CT Juvenile Justice Alliance Executive Director, Abby Anderson, Steps Down After 16 Years
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September 16, 2020 Ashlee Niedospial
Bridgeport, CT – The Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance (CTJJA) today announced that effective January 1, 2021, Abby Anderson will be stepping down from her role after 16 years serving as Executive Director. In an announcement letter published today, Anderson names CTJJA’s current Deputy Director, Christina Quaranta as her successor. “It has been an honor and immense privilege to serve this organization for the past 16 years. We’ve had tremendous victories, heart-breaking losses, more times of struggle than I can recall, and many shared joys,” said Anderson, outgoing Executive Director of CTJJA. “Of those joys, my favorite thing about this work has been and always will be the people - all of you - with whom I have built relationships based on shared values and a belief that things need to and can be better.” During her tenure, Anderson has led countless advocacy efforts to reduce the number of system-involved youth, worked to highlight and address the racial and ethnic disparities in the system and improve conditions and practices for young people in the justice systems, grown and fostered partnerships with juvenile reform organizations nationwide, and oversaw the transformation of CTJJA into a youth/adult partnership to elevate and support the voices and experiences of individuals most impacted by the justice system into all discussions on equitable system reform. “The signs of a great leader are the impact they make while leading the organization and the strength of the organization when they leave. Abby has done a tremendous job on both fronts and Connecticut youth have and are benefiting as a result,” said Marc Donald, Executive Director of RYASAP and CTJJA Steering Committee Member. “Christina is well-positioned to continue this important work and lead CTJJA into the next chapter of success.” To aid with the transition, Anderson will remain at CTJJA in a supporting capacity until February 1, 2021. “Abby has always been a ‘people first’ leader who has a remarkable way of making the really hard work seem easy,” said Christina Quaranta, Deputy Director and Incoming Executive Director of CTJJA. “The policies and practices she fought to advance during her time as Executive Director have had a significant and lasting impact on the state of the juvenile system and on the lives of countless Connecticut youth. CTJJA is the organization it is today because of Abby’s relentless passion for a fair and just Connecticut. It has been my joy and privilege to work under such an incredible Director and mentor and I’m eager to continue the work.” Discussing her role as the next Executive Director of CTJJA, Quaranta said, “I will make sure to always ask the state of Connecticut to do more; to ensure young people, families, and communities have the resources they need to thrive, to ensure racial and ethnic justice, and to continue the fight to end the criminalization of Connecticut’s young people.” As the first step in this transition, CTJJA will be hosting a virtual conversation and Q&A, Passing the Torch: A Fireside Chat with Abby Anderson and Christina Quaranta, on September 30, 2020 from 1:00pm - 2:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to register in advance here. Anderson’s full letter can be viewed here.
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About the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance
The Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance is a youth/adult partnership working to end the criminalization of youth. The Alliance works to disrupt and dismantle the pathways that funnel children and youth into the juvenile justice system by using organizing, advocacy, and policy tools to protect the rights, futures, and well-being of potentially, currently, and formerly incarcerated youth, while also ensuring youth who are detained, incarcerated, and involved in the courts and legal systems receive safe, fair, and dignified treatment.