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Message from the President of NCJFCJ

Judge JohnsonJudge Douglas F. Johnson
President, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Summary: For those who have crossover youth in delinquency and dependency courts, I encourage you to break down the silos between courts to better serve these youth and families. 

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One bedrock principle of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judge’s Resource Guidelines: Improving Practice in Abuse and Neglect Cases is: “One family—One judge.”  But, we know that many youth throughout the country find themselves in two courts at the same time: dependency and delinquency. Youth in this situation are commonly known as “crossover” youth. Think of the resulting duplication of efforts: two judges, multiple yet different attorneys, multiple duplicate hearings, overlapping state welfare agency services, probation oversight, etc. Often there is no communication between the two court systems. What happens to continuity of judicial decision making and efficient use of resources when the two “planets” of dependency court and delinquency court orbit separately? More importantly, what happens to these youth bouncing between two parallel courts?

This edition of The Judges’ Page newsletter will share several perspectives on crossover youth. Use this Judges’ Page to educate others about the need to have or maintain a solitary system.  For those who have crossover youth in delinquency and dependency courts, I encourage you to break down the silos between courts to better serve these youth and families. 

 

 

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