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Disproportionate Number of Minority Youth in Norfolk's Juvenile Justice System Is Topic of Town Hall Meeting Jan. 24

Old Dominion University's Institute for Community Justice and the city of Norfolk will co-sponsor a town hall meeting to explore the causes of and possible solutions to the disproportionate number of minority youth in the juvenile justice system. The forum will be held in room 1012 of ODU's Batten Arts and Letters Building at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 24. It is free and open to the public.

Experts in juvenile justice on the local, state and national levels will come together to explore the causes, consequences and potential answers for disproportionate minority contact, which occurs when the proportion of minority youths involved in the juvenile justice system exceeds their proportion in the general population.

"The goal of the town hall meeting is to increase awareness about the overrepresentation of minorities in the juvenile justice system, and begin to brainstorm about solutions that will work in our community," said Allison Chappell, assistant professor in the sociology and criminal justice department and co-director of the Institute for Community Justice. "Research shows that we must form partnerships - between the police, the juvenile justice system, the educational system and the community - so that we can develop effective strategies to reduce this issue in our locality."

Shay Bilchik, the nationally renowned founder and director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University, will serve as keynote speaker and share solutions that have worked in cities around the country. He will be joined by a panel of experts, including: Michael Leiber, Virginia Commonwealth University; Clinton Lacey, W. Haywood Burns Institute; Shauna Epps, Center for Children's Law and Policy; Frank Orlando, Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Gayle Turner, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Jerrauld C. Jones, judge of the Norfolk Circuit Court and former director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, will serve as moderator of the program. Norfolk city councilwoman Daun Hester and ODU provost Carol Simpson will give the welcome for the event.

Free parking is available in Lot 20 (faculty/staff lot accessible via 45th Street), Lot 30 (faculty/staff lot accessible via 43rd Street) or in Parking Garages C (next to Ted Constant Center) or D (behind the Marriott SpringHill Suites). For more information about the town hall meeting call 683-4041.

This article was posted on: January 7, 2009

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