2015 Juvenile Justice Reform State Teams' Meeting


Meeting Recap

The National Conference of State Legislatures in collaboration with the National Center for State Courts convened a three-day cross branch invitational Juvenile Justice Reform State Teams’ Meeting from Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2015, in San Francisco for legislators, judges and agency officials.

Participants learned about juvenile justice reforms from local and national experts. They also met in state teams to develop juvenile justice action plans with facilitators who identified strategies to work across branches of government to enhance efforts for youth. The 10 state teams were from California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota and West Virginia.

The group also went on a site visit to tour San Francisco’s MAGIC Programs—which stands for Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities—at the African American Cultural Center. MAGIC is a juvenile justice prevention program that seems to reduce the number of kids who enter the system or fall through social service gaps by efficiently coordinating opportunities, support and resources throughout the community. Participants met with youth and faculty there and learned about the programs’ effective reforms in California.

At the conclusion of the meeting, participants reported out to the group on their individual cross-branch juvenile justice action plans developed during the week.

Meeting Agenda and Online Resources

Tuesday, Sept. 29

Dinner and Welcome Reception

Photo gallery from the event

If you would like to download any of the photos, please use this password: ncsl

Video of the event

Welcome: Sarah Brown, NCSL, and Kay Farley, NCSC

Speakers: Xavier McElrath-Bey, Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, and Senator Mark Leno, California.

Sessions Resources
Models for Change and Juvenile Justice Reform


  • Sarah Brown, NCSL
  • Soledad McGrath, MacArthur Foundation, Illinois
Re-entry and Aftercare


  • Kay Farley , NCSC


  • Judge Susan M. Breall, Superior Court of San Francisco
  • Rebecca Marcus, deputy public defender, San Francisco
  • Maria Shih, assistant district attorney, San Francisco
  • Gary Levene, juvenile probation officer, San Francisco
  • Daniel Reyes, community-based representative, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, San Francisco
Luncheon Program: Brain Science and Kids: New Policy Approaches


  • Dr. Elizabeth Cauffman, U.C. Irvine, California
Miller v. Alabama and Juvenile Life without Parole: Update


  • Sarah Brown, NCSL


  • Marsha Levick, deputy director and chief counsel, Juvenile Law Center, Pennsylvania
  • Judge Marla Anderson, California
  • Assemblyman John Hambrick, speaker, Nevada
Site Visit to San Francisco's MAGIC Programs

Bus Speaker

  • Sheryl Davis, director, Mo' Magic
THURSDAY, OCT. 1, 2015
Ensuring Effective Defense for Juveniles


  • Anne Teigen, NCSL


  • Kim Dvorchak, National Juvenile Defender Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Patricia Lee, Office of the Public Defender, Juvenile Unit, San Francisco
  • Arthur Bowie, Office of the Public Defender, Sacramento
  • Representative Pete Lee, Colorado
Reestablishing Boundries between the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems


  • Sarah Brown, NCSL


  • Senator Mark Leno, California
  • Judge Lisa P. Jones, Kentucky
Luncheon Program: Realignment in California: From 10,000 


  • Rich Williams, NCSL


  • David Steinhart, director, Commonweal Juvenile Justice Program, California
  • Alison Anderson, chief counsel, California Senate Committee on Public Safety
  • Michael Minor, director, Division of Juvenile Justice, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Reducing Racial and Ethicial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System


  • Pamela Casey, NCSC


  • James Bell, executive director, Haywood Burns Institute, California
  • C. Renee Jarrett, assistant clerk of court and legal hearing officer, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
FRIDAY, OCT. 2, 2015
Breakfast and Wrapup


  • Sarah Brown, NCSL
  • Pamela Casey, NCSC