NAJJA Nevada Association of Juvenile Justice Administrators
The Nevada Association of Juvenile Justice Administrators (NAJJA) was formally established as a non-profit corporation in January of 1979. Prior to the inception of NAJJA, a grass-roots organization formed in Nevada known as the “Chief Probation Officers Association” was established to organize jurisdictions and deliver a unified message to state legislators. According to Kirby Burgess, former Director of Juvenile Services in Clark County and a “Founding Father” of NAJJA, “Juvenile Justice in Nevada needed to have a stronger voice and influence with the legislature.”
While this purpose remains a core objective, NAJJA has evolved into a strong organization with vision and leadership dedicated to assisting all youth and families living within our diverse state. Juvenile Justice Administrators from each of Nevada’s 17 counties representing 11 Judicial Districts incorporates both urban and rural jurisdictions to establish the framework of NAJJA.
Collaboration among jurisdictions, agencies, and providers, the identification and implementation of effective results based systems, and the influence to initiate comprehensive legislation for Juvenile Justice in Nevada has remained the driving force among the NAJJA stakeholders. The growth and sustainability of a statewide collaborative incorporating local, regional, and state agency representation indicates NAJJA has become a comprehensive resource.
The administrators and leaders of NAJJA have worked extensively with other focus groups and special legislative committees to identify, recommend, and implement the resources necessary to positively impact youth and families in Nevada. Each year federal funding and resources become less prevalent and more restrictive thus requiring our Juvenile Justice Decision makers to work collectively and define critical areas of need. NAJJA strives to identify these critical areas at the state level while simultaneously empowering each of its jurisdictions to effectively develop community based resources necessary to address to their individualized needs.
Thanks to the collective efforts of NAJJA and its growing partnerships, Nevada has made great strides in the field of Juvenile Justice but realizes the work is never complete. Progress has been made in developing standardized policy and legislation that governs our detention facilities and youth correctional settings. Best practice models utilized in community based programming and probation supervision is now common place rather than a desired destination. Agencies also work collectively among Nevada’s regions to share resources and emulate successes. It is this collaboration that also enables our partners to identify critical areas of need such as substance abuse treatment and addiction related services or youth and family mental health resources. NAJJA and their partners will continue their work towards identifying critical areas of need and staying dedicated to the processes that have led to our successes for all Nevadans.