- May 06, 2013
[VIDEO] Vikram Patel: Mental Health for All by Involving All
An estimated one in five adolescents worldwide struggle with a mental illness such as depression, a panic disorder, an anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder. In the United States only half of those individuals obtain the help they need, yet in developing nations, far fewer are lucky enough to receive the appropriate care. In this TED video, Vikram Patel explains an approach to end the worldwide lack of treatment by training community members to care for others, similar to the Reclaiming Futures mission of community based care to help young people overcome drugs, alcohol and crime. Watch the video in full below:
- January 17, 2013
A Community Approach to Juvenile Justice
This Fall, the Adler School Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) and its partner organizations with the Cook County Juvenile Justice Task Force published a concept paper (PDF download) outlining community-based, trauma-informed, restorative solutions to youth crime and conflict in Cook County, Illinois. The report provides guiding thoughts on how the juvenile justice system can better support young people while making communities safer. It also recommends alternatives to existing centralized juvenile detention approaches in Cook County.
The Adler School IPSSJ paper reports that the majority of juvenile justice dollars are spent in only a few zip codes. By using community approaches to juvenile justice, the Adler School argues that the county could get a much higher return on investment, along with lowering the risk currently posed by teen crime. Via the report:
...if the county does not reinvest these dollars in the communities of greatest need, it is asking residents of those areas to assume substantial additional risks to their safety without funding the types of programs and initiatives that could effectively manage those risks. This is a very real danger. As we all labor to design the best possible future for juvenile justice in Cook County, we would like your help keeping the above ideas and concerns at the forefront of the process. We know fundamental change will take years to responsibly develop; yet the time to begin the work is now.
- December 10, 2012
To Keep Kids Out of the System, We Need Community Involvement
Most of the teenagers walking into my courtroom were 1st or 2nd time visitors. They didn’t want to return, and we worked with them and their parents to make that first visit their last one.
However, some kids need more support and intervention to change their life trajectories from negative to positive.
After seeing the same teens in court year after year, judges wonder what it will take to change the behaviors that keep bringing them back into court. Short of sending a youth off to a state prison, the options usually available to juvenile court judges include stern lectures and warnings, mandated community service, assessment and rehabilitative services, and electronic monitoring.
Sometimes judges reach a point where everything has been tried at least once, and yet the youth is again back in court with a new offense. When that happens, will the judge leave the youth with his or her family and try for rehabilitation again? Or will the judge think “been there, done that” and send the youth to incarceration far from home?
Sending any young person to prison can’t be equated with sending your troubles away forever. They always return. And when they do, they go right back into the same home environment, same community, and same group of friends or gang.
- October 15, 2012
Addressing Underage Drinking at the Local Level
The Brighton Park Drug Free Community Coalition (Families Against Drugs in Area 58), based in Chicago, just completed our 7th year as a grantee in ONDCP’s Drug Free Communities Support Program. With National Substance Abuse Prevention month upon us, we recognize the importance of being unified across communities to influence a change in the cycle of substance abuse. Recently, our coalition has focused our efforts on the issue of underage drinking. Described below is one of our most recent – and most rewarding – youth events:
An alcohol-free ‘Quinceañera’
For young girls in the Latino community, turning 15 is a special occasion and one meant to symbolize their passage into womanhood. To celebrate this transition, families throw a "quinceañera" for the teen of honor. Once a proud tradition focusing on a girl's faith and values, quinceañeras today have become lavish parties with no shortage of alcohol.
- September 06, 2012
After Treatment: The Role of Community-Based Partnerships in Substance Abuse Recovery
In honor of Recovery Month, I'm sharing the Road to Recovery's latest video on the importance of community-based organizations. Reclaiming Futures is a huge believer in connecting young people with long-term community supports so that teens don't find themselves in the same situations that got them in trouble.
From the Road to Recovery:
- July 12, 2012
San Francisco's Community-Focused "Wraparound" Approach Reduces Recidivism
Last month, members of CJCJ’s Wraparound team had the honor of presenting to juvenile justice leaders from select California counties at the Sierra Health Foundation’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI) Speaker Series. Juvenile Justice Clinical Supervisor, Margaret Hitchcock and Wrap Rehabilitation Counselor, Randell Lewis, were joined by CJCJ’s Executive Director, Daniel Macallair, San Francisco Deputy Director of Juvenile Probation, Allison Magee, and Statewide expert on EPSDT and Wraparound funds, Joseph Harrington. As one of California’s model counties, the San Francisco collaborative was invited by Sierra Health Foundation to discuss its community-based wraparound approach toward serving high-needs youth.
This wraparound model would not be effective without the collaboration between the San Francisco Probation Department, Public Defender’s Office, other county departments and community-based nonprofits. As a result of this collaboration, San Francisco has seen a dramatic reduction in recidivism since implementation of the Wraparound program in 2009.
- July 03, 2012
Department of Labor Helps At-Risk Youth ‘STRIVE for the Future’
STRIVE, a New York City-based organization with 21 affiliates throughout the United States, was recently awarded a three-year, $5 million grant from the United States Department of Labor for a new, nationwide initiative called STRIVE for the Future.
The program is centered on providing services and assistance to formerly incarcerated youth, with the grant expected to benefit about 400 teens.
A recent press release from the organization said the initiative will focus on juveniles ages 14 and older who primarily come from high-poverty and high-crime communities and were involved in the juvenile justice system, but not the adult criminal system, within the last 12 months.
The organization says it will provide numerous tools and services such as career development assistance and various forms of training and education for at-risk youth.
- July 02, 2012
Closing the Business of Incarceration will Require Jobs, Reentry Programs
How do you bankrupt a brimming system of incarceration that is perversely incentivized to grow? According to New Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, “you have to go to the source, and whether the source is education or whether it’s legislation, you really have to go to the source.” Gusman provided an upstream suggestion at the Loyola University New Orleans’ event, Louisiana Incarcerated: An Evening with Cindy Chang on June 26, 2012. However, many of the panelists pointed specifically to job training and employment as essential parts of the solution.
The event was centered around an acclaimed 8-part Times-Picayune series titled “Louisiana Incarcerated,” by reporter Cindy Chang. For the series, Chang talked with the formerly incarcerated and criminal justice reformers to get a complete story of the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The town hall styled symposium provided opportunities for panelists to offer their thoughts on the sources of Louisiana’s incarceration problems as well as potential solutions.
Concurring with Gusman’s perspective of root causes, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Jim Letten said, “the most important part of our jobs is education and prevention. I wouldn’t have told you that 13 years ago.” Letten iterated what several panelists expressed during the panel sessions, which took place over the course of two hours.
- June 21, 2012
Richard Buery: Community Engagement Vital for Juvenile Justice System
Over in The Atlantic Cities, Richard R. Buery Jr. of the Children's Aid Society has a very compelling piece about the importance of community-based rehabilitation centers in working with troubled youth.
Engaging the local community is vital to the rehabilitation process. For young offenders, receiving supportive services in their home communities, where they can remain connected to families and local institutions, offers the most reliable path for ensuring that they do not grow up to become lifelong criminals. For most children convicted of minor infractions, effective services can be provided while they live at home, avoiding the costs and negative impact of institutionalization. Yet for the past few decades we have failed troubled youth--the vast majority of them black and Latino (84 percent of all admissions in 2009) - by shipping them to juvenile detention facilities hundreds of miles away from home, often for minor infractions.
Cutting these children off from their communities threatens their often fragile family relationships. Worse, young people don't learn to become responsible adults at these facilities--on the contrary, they are often neglected and face abuse. And despite how ineffective and unsafe these facilities are, the city and state spend millions of dollars a year to keep them running. Compared to the alternative, the waste is astonishing. Holding a youth offender in a secure facility costs around $260,000 a year; alternative, community-based treatment programs can cost about $20,000 per child per year, and have better results.
- April 04, 2012
Using Graffiti to Improve Teen Outcomes in Denver
Graffiti is a common sight in the neighborhood around the Access Art Gallery in Denver – not inside, hanging on the walls – but scribbled, pasted or painted on nearly every dumpster and wall for blocks.
“There’s a lot of kids going back and forth through the neighborhood. There was tagging all over the place,” says Damon McLeese, the gallery’s executive director.
Like many places across the country, Denver’s streets show scars of vandalism: Stickers on street signs, scrawls of fat-tipped markers across doorways, and spray paint arching down from seemingly impossible heights.
But where many businesses would have seen an unstoppable scourge of youth defacing private property, McLeese saw an opportunity for a project that would redirect some of the kids’ creative energies and help improve the community.
- March 06, 2012
Humboldt County's Regional "New Horizons" Program Delivers Impressive Results
Humboldt County's Probation Department is leading the way in utilizing innovative funding streams for serving California's highest-risk, highest-need youthful offenders. The department utilizes innovating funding streams in their New Horizons program to provide mental health in-facility and aftercare treatment in a way that puts rehabilitation at the center of their department's mission.
From Humboldt’s County Probation Department's website:
New Horizons, an intensive in-custody Mental Health treatment program, is offered within the secure environment of the Northern California Regional Facility. Treatment services include a combination of medication support, individual, group, and family counseling, alcohol/drug assessment and counseling, skill development training focused on anger management, moral judgment, the correction of thinking errors, social skills, and victim awareness.
The transition to the aftercare phase of the program, offered to both participants and their families, includes linkage to the Mental Health System of Care Services, out-patient counseling and/or medication support, and case management services. Individualized strength-based child and family case plans are developed using the Family Unity process followed by the integration of wraparound services to support the minor and his/her family throughout community care programming.
- February 22, 2012
'Peer Contagion' Influences Criminal Recidivism Among Youth
Location, Location, Location...That’s been a mantra within the business community for years.
Now, new research from Temple University finds that location also plays a role in youth behavior.
Jeremy Mennis, associate professor of geography and urban studies, and Philip Harris, associate professor of criminal justice, examined how “peer contagion” — the influence on juveniles by other juveniles — within a neighborhood setting affects the probability that a youth who has committed a crime will commit another one.
Their findings, reported recently in the Journal of Adolescence, suggest that "spatial contagion" may be at work as well. In fact, the rate of recidivism among youth living nearby a juvenile's residence not only increases the likelihood that youth will re-offend, it can also cause teenage boys to "specialize" in certain types of crime.
"It turns out that contextual forces from a kid's social network create spatial patterns of crime in terms of re-offending rates as well as specializations," said Mennis.
In the past, ideas about dealing with delinquency focused on the individual kids and their particular family situations, said Mennis. "Our work is part of a growing trend across the social sciences to look at how place and context impact individual behavior," he said.
- December 22, 2011
Giving books to teens behind bars
Youth behind bars often find the holidays to be an especially lonely time, as they are away from friends and family members. A non-profit in Washington, DC is collecting books to give to incarcerated teens in adult prisons.
Free Minds Book Club uses creative writing and books to help teens in the juvenile justice system turn their lives around.
Check out this clip on the book drive and one teen's success with the program:
- July 08, 2011
House of Representatives Proposes Deep Cuts for Juvenile Justice, and More: Roundup
- Webinar on Disproportionate Minority Contact
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center will host the webinar, “Disproportionate Minority Contact: Issues and Trends at the National, State, and Local Level,” on August 3, 2011 at 2 p.m. (EDT). The webinar will describe the issues that state and local communities face when trying to reduce disproportionate minority contact.
- Department of Justice: Licensed Growers, Dispensers of Medical Marijuana Could Be Prosecuted
A new policy memo issued by Deputy Attorney General James Cole says state law is no protection for growers and dispensers of medical marijuana. However, the Justice Department stands by its 2009 directive against investigating patients and caregivers in compliance with state law.
- Webinar on Disproportionate Minority Contact
- May 24, 2011
National Conference on Restorative Justice 2011
The Third National Conference on Restorative Justice will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, June 8-10, 2011. (Apologies for the short lead-time; I just heard about this from Paul Savery.)
The agenda's full of all kinds of fascinating presentations and workshops -- so many, it has my head spinning. Even better, a surprisingly large number have to do with working with teens, juvenile justice, and the schools.
Here's just two that jumped out at me (I quote from the agenda):
- May 19, 2011
Gordon Bazemore on Youth Development, Restorative Justice, and Social Capital and Restorative Decision-making
Background: On May 18 and 19, 2011, Reclaiming Futures hosted its biannual Leadership Institute for its participating sites. Held in Miami this year, the Institute featured presentations from leaders in the fields of youth work and juvenile justice.
About This Archived Webcast: On Thursday, May 19, Dr. Gordon Bazemore, a leading expert in restorative justice and juvenile justice, gave a three-part presentation on youth development, restorative justice, and social capital and "restorative decision-making." >>Download the presentation slides.
- May 16, 2011
Juvenile Justice Reform: Community Organizing to Stop the Rail to Jail - Apply Now!
The Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY) and the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) are pleased to announce the application process for "Organizing 101: Community Organizing to Stop the Rail to Jail!" (See CJNY's publication, "Stopping the Rail to Jail" by clicking the image at right.)
This will be an intergenerational organizing intensive taking place August 11-15, 2011 just outside of Washington D.C. We are excited to offer change makers from across the U.S. an opportunity to gain skills and the means to be able to attend this intensive.
The goals of this organizing 101 intensive are:
- Build community with like-minded individuals
- Deepen participants' community organizing skills
- Introduce participants to effective strategies to hold their local juvenile justice systems accountable
- March 31, 2011
FY 2011 Funding Opportunities from OJJDP
1. Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program - deadline May 23, 2011
2. Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities Initiative -- deadline May 16, 2011
3. State Juvenile Justice Formula and Block Grants Training and Technical Assistance Program -- deadline May 16, 2011
To obtain further information about the above and other current OJJDP solicitations, including eligibility criteria and application deadlines, visit http://www.ojjdp.gov/funding/FundingList.asp.
- January 14, 2011
National Mentoring Month and More - a Roundup
January is National Mentoring Month
- Read the president's proclamation.
- Olivia's Story: one youth breaks free from drugs, alcohol, and crime. In case you missed it, we recently posted the moving story of a young woman, Olivia, and her journey out of a life of crime and drugs. She thanks a lot of people for helping her do it, but her mentor's among those at the top of the list. Check it out!
- Ideas for celebrating National Mentoring Month (including Thank-Your-Mentor Day, on January 25) from the National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth (NCFY).
- More from NCFY:
- A "mentoring hub" consortium in Ohio that might give you ideas for streamlining recruitment and matching mentors to youth.
- A whole issue of the journal New Directions in Youth Development devoted to promising practices in youth mentoring.
- Funding: Tribal Youth National Mentoring Program from the Department of Justice (DOJ). Application deadline is February 28, 2011. There's also a National Mentoring Program grant from DOJ, but as I read it, it's only open to national organizations. Still, if you're eligible, check it out -- the deadline to apply is also February 28, 2011.
- September 27, 2010
Youth Mentoring: Kicking it Up a Notch
Recruiting mentors for youth in the justice system is all about making personal appeals to small groups of people. But finding those people who will step up with funds and their time is a continuing challenge.
That's why I'm spotlighting an upcoming event to be held in Seattle on October 15, 2010. The 4C Coalition -- one of the key partners in Reclaiming Futures Seattle-King County -- has banded together with other organizations to host an evening with Susan L. Taylor, Founder and CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement (click on the image at left to see the invitation). The CARES movement is focused on "[guiding] struggling Black children to academic and social success." And it appears to be growing -- its "mentoring circles" are, by my count, in 60 communities across the country.
- July 26, 2010
2010 Recovery Month Toolkit is Now Available!
Want to plan an event for teens celebrating and promoting recovery from substance abuse? Want ideas from others?
SAMHSA recently released a toolkit to help individuals and organizations plan recovery events in conjunction with Recovery Month 2010, and to provide you with tools and educational materials to distribute in your community.As we discussed in a previous post, 2010 marks Recovery Month’s 21st year, and we are celebrating with the theme “Join the Voices of Recovery: Now More Than Ever!” The theme emphasizes how high levels of stress may contribute to or exacerbate alcohol or drug use, which can lead to a substance use disorder or relapse. The toolkit also raises awareness about the increasing level of stress in society and the impact it has on addiction.The toolkit, available online and in hard copy, is divided into three sections: media outreach, targeted outreach, and resources. The media outreach section includes tips and template documents to help plan and promote your events. The targeted outreach section provides details about substance use disorders that are tailored for specific audiences. The resource section shares information to help you prepare for events and suggests organizations in which you could consider partnering.
- July 12, 2010
Mentors for Teens in the Justice System - Reclaiming Futures in Dayton Issues Call to Community
In June, Reclaiming Futures Montgomery County in Dayton, OH, held a successful event asking members of the community to mentor teens in the justice system struggling with alcohol and drug issues. (Dayton already has a great track record in this area, having already recruited and trained over 190 "natural helpers" for these youth.)
The event garnered a news story in the Dayton Daily News, “Kids in Juvenile Court in Need of Mentors,” and it was the "top story" (see right) on the evening news, in a story called, "Helping Teens with Mentors.
Great work, team!
Related Post: Reclaiming Futures sites in Bristol County, MA, and Forsyth County, NC, also recently reached out to the community for assistance in working with teens involved in drugs, alcohol, and crime.
Bonus Related Post: Having trouble organizing successful outreach? You may be missing a key element from the community: families with children involved in the juvenile justice system. Check out this post for tips on how to engage these families and others.
- June 16, 2010
Juvenile Justice System - Reclaiming Futures Sites Appeal to Community
Reclaiming Futures sites have been appealing to their communities for caring adults to help teens with drug and alcohol problems who are in trouble with the law. A community event in Forsyth County, NC recently made the TV news (the Honorable William B. Reingold is pictured at left), the paper, and also netted a positive editorial from the Winston-Salem Journal. [LATER: Reclaiming Futures Forsyth County also appeared in a second paper, the Winston-Salem Chronicle. To see it, follow the link, then click on "Archive" and choose the paper for June 17, 2010. Then navigate to page 3. The article is titled, "A Different Approach."]
Great work, everyone!
P.S. Want to bring attention to juvenile justice reform in your community? Check out this communications toolkit for justice initiatives from the Center for Court Innovation and the Bureau of Justice Affairs.
- February 09, 2010
A Leadership Institute for Juvenile Justice Advocates
[UPDATE: According to the NJJN, the Institute must be postponed until 2011. If you want to participate -- or be involved in the planning -- email Annie Balck. - Ed.]
Anyone who has worked in the juvenile justice knows how hard it is to recruit, organize, and train advocates from the community to implement juvenile justice reform. But we also know they're out there.
Fortunately, the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is here to help.
This summer, the NJJN is offering its first ever Juvenile Justice Leadership Development Institute. They want to
create the foundation for a more effective juvenile justice reform movement by developing a strong base of well prepared and well trained advocates and organizers who reflect the communities most affected by juvenile justice system practices and policies, with a particular focus on cultivating and supporting leaders of color, youth and family members.
The Institute will be held in New Orleans July 11-16, and will include a year of distance learning and being mentored. Applications are due March 12, 2010. NJJN will pay transportation to and from New Orleans for those who get accepted to the program.
- January 05, 2010
Moving from Them to Us - Challenges in Reframing Violence Among Youth
It's safe to assume that we'd all like to see youth violence reduced if not eliminated. And there's plenty of work going on in this area.
But there are some major obstacles to successfully addressing youth violence in a systemic, effective way, argue Lori Dorfman, DrPH, and Lawrence Wallack, DrPH, authors of a fascinating paper called, "Moving from Them to Us - Challenges in Reframing Violence Among Youth." [Dr. Wallack is a colleague of Dr. Laura Nissen, the national director of Reclaiming Futures.]
One of the most important obstacles: violence is almost always framed -- especially in the media -- as the responsibility of an individual. And while it's true that individual choice is part of the explanation, it's not the whole explanation. By talking about violence only in terms of individuals, we subtly suggest that there's nothing that can be done to prevent it. That makes it difficult for anti-violence advocates, who know that violence can be reduced and prevented by a broad-based focus on the environmental factors that contribute to it.
- August 18, 2009
Teens in Your Juvenile Justice System Have Nothing to Do? They Can Help
One of the key parts of the Reclaiming Futures model is "beyond treatment": connecting kids in the juvenile justice system with a network of positive adults, services, and activities that will sustain them when they leave probation, incarceration, or treatment.
No problem, right? Well, as anyone who's ever wrestled with this problem knows, it's a huge problem. It can be hard for probation officers and treatment counselors to keep up with what's available. Then, too, there's the always-tricky issue of what services or activies are appropriate for which kids.
So here's an idea from Community YouthMapping (CYM): ask the kids to help you map the services; together, you can canvass neighborhoods in search of places to go and things to do. It's a great opportunity to harness their energy, given them skills, and model pro-social behavior, and you'll often find resources you wouldn't find otherwise.
- August 12, 2009
Catch Kids Doing Things Right!
[Working with kids from a strengths-based perspective can be a powerful tool for juvenile justice reform. Don't believe me? In British Columbia, where the program described below originated, juvenile crime has reportedly dropped 41% in three years. While the cause of the drop can't be proven, the correlation is certainly compelling. The program is a great way for Reclaiming Futures sites to consider involving police officers, and should also inspire applications to teens on probation. -Ed.]
“Positive Tickets are issued to youth by Police Officers for staying out of trouble or performing good deeds. The Positive Ticket is simply a coupon, voucher, token, or note, that has value for goods, services or some type of credit, acknowledgement or appreciation. The Positive Ticket is just the beginning of a multitude of proactive, intentional, positive activities that can transform communities and shift mindsets and attitudes.”
- August 06, 2009
Insulating the Education Pipeline for Teens in the Justice System
Increasingly, I find myself representing “youth development” and “youth services” in education discussions where the primary focus is on improving high school and college graduation rates. The singular focus on preparing kids academically tends to ignore supports that are critical for many children in the education “pipeline” -- those in the juvenile justice system, for example. So I’ve honed a simple but effective way to get my minority views inserted into deep “education system” focused conversations about improving the education pipeline. Building on plumbing analogies, I’ve begun to talk about the importance of good insulation.
- August 04, 2009
A Juvenile Court Reaches Out to the Community
Blue skies, a beautiful park and live music set the stage for the 3rd Annual Community Awareness Fair we hosted on Saturday, June 27, 2009. The Juvenile Office in Greene County, Missouri organizes this event to connect youth and families with local resources. The fair also allows us to expand beyond the walls of the courtroom and detention center, and into the community.
- July 13, 2009
Hope, Help & Healing: Using Media to Connect People with Help for Addiction - Part 2 of 2
[Steve Pasierb is President and CEO of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. This is Part 2 of a 2-part post; find Part 1 of Using Media to Connect People with Help for Addiction here. -Ed.]Lesson 6: A comprehensive intervention Web site is an essential tool.
Treatment messages must include a "call to action" to a phone line and, importantly, a web resource to learn more about options for help. It was found that a dedicated Web site was an essential resource for the public on addiction issues, and that media can effectively promote this resource, generating strong traffic and lengthening visit time.
- July 09, 2009
Hope, Help & Healing: Using Media to Connect People with Help for Addiction - Part 1 of 2
[Steve Pasierb is President and CEO of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. This is Part 1 of a 2-part post. -Ed.]
A research-based communications exploratory by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) produced a set of 10 “lessons learned” that can be applicable to all working to communicate with the public on addiction treatment. It also became the foundation of the Partnership’s ongoing collaboration with the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), which has produced a range of innovative, useful new intervention tools like Time To Act.Lesson 1: Public attitudes are indeed barriers to help-seeking.
Our work with RWJF identified three public attitudes that must be counteracted:
- July 08, 2009
Helping Teens in the Justice System: Tapping the Community
The juvenile justice field has been one of the last to accept a strength-based or asset-based community development approach to working with young people and to working with communities to reduce juvenile crime.However, based on pioneering work on a strength-based bill of rights for juvenile offenders developed by Laura Nissen, Executive Director of Reclaiming Futures and many other asset-based practitioners, the idea of a community development approach to juvenile justice has been slowly taking hold.
- July 07, 2009
Helping Teens in the Justice System: Training Them to Do Outreach
- May 18, 2009
Social Media Webinar - Register Now
Maybe you're still wondering, like me, how we got from rotary phones to "social media." Or maybe you're wondering if tools like Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feeds, and the like are relevant for juvenile justice or alcohol and drug treatment for teens.Well, you're in luck: the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, in partnership with Reclaiming Futures, invites you to attend a free Webinar on the ever-growing world of social media. The event will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 2, 2009.
- May 14, 2009
Mentors for Youth of Color in the Justice System
Many jurisdictions want models on how to recruit mentors of color for youth in the justice system, so here's two: the Reclaiming Futures site in Dayton, Ohio site is a great example (I plan to feature them in more detail in the near future), and so is the Seattle Reclaiming Futures site, whose 4C Coalition I featured in December.
- May 12, 2009
Who's Responsible for Ending Youth Violence? An Op-Ed from a Reclaiming Futures Site
Karen Carpenter, the Community Fellow for our site in Rowan County, North Carolina, let me know that her op-ed on who's responsible for ending youth violence appeared in yesterday's Salisbury Post.
A sad occasion -- the shooting death of a teen in Salisbury -- but an eloquent call for mentors for teens who need them. Good work, Karen!
- May 07, 2009
Funding: Juvenile Mentors for Youth Leaving Incarceration
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is providing more funding for mentors of youth under the "Second Chance Juvenile Mentoring Initiative." Grantees will receive up to $625,000 for three years; awards require a 25% match (cash or in-kind); proposals are due June 15, 2009.
- April 08, 2009
Families Gather to Improve Teen Substance Abuse Treatment
Want to see changes in the adolescent substance abuse treatment system? Families are the key. If change is to occur, then families have to be part of the solution. Yet too often, they’re left out of the conversation.That might be about to change.
- March 26, 2009
"Whatever It Takes" Book Giveaway - Winner!
We have a winner! Earlier this week, I announced that we'd give away a copy of "Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, by journalist Paul Tough.
To choose a winner, I took all of those who entered the contest and I numbered their entries. Then I entered the first and last numbers in the Random Number Generator, and pushed the button. The generator picked a number at random, and we had our winner: Shawn Billings, Probation & Field Services Supervisor for the Family/Juvenile Court in the Reclaiming Futures site in Greene County, MO. (FYI, you don't have to work at a Reclaiming Futures site to enter or win; Shawn just got lucky.)
Congratulations to Shawn! For the rest of you, we'll have more giveaways coming up. Stay tuned!
- March 24, 2009
Young Inmates Make a Film
Want to do something positive with teens in the justice system? Give them a camera. Teach them how to use digital media.
Who knows? They might make a movie about the danger of making false assumptions about other people -- passing judgment on themselves, for example.
Don't believe me? Check out the trailer for a film made by nine young inmates in jail in Westchester County, NY (right next door, by the way, to the Reclaiming Futures site in Nassau County, NY). According to The New York Times, their movie, "Judgement," was recently screened before "a packed house." Two of the young men were able to attend in person; several more, still incarcerated, attended by video feed. (UPDATE: the film is available at YouTube in two parts - thanks to Youth Today's blog for the tip!)
Hint to Reclaiming Futures sites: having youth in the justice system tell their stories is a great sustainability tool, and it helps inspire community members to get involved in their lives.
- March 04, 2009
"Youth News" Launched by Hocking County, Ohio
Reclaiming Futures Hocking County launched “Youth News”, a quarterly newsletter, in February. The first issue includes an interview with Natasha Cook, a young woman helped by the local juvenile court; a story about the difference positive relationships with family, community and church made in the life of Juvenile Probate Judge Richard Wallar when he was a 15-year-old – the average age of a young person in the juvenile justice system; and lists of volunteer, educational and recreational opportunities for teenagers in the area. The seven-page publication is edited by Gretchen Gregory with help from writers Christa Myers and Rev. Mark Daniels.
Great job, Hocking County!
- February 23, 2009
Reclaiming Futures in Uncertain Times - Needed Now More than Ever!
Complicated times… In so many ways, youth advocates have access to more helpful information, inspiration, role models and heroes than ever before. We have movements, evidence-based practices, champions and momentum for a variety of important reforms and improvements across a range of youth-serving systems.At the exact same time, we watch disparities grow, budgets strain under pressure, poverty persist among too many. Within Reclaiming Futures communities, even those who have been the most successful implementing the model feel they must rigorously defend each and every aspect of their programs in these budget-trimming times.Yet now more than ever before, it's essential to focus on our key components:
- February 17, 2009
Changing the Juvenile Court - How to Get Buy-In
- February 12, 2009
Reclaiming Futures Kicks Off in Orange & Chatham Counties, North Carolina
Our project site in Orange and Chatham Counties, North Carolina, recently held its kick-off meeting, generating lots of excitement. Susan Powell, Community Fellow for the site -- pictured on the far left -- wrote in to tell us about it:
On Thursday, January 22, 2009, the Orange Chatham Counties Reclaiming Futures initiative hosted its kick-off meeting. Reclaiming Futures coach Elleen Deck & consultant Judy Schector did a wonderful job explaining the Reclaiming Futures model, goals, and approach to those in attendance. The Reclaiming Futures Fellows were pleased to see such a wonderful turn-out and participation by the group as a whole. Several prominent members of our community attended the meeting.
- February 03, 2009
Building Family Strengths Conference + 2009 National Youth Summit
Consider attending the 2009 Building Family Strengths conference on June 23-25, 2009, in Portland, OR - you can even submit a proposal for a presentation, if you do so by this Friday, February 6, 2009.
- December 18, 2008
Models for Youth Aftercare: Finding Out What Works
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of conducting focus groups with youth who were in various stages of recovery following treatment. The consistency of responses among the groups of youth I spoke with was overwhelming and pushed me to think about what we need to do for youth following treatment that might be different than for adults.A major theme that came out of each group was that they felt abandoned after they completed treatment. They were told things like: