Chaves County Community Development Director Charlotte Andrade was one of four individuals from New Mexico selected to present information about a continuum model the state uses to address juvenile justice issues during the recent 2013 Coalition for Juvenile Justice Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
The other representatives from New Mexico included: Amber Parker, juvenile diversion programs supervisor from the city of Las Cruces; Chief Judge Louis P. McDonald of Sandoval County District Court, 13th Judicial District; and Richard Lindahl, a retired New Mexico juvenile justice specialist.
The group presented “New Mexico’s Juvenile Justice Continuum Model: Developing a Diversity Framework through Community Collaboration and Innovation,” which detailed how the state addresses local needs for juvenile justice prevention, diversion and uses alternatives to detention programming.
Chaves County is among the 21 counties in the state to participate in the model, Andrade said. The Chaves County Comprehensive Strategy Board administers it locally.
Created in 2001, the board is a collaborative effort of various agencies, such as the county, the city of Roswell, the 5th Judicial District Court, District Attorney’s Office, New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, the Roswell Independent School District, Assurance Home, ASPEN, CASA, ENMU-R Adult Basic Education and WINGS for L.I.F.E.
Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Freddie Romero is the chairman of the board and Andrade serves as its program coordinator.
Providing alternatives to detention, Andrade said, has decreased the amount of juveniles in the system.
“We’re trying to make a difference in the lives of youth who are at risk,” she said.