Indiana Team Attends National Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships: Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court
May 2, 2012 by Editor
The first of its kind Summit on School-Justice Partnerships took place in New Your City on March 11-13, 2012. It was convened by former New York Chief Justice Judith S. Kaye and organized by the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. Supreme Court Justice Steven David, Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper, Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven Nation, Dr. Rich Hogue, Assistant Superintendent for Learning with the Indiana Department of Education, and Lilia Judson, Executive Director of the Division of State Court Administration, made up Indiana’s team. The Summit brought together court and school leaders from 45 states and three territories, and offered 38 presentations and opportunities for state teams to plan for ways to keep children in school and out of the juvenile justice system.
The goal of the Summit was to promote team collaboration on cross-systems services that would prevent children’s involvement in the justice system in the first instance and—for children who do get involved—provide off ramps from successive, worsening encounters. The Summit showcased a growing body of research and evidence-based alternatives that indicate suspensions and expulsions are not effective in improving student behavior and are significantly associated with drop out and involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice system. The data presented indicates that kids disconnected from their familiar school environments (whether by suspension, expulsion, arrest, or dropping out) are at much greater risk of following a path to crime and prison. Effective school-justice partnership efforts can go a long way to help children stay in school and out of the path to incarceration. Indiana’s team discussed ways the Department of Education and juvenile courts could improve communications, improve ways to share information and initiate cross training.