Piper Kerman, author of the memoir "Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison" and executive consultant to the Netflix series by the same name, has a unique perspective on what teens in prison need to be successful.
In this three-minute video, Guy, a well-known graffiti artist in Snohomish County, Washington, describes his transformation as a Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR) participant.
Now is the time to help young people struggling with drugs, alcohol and crime. Partner with us to bring Reclaiming Futures to your community!
Our model unites juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment providers and the community to reclaim youth. Together, they work to improve drug and alcohol treatment and connect teens to positive activities and caring adults.
“Reclaiming Futures is not a program. Rather, it is an organizational change and system reform that uses a six-step model...to interact with the community and improve outcomes for youth in the justice system.”

Mental Health Month Begins Next Week: Mind Your Health
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

For 65 years now Mental Health America has celebrated May as Mental Health Month and this year’s theme is “Mind Your Health.” Mental Health America and their nationwide affiliates have reached millions of people to bring awareness to the importance of mental health to overall health and wellness, inform people about how the body and mind interact, and offer tips and tools to protect and promote health.

Here are a few of the ways you can get involved with Mental Health Month this May:

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Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

Below you'll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It's free to browse and post!

Events

Grants

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Suspensions in Preschool? Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights Finds Racial Disparities
by CECILIA BIANCO

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights recently released a study on school discipline that reported significant racial disparities in out-of-school suspensions starting as early as the preschool level.

This disparity brings about a myriad of concerns including an opportunity gap among students and the impact out-of-school suspension can have on the children’s future at such an early stage of life. Suspensions can lead to delays in academic advancement and increase the likelihood of students dropping out and entering the juvenile justice system.

While 94 percent of school districts do not use out-of-school suspension for preschoolers, there were concerning inequalities among those that did: African American children represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment but 42 percent of students suspended once, and 48 percent of the students suspended more than once.

Conversely, white students represented 43 percent of enrollment but only 26 percent of students suspended more than once.

Attorney General Eric Holder says on the issue, "Every data point represents a life impacted and a future potentially diverted or derailed. This Administration is moving aggressively to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline in order to ensure that all of our young people have equal educational opportunities."

President Obama has proposed a new initiative called Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity (RTT-Opportunity) to address the inequalities among students. This initiative would create incentives for states and school districts to drive change in how they identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps.

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Study Looks at Kids Who Do Time For Offenses That Aren’t Crimes; News Roundup
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

Juvenile Justice Reform

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2014 Leadership Institute Highlights
by SUSAN RICHARDSON

Last week, Reclaiming Futures fellows from across the country gathered in New Orleans to share experiences, learn together, and get inspired all over again. For those who were unable to attend, see below for highlights, including an inspiring interview with Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries.

Father Greg Boyle on why he Supports Reclaiming Futures

Our two efforts and movements are completely aligned. We're the largest gang intervention rehab reentry program in the country, so gang members and folks who have been in the system, felons between the ages of 14 and 50 come through our doors. It's a community that's therapeutic, engages in attachment repair, is interested in healing and moving people toward exactly a reclaiming of their own futures.

Our program is not for those who need help; it's for those who want it. That's the only way rehab works. It never works with somebody who's dragged and forced.

But once they walk through the doors it's ticker tape parade and streamers so that they feel welcomed, accepted, not judged. We help them re-imagine their futures because gang violence is a lethal absence of hope. It's an inability to conjure up an image of what tomorrow looks like, which is exactly in line with what Reclaiming Futures is all about.

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Join the Conversation in the Reclaiming Futures LinkedIn Group
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

Did you know that Reclaiming Futures has a LinkedIn group? Becoming a member lets you stay on top of the latest news related to juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment, participate in thought-provoking discussions, and connect with peers and thought leaders in the industry. All you have to do is visit our Juvenile Justice Reform and Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment LinkedIn group and request to join.

Our group will be especially beneficial if you are a:

  • Policy maker or legislator
  • Professional in the field of juvenile justice or adolescent substance abuse treatment
  • Family or youth advocate
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Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

Below you'll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It's free to browse and post!

Events

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Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County Reports on Successes in 2013
by CECILIA BIANCO

Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County recently released its 2013 Annual Report detailing its remarkable accomplishments over the last year. Also known as R-3 (Re-enter, Re-Engage, and Re-Claim), Reclaiming Futures of Snohomish County strives to provide comprehensive services for young people within and outside of the criminal justice system.

In 2013, Snohomish County successfully implemented, or sustained, the following programs to further its mission to meet the needs of young people in the juvenile justice system and at-risk teens:

  • Youth Partner Program: a mentorship program that matches young people with positive adults who share similar interests.
  • Journey: a gender-responsive program that utilizes the One Circle Foundation Curriculum and focuses on relationships with peers, body image, and path to the future.
  • Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR): a variety of eight-week art workshops for teens in recovery with the goal to exhibit the teens’ work at local venues.
  • The Seven Challenges Program: Snohomish County had its first fidelity visit—a day of training, reviewing of quality assurance documents and observing youth groups at each agency.
  • Music Futures: a performing arts program for teens actively involved in substance abuse treatment who are interested in attending guitar, percussion and song-writing workshops.

Of these programs, PAIR had the most significant results with a 23.3 percent misdemeanor recidivism rate and a 10 percent felony recidivism rate. 

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Connecticut Advocates for Juvenile Justice; News Roundup
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

Juvenile Justice Reform

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Next Week: James Bell, National Juvenile Justice Leader, to Speak at Portland State University
by SUSAN RICHARDSON

James Bell, a founding member of the Reclaiming Futures National Advisory Committee in 2001, will be speaking at the Native American Student and Community Center at Portland State University on April 17. See the description below from the event announcement:

The remanding of youth to adult criminal court is a social justice issue of national significance. Mr. James Bell of the Haywood Burns Institute will speak on a campaign soon to be launched in California called "Reclaiming Childhood.” This initiative will stand up against the forces that move youth (and disproportionately youth from low income communities and communities of color) into the adult system. Mr. Bell has worked closely with juvenile justice advocates in Oregon and his comments will be directly relevant to the work being done in our state.

This event is free and open to the community. Light refreshments will be served. To register, visit the PSU website.

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