CJCA Awards for Outstanding Leadership Celebrated at Awards Night Ceremony in Boston on Aug. 2

Aug 19, 2020 |

Since 1994, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators has been nationally known for connecting juvenile correctional CEO’s and advancing juvenile justice reform efforts across the country focusing on improving conditions of confinement, reducing incidents of violence and improving the long-term outcomes for youth entrusted the care of juvenile justice systems.

The CJCA Awards for Outstanding Leadership in Juvenile Justice are presented each year to honor individuals who have shown exemplary leadership by implementing and sustaining reform within their jurisdictions and/or nationally. They are champions for juvenile justice reform and improved outcomes for youth. The award honors their commitment to improving the lives of youths and work towards creating a fairer, more equitable juvenile justice system.

The Edward J. Loughran Outstanding Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership in any capacity in the juvenile justice field and is committed to improving the lives of youths. The award is named after CJCA’s founding executive director who was an advocate without equal for children, youths and families involved in juvenile justice systems and the leaders who served them.

Nominees for the Award for 2019

Nominations submitted for individuals were based on their leadership, initiative, dedication and inspiration. Congratulations to the individuals and groups nominated for the Edward J. Loughran Outstanding Leadership Award listed here:

  • Andrew K. Block, Jr., Former Director, Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice
  • John Larivee, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Resources for Justice
  • Felipe Franco, Deputy Commissioner, NY City Administration for Children’s Services
  • Mark Hamlett, Deputy Superintendent, New Beginnings Youth Development Center, Department of Rehabilitative Services, Washington, DC
  • McLaughlin Youth Center – Alaska,  Girls Program Leadership Team:  Abby Baskin-Piper, Tracey Johnson, and Brandon Johnson
  • Mario Love, Field Probation District Supervisor, Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center (Dallas, TX)
  • Joyce Nelson, Principal, Maya Angelou Alternative High School, Warrenville, IL

CJCA Awards Night Ceremony held in Boston

The award recipients were honored at the CJCA Awards Night Ceremony during the CJCA Summer Meeting on August 2 in Boston.   Congratulations to Simon Gonsoulin who received the CJCA President’s Award and to John Larivee  who was  the recipient of the Edward J. Loughran Outstanding Leadership Award.

Edward J. Loughran Outstanding Leadership Award 2019 

John Larivee brings a lifelong dedication to criminal justice reform and human services to his role overseeing CRJ. He joined the Crime and Justice Foundation (now CRJ) in 1974 as supervisor of case managers at the Deer Island House of Correction, and became Chief Executive in 1985. John has consulted to federal, state, local, and foreign criminal justice agencies. He serves on the board of the Providers Council and is past president, and is a director of Inner City Weightlifting. He is past president and a founding member of Citizens for Juvenile Justice, and past president of the International Community Corrections Association. John served on Massachusetts’ Special Commission to Study the Commonwealth’s Criminal Justice System (2012), Governor’s Commission on Criminal Justice Innovation (2002), the Governor’s Advisory Council on Corrections (1989) and the Governor’s Advisory Council Youth Services (1999).

Looking back at John’s career there are many tangible contributions to highlight. John was past president and a founder of Citizens for Juvenile Justice in Massachusetts, founded in 1994. It was made up of a group of juvenile justice professionals who opposed legislative efforts that threatened the key principles of the juvenile justice system—that children should be treated differently than adults and their treatment should be rehabilitative. John was a big advocate for keeping youth out of adult prisons and fought to ensure Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (MA DYS) stayed under Health and Human Services rather than be placed under the Executive Office of Public Safety (Public Safety was not known for being progressive at the time). John fought to reform Massachusetts’ CHINS statute so the state would appropriately address the needs of status offenders. John also served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Advisory Council on Youth Services in 1999. As one colleague said “Any place where there was an opportunity to promote promising practices to enhance healthy youth development to reach the goal of long term public safety, John was there.”

Under John’s leadership, Community Resources for Justice (CRJ) developed a continuum of care in Massachusetts in the 1990s. He recognized that non-justice involved youth have an array of supports available to them as they grow into adults and wanted quality supports in place for system-involved youth. CRJ’s Massachusetts-based continuum included a secure detention facility, a residential community transition program, two specialized group homes and a day reporting center.

To serve youth referred by Massachusetts Department of Social Services, CRJ operated two programs: 1) When foster care was not an option, Sargent House prepared younger youth (ages of 13 to 18) for pre-independent living or re-unification with their families. 2) Ambrose House focused on youth ages 15 to 18 who were stepping down out of residential programs to help them make a positive transition to a community-based environment and subsequently to independent living or release from the DSS system.

In addition to direct services, John has led CRJ as it significantly grew its youth policy footprint over the last decade. CRJ’s Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) supported MA DYS early on in its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and assessed the department’s community supervision model that helped reshape DYS service delivery. Outside of Massachusetts, John pushed CJI to aggressively pursue opportunities to keep justice-involved young people out of juvenile facilities across the country. He is a big champion of CJI’s juvenile justice policy development, legislative and implementation work. Since 2013, CRJ’s Crime and Justice Institute has helped eight states pass comprehensive legislation aimed at modifying policies and practices to improve outcomes for youth, families and communities and provided implementation technical assistance to those states that have reformed their systems.

CJCA President’s Award 2019

Simon Gonsoulin, M.Ed., is a principal researcher for Human Services and Public Health Program for the American Institutes for Research where he serves as the Project Director for the National Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected or Delinquent (NDTAC/ED). He is the co-lead for the Children of Incarcerated Parents task of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP/HHS). Most recently serves as the co-director of the Defending Childhood State Policy Initiative Strategic Planning Process funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (OJJDP). Additionally, Mr. Gonsoulin performed as a juvenile justice specialist providing technical assistance on the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS)(OJJDP) to SAGs and state and community juvenile justice agencies and facilities in emergency preparedness for juvenile residential facilities. Mr. Gonsoulin has acted as the juvenile justice resource specialist for System of Care sites for over 45 projects across the country while serving on the Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) and the Healthy Transitions Initiative (HTI) (SAMHSA).

Prior to joining AIR, Simon was appointed to the Governor’s Cabinet in Louisiana as the Deputy Secretary of the Office of Youth Development where he led the state’s juvenile justice reform efforts for four years. Mr. Gonsoulin served as a voting member and policy maker for the Louisiana Children’s Cabinet whose membership was made of heads of all children and youth serving agencies working closely and collaboratively with primarily child welfare, substance abuse, education, public health and mental health. He also served as the State Director of Education for the Office of Youth Development prior to the gubernatorial appointment. As director he oversaw the state-wide educational programs for youth in secure care and community based placements, including IDEA and TIPD serves. Prior to working with the Office of Youth Development, Mr. Gonsoulin was the Director of Special Education Services in the West Baton Rouge Parish School System.

Simon has served as the CJCA Associate Member Chair for over eight years.  He is a member on both the  CJCA Board of Directors  and PbS Board of Directors and helps to lead both organizations.  He recently helped convene a very successful  webinar series  for the Positive Youth Outcomes Committee that was focused on improving education outcomes along with Committee Chair – Peter Forbes., Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services and Phil Harris, Associate Professor Emeritus, Temple University Department of Criminal Justice.

Simon has been an active members of the CJCA Facility Director/Superintendent Training  Program helping to develop and make this new meeting a great success.  Simon has been very active with CJCA and has been involved with numerous committees and presentations as well as partnering with CJCA on numerous grant projects.  He has been a  mentor and friend to many CJCA members.