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About the Commission
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Administration
Jennifer LeBaron, Ph.D., Director of Local Programs and Services Jennifer LeBaron, Ph.D.
Deputy Executive Director of Policy, Research & Planning - Director of Local Programs & Services
Dr. LeBaron has been with the Juvenile Justice Commission since 1998, serving in numerous leadership roles, focusing on program and policy development, research and evaluation, launching new initiatives, and collaborating with various reform experts and entities throughout the state to effect informed change within juvenile justice. As Deputy Executive Director of Policy, Research and Planning, Dr. LeBaron serves as advisor to the Executive Director on all matters pertaining to the agency’s policy agenda, spanning all operational offices, divisions, and units. She formulates positions and recommendations regarding legislation, regulations, and rules, and oversees the completion of research and data analysis required to support the Commission’s stance on matters affecting the agency. She also directs new initiatives designed to enhance the Commission’s capacity to effectively care for the youth in its custody and to improve the overall functioning of the juvenile justice system statewide.
As Director of Local Programs & Services for the JJC, Jennifer oversees five operational units that support the development and enhancement of local continuums of juvenile justice services. In furtherance of this goal, these units administer state, federal, and private grant funds, monitor compliance with the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, implement the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), monitor county-operated juvenile detention centers, and serve as liaison to and collaborate with the courts and county governments. In the course of her work, Dr. LeBaron has prepared training curricula, written user’s guides and manuals, conducted comprehensive staff trainings, carried out quality assurance reviews, developed assessment tools and case planning processes, and conducted the empirical and qualitative evaluation of various programs.
Importantly, Jennifer has been responsible for leading the implementation of JDAI since its launch in 2004. It is in this critical role, managing the day to day operations of JDAI, that Dr. LeBaron has achieved many advancements, proving to be a trailblazer in juvenile justice reform. During her tenure, New Jersey was named the only state Model Site for JDAI by the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Jennifer then worked to develop and implement a two-day training curriculum for delegations from visiting states to assist in their efforts to bring detention reform to scale statewide.
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, Jennifer was the recipient of multiple awards and scholarships, most notably the Rutgers University Doctoral Excellence Fellowship. She also taught college courses in criminology and juvenile justice. Jennifer is the recipient of two NJ Attorney General Awards for Excellence in Innovation, the W. Haywood Burns Institute’s Courageous Leadership Award, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Juvenile Detention Reform.
 
 
 
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