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About the Commission
Jennifer LeBaron, Ph.D., Director of Local Programs and Services

Jennifer LeBaron, Ph.D.
Director of Local
Programs and Services

Since joining the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) in 1998, Jennifer has worked on various aspects of program and policy development, collaborating with practitioners throughout the state to effect informed change in juvenile justice settings. Dr. LeBaron began her work with the JJC as Project Manager for an initiative that developed and implemented an objective classification system for the JJC.  She was also charged with leading the effort to build a comprehensive needs assessment and case planning system for JJC youth.
In her previous role as a Manager of the JJC’s Research & Evaluation Unit, Dr. LeBaron played an integral role in many JJC initiatives. This work included developing and evaluating the State Incentive Program, which promoted the use of local alternatives to incarceration; evaluating the Stabilization & Reintegration Program; creating a juvenile disciplinary and behavior management program; and developing comprehensive guidelines for counties to use when planning their local juvenile justice continuums.  In the course of this work, Dr. LeBaron has prepared training curricula, written user’s guides and manuals, conducted comprehensive staff trainings, and carried out quality assurance reviews.
Jennifer has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of NJ’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Team since 2004, working to build capacity for using data to guide reform efforts, evaluating statewide JDAI outcomes, and serving as the principal analyst and co-chair for the committee responsible for NJ’s detention risk assessment instrument. In 2008 New Jersey was named the first JDAI state model for detention system reform by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Since that time, Jennifer has worked to develop and implement a two-day model site curriculum for visiting states striving to bring JDAI to scale statewide.
As Director of Local Programs & Services, Jennifer oversees six operational units that support the development and enhancement of local continuums of juvenile justice services. In furtherance of this goal, these units administer state and federal grant funds, monitor compliance with the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, implement JDAI, monitor county-operated juvenile detention centers, serve as liaison to and collaborate with the courts and county government, and guide research and evaluation activities. 
Dr. LeBaron received a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. Her dissertation focused on risk prediction and risk assessment, examining the role of community context in juvenile recidivism. While in graduate school, Dr. LeBaron was the recipient of the Rutgers University Doctoral Excellence Fellowship, the Rutgers Graduate School Walter Russell Scholarship, the School of Criminal Justice Fellowship, and the NJ Association of Business & Professional Women’s Mary Johnston Scholarship. During that time she worked locally with the Monmouth County Youth Services Commission and the Jersey City Police Department’s Bureau of Research and Planning. She also taught college courses in criminology and juvenile justice.
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