In 2018, JJC took steps to advance a new vision, which seeks to ensure that when a young person’s placement with JJC is required as a matter of community safety, the time is well spent in promoting rehabilitation, transformation, healing, and redirection so that young people return home able to live safely and productively.
JJC continued its efforts to replace large, antiquated congregate care facilities with smaller, more modern, state of the art regional facilities that are closer to the youths’ communities, so that families and community can be more meaningfully involved in the rehabilitative process. JJC initiated the process for selecting a design consultant to lead the development of a model prototype for the new facilities that reflects a more normative and developmentally appropriate environment for young people.
JJC also worked to overhaul its organization and structure. In 2018, the JJC underwent a thorough assessment of its operations and culture. This assessment was conducted by a technical assistance team of youth justice advocates and experts funded and led by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and including the Vera Institute of Justice, the Missouri Youth Services Institute, and the NYU School of Medicine. As a result of this assessment, the JJC is identifying reform strategies that will allow New Jersey to set a new standard for excellence in providing care, healing, and opportunity for young people, and to help them get on track to a successful adulthood.