Beyond the Bench 2017 - Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Pre-Con Trainings/Meetings
8:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m.


How can YOU support the core values of the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR)? This course will provide participants with an understanding of the principles of CCR and changes for group homes, providers, Resource Families, social workers, and probation officers, and will discuss how those changes may impact the court system. Participants will learn the fundamentals of child and family planning while incorporating the values of the Quality Parenting Initiative. Learn what tools and resources have been developed to support integrated and collaborative county-level systems of care.

Lupe Grimaldi, Manager, California Department of Social Services
Richard Knecht, Integrated Services Advisor, California Department of Social Services
Sara Rogers, Branch Chief of Continuum of Care Reform Branch, California Department of Social Services
Kim Wrigley, Program Implementation Bureau Chief, California Department of Social Services

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This course provides an overview of the dependency legal system. The course focuses on stakeholder roles, dependency law and process, and legally mandated timelines. This course meets the 8-hour requirement for attorneys seeking to accept court-appointed cases per California Rules of Court, rule 5.660(d).

Beth Bobby, Attorney, Judicial Council of California, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Hon. Patricia Bresee (Ret.), Consultant/Trainer/Retired Juvenile Court Commissioner
Jennifer Kelleher-Cloyd, Directing Attorney, Legal Advocates for Children and Youth
John Passalacqua, CEO and Executive Director, Dependency Legal Services
Shannon Sullivan, Assistant County Counsel, County Counsel of Santa Cruz

Most professionals in the justice system work on some level with persons who have been victimized or traumatized—whether in juvenile dependency and delinquency, domestic violence, or criminal justice. There is an overwhelming body of evidence supporting the positive consequences of providing a voice to people in the justice system. In this session we will consider the why and how of providing “voice” to those who have been victimized. What can you do in your role to try to improve the experience of victims in the system by helping them feel heard? Discussion will include what factors need to be taken into consideration to positively impact victims’ understanding of the system, the feeling they’ve been treated with respect, and the sense that their voice was heard without crossing the boundaries necessary for maintaining neutrality in a fair process.

Kelly Tait, Judicial Branch Communication Consultant, KT Consulting, University of Nevada, Reno
Hon. David Suntag (Act/Ret), Judge, Vermont Superior Court

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In 2015, at the last Beyond the Bench Conference, the well-received workshop, “Understanding Unconscious Bias in Our Decision-Making Processes,” was offered. This interactive session, divided into three parts, will focus on the types of decisions made by judges, court professionals, and justice partners, and what cognitive scientists have learned about how decisions are made and influenced by unconscious bias. The first part will be an overview of implicit bias; the second and third parts will cover de-biasing and the application of the new science of virtual reality.

Part I (1 hour)
Overview of Implicit Bias (Part I optional if prior exposure to the topic)

Unconscious Bias (also known as “implicit bias”) refers to the unconscious attitudes and stereotypes that each of us harbor. Operating on the subconscious level, these unintentional biases cause us to form positive and negative associations about other people based on a variety of characteristics, including race, gender, and age. These unconscious biases affect the way we perceive others who are different from us, how we interact with others, and assumptions we unintentionally make when interpreting everyday situations.

Pre-Course Activity
Prior to the course, take the Black-White and a second race-related Implicit Association Test at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Part II
De-biasing Strategies

Research has demonstrated that de-biasing techniques or strategies might be useful in the short and long term in reducing the impact of bias. These techniques are most robust when applied consistently over time and when there’s a system of accountability.

Part III
Virtual Reality

De-biasing or bias reduction strategies have not been broadly applied in the unique setting of the courtroom. Some jurisdictions are exploring innovative approaches to bring what we have learned about implicit bias to the court setting. This session will explore how virtual reality or VR, which immerses a viewer in an experience, might be used to help court professionals reduce bias.

Hon. Songhai Armstead, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Song Richardson, Interim Dean and Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine, School of Law
Michael Roosevelt, Senior Analyst, Judicial Council of California, Criminal Justice Services
Natalie Salmanonwitz, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Joseph Sawyer, Director, Online Learning and Educational Technologies, National Judicial College

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The Poverty Workshop is a unique training for judicial officers and court staff, attorneys, service providers, probation officers, CASAs, and others who are interested in learning about the challenges and situations that low-income people deal with day to day. It offers the chance to understand how to work more effectively with members of this community and to consider critically the ways in which we deliver services. The role-play simulates a one-month time frame with each week consuming a 15- to 20-minute period. Participants are divided up into “families” ranging in size from 1 to 5 persons. Each group is assigned a different life scenario, and volunteers live the life of that family for one month, trying to work and access benefits, buy food, and maintain housing. Other participants play the vital role of community resources, such as the bank, the employer, the doctor, and other resources the family members will interact with during the “month.” After the “month” is over, there is an extensive debriefing exercise on the issues that arose during the workshop and how we might design programs differently or work differently with clients in light of the workshop experience.

Tiela Chalmers, Chief Executive Officer, Alameda County Bar Association
Hon. Erica Yew, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

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The faculty will review 10 of the most frequently encountered ethical issues that juvenile and family court judges encounter both on and off the bench. Most of these issues are unique to the juvenile and family court assignments. For example, the faculty will discuss contacts with children and families when the judge is off the bench in a social situation.

Hon. Leonard Edwards (Ret.), Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Hon. Shawna Schwarz, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

Today we are all media producers sending messages that can be heard around the world. Such opportunities also bring responsibilities, yet there is little opportunity to explore or prepare for the new media world we live in. Much of this media bombarding our youth is misinformation. But what exactly is misinformation and is it harmful? Why does misinformation spread so easily in today's digital environment? How can we navigate the online ecosystem? What skills do we need? Educators from across the country have had to confront the increase in misinformation and its influence, and are now teaching students media literacy and how to distinguish between fake and real news. This workshop will explore how journalists, educators, and the law are responding to and shaping the media world that we live in, each and every day.

Matthew Green, Producer/Editor, KQED Education
Michele Johnsen, Fellow, Center for Media Literacy
Jevin West, PhD, Assistant Professor, Information School, University of Washington

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In 2016, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye established the Judicial Council Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup to provide recommendations on how courts may identify ways to make better release decisions that will treat people fairly, protect the public, and ensure court appearances. This session will be an early opportunity to hear about and discuss the “Workgroup” recommendations.

Shelley Curran, Director, Criminal Justice Services, Judicial Council of California
Hon. Lisa R. Rodriguez, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego and and Co-Chair, Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup

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Concurrent Workshops 1
1:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m.


On July 1, 2015, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) established a Youthful Offender Program (YOP) which allows, through an assessment, youth entering the prison system an opportunity to participate in special programing which will help them successfully transition back into society. Youth in the YOP receive a lower security level or placement, permitting increased access to programs that encourage the youth offender to commit to positive change and self-improvement with the goal of successfully reintegrating back into society.

Lisa Ellis, Correctional Counselor II Specialist, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Captain Chris MacDonald, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

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It is well established that postsecondary education is a crucial gateway to financial security and overall well-being. This workshop covers all the need-to-know facts about how to guide and support foster youth to prepare for college, help them to understand the different postsecondary educational options, ensure they obtain maximum financial aid, and assist them in securing the substantial on-campus supports available to them. Many former foster youth are succeeding in obtaining college degrees and creating successful lives and with the information provided in this workshop, it is possible to ensure that every former foster youth succeeds.

Brendan Doyle, Student
Deborah Pruitt, PhD, Program Manager, John Burton Advocates for Youth
Daniella Tafoya, Student

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This session summarizes new case law relevant to delinquency and provides an overview of significant appellate and Supreme Court cases affecting delinquency law and policy.

Hon. Sean P. Lafferty, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside
Hon. Mark Petersen, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside

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Beyond substance abuse and mental illness, domestic violence is one of the most prevalent factors bringing a family into the dependency system. Because of the high incidence of domestic violence across the population, and because of the substantial correlation between domestic violence and actual abuse or risk of abuse of children, both dependency judges and dependency attorneys must frequently address issues of domestic violence. This course will focus on the important dependency cases addressing domestic violence as a basis for jurisdiction and removal, reasonable efforts to prevent removal, reasonable services, restraining orders issued under the Welfare and Institutions Code, and related issues. This course will also address advocacy and trial strategies when representing victims of domestic violence in a dependency case.

Hon. Leonard Edwards (Ret.), Judge of the Superior Court of California, Count of Santa Clara
Anya Emerson, Staff Attorney, Family Violence Appellate Project

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On March 21, 2017, the California ICWA Compliance Task Force presented their final report to the California Attorney General. The task force report is the culmination of listening sessions, surveys, telephone interviews, and discussions with California and out-of-state tribal leaders and Indian Child Welfare advocates. The task force report identifies a number of areas of concern with respect to California's compliance with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act and makes recommendations to address these concerns. In this session panelists will explore the task force findings and recommendations, and present different viewpoints on ICWA compliance in California. Panelists will discuss some of the ongoing challenges to ICWA compliance as well as options to address these challenges and concerns.

Hon. Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge, Yurok Tribal Court
Heather Hostler, Director, Office of Tribal Affairs, California Department of Social Services
Hon. Mark Juhas, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Will Lightbourne, Director, California Department of Social Services
Michael L. Newman, Director, Bureau of Children’s Justice
Delia M. Sharpe, Executive Director, California Tribal Families Coalition

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According to the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges, transitioning out of foster care is challenging for young adults without a support system. These vulnerable young women and men disproportionately end up homeless, drug addicted, and/or in the criminal justice system. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County’s “18 & Up Court,” which has seen 2,500 youth in the first year, handles the majority of cases for the 18-to 21-year-old youth in extended foster care by collaborating with government agencies, the innovative Peer Advocate Program, and community and service organizations to provide services to help young adults successfully transition out of foster care.

Deborah Hale, Principal Deputy County Counsel, Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office
Hon. Margaret Henry, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Jennifer Lorson, Supervising Attorney, Children’s Law Center
Rosalee Villalobos-Conger, Resource and Support Supervisor, Children’s Law Center

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This workshop provides a multidisciplinary overview of recent legislation affecting the use of psychotropic medications for foster children including perspectives of a dependency attorney, a juvenile court judge, a public health nurse, a former foster youth, and one of the sponsors of the legislation. Panelists from several counties will discuss implementation of the rules and new forms in their jurisdictions. Data—from Medi-Cal, CWS/CMS, and one or more county courts—assessing the impact of the implementation of the laws and rules on court authorizations of medication will be presented. The audience will be given sample JV-220 forms (Application of Psychotropic Medication) and some of the other new related forms, and asked to discuss the adequacy of the sample applications and identify ways in which the request might be improved. Methods for improving the oversight of children on the medications will be discussed.

Hon. Jerilyn Borack, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
Susan Bullard, RN, PHN, CLNC, Foster Care Public Health Nurse, Madera County Health Department
Jessie Conradi, Equal Justice Works Fellow, East Bay Children’s Law Offices
Bill Grimm, Directing Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

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This workshop is an opportunity to be trained in the practice, procedure, and advocacy skills needed to represent a petitioner in proceedings to appoint a guardian of the person for a minor child (no estates). Guardianships are often needed when parents are deceased, uninvolved, incarcerated, or unwilling to continue to care for their child. The presenters will also give tips on representing or assisting a parent who objects to the appointment of a guardian for his or her child.

Erikson Albrecht, Directing Attorney, Bet Tzedek Legal Services
Timothy Bischel, Staff Attorney, Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, Family Law Facilitator’s Office, Guardianship Assistance Program
Leslie Mackay, Staff Attorney, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program

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The workshop will provide an opportunity for an in-depth look at the language, strategies, and tools used in the implementation of SOP, and the steps taken to build collaboration among partners, particularly judicial staff, attorneys, and stakeholders.

Pamela Grothe, MBA, Human Services Senior Program Manager, Ventura County Human Services Agency
Amoreena Jaffe, County Consultant, Academy for Professional Excellence, Public Welfare Training Academy
Lisa Witchey, Chief Resource Development and Training Support Bureau, California Department of Social Services
Andrew Wolf, Attorney at Law, Law Office of Andrew Wolf   

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This session explores how to better identify the often hidden population of court-involved youth experiencing homelessness and the civil legal resources available to better support them. The session will focus on applicable substantive law and practical tools available to better support homeless youth including how to build comprehensive civil legal services by leveraging publicly available funding streams and working collaboratively with court-appointed attorneys, civil advocates, probation and child welfare workers, the private bar, and the courts. Facilitators will also provide an overview of innovative best practices models using technology for data tracking, and to support screening and identification of both youth experiencing homelessness and the civil legal supports to which they are entitled.

Juliette Benton, Legal Operations Associate, Google, Inc.
Brian Blalock, Law & Policy Director, Tipping Point Community
Erin Palacios, Staff Attorney/Project Coordinator, Bay Area Legal Aid–Youth Justice Project
Angela Vigil, Partner and Pro Bono Executive Director, Baker & McKenzie

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This session will examine tools to engage youth in school and prepare them for life in the community. It will introduce research on civic learning, which is emerging as a valuable resource in working with youth. You will hear from judicial officers who are bringing more civic learning into their courts, their local schools, and their communities. And you will receive practical resources and tips for using civic learning in your setting. In addition, this is an opportunity to learn about the Chief Justice’s Civic Learning Initiative and how you can become involved.

Hon. Kristen Lucena, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Butte
Hon. Charles Smiley, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
Hon. Joan Weber, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego

The Commission on Judicial Performance investigates complaints of judicial misconduct and disciplines judges statewide. Learn more about what constitutes judicial misconduct, particularly in family and civil matters where people are self-represented, have language access barriers, or believe the bench officer is biased. What do you do as an attorney, social worker, or other service provider when working with clients experiencing these issues? What can you do as a judge to avoid these situations?

Hon. Ignazio Ruvolo, Chair, Commission on Judicial Performance
Rick Simpson, Vice-Chair, Commission on Judicial Performance

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With no evidence to link him to the crime, Kalief Browder was accused of stealing a backpack in 2010. Despite the fact that there was no evidence to prove this crime, Kalief was sent to Riker’s Island where he spent over two years in solitary confinement, after which he was repeatedly assaulted by guards and other prisoners. Kalief was only 16 years old. Three years later, unable to find the complainant who initially accused Kalief, he was released from prison. After his release from prison and without receiving any services for the trauma he endured while there, tragically, Kalief took his own life in 2015.

As both activist and older brother, Akeem Browder has created the Kalief Browder Foundation, Demand Justice and continues to speak out around the country in the hope of changing the system and protecting against the harmful effects of youth incarceration.

Akeem Browder, Founder & Executive Director, Kalief Browder Foundation
Madison Laster, CAYC Youth Advisory Board Chair, California Association of Youth Courts

Concurrent Workshops 2  
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.


Over the years, fines and fees for people involved in the juvenile and adult criminal justice system have increased, passing costs associated with local and state funding reductions to the poor and people of color. In addition to fines and fees, the cost of a phone call originating from within jails and prisons and travel to visit an incarcerated family member adds to the financial burden. Recently, the unintended/collateral consequences of fines and fees has received media attention following the U.S. Department of Justice report from Ferguson, Missouri, which detailed the disproportionate burden of fees and fines on the poor and African Americans.

This session will explore the unintended consequences of fines and fees, and steps California courts and others have taken (or have planned) to address the issue and concern.

Beth Colgan, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California Los Angeles, School of Law

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Since their inception in 1989, drug courts have evolved in a spectrum of judicially supervised treatment programs that serve addiction, mental illness, posttraumatic stress disorder, co-occurring disorders, family issues, juvenile needs, homelessness, and more. Nationally, a medical model approach is receiving more and more attention and prison reforms continue to be enacted. In California, collaborative justice courts have received legislative support and have experienced changes as a result of the state’s voter initiative process. Throughout this time period, collaborative courts have refined standards, established best practices, and remained focused on outcomes that impact incarceration rates and crime statistics.

Carson Fox, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Drug Court Professionals
Mack Jenkins, Senior Policy Advisor, The Council of State Governments Justice Center
Hon. Stephen Manley, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

Public Counsel and the Loyola Marymount Center for Urban Resilience will lead participants in an engaging and interactive workshop discussing school discipline and the school-to-prison/deportation pipeline. Participants will explore data and research about racial disproportionality in discipline and learn about prevention-focused, nonpunitive school climate strategies that—when implemented with fidelity—reduce and eliminate racial disproportionality, engage all students, and improve life outcomes. Participants will receive a free copy of Public Counsel’s Fix School Discipline Toolkit, a comprehensive school climate guide that includes overviews of evidence-based frameworks—such as restorative practices, school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports, social emotional learning, and trauma-informed strategies—tools for implementation, and case studies of schools/districts at varying stages of implementation.

Schoene Mahmood, Restorative Justice Specialist, Loyola Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience
Ashleigh Washington, Legal Fellow, Public Counsel

Youth often reflect that their experiences in court and with the court process were traumatizing. This workshop will provide guidance and tools towards creating more effective communication in and out of court that considers and respects trauma indicators so that youth can begin healing. All court partners including judges, attorneys, social workers, and probation officers need to be open to restructuring their current practices to address the youth and family needs presented by a particular case. By developing shared agreements, court partners can create accountability for all participants and motivate change for system-involved youth and parents.

Hon. Rebecca Connolly, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz
Jacqueline Murrillo, Volunteer/Intern, Anti-Recidivism Coalition
Valerie Thompson, Assistant Chief Probation Officer, Santa Cruz County Probation Department

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This session will describe how California’s system reform efforts and innovative local practices together have contributed to a comprehensive and holistic response to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) in Los Angeles. It will highlight the state’s groundbreaking CSEC survivor Advisory Board tasked with shaping state policy. It will also explore Los Angeles’ (1) specialized courts, (2) new protocols created to identify and serve CSEC in juvenile hall that may have fallen through the cracks, and (3) support to victim witnesses when testifying against their traffickers.

Jenny Cheung Marino, Firm Director-CLCLA4, Children’s Law Center of California
Josie Feemster, Human Trafficking Specialist, Member of the CSEC Action Team Advisory Board
Kate Walker Brown, Director of Child Trafficking, National Center for Youth Law

  • Do you communicate with members of the public as part of your job?
  • Do you ever help create flyers, informational brochures, court forms, or other written materials for the public?
  • Do you work for the courts?

If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions, then this session is for YOU. The session, “Designing for Our Court User’s Experiences,” focuses on incorporating human-centered design thinking into the day-to-day work of all court-related professionals. The goal is not only to improve communication with court users, it is also to reorient our entire way of thinking about the justice system so that our habit is to start and end every decision with the court user in mind. “Designing for our Court User’s Experiences” is a fun, interactive session with videos, creative exercises, and opportunity to practice some of the new skills learned.

Kyanna Williams, Attorney, Judicial Council of California, Center for Families, Children & the Courts  

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The California State Auditor’s Report detailing the state’s failure to properly document and track dual status youth has reignited the conversation about how counties should address the population of youth who come into contact with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This workshop will highlight approaches to improving outcomes for these youth in counties with dual status youth protocols as well as in those that have not adopted dual jurisdiction. In addition, presenters will discuss Assembly Bill 1911, drafted in response to the Auditor’s report, which directs a working group of juvenile justice and child welfare stakeholders to consider questions related to identification of dual status youth, what outcomes should be measured, and how that data should be collected. This workshop will emphasize how to build relationships among stakeholders to create robust, successful multisystem practices to better serve these youth.

Hon. Carolyn Caietti, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
Kevin Gaines, Digital Service Director, Child Welfare Digital Service, California Department of Social Services
Jessica Heldman, Associate Executive Director, Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice

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This session will provide an overview of the challenges facing immigrant community members as they seek access to justice in California state courts in an environment of heightened federal immigration enforcement. The fear of immigration enforcement activities at local courthouses has made immigrant crime victims or witnesses reluctant to participate in the judicial process. Attendees will hear from members of a local court/community task force about measures available to ensure safe access to justice for all in California courts.

William Birnie, Deputy County Counsel, Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office
Michael Kaufman, Senior Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director, Immigrant Defenders Law Center

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Does a single race approach effectively meet the needs of multiracial children and families in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems? According to the United States Census Bureau, the last census in 2010 showed that people who reported multiple races grew by a larger percentage than those reporting a single race. For the first time in U.S. history, in the 2000 Census questionnaire, people were given the option to self-identify with more than one race. The examination of data from the 2000 and 2010 censuses provides the first comparisons on multiple-race combinations in the United States.

Dara Nunn, Nurse Practitioner, Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles
Diane Nunn, Judicial Liaison, National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association
Joseph Nunn, Department Vice-Chair and Director of Field Education Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles

By age 19, almost 50% of young women in California's foster care system will have been pregnant at least once; yet about 2/3 report their most recent pregnancy was not wanted. Foster youth can face barriers obtaining the sexual and reproductive health education and care to which they are entitled. In this workshop, the panel will present the latest data on sexual and reproductive health outcomes for youth and describe some of the historical barriers that have led to such outcomes. The panel then will review the newest law and guidance from CDSS and describe how some counties are responding. Finally, the panel will address the specific role that judges, caseworkers, caregivers, advocates, and others can play supporting youth so that they can realize their reproductive health decisions.

Hon. Gassia Apkarian, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Sarah Davis, Staff Manager, California Department of Social Services
Donna Fernandez, Children’s Services Administrator III, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
Rebecca Gudeman, Senior Director, Health, National Center for Youth Law
Elizabeth Whitney Barnes, Consultant, EWB Consulting on behalf of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

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As real estate prices increase in California, victims of domestic violence are finding it increasingly difficult to find suitable housing that can mean the difference between staying in an abusive relationship and separating safely. In this session, participants will learn about: current housing challenges for domestic violence victims; federal housing rights and benefits available to domestic violence victims; and how informal and formal systems can act to help victims overcome barriers to safe housing.

Elizabeth Eastlund, Executive Director, Rainbow Services
Karlo Ng, Supervising Attorney, National Housing Law Project

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This workshop will explore the growing popularity of algorithms as decision-supported tools for everything from criminal sentencing to assessing the risk that a child will be a victim of severe abuse or neglect. The use of algorithms in risks and needs assessment tools is generally touted as reducing biased decisionmaking and ensuring fair and equitable punishment; however, algorithms are not a panacea to bias based on race and socioeconomic status. Faculty will discuss the importance of understanding how algorithms are created and what criteria are used to determine risk.

Alexandra Chouldechova, PhD, Assistant Professor of Statistics and Public Policy, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
David A. D’Amora, MS, LPC, CFC, Director, Special Projects, Senior Advisor, Council of State Governments Justice Center
Hon. Trina Thompson, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda

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Few issues challenge a society’s ideas about both the nature of human development and the nature of justice as much as serious juvenile crime. The unexpected intersection between childhood and criminality creates a dilemma that most people find difficult to resolve. Do we consider young offenders still to be children, despite egregious behavior, or do we declare that such behavior demands we redefine the offenders as adults? There has been a remarkable expansion of scientific knowledge relevant to adolescent development and juvenile justice over the past decade. The goal of this session is to provide a summary of what is known in developmental research and how it should influence juvenile justice practice and policy—specifically in the realms of brain development, cognitive development, and psychosocial/socio-emotional development.

Elizabeth Caufman, PhD, Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine

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Plenary - Restorative Justice: a New Paradigm for Social Transformation
4:45 p.m.-5:30 p.m.


Following the loss of his only son Tariq in 1995 to a senseless, gang-related murder, Azim chose the path of forgiveness and compassion rather than revenge and bitterness, leading to the establishment of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. In this presentation, Azim will discuss how punitive justice gives way to "Restorative Justice," a pathway that converts offenders into productive citizens and allows for the restoration of individuals rather than their continued punishment. Azim will also discuss how reformed offenders are a unique resource to society since they can teach younger people to make better, nonviolent choices.

Azim Khamisa, Founder, Tariq Khamisa Foundation

Film Screening: Tribal Justice
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.


This unique two-part plenary brings together perspectives on criminal and juvenile justice system reform, with a particular focus on the impact on young people. The first part will provide a former prosecutor’s view of the current approach to young offenders and a vision for a better justice system. The second part will be a dialogue on reform options and opportunities with a focus on race and the experiences of youthful offenders, informed by the concrete knowledge of someone personally impacted by the criminal justice system and now leading reform efforts.

Part I

A Prosecutor’s Vision for a Better Justice System

In his TED Talk, Adam Foss, a former prosecutor with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, suggests that, when a kid commits a crime, the US justice system has a choice: to either prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask whether saddling young people with a criminal record is always the right thing to do. Here, he makes the case for a reformed justice system that replaces wrath with opportunity, changing young people's lives for the better instead of ruining them.

Part II

The Case of Kalief Browder: A Conversation on Race and the Justice System between Akeem Browder and Adam Foss

The story of 16-year-old Kalief Browder—held for three years on Rikers Island for a crime he did not commit, due to his inability to pay bail—is illustrative of the need for a reformed justice system. Akeem Browder, Kalief’s brother, and Adam Foss will discuss the role played by race, institutionalized racism, charging decisions, and poverty in the mass incarceration of young African Americans, and the possibilities for reform at the grassroots and in state and federal policy.

Hon. Tricia Bigelow, Presiding Justice of the Courts of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Eight
Akeem Browder, Founder & Executive Director, Kalief Browder Foundation
Adam Foss, Cofounder, Prosecutor Impact

© 2017 Judicial Council of California