The New York SAC is supporting an important new juvenile justice initiative in the state. As part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's ongoing efforts to improve the juvenile justice system, eight Region-al Youth Justice Teams were established around the state (see www.nysjjag.org). The Regional Youth Justice Teams bring together key partners to improve outcomes and reduce the number of youth who become involved in the system. Representatives from family courts, county attorneys' offices, probation departments, school districts, law enforcement, service providers, and local government comprise the teams. The state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Office of the Governor's Deputy Secretary for Public Safety are coordinating the teams.
The teams will identify promising local practices and develop strategies to address a variety of issues, including: decreasing the number of children and youth referred to court; addressing disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system; improving access to services; creating partnerships among the courts, local communities, and state agencies in the development of community-based interventions; and responding to federal, state, and private grant opportunities. The teams will use data compiled by the New York State SAC to inform their work.
The SAC prepared data packets for each Regional Youth Justice Team with county-specific trend data on multiple juvenile justice processing points, as well as graphics with more detailed information for each county for 2012 (see http://www.nysjjag.org/our-work/juvenile-justice-data.html). SAC staff are giving presentations at each of the Regional Youth Justice Team kickoff meetings across the state on data elements included in the packets and about how these data can be explored and interpreted. A research analyst will also act as a liaison to each team, answering questions about the data and providing additional information as needed.