvenile justice system, which is an issue Massachusetts has been exploring for a couple of years. The certificate program gave me an opportunity to learn about promising practices in other jurisdictions, to review literature that underscore the importance of action on this issue and provided support to compile a work plan that we are actively working on. This program has supported our local efforts regarding crossover youth in a tangible way so I would highly recommend this program to management level professionals in the juvenile justice system.”

Peter Forbes | Assistant Commissioner for Operations
Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

“The Certificate Program was one of the most beneficial training programs I have participated in. As someone who has worked in child welfare for more than 30 years, it provided me with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the juvenile justice system and the impact both systems have on families and children. I left invigorated and with a determination to educate colleagues in both systems and make changes that will be more effective for youth and their families that will produce better outcomes for our youth.”

Becky Montgomery | Planner/Youth at Risk Project Manager. Ramsey County Community Human Services Department, Minnesota