Pictured, from left, back row: Shawn Martin (FCPD), Jamie McCarron (JDRDC), Elizabeth Jones (JDRDC), Vickie Shoap (FCPD); Front row: Erin Schaible (FCPD), Tracey Chiles (JDRDC), Lori Winter (JDRDC), Matt Thompson (JDRDC), Courtney Porter (JDRDC), Katrina Smith (JDRDC); Not pictured: Bill Fulton (FCPD), Andy Wehrlen (FCPD), Ailsa Burnett (JDRDC), MaryAnn Panarelli (FCPS)
Photo by FCPD Public Affairs Bureau
The Center for Juvenile Justice and Reform (CJJR) at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy awarded a Fairfax County team the 2016 Capstone of the Year Award for their efforts and success in redesigning and enhancing the youth diversion and restorative justice program. Together, they reduced the use of formal processing and incarceration, improved public safety, avoided wasteful spending and limited the collateral consequences of youth who find themselves in the criminal justice system.
The Fairfax County team—comprising several county agencies—participated in the CJJR’s 2014 Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program Capstone Project. Together, they created a two-part process aimed at improving diversion policies and practices. One part, the Adolescent Accountability Program (AAP), provided a community alternative to formal criminal charges against youth offenders. The second endeavor was to redesign the juvenile intake process through revised and enhanced use of screening and assessment tools, which enabled court services staff to identify specific needs of individual offenders in order to assign appropriate and individual levels of supervision and treatment options.
The Fairfax County team consisted of law enforcement officers, probation staff, prosecutors, school official, judges, policy makers and other youth-focused leaders. Representatives of the following county agencies participated in the 2014 Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program Capstone Project:
Fairfax County Police Department
Court Services Unit
Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services
Northern Virginia Mediation Services
The Capstone of the Year Award is a prestigious, nationally-recognized award that distinguishes a certificate program participant, or team, who demonstrates the most significant progress in promoting the overall well-being of youth in their community through multi-system approaches.