By Joe Orlando, CDCR Public Information Officer
Office of Public and Employee Communications
Top-level executives and management at CDCR’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) were joined by Gov. Jerry Brown as they gathered Tuesday, April 26, for the third annual leadership forum in Elk Grove. More than 100 enthusiastic attendees from across the state reflected on the recent termination of the Farrell lawsuit, which characterized DJJ as a national model for its purposeful and effective treatment programs and reforms.
“So many significant changes were made (as a result of the Farrell lawsuit), but I think the key truly was the culture shift,” said Michael Minor, Director of DJJ. “We became an organization that is built on evidence-based programs that help youth build skills, so they can be successful in their lives upon release.”
Gov. Brown, who also spoke at the forum, praised DJJ’s efforts.
“You really have discovered rehabilitation methods and education methods that work, and hopefully we can accomplish similar success on the adult side (of Corrections),” said Gov. Brown.
The Farrell lawsuit was filed in 2003. During the next 13 years, DJJ implemented aggressive plans and programs that represent the most dramatic and comprehensive overhaul in the nation of a state-level juvenile justice program. One of those programs includes the Integrated Behavior Treatment Model (IBTM), which is a comprehensive approach to assessing, understanding and treating youth. The IBTM helps reduce institutional violence and the risk of future criminal behavior, and is the cornerstone for programs in DJJ.
“Over the past decade, you have become a model for the entire nation. The Governor sees it and knows we are headed in the right direction,” added CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan.
Other topics discussed during the two-day event included addressing juvenile trauma, decreasing violence, and handling crisis and chaos.
In addition to Gov. Brown, Secretary Kernan and Director Minor, attendees included Undersecretary of Operations Ralph Diaz, Undersecretary of Health Care Services Diana Toche and Undersecretary of Administration and Offender Services Kenneth Pogue, along with DJJ administrators from the four facilities and DJJ and CDCR headquarters.