NCJFCJ Prepares to Hold 80th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges pic

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Image: ncjfcj.org

Former judge Paul Seeman served the Alameda County Superior Court from 2009 to 2013. While serving as an Alameda County judge, Paul Seeman also chaired the International Committee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).

Founded in 1937, NCJFCJ is celebrating its 80th year working to improve juvenile and family justice courts in the United States. The organization’s 80th anniversary will be a focus of the upcoming NCJFCJ Annual Conference, which will take place July 16-19, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Over the course of four days, attendees at NCJFCJ’s 80th Annual Conference will have the opportunity to take part in presentations and other education sessions organized into several training tracks. They will also get the chance to hear from a list of prominent speakers that will include renowned legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, who will deliver the event’s opening keynote address.

Those interested in attending can register for the NCJFCJ Annual Conference online. Standard registration fees range from $745 for members to $940 for non-members who register before June 30. Both members and non-members who wait until July to register will pay an additional $50. To register or learn more about the event, visit www.ncjfcj.org.

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NCJFCJ Announces Project to Minimize Juvenile Solitary Confinement

NCJFCJ pic

NCJFCJ
Image: ncjfcj.org

Paul Seeman worked for more than three decades building an accomplished career as a judge with the Alameda County Superior Court and an independent attorney. During his tenure with the Superior Court, Paul Seeman served as chair on the international committee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).

In 1937, a network of judges formed the NCJFCJ in an effort to create a better juvenile court system in the United States. Over the years, it has grown into one of the nation’s most prominent judicial associations with around 30,000 juvenile justice professionals benefitting from its service. The NCJFCJ supports these individuals and works towards a fairer justice system by running a number of targeted initiatives.

In late September 2016, the NCJFCJ unveiled a new project that focuses on minimizing the application of solitary confinement in the punishment of juvenile offenders. This announcement came in the form of a resolution, which detailed the current issues and proposed a number of solutions.

Within this resolution, the NCJFCJ determined that prison officials commonly use solitary confinement for purposes other than to prevent youths from causing harm to themselves or others. However, with no solid evidence to support that solitary confinement provides any safety benefits in such situations, the organization has called upon the nation’s juvenile court judges to protect incarcerated youths. More specifically, the NCJFCJ has encouraged these officials to continually analyze the procedures and regulations that surround the use of solitary confinement. This will better enable them to make positive changes such as implementing limits on the use of this form of punishment and promoting conflict training for facility staff members.

NCJFCJ’s Juvenile Drug Court Learning Collaborative

NCJFCJ pic

NCJFCJ
Image: ncjfcj.org

A former judge of the Alameda County Superior Court, in Oakland, California, Paul Seeman has been deeply involved with juvenile concerns such as serving as chair of the Alameda County Collaborative Juvenile Court and establishing the Alameda County Juvenile Dependency Drug Court. Paul Seeman also served as chair of the international committee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).

Founded by a group of judges to enhance the delivery of services in the juvenile and family courts, NCJFCJ is a national judicial membership association. Since its establishment in 1937, the organization has established a solid track record of influencing positive changes in these courts. It receives funding from federal and state sources.

One of NCJFCJ’s initiative is the Juvenile Drug Court Learning Collaborative. This multi-year project involves juvenile treatment drug courts (JDCs) who desire among others to build capacity, implement appropriate program improvements, initiate strategic planning, help sustain programs and evaluate program performance. These JDCs or sites become the model for system change.

NCJFCJ selects the sites that can participate. These sites obtain ongoing coaching as well as training to institute meaningful changes to existing practices that will eventually lead to improved outcomes for the families and youths they serve. The results can be shared with other JDCs throughout the country.

Functioning since October 2014, there are currently 18 sites participating in the project. Funding comes from grants awarded by the Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Prevention, a federal agency.