Day 2 of the Second NACJJ Meeting: Discussion on North American juvenile justice policies and Council's next steps

2015 Nov 6

The second day of the North American Council for Juvenile Justice’s Second Meeting, which took place on Friday the 6th of November, consisted of a policy-oriented event where the participants could engage in discussions on policies and challenges facing North American nations, as well as the future steps of the NACJJ.

The day started with a welcome address by Dale Elliott, Manager of the Youth Justice Strategic Policy and Planning Unit of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in Ontario. She welcomed the participants and thanked them for their attendance. She then gave a short summary of the events of the first day, dedicated to restorative juvenile justice and alternatives to deprivation of liberty for children in North America.

The morning sessions commenced with an introduction to the North American Council for Juvenile Justice (NACJJ). Cédric Foussard, IJJO Director of International Affairs, explained in more detail the aims and objectives of the NACJJ and presented the NACJJ roadmap of activities.

He continued by presenting the different IJJO continental councils on juvenile justice. Finally, he pointed out that the focus of the second day of the meeting is the discussion of policy papers of several topics in juvenile justice. Elizabeth Clarke, President of the Juvenile Justice Initiative and Diane Geraghty, Professor Director at the Civitas Law Center at Loyola School of Chicago highlighted the importance of the existence of a forum such as the NACJJ for juvenile justice on the North American region. After that, they identified the top five challenges facing NACJJ nations with regard to juvenile justice.

The first shared paper of the day that was discussed concerned Restorative Juvenile Justice. The debate was moderated by Elizabeth Clarke and Yvonne Adair, experts in Restorative Justice. The second discussion on the agenda was on the subject of making deprivation of liberty a measure of last resort. Dale Elliott and Ton Liefaard, Professor at the University of Leiden, were the moderators of the discussion.

The afternoon sessions commenced with an overview of the global advocacy of the NACJJ, which was lead by Cédric Foussard and Cecilia Anicama, Programme Specialist at the Office of the Special Rapporteur of the UN Secretary General on Violence Against Children. Brian Smegal of the Youth Justice Services, Ministry of Children and Youth Services in Ontario gave a presentation on "Canadian Youth and Justice: Advancing Ideas, Evidence and Innovation", as Canada is the host of the 2017 symposium.

The final discussion of the day concerned the goals, outcomes and future projects of the NACJJ. Regarding the planning of future meetings, the Mexican delegation expressed their will to host the next one.

Finally, the meeting was concluded by IJJO Secretary General Cristina Goñi, Cédric Foussard, Elizabeth Clarke and Dale Elliott. They expressed their gratitude towards the participants for their fruitful cooperation throughout the meeting. The most important conclusions of the two days were presented again, recalling the importance of collaboration on the subject of juvenile justice on the North American region.