About The Commission
The New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children was established in 1988 to improve the lives and life chances of children involved with New York courts. The Commission is chaired by former Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti, and its members include judges, lawyers, advocates, physicians, legislators, and state and local officials.
At its inception, the Commission predominantly targeted its efforts toward the youngest children before the courts – securing early intervention, establishing a statewide system of Children’s Centers in the Courts, improving court proceedings, promoting the healthy development of children in foster care and focusing on the needs of infants involved in child welfare proceedings. In 1994, the New York State Court of Appeals designated the Commission to implement the New York State Court Improvement Project (CIP), a federally funded project to assess and improve foster care, termination of parental rights and adoption proceedings.
In all of these endeavors, we have used a systemic methodology composed of convening stakeholders, conducting research, developing pilot projects, creating written materials and tools, presenting trainings and initiating efforts to change policy and practice. Additionally, all of our efforts are premised on the court’s authority under state and federal law and consistent with the legal standards for services to children.
Since 2006, the Commission expanded its focus to include older youth involved with the courts, focusing particularly on encouraging child and youth participation in their court proceedings and examining juvenile justice issues, including juvenile probation and issues affecting dually adjudicated youth. In addition, the Commission continues to seek to improve the educational outcomes of children in out of home care.
Kathleen R. DeCataldo, Esq.
Toni A. Lang, Ph.D.