2016-2017 Tow Youth Justice Institute Events

Events By Year

On May 10, 2017, Tow Youth Justice Institute Executive Director William H. Carbone was a presenter at a webinar of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention on “Lessons Learned From States That Have Raised the Age of Criminal Responsibility”. Through a careful examination of results from the Justice Policy Institute’s recently released Raise the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System report, participants learned the process states took to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction and how acts of legislation were part of larger reform efforts within these states to make the juvenile justice system more effective and fair. Carbone provided information on the “Connecticut Experience”. To watch the webinar and download materials, click here.

On Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 10 a.m. - Noon in the North Lobby of The State Capitol, The Tow Youth Justice Institute hosted a special briefing on building comprehensive community-based services and supports for children and families involved in the juvenile justice system - Moving from Institutions to Community-based Treatment in Juvenile Justice. National experts Marc Schindler, Shaena Fazal and John Dixon participated in an informational panel and discussion that focused on:

  • The impact of closing youth prisons on children, families and public safety.
  • What a community-based continuum of care to address the needs of the children in the juvenile justice system must include to insure the best outcomes for the public and the children. 
  • The guiding principles and strategies from the recently released “Beyond Bars: Keeping Young People Safe at Home and Out of Youth Prisons”; a report from the National Collaboration for Youth that many states are considering as they seek new ways to reduce recidivism and keep communities safer.

Representative Toni Walker, Co-Chair JJPOC discusses the work of the committee and the recommendations that are being heard during the current legislative session. 

Guest Speakers were:

  • Marc Schindler, Executive Director, Juvenile Policy Institute 
    Marc is a dedicated justice system reformer serving in a variety of leadership roles at DC’s juvenile justice agency, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) including Chief of Staff and Interim Director. Schindler also served as Staff Attorney with the Youth Law Center, advocating for the rights of young people in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Schindler is a recognized expert in the field, providing commentary in the national media, including on CNN and NPR, and is also the author of numerous articles and book chapters. 
  • Shaena Fazal, Esq., National Policy Director, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.
    Shaena has been an advocate for the most disadvantaged individuals and to changing public policy throughout her career. Youth Advocate Programs is an international, community-based non-profit committed to the deinstitutionalization of high-need youth in the juvenile justice, child welfare, and behavioral health systems. In 2014, she authored the report “Safely Home”, which focuses on defining and building community-based alternatives for youth in the juvenile justice system. Shaena was awarded a two-year Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship to continue her prisoner rights’ work, advocating for humane conditions for long-term prisoners in Illinois.
  • John Dixon, Associate Commissioner Close to Home Initiative Division of Youth and Family Justice NYC Administration for Children’s Services
    John is a social worker, having received his MSW from the University of Connecticut. He has 33 years of human services work experience primarily in mental health, correctional and juvenile justice settings. John has worked in a variety of capacities including mental health worker, residential counselor, social worker, social work supervisor, quality assurance director, health services administrator, and facility director. Notably prior to working at ACS, John served as Superintendent of the Ct Juvenile Training School for 4 years and Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. He has participated in juvenile justice reform efforts across 3 states and has partnered with a variety of stakeholders to implement strategies to improve conditions of care within facilities and enhance community resources to support keeping children in their homes.

You can view the presentation from the event here.

The regular monthly Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee (JJPOC) took place at 2 p.m. that afternoon in the Legislative Office Building, Room 2B. Please click here to read more about the JJPOC.


Diane Sierpina (center), Director of Justice Initiatives at Tow Foundation, primary funder of the Tow Youth Justice Institute meets with speakers after the forum; (from left) John Dixon, Associate Commissioner Close to Home Initiative Division of Youth and Family Justice NYC Administration for Children’s Services; Marc Schindler, Marc Schindler, Executive Director, Juvenile Policy Institute; Diane Sierpina, Bill Carbone, Executive Director, Tow Youth Justice Institute; Shaena Fazal, National Policy Director, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.; and Erika Nowakowski, Director of Youth Justice Initiatives, Tow Youth Justice Institute. 


Saturday, October 15, 2016 @ 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) is partnering with the University of New Haven and the Tow Youth Justice Institute to provide an Emerging Leaders Leadership Development Training for people with criminal justice involvement. JLUSA is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform.

JustLeadershipUSA's Emerging Leaders Training