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2014 PA Conference on Juvenile Justice

2014 Conference Banner 
The 2014 Pennsylvania Conference on Juvenile Justice, sponsored by the Juvenile Court Judges' Commission, the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Juvenile Court Section of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges was held November 5-7, 2014 at the Harrisburg Hilton and Towers.

The theme of the conference keynote and plenary sessions focused on trauma as it relates to juvenile delinquency. It offered the unique opportunity to network and participate in plenary sessions, workshops, professional caucuses, awards programs and Resource Day. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

James E. Anderson Retirement Celebration

We celebrated Jim Anderson and his extraordinary service to Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system. Jim retired from the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission on April 18, 2014, after thirty-six years of dedicated service to the Commonwealth. He served as the JCJC’s Executive Director for twenty-eight years and was perhaps the most influential person in the history of Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system. Featured were tributes to Jim and a speech from himself, as he shared his perspectives about the recent history and future of Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system.

Professional Caucuses

The conference began on November 7th with opportunities for participants to join with colleagues from their area of specialty within Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system in Professional Caucuses, and to discuss issues of mutual concern and interest. 


Juvenile defenders from across Pennsylvania attended the Conference on Juvenile Justice, and participated in a separate training track developed exclusively for them on Wednesday, November 5th. 


The 2014 JCJC Youth Awards Program honored young people selected as winners in the Creative Expression and Outstanding Achievement Contests. The theme for this year’s Youth Awards Program was "Hope Lives in Me”. Winners and their chaperones were honored guests at this year’s program, and award winners were given the opportunity to say a few words upon receiving their award. Also, a highlight of this year’s program was the presentation of the James E. Anderson Juvenile Justice Youth Scholarship Award to a deserving youth in recognition of their resiliency and accomplishments.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Conference Welcome and Keynote Presentation 

On Thursday morning, November 6th, the Keynote presentation was provided by Dr. Keith R. Cruise. He is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of Clinical-Forensic Specialization in the Department of Psychology at Fordham University.  He holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas and a Masters of Legal Studies degree from the University of Nebraska.  Dr. Cruise conducts research on the clinical-forensic assessment of youth within the juvenile justice system.  His clinical-forensic practice has involved providing direct care assessment and treatment services with justice-involved youth by conducting post-disposition assessments of risk and treatment amenability, providing expert testimony to juvenile courts, and developing treatment protocols for this population.  Dr. Cruise also has over 10 years of experience providing consultation and training services to local and state juvenile justice agencies.  Dr. Cruise is a funded core faculty member of the Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice, a technical assistance center that is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).


Participants attended several different workshops on Thursday, November 6th. This year's training workshops will highlight practices, programs and initiatives that exemplify best-practice amongst the various components of Pennsylvania's Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy (JJSES). Each of the workshops offered, emphasized the use of related research, evidence-based programs and continuous quality improvement as it relates to the successful implementation of specific programs and, more broadly, each decision-making point along the juvenile justice continuum. 

  • Autism: Identification & Response in the Juvenile Justice System

  • Dauphin County’s Quality Assurance Practices: Making It Work

  • Developing Trauma Informed Juvenile Probation Practices in Crawford County

  • Funding JJSES Activities Through the Needs-Based Budget Process

  • Implementing Motivational Interviewing: A Multiple County Perspective

  • Juvenile Detention Risk Assessment: Principles, Practice and the Pennsylvania Experience

  • PACTT 2014 & Beyond: Working to Improve Outcomes Through Data-Driven Decision Making

  • Parenting with Love and Limits: An Effective Model for Engaging Parents

  • Pennsylvania’s “Act 21” Program – Ten Years in Review

  • Promising Restitution Management and Victim Related Practices

  • Reactive Attachment Disorder and Service Delivery

  • SPEP Update: Insights from the Field & Next Steps

  • The “Good Lives” Model of Sexual Offender Treatment

  • The Outcomes of Systems of Care (SOC) in Northumberland County

      Judges Only Workshops

  • AM Session: Building a Trauma-Informed Courtroom: Tools for Judges

  • PM Session: Motivational Interviewing: An Introduction to Practical Applications for Judges


The afternoon plenary session was a panel discussion. More than 88 percent of girls and 67 percent of boys coming into the juvenile justice system have experienced trauma. Understanding how trauma shapes these youth, their interactions with others and their relationship to the world in which they live is critical to advancing the work of Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system. This panel discussion session, moderated by Dr. Ronald Sharp, was designed to give specific and detailed information about what you can do to address the trauma experienced by the young men and women who enter our juvenile justice system. Whether you are a judge, master, district attorney, public defender, chief juvenile probation officer, probation officer, private provider, parent, or concerned citizen, you need to know what you can do as an individual or an organization to address the trauma experienced by youth.

Annual Awards Program and Dinner 

The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission and Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, once again, honored both individuals and programs for outstanding service to Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Resource Day 

The 2014 Pennsylvania Conference on Juvenile Justice again concluded with Resource Day. Conference participants had the opportunity to learn about new, innovative, and creative approaches to working with juveniles and their families. Present were individuals representing public and private residential and community-based programs, technological products, and other relevant services available to the juvenile courts in Pennsylvania.