CJJ Awards

The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) recognizes and honors individuals that embody the guiding principles of the organization. We acknowledge the value of both young pioneers, who are just beginning to make a mark, and dedicated leaders who have devoted decades to championing youth. With the Spirit of Youth Award, the A.L. Carlisle Child Advocacy Award, the Tony Gobar Outstanding National Juvenile Justice Specialist Award, and the Andrew Smith Racial and Ethnic Disparities Coordinator Award, CJJ hopes to inspire more people to serve their communities with distinction. 

Spirit of Youth Award

The Spirit of Youth Award is given annually by CJJ to recognize and celebrate a young adult, under the age of 28, who has made great strides despite involvement with the juvenile justice system, overcome personal obstacles, and is today making significant contributions to society. The Spirit of Youth Award also provides CJJ and the public with an important opportunity to learn from a young person's direct experience about the hard work and dedication it takes to build a better life, and how juvenile justice professionals and systems can most effectively be of help. Past winners include Derrick Bedford, Corey Kean, Shelley Atkins, T. Nicole Wright, Rita Naranjo, Jeremy Estrada, Antoine Perry, Marvin Gumba, Keanalu Chartrand, Lance Garner, Michael M. Cox, Brandon McMillian, Andrew Peterman, Jabriera Handy, Hernan Carvente, Marquis Parker, Raul Baretto, Sang Dao, Dalton Gordon, Raul Barreto, Amanda Clifford, the Youth Advocates at Green Hill School, and Ezequiel Vasquez. 

The A.L. Carlisle Child Advocacy Award

The A.L. Carlisle Child Advocacy Award is bestowed annually to recognize someone who has made outstanding contributions to youth, to the organization, and to the juvenile court system, as well as to the broader arena of juvenile justice. The award is named in honor of A.L. Carlisle, CJJ’s founding force. Ms. Carlisle was a volunteer activist who strived to ensure that the nation’s most troubled and vulnerable children would have secure futures. A.L. Carlisle Child Advocacy Award recipients are role models for youth; have developed or implemented changes that have benefited youth; have contributed to the area of prevention; have worked with young offenders; and have spent years improving the juvenile court system. This year the award was presented to Cecely Reardon (MA) . Past winners include: Doreitha Madden (NJ), Robert M. Hunter (CO), Birch Bayh (IN), Terry Edwards (NJ), Bernardine (Hall) Adams (LA), George B. Rasin, Jr. (MD), Frank A. Orlando (FL), Allison Fleming (IA), Stacey F. Atkinson (SC), Irene Abernethy (NE), Robert Mardis (IN), Linda W. Hayes (NC), Robert E. Shepherd, Jr. (VA), Sharon Harrigfeld (ID), B. Thomas Leahy (NJ), John Dewese (SC), William R. Byars, Jr. (SC), Linda O'Neal (TN), Vincent N. Schiraldi (DC), Robert G. Schwartz (PA), Christopher Murphy (CT), Richard J. Gardell (MN), Robin Jenkins (NC), and David Schmidt (NM), Hon. Michael Mayer (MN), Laurie Garduque (IL), Hon. George W. Timberlake (IL), Michael Mayer (MN), Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA), and Ken Schatz.

Tony Gobar Outstanding National Juvenile Justice Specialist Award

With this award, named in honor of the late Tony Gobar, CJJ recognizes a state Juvenile Justice Specialist who has exemplified excellence in service to others; has been dedicated and committed to improving the juvenile justice system; and has demonstrated compassion and concern for youth and advocates. This year the award was presented to Michael D. Penington (PA). Past winners include: Suzanne Toguchi (HI), Pat Cervera (CO), Larry Carter (NV), Richard Lindahl (NM), Sandy Rempe (MO), Christian Kervick (DE), Joseph B. Vignati (GA), Alan Miller (ID), Valerie LaMotte (CT), Reg Garff (UT), Edward Chargualaf (HI), Robert Vickery (IL). Meg Williams (CO), Jennifer G. Withrow (KY),  Edward Chargualaf (HI), and Jessica Wheeler. 

Andrew Smith Racial and Ethnic Disparities Coordinator Award

This award is presented by CJJ to a Racial and Ethnic Disparities Coordinator who has made outstanding contributions to the elimination of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the juvenile justice system. The award is named to honor Andrew Smith, an incredible voice for youth and a pivotal agent of change. Mr. Smith served as New Hampshire's Racial and Ethnic Disparities Coordinator and was responsible for the creation of the Mirror Project, an effort to bring together law enforcement and youth. He served on CJJ's Executive Board as the Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Chair. Past award winners include Anna Lopez. 


Learn more about the 2020 awardees in the 2020 Annual Awards Luncheon Program