WRI is pleased to welcome entrepreneur and training facilitator John Childress to coordinate and lead WRI’s work with the Burlington County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Planning Board (BCJDP). In this role, he will provide technical assistance to Burlington City, Pemberton Township and Willingboro for juvenile delinquency prevention planning and implementation activities, as well as support the countywide Burlington County Partnership for Youth Success initiative.

BCJDP is a county-wide juvenile delinquency prevention effort funded by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General that brings together a coalition from organizations representing diverse sectors to focus on reducing juvenile delinquency through community-level prevention and intervention strategies. To date, the initiative has decreased juvenile arrests by 35.7% since 2015 in targeted municipalities and increased intervention measures such as Stationhouse Adjustment (SHA) which provides alternatives of community service or restitution for first-time, juvenile offenders with minor offenses to avoid entering the system with formal a juvenile delinquency record. Additionally, BCJDP’s commitment to a trauma-informed approach has supported efforts to train staff at Pemberton Township School District in trauma-informed care, and strengthened communication between police and school staff in identifying and helping youth who are experiencing trauma.

“I’m energized by the work of this coalition to help our local youth succeed,” said John Childress. “Through a commitment to working together and leveraging their individual strengths across diverse sectors including law enforcement, education, faith-based and youth serving organizations, they are helping Burlington County’s youth realize their full potential. As a native of Willingboro, I’m proud to join WRI at Rutgers-Camden and partner on the Burlington County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention effort.”

Childress brings expertise in business and economic development and experience in training, workforce development and entrepreneurship. Previously, he served as an Entrepreneur Training Facilitator at the State University of New York and for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED) in Wilmington Delaware. From 2006-2007, he led the African American Chamber of Commerce, a 500-member business association in Philadelphia, as executive director and CEO and most notably developed and implemented a strategic business plan while doubling revenue during this time. He has also worked for the American Red Cross, Temple University, and Infant and Youth Care, and facilitated the Newark Youth Policy Board, a similar juvenile delinquency prevention effort in the city of Newark. Childress holds a bachelor of science degree from Rutgers Business School.