Lecturer on Law
Jay D. Blitzman, First Justice-Massachusetts Juvenile Court, Middlesex Division
Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Blitzman was a founder and the first director of the Roxbury Youth Advocacy Project, a community based interdisciplinary public defenders unit which created the basis for the development of a statewide department. Jay also co-founded Citizen’s for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ). Since becoming a judge, he has continued to present and write on a wide range of juvenile justice and child welfare issues. He is a co-founder of Our RJ, formerly known as the Juvenile Court Restorative Justice Diversion program, and serves on that group’s advisory committee.
Significant presentations include:
Massachusetts Trial Court Access To Justice For The Trans Community Webinar (2018); “Gault at 50:” (Keynote, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2017); “What’s Age Got To Do With It”. Adolescent Development (NCJFCJ, N.Y.C. 2017); “Community Based Alternatives for Schools and Police” (Keynote, Worcester, MA 2017); Debating the future of the juvenile court before the National Academy of Sciences National Resource Council (D.C. 1999; “Theory and Scope of Juvenile Court”), “Are We Re-Criminalizing Status Offense Conduct?”, (Conn. Juvenile Court Conference, Oct. 2004); “The Future of Indigent Defense” (DOJ, D.C. 2000), ABA panels moderated by Charles Ogletree; “A Call to Justice” (D.C. 2008), and “New Paradigms in Juvenile Justice (Boston 2009). Cradle/School to Prison Pipeline; “Keeping Kids In School and Out of Court” (N.Y.C. 2014); “Deconstructing The Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline, ABA-American Psychological Association conference, (D.C. 2014), “Restorative Justice and the School-to-Prison Pipeline” (Annual JDAI Conference (Philadelphia, June 2014); “Disrupting the Cradle to Prison Pipeline” (Keynote at the annual Massachusetts Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Conference,2014); “Adolescent Development and Juvenile Practice” (ABA Annual Conference, Boston 2014); “The Adolescent Brain and Juvenile Justice” (Boston ABA 2014), “Juvenile Justice and the Adolescent Brain” ( MGH-Center on Brain, Behavior and the Law, Harvard Medical School, 2015); “Re-thinking Juvenile Justice“( ABA Webinars (June 2015); “Adolescent Brain Development: Youth Status and Juvenile Justice”; (Conference of Chief Justices and State Court Administrators, July 2015); ‘Alternatives to the School-to-Prison :Pipeline Conference”, (Civil Rights Unit of U.S. Attorney, Harvard School of Education, Cambridge, 2016); “Positive School Climates- Keeping Kids In School”(Clark University, MA, 2016); NCFJCJ Schools Pathways to Juvenile Justice, Atlanta, 2016. Jay also served as consultant for the MacArthur Foundation and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and testified before the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission, and Presidential National Rape Elimination Commission.
Publications include: “The State of Juvenile Justice 2018” (ABA forthcoming), “Gault’s Promise Revisited” (Family Law Journal NCJFCJ, June 2018), Gault’s Promise Revisited, Juvenile & Family Court Journal (NCJFCJ June 2018); Realizing Gault’s Promise of Due Process, (Arizona Attorney May 2017), “Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework”; (with Francine Sherman; in Juvenile Justice (Wiley & Sons 2011), Gault’s Promise; BARRY L. REV. (Vol. 9 Fall 2007), Access to Justice in Juvenile Court, MASS. L. REV. (Vol 93, No. 1, 2010); “Are We Criminalizing Adolescence?”; ABA Criminal Justice (May 2015); Children’s Attorneys: Should They Be Advocates or Champions, (MA School of Law Winter 2004); ”Delinquency Practice”; Massachusetts Criminal Practice (Lexis- 1998- 2008). Judge Blitzman is the Co-Editor of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court Bench Bar Book (MCLE 2003, 2008, 2011, 2014),. He was also an advisory board member for the Boston Bar Association publication, “Gideon’s New Trumpet”.
- Committee Appointments Include:
- ABA Commission on Youth At Risk (Advisory Committee Member (Current)
- Judicial Advisory Council- National Juvenile Defender Center; contributor to national juvenile bench cards on variety of topics (access to counsel; adolescent development; bail, fines, fees; racial and ethnic disparities and bias; sexual orientation, gender identification and expression; this activity is current, and cards are approved by National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)
- Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) Committee on Judicial Ethics
- SJC Committee on Rules of Criminal Responsibility
- SJC Study Group on Judicial Conduct
- SJC Study Group on Eyewitness Identification
- SJC Standing Committee on Eyewitness Identification (Current)
- SJC Trial Court Jury Advisory Committee (Current)
- Massachusetts Trial Court Committee on Fines, Fees, and Assessments
- Chair and Contributor: Massachusetts Juvenile Court Best Dispositional Sentencing Practices Committee, Report and Bench Card
- Juvenile Court Raise the Age Study Committee
- Juvenile Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
- Designated Juvenile Court Mentor
Jay currently serves as an advisory board member of Our RJ- a diversionary restorative justice program he co-founded which engages youth in the community and court system. He previously served as a board member of the MA Children’s Trust Fund, as an advisory member of The Light of Cambodian Children, and piloted a judicial school-outreach program at the request of the SCJ Chief Justice. Jay also serves as an advisory member for UTEC, Lowell, and the Lowell School Strategic Plan, and the RISE Cambridge Health Alliance Initiative.
- Teaching Appointments:
- Northeastern University School of Law: Juvenile Courts (Current)
- Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop Team Leader (Current)
- Boston University School of Law- Community Courts
- Suffolk Law School- Trial Advocacy and Criminal Practice
Awards include the Boston Bar Association John Brooks Public Service Award, the Juvenile Court Judge Leo Lydon Award, the Adolescent Consultation Services Award from the Middlesex Juvenile Court Clinic, and a 2015 Special Recognition from the Massachusetts Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) program. In 2013, Middlesex County Juvenile Court was one of sixteen sites selected to participate in the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges School Pathways to Juvenile Court Initiative. In 2014, Middlesex County was awarded a Trial Court Innovation Grant to help the development of a diversionary restorative justice program. In 2016, Judge Blitzman received the Hon. Paul Chernoff Servant of Justice Award, presented by the Lowell, MA. Bar Association. Judge Blitzman is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actor’s Equity, and has served as the writer’s consultant on the television series The Trials of Rosie O’Neil, and Judging Amy. The Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS- the state’s public defender agency) annually presents the Jay D. Blitzman Youth Advocacy Award.