Nationally, an estimated 78 percent of young people who have experienced homelessness report that they have also had at least one interaction with law enforcement, while 44 percent have spent time in a jail or detention facility. Participants will learn about ways that communities can better support young people who find themselves at the intersections of youth homelessness and juvenile justice to ensure that youth do not have unnecessary contact with the juvenile justice system and that if they do come in contact with the justice system, that they exit to safe, stable, and secure housing. Participants will also gain a better understanding of ways that the newly reauthorized Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act can help states ensure more stable housing options for youth in the juvenile justice system.
Naomi Smoot is the Executive Director for the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ). Naomi oversees member relations and development, fundraising and grant management, and CJJ’s initiatives in government relations, leadership development, juvenile justice reform, communications, and training and technical assistance. During her tenure at CJJ, Naomi has spearheaded the organization’s federal policy work and served as co-chair of the Act4JJ Coalition. Prior to CJJ, Naomi represented young people in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia in juvenile court proceedings and special education matters. Before attending law school, Naomi worked as a print journalist for nearly a decade, amassing nearly a dozen awards for her news coverage.