Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley Announces the Formation of the Juvenile Justice Task Force

May 21, 2009

Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley is pleased to announce the formation of the Juvenile Justice Task Force, a collaboration of the Judicial Branch, the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, and the University of Maine School of Law.

Because “Maine cannot afford to lose one more youth to prison, to homelessness, or to hopelessness,” Co-Chairs Chief Justice Saufley, First Lady Karen Baldacci, Law School Dean Peter Pitegoff have convened a collaborative Task Force to find resources to provide services that will keep youth and their families connected to schools, community resources, and support networks, and thereby reduce crime, enhance graduation rates, and reduce the number of youth housed in Maine’s correctional facilities.

More than fifty individuals in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government, as well as representatives from county government and a broad array of stakeholder organizations have joined this effort. In addition to drawing on the experiences and expertise of its individual and representative members, the Task Force will be working with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other national organizations to align Maine’s Juvenile Justice System so that it reflects the most recent research findings on adolescent brain development and evidence based treatment and program practices.

The first meeting of the Juvenile Justice Task Force will be on Friday, May 22, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to noon in the Fallen Heroes Room, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta. For more information about the Juvenile Justice Task Force contact Michael Brennan at the Muskie School for Public Service at mbrennan@usm.maine.edu or 207-780-5873.

The charter for the Juvenile Justice Task Force is available on the Committees page of the Judicial Branch website.