Molly Haining

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


Early in the Fall of 1996, when we first started interning at the Richmond JDR, we were unsure of what our research and task would involve. We began by observing the judges, attending various meetings, and getting a feel for the juvenile justice system in Richmond. After this orientation, our project evolved into re-establishing a Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) for the Court. The CAC was seen as a mechanism that would fill the void between the Court and its external environment, including the City of Richmond and the community. CACs were seen as being extremely effective in other cities, including neighboring community, Norfolk, VA. Thus, we began our research on what makes a CAC effective, who should become members, what issues they should address, who should be selected to be staff support, what kind of training do the new members need, and how should a CAC be established in the City of Richmond. Our research led us in many directions, including trips to Phoenix, Arizona and Norfolk, Virginia to investigate their CACs, interviews with key players in the juvenile justice system in Richmond, and meetings with juvenile justice experts. After acquiring all of this information, we analyzed it and found that there was a need for a CAC for the Richmond JDR. Thus, we began the action portion of our project and began to implement the most effective CAC possible with dynamic members, an effective leader, willing staff support, and the necessary training.