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September 23, 2010

ULM to host Joint Juvenile Justice Summit Sept. 29

The Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, along with the 4th Judicial District of Louisiana and the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association, will hold a Joint Juvenile Justice Summit in the Student Union Ballroom on the campus of ULM from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 29.

The summit is the final of a series of seven regional juvenile justice summits coordinated by the Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Working in partnership with local, regional, and statewide juvenile justice stakeholders, the Council has designed these summits as forums to present and exchange information about ongoing juvenile justice reform efforts taking place across the state highlighting the significant system improvements spearheaded by local District Courts as part of their Models for Change initiatives.

Chief Judge Sharon Marchman of the 4th Judicial District Court will highlight the local Models for Change collaborative efforts taking place between higher education, the legal system and service providers within the district. The efforts of these institutions are aimed at improving outcomes for the region’s court involved children.

The summit will emphasize recent research pertaining to adolescent brain development in the context of the juvenile justice system, strategic approaches for engaging system involved youth and families and the latest juvenile diversion guidelines under consideration by Louisiana’s district attorneys.

Models for Change is a multi-year initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to advance reform efforts in Louisiana in three primary areas: expanding the use of alternatives to formal processing and incarceration; increasing access to evidenced based services and; reducing minority contact with the juvenile justice system. This is the second time within a year that ULM has partnered with the Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the 4th Judicial District Court, and the Louisiana District Attorney's Association in hosting the Juvenile Justice Summit.

“The summit brings Louisiana judges and other professionals working in juvenile justice the benefit of information brought to ULM and the 4th Judicial District Court, by way of its Models for Change Grant,” said Assistant Professor Jana Sutton.

“Keynote addresses will cover topics such as Adolescent Development, Motivational Interviewing, and Utilizing Data to Drive Decision Making. I am delighted that mental health professionals and legal professionals are finally seeing the benefits of working collaboratively for the sake of our youth."

For more information about ULM’s role contact Dr. Nichelle Mason at 318-342-1336,, or Dr. Sutton at 318-342-1335,

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