Dana Shoenberg, Director of the National Prison Rape Elimination Act Resource Center (PRC) at Impact Justice, has received the 2023 Edward J. Loughran Award for Outstanding Leadership in Juvenile Justice from the Council of Juvenile Justice Administrators (CJJA).
The CJJA Awards ceremony was held in Philadelphia on Saturday, Aug. 12.
The Edward J. Loughran Outstanding Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership in any capacity in the juvenile justice field and is committed to improving the lives of youths. The award is named after CJJA’s founding executive director who was an advocate without equal for children, youths and families involved in juvenile justice systems and the leaders who served them.
“Dana has the rare ability to guide and facilitate broad systemic policy change initiatives, while also being able to lean in to the unique challenges that individual jurisdictions may face,” the CJJA nomination said. “The field of juvenile justice, its practitioners, and the youth, are fortunate to have Dana, and the system as a whole continues to see the positive results of her work.”
Shoenberg has dedicated her career to improving juvenile and criminal justice systems and has been involved in the movement to achieve sexual safety in confinement. She previously served as an advisor to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, which was created through the bipartisan passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act and charted the path to the standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice to support the prevention, detection and response to sexual abuse and sexual harassment in confinement. She spent years with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, and later The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project, working to advance research and policies that make our criminal and juvenile legal systems more effective and fair for youth, their families, and others involved in those systems.
In her remarks, Shoenberg emphasized the need for sustained commitment to the PREA standards and other advancements. “Important achievements have to be tended to if they are going to survive,” Shoenberg told attendees. “I’ve seen systems that went through years of litigation and reform, and as soon as the consent decree was over they slipped right back. We have to keep working to maintain the changes we care about so they’ll be there for the long term.”
Reflecting on her field experience and the complex reality of navigating reform, Shoenberg urged the juvenile justice agency leaders of CJJA to stay open to new initiatives and collaborations that can create meaningful change.
About the PREA Resource Center
The National Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Resource Center is funded through a cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Impact Justice.
The PREA Resource Center (PRC) provides assistance to state, local and tribal agencies as they grapple with the challenges of ensuring sexual safety in their facilities and as they work to implement the Department of Justice’s national PREA standards. That assistance includes robust training and technical assistance, such as links with experts who can review policies and coach leaders through the changes necessary to create sexually safe environments.