The Juvenile Justice Task Force
A Partnership of the Governor's Children's Cabinet, Maine's Court System, and the University of Maine Law School
Co-chaired by Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, Dean Peter Pitegoff, and First Lady Karen Baldacci
Work of the Task Force
The Juvenile Justice Task Force is chaired by: the Chief Justice of Maine's Supremem Judicial Court, Leigh Saufley; Peter Pitegoff, the Dean of the Maine School of Law; and First Lady Karen Baldacci, Chair of the Governor's Children's Cabinet. The Task Force's membership consists of over 70 professionals working in fields such as the law, education, corrections, social services, non-profits, and governmental agencies.
Since May of 2009, the Task Force has worked to develop recommendations for juvenile justice reform that incorporate evidence-based practices and research-guided program principles. The implementation of these recommendations will make Maine a leader in the growing national trend towards community-based rehabilitative programs for juvenile offenders.
Juvenile Justice Summit
The recommendations, resulting from months of collaboration and research, were unveiled December 4, 2009 at the MAINE RISING Juvenile Justice Summit. The Summit, which boasted an audience of over 300 stakeholders and featured eight renowned speakers from across North America, reflected the tremendous momentum fueling juvenile justice reform right now in Maine. The summit gave stakeholders state-wide the opportunity to comment meaningfully on the recommendations before they were incorporated into the Juvenile Jusitce Task Force Report. The second portion of the Summit served an educational purpose; eight presentations were offered on topics ranging from detention alternatives to cost-effective research-backed program creation, to reforms that encourage educational success. The presentations, as well as other materials distributed at the Summit, are available online.
Dissemination and Lasting Change
The Spring of 2010 featured a media campaign to disseminate the Task Force Report and engage state leaders in the work of broad-based judicial reform. Implementation efforts have already begun with the passage of two bills, reflecting the recommendations of the Task Force. The final Juvenile Justice Task Force Report was released in June 2010, providing the state of Maine with a working blueprint for achieving lasting and meaningful change in the experiences of juveniles, from the classroom to the courthouse to the community.