I have been working with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency through Children’s Research Center (CRC) for close to seven years. My first exposure to CRC was through the use and support of the Structured Decision Making (SDM®) tools and SafeMeasures. The use of SafeMeasures and the SDM tools has increased the professionalism of the child welfare here and in other jurisdictions. As we have been so please with the partnership with CRC we have partnered with them on several reviews of our data including one where we examined the data and practice influencing the racial disproportionality of the population we serve. This and other reviews have helped us look honestly at our practice and determine the results of our efforts. We have participated in pilot programs as tools have been developed. Through implementation and an open exchange of information and ideas, these experiences have been beneficial to the improvement of our practice as well and development of better tools. Due to the respect we have for CRC and the nature of our relationship with them, when we looked to make a significant change in the core of our child welfare practice we wanted CRC at the table. The partnership has been outstanding and the practice changes implemented as a result has benefited our staff and the families we serve. We value the professional relationship we have with CRC and their staff and continue to work with them ongoing for the safety and wellbeing of the children and families we serve.
I actually interned with NCCD this past summer as one of their program evaluation interns. The experience I had with this organization is one that is invaluable and impacted my graduate studies positively. The research and policy initiatives are laudable and contributes greatly to our currently deteriorating criminal justice system. The expertise and knowledge-base of those who work within the organization is of quality and consistently influential in legislative testimonials and reports on acts that impact marginalized populations i.e. women, LGBT youth and adults, and justice-involved individuals. They are very much deserving to be on the 2012 Top-Rated Non-profits work because of their innovative solutions and tireless work ethic to affect change in this country.
NCCD fulfills a crucial need in the arena of research and advocacy for criminal and juvenile justice reform. The agency tackles issues that are not always top of mind for the public, but for which there is an urgent need for changes in current policy and practice (issues such as LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system, prison rape elimination, children exposed to violence). It is staffed by people who are not only top experts in the field, but who are deeply passionate about bringing factual, exhaustively researched information to the field of social justice. Last year, I was asked to consult with them on an office remodel and was happy to provide pro bono services to such a worthy non-profit agency.
My name Is Isabelle Askanas and I was an intern at NCCD. I love what the organization does; projects I found especially interesting included LGBT youth permanency in foster care, LGBT policies in juvenile detention centers, methods of restorative justice and the Prison Rape Elimination task force. The people here are very educated, yet very humble. The staff consists of a close knit community of people who have law degrees, masters, and PhDs, who are approachable and deeply invested in researching and reforming the community.