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Tennesseans Appointed to National Advisory Group

For Immediate Release                     Contacts:   Linda O’Neal
January 12, 2010                                               or Debrah Stafford
                                                       Phone       (615) 741-2633

Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth members Beverly Cosley and Timothy Perry, LPC-MHSP, have been appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ). Cosley of Chattanooga and Perry, of Kingsport were nominated by Governor Phil Bredesen to represent Tennessee on the committee and were appointed by Jeff Slowikowski, acting administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Members of the FACJJ provide advice to OJJDP. Both Cosley and Perry serve on the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, the agency responsible for administration of federal funding from OJJDP. TCCY monitors local compliance with the core requirements of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDP) and distributes federal juvenile justice grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations.

The JJPD act core requirements are to keep status offenders (DSO) out of secure detention, remove children from adult jails, separate children from adult offenders and address disproportionate minority contact of children in the juvenile justice system.

The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice advises the president and Congress on matters related to juvenile justice, evaluates the progress and accomplishments of juvenile justice activities and projects and advises the administrator of Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) on the work of OJJDP. It has representatives from the 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Cosley, who had previously served as the alternate, replaces TCCY Chair Cindy Durham, as the primary representative. She is the director of the City of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs. She has a masters of education from Trevecca and bachelor of science from David Lipscomb University. Cosley was previously employed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee as its Health Foundation manager and the City of Chattanooga Police Department as community outreach director. She serves on the board of directors for a number of Chattanooga area social services and nonprofit organizations. She has served on the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth since 2003 and chairs its Juvenile Justice and Minority Issues Committee.

Perry is coordinator of Frontier Health’s Children and Youth Outpatient Services for Bristol Regional and Johnson County counseling centers. He is a licensed professional counselor and has a masters degree in counseling from East Tennessee State University and a doctorate in theology from Andersonville Baptist Theological Seminary in Andersonville, Ga. He has presented workshops at statewide conferences in Tennessee and Virginia and at the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and serves on the Bristol Youth Advisory Council and the Sullivan County Foster Care Review Board. He was appointed by the governor to the Commission in 2008.

We are proud to have Tennessee represented by two compassionate and committed individuals,” said Linda O’Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. “Services to prevent children from making the wrong choices and to address some of the ways our communities can provide them with more opportunities to become productive citizens are vital. Addressing these problems is difficult in good times, and critical in bad times.

The efforts we make to support our children and strengthen our communities are investments in the future.

I know these representatives will serve the children in Tennessee well and continue the work begun by Ms Durham, who served on the FACJJ Legal Services Sub-Committee.”
The current challenges for the FACJJ include:
* The disproportionate number of minority youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system;
* The number of youth in the juvenile justice system with mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders;
* The lack of support for delinquency prevention programs;
* The inappropriate use of secure pretrial detention for juvenile offenders;
* The consequences of waiver and transfer of juvenile cases to adult court;
* The lack of access to the effective assistance of counsel for youth in the juvenile justice system.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families.

Additional information on the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice is available at www.facjj.org, and information on TCCY at www.tn.gov/tccy.

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