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Court Leader's Advantage

71 EpisodesProduced by Peter C. KieferWebsite

Coming innovations, thought-provoking trends, questions that matter to the court community, these and more themes are covered by the Court Leader’s Advantage podcast series, a forum by court professionals for court professionals to share experiences and lessons learned.


What You Need to Know About Juvenile Detention and Placement Decision-Making and COVID

Tuesday, March 16, 2021, Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast Episode

The Coronavirus has created a crisis in America’s jails and prisons. Many of these facilities have become COVID hotspots. Although sometimes overlooked, the pandemic also poses an enormous risk for juveniles who are detained. It is surprising to learn that, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, there were actually more young people in detention in December of last year than in April when the pandemic was new. And a greater proportion of those young people were Black and Latino.

To investigate this alarming situation, Drexel University and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges have come together in a new project to 1) research juvenile risk assessment, risk reduction, and judicial decision-making during the pandemic; 2) develop a research-based plan to safely lower the numbers of young people confined in juvenile facilities; and 3) use that plan to motivate decision-makers to safely reduce the number of confinements, and therefore help manage the virus.

· How can we benefit from the research these experts are conducting on judicial detention and placement decisions in the time of COVID?

· How will this project change juvenile justice both during and after COVID?

· What lessons have we learned and what advice do we have to share?

About Our Panelists:

The Honorable Gayl Branum Carr is a Judge on the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Fairfax County, Virginia. She was appointed to the bench in 1994.  She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law in 1987 and her Bachelor of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1984.  She is a Board Member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.  Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Carr served as Fairfax County Assistant County Attorney where she was responsible for prosecuting civil cases involving child dependency matters.  She previously served as President of the Virginia Council of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judges and Secretary, National Association of Women Judges District 4 among other leadership positions she holds in the community.

Dr. Naomi Goldstein is a Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Law and Psychology Program at Drexel University in Philadelphia.  Dr. Goldstein collaborates with community stakeholders to use social science research to improve juvenile justice policy and practice. Her work centers on the role of adolescent development in legal settings, and the development, implementation, and evaluation of best practices in juvenile justice contexts.  She currently focuses on cross-systems work to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, reform juvenile probation systems, and reduce racial and ethnic disparities within the justice system.

Bob Bermingham is Director of the Court Services Unit at the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.  He began his career in juvenile justice in 1986 as child care specialist in the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center. During the past 30 plus years Bob has served in many different capacities within the juvenile justice system in Fairfax County.  During his tenure Bob has held management positions with probation services, served as the County’s first Gang Prevention Coordinator, and since 2009 has served as the Court Service Unit Director of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s largest Court Service Unit.

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