Leadership Summit Series: Implementing PREA and Sustaining Culture Change through Leadership
The Summit is being hosted by the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice and The Moss Group. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, PREA Demonstration Grant Award #2014RP-BX-0031.
On December 12 through 14, 2016, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice along with The Moss Group helped host the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance Leadership Summit Series: Implementing PREA and Sustaining Culture Change through Leadership. This summit event, the fourth held by the Department of Justice, has grown from four states to six states located in the southern region of the United States.
The idea behind the creation of the summits originated when Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards had just been introduced to the field and leaders recognized the value of networking and sharing ideas and resources to better implement PREA. However, leaders also recognized that critical conversations were needed on how leadership and culture can support PREA to fully meet the intent of the law, which is sexual safety. The authors of the final rule in which the PREA standards were published officially also recognized this fact and included in the final rule an insightful statement to support this notion:
“The success of the PREA standards in combatting sexual abuse in confinement facilities will depend on effective agency and facility leadership and the development of an agency culture that prioritizes efforts to combat sexual abuse. Effective leadership and culture cannot, of course, be directly mandated by rule. Yet, implementation of the standards will help foster a change in culture by institutionalizing policies and practices that bring these concerns to the fore.” – DOJ Final Rule
The path for success with PREA depends on juvenile justice practitioners and state agency leaders fostering conditions that support zero tolerance, safety and reporting cultures to fulfill the role in PREA implementation. The Leadership Summit Series aims to provide tools, knowledge and networks to support leaders in these efforts.
Regarding the Leadership Summit Series, DJJ Commissioner Avery D. Niles stated that “our team at DJJ, along with The Moss Group, has worked hard to provide attendees with a program that targets critical issues in juvenile justice specific to sexual safety and PREA, along with leadership and cultural issues faced by leaders in operating agencies. The Leadership Summit Series allows for us all to have the critical conversations needed beyond the PREA checklist.”
The 2016 Leadership Summit Series featured an outstanding lineup of informative speakers including:
• Josh Delaney of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division speaking on "The Future of PREA" • Cherie Townsend of The Moss Group speaking on the reduction of isolation in confinement settings • Dr. Reginal Wilkinson, Chair of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Review Panel on Prison Rape, discussed transformational leadership • Latera Davis of DJJ, Anne Seymour, Nathan Whiteman and Tyrone Dennis chaired a panel on using a victim-centered approach to high-risk youth • Mike Dempsey, Executive Director of the Council of Correctional Juvenile Administrators, gave the keynote speech on the critical role leadership and culture play in effective juvenile justice agencies
To learn more about the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, visit it on the web at https://www.bja.gov/ . The Moss Group can be found online at http://www.mossgroup.us/ .