Reforming Youth Justice: The Next Frontier


Photo by picturexv via Flickr

Young People in Peril

Reporting on the Impact of Today’s Health, Economic and Social Crises on Youth Justice Reform

A five-part webinar series October 22-November 12, 2020

At-a- glance program schedule can be downloaded here.

Download agenda  here.

Click here for bios of Oct 22-23 speakers.

Until February 2020, youth justice reformers could claim impressive victories across the country, and were already gearing up to tackle some of the harder systemic challenges. But in the space of just a few months, COVID-19 transformed the environment in unpredictable ways.

While it accelerated the movement for disbanding institutional juvenile detention, comparatively few young people were actually released. The economic crisis caused by the nationwide lockdown has left justice-involved youth especially vulnerable to shortfalls in social services and family stress. In many respects, the special needs of justice-involved youth were sidelined by the attention paid to the plight of at-risk incarcerated adults.

Similarly, the intensified debate about racism following George Floyd’s killing sidetracked media attention from the needs of poor youth—particularly youth of color–who were most likely to be the victims of implicit bias.  But there are some promising currents as well. Will the attention to implicit bias in policing and courts translate into more equitable treatment for young people of color? Is the nation ready to address the “next frontier” of juvenile justice reform?

The current situation has posed a special challenge to justice journalists. What do journalists need to know keep the momentum for change in the juvenile justice system relevant to their readers and listeners, especially as the nation experiences a tendentious political campaign?

These questions were addressed in five webinars : Oct 22,  Oct. 23, Oct. 29,  Nov. 5, and Nov. 12 .

Click here for bios of  Oct 22-23 speakers.

For questions about the webinar series, please contact Stephen Handelman, director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College, at; or journalism coordinator Joe Domanick at

The CMCJ thanks the following organizations for their support: The Tow Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.



NPR Poll: Pain From Coronavirus Much Worse Than Expected

Report Ranks States for ‘Best Human Rights’ Protections for Kids


Playlist OCT 22-23

OCT 22

Welcome: Conversation and Q&A (1:13:41)

Session One: Youth Voices for Change (1:34:14)

Session Two: Covid-19 and Youth in Correctional Facilities (57:36)

OCT 23

Session Three: Shaping New Priorities for Youth Justice (1:01:47)

Session Four: Financing Youth Justice (32:22)

OCT 29

KEYNOTE  &  Q&A: (46:42)

Session Five: Reimagining Probation and Community Supervision (41:37)

Session Six: Can We Change the Youth Incarceration Paradigm? (49:22)

Session Seven: Broadening Access to Primary and Mental Health Care; Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline (47:27)


KEYNOTE:  Where Do We Go From Here? The Politics of Change (51:03 )

Session 8:   Reimagining Youth Justice (Lightening Rounds 1:35:23)

NOV 12

Session 9:  Youth & Courts (1:00:43)

Session 10:  Latinx Youth: Undercounted, Ignored (48:30)

Session 11:  Ten Stories for 2021 (1:12:43)



Tackling Racial Disparity Called Key to Youth Justice Reform

How Juvenile Probation Lands More Youths in Jail

School-to-Prison Pipeline Still Functions During Pandemic, Advocates Warn

Mistreatment of Children ‘Pervasive’ in Youth Justice System, Advocates Charge

Will Squeeze on State Budgets Drive More Youth Justice Reforms?

Child Welfare System Fuels ‘Criminalization’ of Youth, Webinar Told



Cheryl Corley, National Public Radio

Juveniles Part of a Huge Increase in Carjackings Across the Country, NPR, Feb. 10, 2021

Claire Goforth, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

An Increased Focus On Women, Girls In The Quest To Reduce Gun Violence, NPR/Jacksonville Dec. 6, 2020

Lead Poisoning Is Partial Explanation For Low-income Neighborhood Crimes  Juvenile Justice Information Exchange March 22, 202

Abused, Often Homeless, Florida Man Got 2 Life Sentences At 17 Juvenile Justice Information Exchange March 22, 202

David Dudley, St. George News

New Report Shows Decrease in Utah Youth Locked in Detention   Jan 21, 2021



Utah Weighs College Courses for Incarcerated Youth

Julie Reynolds Martinez, The Imprint

A Progressive Community Grapples with the Reality of Juvenile Justice Reform, April 30, 2021

Redemption Delayed: How can we ensure better outcomes for juveniles convicted of violent crimes? May 20, 2021