In an effort to bring together key Juvenile Justice systems stakeholders and community based organizations, the Santa Clara Superior Court hosted the Youth Justice & Public Safety Summit on Friday, September 6, 2019, where attendees engaged in an examination of current issues and a meaningful dialogue about youth justice and public safety.

The date was moderated by James Bell, President and Founding Executive Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, and included the participation of numerous County leaders, including Santa Clara County CEO Jeff Smith, County Supervisor Dave Cortese, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia, Chief of Probation Laura Garnette, District Attorney Jeff Rosen, Public Defender Molly O’Neal, Presiding Judge Deborah Ryan and Judges Lucero, Alloggiamento, and Bondonno.

Keynote speaker Clinton Lacey, Director of D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, spoke about lessons learned from his years of public service in all facets of Juvenile Justice. Most notably, he brought forward the “credible messenger” concept that has been successfully incorporated on the East Coast. This philosophy is well understood by the Santa Clara Juvenile Justice community and has a direct parallel in the organizations represented by the panel. Such organizations included the Youth Advisory Council, Young Women’s Freedom Center, and Silicon Valley De-Bug, all of whom have a history of assuming the role of “credible messenger” within the Bay Area.

Supervising Juvenile Judge Katherine Lucero noted, “The prevalent thinking, and what we are seeing now in the Juvenile Justice community, is a move away from the punitive and reform eras of juvenile justice into a new transformative notion which is healing centric, community driven, and focuses on restorative practices to the benefit of both juvenile and community.”

The event also featured the public release of the 2018 Juvenile Justice Annual Report, a collaborative effort of Juvenile Justice stakeholders in the County, designed to facilitate information sharing, evaluate performance, and better understand how to improve outcomes for youth in the County.

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