Nate Balis will succeed Bart Lubow as director of the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group at the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, reports the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. Lubow is retiring on June 30. Balis has worked at Casey since 2007 and most recently has led efforts to expand Casey's Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) to help improve local juvenile justice systems while safely reducing incarceration and other out-of-home placements. JDAI is operating at more than 250 sites in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Balis led efforts in Alabama and New York City to reduce incarceration and expand community-based alternatives.
Casey said the number of youth in residential placement in New York City had declined by more than a third since the foundation began working with city leaders in 2010. In Alabama, commitments to state confinement dropped more than 50 percent since Casey began working with the state in 2007. “Nate is a leader with the vision, energy and skills to work with foundation staff, advocates and decision-makers to accelerate positive reforms in the juvenile justice system,” said Patrick McCarthy, Casey's president and CEO. Balis said he would work to help juvenile justice systems view children in their custody as distinctly different from adults, make better decisions about juveniles in trouble and include families and communities in solutions. Before Casey, Balis was at the District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.