Megan Gwaltney Named New Executive Director of JIFF
Gwaltney brings 13 years of experience in the criminal justice system to the organization focused on providing intervention to troubled youth.
MEMPHIS, Tenn., November 16, 2021 –Juvenile Intervention & Faith-Based Follow-up, more commonly known as JIFF, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Memphis whose mission is to break the destructive cycle of juvenile crime through Christ-centered intervention, announced today the appointment of Megan Gwaltney as the new Executive Director.
“On behalf of the JIFF Board of Directors, we are proud to announce the appointment of Megan Gwaltney as our new Executive Director,” said Daniel Moore, JIFF Board Chair. “Megan is the leader JIFF needs to continue and grow upon the legacy of our past executive director, Richard Graham, as she has a wealth of demonstrated experience working with marginalized youth and managing programs focused on community well-being and restorative justice. She also has a formal education in criminal justice with a masters in conflict management. Megan will make history with her appointment as our first female Executive Director.”
Gwaltney has worked with the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office for the past 13 years and has demonstrated success managing relationships and engaging the community and donors as the Director of Community Affairs. She also made a notable impact reducing risk factors and providing alternatives for troubled youth in local school systems as the Director of Truancy and as a Case Advocate with the District Attorney General’s Office.
“It is an honor to have been selected to serve a vulnerable population of young people in Memphis and Shelby County as the Executive Director of JIFF. Having worked with JIFF in the past and having had personal experiences with these types of programs I have seen the positive effect these organizations have on the lives of young people, their families and their communities, and I look forward to continuing to help these individuals reach their full potential while contributing to our great community,” said Megan Gwaltney, Executive Director, JIFF.
As the Director of Community Affairs for the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office Gwaltney executed all community engagement, public education, and outreach events while also facilitating funding needs. She worked closely with the District Attorney serving as advisor and was instrumental in executing critical programs. Gwaltney spearheaded fundraising and the coordination of events to increase overall visibility of the office in surrounding counties. She also worked with the community outreach team to expunge criminal records, restore voting rights and driving privileges, and provided exceptional relational engagement with diverse stakeholders including volunteers, local government, the State of Tennessee, community partners, and the philanthropic community.
More recently, Gwaltney was instrumental in the creation and implementation of a restorative justice program at the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office. Restorative practices focus on the rehabilitation of an individual through reconciliation with victims and the community as a whole. The core principles of this transformational process include impact, consequences and reparation. This theory of justice seeks to repair the harm caused by understanding what drives a young person’s behavior while honoring the victim. JIFF is rooted in restorative practices, which Gwaltney hopes to enhance moving forward.
Prior to her role as Director of Community Affairs, Gwaltney was the Director of Truancy where she worked with local school systems, community partners, and law enforcement to serve thousands of underprivileged children in Shelby County. Gwaltney served as a thought leader and adviser on the continued transformational program development surrounding underserved young people in Shelby County. Prior to her role as Director of Truancy, Gwaltney advocated for children and their families at the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office where she worked in the school system and the Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile and General Sessions Courts.
JIFF provides intensive intervention services to vulnerable youth ages 10-18 who are referred through Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court. The classroom-based programs put an emphasis on The Six H's: Head, Heart, Health, Home, Hire-ability, and Hobbies. Outside of the classroom, JIFF participants experience field trips, opportunities for workforce training, one-on-one time with case mentors, and assistance in making daily positive steps. The goal is to work with court-referred youth in order to reduce recidivism, promote a healthy and positive lifestyle, increase self-awareness of personal gifting and self-worth, and plan for the future.
Executive Director, JIFF