Focus Group: Responding to the Staffing Crisis in Juvenile Justice Systems


Wednesday, January 25, 2023
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Session Type: Workshop

This session will provide an opportunity for a limited number of juvenile probation leaders (i.e., Chief/Deputy Chief Juvenile Probation Officers) to discuss the staffing crisis occurring in juvenile justice systems across the country. Facilitated by Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute, this roundtable discussion of up to 10 leaders will be designed to explore current challenges, as well as concrete, top-down/bottom-up strategies jurisdictions are using to address staffing issues. Areas of discussion will include administrative strategies to directly address staff hiring and retention (e.g., rethinking staff roles and responsibilities, compensation, relationships with service providers and universities, licensure apprenticeships, and efforts to lift staff morale), as well as legislative and funding approaches. Information gathered will be shared with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in order to inform the development of resources to assist the juvenile justice field.


Myrinda Schweitzer Smith, PhD
Executive Director, University of Cincinnati Correctional Institute

Dr. Myrinda Schweitzer Smith received her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and is a Senior Research Associate and Interim Director at the Corrections Institute in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Schweitzer's research interests include the assessment of correctional programs, the science of implementation and knowledge transfer, and more generally correctional treatment and rehabilitation. She has co-authored several publications, presented nationally and internationally on correctional interventions, and served as a project director for over 200 correctional projects. Specific topics of research and service include a state-wide correctional treatment program evaluation, the development and implementation of cognitive-behavioral programs for general delinquency, criminality, substance abuse, employment, and sexual offending, as well as recent initiatives to implement effective practices for community supervision and support.

Michael Umpierre
Director, Juvenile Justice System Improvement and Communications, Georgetown University

Michael Umpierre is the Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where he is responsible for overseeing all of CJJR’s programs, initiatives, research and operations. Michael has dedicated his career to improving the lives of youth, particularly those who are underprivileged, vulnerable and most in need. He has a wealth of experience as a juvenile justice administrator, national trainer and consultant, public defender and youth advocate. His previous experience includes serving as Chief of Staff of the District of Columbia’s cabinet-level juvenile justice agency, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services; trial attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia; and program coordinator of the National Center for Youth in Custody. Michael received a B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford and a J.D. from Yale Law School, and is a recipient of the prestigious John Gardner Public Service Fellowship and Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.