What it’s all About

The Comprehensive Strategies for Juvenile Justice (CSJJ) organization promotes a research-based and data-driven approach to making juvenile justice system improvements system-wide. Our team is made up of former federal as well as state mental health and juvenile justice system professionals with two centuries of combined professional experience. The Comprehensive Strategy is a forward-looking administrative framework organized around a statewide continuum of prevention and intervention programs and graduated sanctions options that parallel offender career trajectories. It incorporates best practice tools including validated risk and needs assessment instruments, a disposition matrix to guide placements in a manner that protects the public, and protocols for developing comprehensive treatment plans. The prospects are good that proper use of these tools to manage a spectrum of effective programs will improve the outcomes for juveniles who come into contact with the juvenile justice system and, with that, the cost effectiveness of the system itself.

Meet Our Team

John J. Wilson

John J. Wilson, Esq.

Mr. Wilson worked nearly 31 years (1974-2005) in legal and programmatic positions in the U.S. Department of Justice at the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA); the Office of Justice Assistance, Research, and Statistics (OJARS); and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), including 18 years in the Office of General Counsel, where he served as Acting General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, Senior Counsel, and Attorney-Advisor.  From 1991 to 2001, John held various positions in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), including Acting Administrator, Deputy Administrator, and Counsel to the Administrator. Co-author with James Howell and Mark Lipsey of the Handbook for Evidence-Based Juvenile Justice Systems.
James Buddy Howell

James C. “Buddy” Howell, Ph.D.

Buddy worked at the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for 21 years, from mostly as Director of Research and Program Development. He also served as Deputy Administrator of OJJDP (1975-1984). He currently is Senior Research Associate with the National Gang Center in Tallahassee, Florida, where he has researched youth gangs for the past 20 years. He has published more than 100 works on juvenile justice, youth violence, and gangs, including eight books.
Nancy J. Hodges

Nancy J. Hodges, BS and General Instructor Certification.

Nancy Hodges, B.S.Ed., is a seasoned juvenile justice professional with a career focus in child development, child and family assessment, service planning, evidence-based program development and utilization, policy and compliance-monitoring, and community mobilization. In addition, for nine years Nancy was Executive Director of a non-secure, 12-bed, short-term residential home for juveniles. She currently is Eastern Area Consultant, Community Programs, North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice.
Elizabeth M. Nelson

Elizabeth “Beth” M. Nelson, M.Ed., LPC, MAC.

Elizabeth “Beth” Nelson, M.Ed, LPC, MAC, is a lead expert in evidence-based service program development, service delivery, program evaluation, and strategic planning. Beth is currently a Program Services and Project Management Specialist consultant with Cansler Collaborative Resources, Inc., Raleigh, NC. She has experience in a broad range of child, adolescent, and family services including mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities, and substance use treatment, with a specialty in the juvenile justice population. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Master Addictions Counselor (MAC).
Steven C. Hornsby

Judge Steven C. Hornsby (Ret.)

Judge Steve Hornsby (Ret.) has served for 35+ years as a trial lawyer, judge, senior state government official, health care executive, consultant and coach in leadership and professional development. He served as Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, 2003 to 2011. As major accomplishments, Judge Hornsby has:
  • Pioneered use of mediation and family group conferencing in juvenile court.
  • Eliminated pre-trial secure detention for juveniles except for violent offenders.
  • Implemented pre-trial diversion for most unruly and misdemeanor cases.
  • Led juvenile justice system reform in Tennessee using evidence-based practices, risk and behavioral health assessments, and clinical treatment services.
  • Served on numerous organizations at local, state and national levels promoting system improvements for children and families.
Nicole J. Ross

Nicole J. Ross, B.S., Certified Life Skills Training Program Instructor

Nicole J. Ross majored in Political Science at Sandhills Community College, Pinehurst, N.C. She then earned a B.A. degree from Fayetteville State University, having graduated with honors in Political Science and Public Administration. She has received specialized training in Clients Rights, HIPPA, Interaction and Communication, and she has served as a religious instructor for children. In 2017, Nicole became a Certified Instructor of the Life Skills Training curriculum for children and adolescents. An expert in community mobilization and family engagement, Nicole presently serves as a Community Service Manager in economically disadvantaged communities.

How it all Started?

The CSJJ grew out of the OJJDP‘s Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. This framework was created in the early 1990s following almost of decade of dramatic increases in serious and violent juvenile crime. Increases in juvenile arrests and admissions to juvenile facilities were overwhelming communities across the U.S. The U.S. Department of Justice and its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) called for an unprecedented national commitment of public and private resources to reverse the trends in juvenile violence, juvenile victimization, and family disintegration in our Nation. OJJDP’s Comprehensive Strategy (co-authored by two CSJJ principals, John J. Wilson and James C. Howell) was based on five general principles:
  • We must strengthen the family in its primary responsibility to instill moral values and provide guidance and support to children.
  • We must support core social institutions—schools, religious institutions, and community organizations—in their roles of developing capable, mature, and responsible youth.
  • We must promote delinquency prevention as the most cost-effective approach to reducing juvenile delinquency. Families, schools, religious institutions, and community organizations, including citizen volunteers and the private sector, must be enlisted in the Nation’s delinquency prevention efforts.
  • We must intervene immediately and effectively when delinquent behavior occurs to successfully prevent delinquent offenders from becoming chronic offenders or progressively committing more serious and violent crimes.
  • We must identify and control the small group of serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders who have committed felony offenses or have failed to respond to intervention and non-secure community-based treatment and rehabilitation services offered by the juvenile justice system.