The North Country Regional Youth Justice Team met recently in Lake Placid, to discuss ways to reduce the number of youth who become involved in the criminal justice system.
Representatives from county probation and social services departments, county attorneys’ offices, law enforcement and service providers from St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin and Essex counties comprise the team, which met at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid.
More than 35 agencies and organizations are participating in the initiative.
The team will seek community involvement in the state’s juvenile justice reform efforts and strengthen communication between state policy makers and local stakeholders, including service providers, advocates, the courts and law enforcement agencies.
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.
Representatives of agencies attending today’s meeting include The Children’s Home of Jefferson County; Departments of Social Services and Probation in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Clinton, Franklin and Essex counties; and local law enforcement agencies, as well as the New York State Police.