Overview Cameo House Community Options for Youth (COY) Detention Diversion Advocacy Program (DDAP) Expert Witness, Court Navigation, & Sentencing Mitigation Services Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU) No Violence Alliance (NoVA) Overview Technical Assistance California Sentencing Institute Next Generation Fellowship Legislation Transparency & Accountability

In this issue:

  • CJCJ welcomes Cameo House’s new director, Shirley Lamarr
  • Men’s Wearhouse donates suits to CJCJ program graduates
  • Nisha Ajmani calls for trauma-informed care in the juvenile system
CJCJ welcomes Cameo House’s new director, Shirley Lamarr

Shirley Lamarr brings her mentoring experience and tough-love” reputation to Cameo House

CJCJ is pleased to announce Jefferson Award winner and community trailblazer, Shirley Lamarr, as the new director of Cameo House, CJCJ’s alternative sentencing program for mothers and their children. 

Shirley comes to CJCJ with 20 years of experience — not only as the director of two successful transitional housing programs (including Mz. Shirliz Transitional Living and the Safe & Sober Living Program), but also as the powerhouse behind San Mateo County’s Choices Program. As director of the Choices Program, Shirley focused on recovery rather than punishment, and enabled those in her program who struggled with addiction and other issues to break the cycle of crime and incarceration.

Prior to her success as a community leader, Shirley battled her own demons with drugs and street life. After being incarcerated, she decided to enroll in the Delancey Street Foundation program where she turned her life around and became a mentor for other people facing challenges similar to those she had overcome. 

Shirley Lamarr has helped thousands of people change their lives. And I just happen to be one of them,” says Gerald Miller, Director of Community-Based Services at CJCJ and Shirley’s former mentee at Delancey Street. She has also designed, managed, and implemented programs throughout the Bay Area. She has boundless energy, and a keen insight into the human condition.” 

We are very happy to welcome Shirley Lamarr to the CJCJ team and look forward to all her future accomplishments. 

Learn more about CJCJ’s direct service programs »

Men’s Wearhouse donates suits to CJCJ program graduates

For graduates of the Awakening New Futures job training program, new clothes for the job interview will be one less worry

Men’s Wearhouse, in partnership withCJCJ, America Works, and the San Francisco Adult Probation Department, has generously donated jackets, dress shirts, slacks and shoes for graduates of the Awakening New Futures program. 

Awakening New Futures, a job training course for adults who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, prepares clients not only for the job searching process, but also for rules of the workplace — including dress code. 

It’s a one-of-a-kind program where people can actually access not only job training, but jobs, and also receive work clothes, all with the help of a case manager,” saysCJCJ’s Director of Community-Based Services, Gerald Miller. 

In Awakening New Futures, clients learn to prepare resumes, practice interviewing, and make connections with real employers. At the end of the course, clients are given the suits donated from Men’s Wearhouse for their job interviews and future professional endeavors.

With this donation of suits, Men’s Wearhouse is part of a collective force working to address the obstacles facing those who have been incarcerated, and will help support hundreds of San Francisco clients on their journey toward rehabilitation. 

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Learn more about Awakening New Futures »

Nisha Ajmani calls for trauma-informed care in the juvenile system

CJCJ’s Nisha Ajmani asks why veterans who commit crimes are treated for trauma, but youth are not

This month, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) published an op-ed authored by CJCJ’s Sentencing Service Program Manager Nisha Ajmani, titled Like Our Vets, Justice-Involved Youth are Survivors of War.”

Rather than locking kids up and throwing away the key,” Nisha writes, the juvenile court should adopt an approach similar to veterans courts in its handling of all young people who walk through the door.”

In her piece, Nisha delves into the growing evidence that most justice-involved youth have braved traumatic pasts. She calls for the juvenile justice system to treat youth as they would a veteran who committed a violent or drug-related offense — treating the underlying trauma, not punishing the crime. 

CJCJ has seen evidence that trauma-informed care can effectively reduce recidivism and increase public safety not only through its direct services, but also by providing technical assistance for the Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI).

PYJI, founded in 2012 by the Sierra Health Foundation, works with four California counties and focuses on youth who have experienced trauma and are currently in the juvenile justice system. CJCJ, which has been providing behavioral health treatment and wraparound services in San Francisco since 2008, provides technical assistance to those four counties. CJCJ and PYJI continue to strive for widespread trauma-informed care for youth because, as Nisha writes in her op-ed, chances are that each one of them has been through war, even if it was not fought in Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam.” 

Read Like Our Vets, Justice-Involved Youth are Survivors of War” »Learn more about CJCJ’s direct service programs »