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  • OJJDP Seeks Applicants for New Funding Opportunity to Reduce Recidivism
    by CECILIA BIANCO

    The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is accepting applicants for the FY 2014 Second Chance Act Comprehensive Juvenile Reentry Systems Reform Planning Program. This program will support state efforts to reduce recidivism and improve positive outcomes for teens returning to their communities after out of home placement.

    The Second Chance Act of 2007 was established to promote community safety through recidivism prevention in response to the increasing number of incarcerated adults and youth released from prison, jail or juvenile facilities.

    This new grant program provides funding for state or local-level juvenile justice agencies to assemble a reentry task force and develop and finalize a comprehensive statewide juvenile reentry systems reform strategic plan. Goals of the funding include the following:

    • Developing comprehensive, evidence-based plans to reform their juvenile reentry systems
    • Improving assessment policies and practices
    • Enhancing program/policy monitoring, quality assessments, implementation supports, accountability practices, and youth outcome data collection
    • Supporting an integrated approach to prerelease services and planning, and post-release services and supervision to improve youth outcomes


  • Pilot Juvenile Reentry Program in Illinois
    by JEANETTE MOLL

    Parts of Chicago and surrounding suburbs are taking steps to reduce the number of youths who cycle through the doors of the state juvenile lockups.

    Officials estimate that they see about 50 percent of released youths returning to incarceration at some point following their initial stay. That rate is simply too high, given the societal costs of their continued delinquency as well as the taxpayer costs for repeated bouts of secure confinement. A year in a secure facility in Illinois costs over $80,000 per year.

    A non-profit has recently begun a three year program under a grant from the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, which aims to slash recidivism rates by targeting the underlying issues, whether related to substance abuse or family problems.


  • 6 Major Findings from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department Performance Assessment Report
    by DAVID BACKES

    Texas FlagThe Texas Juvenile Justice Department released an encouraging report detailing the success of their Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs (JJAEPs). These programs have been providing education for students expelled from traditional schools since the 1996-1997 school year.

    The Texas Juvenile Justice Department found that the JJAEP has been improving over the past several years--test scores are up, costs are down, and behavior has improved. See the list below for details on the report’s major findings (via the report):


  • Closing the Business of Incarceration will Require Jobs, Reentry Programs
    by ANDRE PERRY

    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.


  • 'Peer Contagion' Influences Criminal Recidivism Among Youth
    by KIM FISCHER

    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.


  • Updating the Reclaiming Futures Model from “Completion” to “Transition”
    by SUSAN RICHARDSON

    Since its founding, Reclaiming Futures has been dedicated to helping to build a balanced and restorative juvenile justice system that holds youth accountable, but breaks the cycle of crime and drugs by providing evidence-based substance abuse treatment to the kids who need it.

    Along the way, we’ve connected with 29 communities across the country and received great feedback on the power of the Reclaiming Futures model and its ability to ensure that youth have access to treatment. Our model has 6 parts:

    1. Initial screening: As soon as possible after being referred to the juvenile justice system, youth should be screened for substance abuse problems using a reputable screening tool.
    2. Initial assessment: If substance abuse is indicated, refer for service coordination.
    3. Service coordination: Intervention plans should be designed and coordinated by community teams that are family-driven, span agency boundaries and draw upon community-based resources.
    4. Initiation: Service initiation is a critical moment in intervention.
    5. Engagement: Youth and families must be effectively engaged in services.
    6. Transition: Community coordination teams should specify how much of each service plan must be completed, after which agency-based services will be gradually withdrawn, as appropriate.

  • Over half of youth leaving Illinois state prisons will return
    by LIZ WU

    Over half of the youth released from Illinois state juvenile detention centers will return in three years or less. A new report released today by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission takes a hard look at the state's juvenile justice system and finds it severely lacking in successful rehabilitation efforts.

    Not only is the state failing these kids with its feeder system into the adult criminal justice sytem, it is also failing to keep communities safe while costing taxpayers $86,000 per incarcerated youth per year.

    From the press release:

    "An essential measurement of any juvenile "reentry" system is whether youth returning from incarceration remain safely and successfully within their communities," according to the report. "By this fundamental measure, Illinois is failing."

    The "Youth Reentry Improvement Report" found that the system does little to prepare youth and families for the youths' return home; paroled youth rarely receive needed services or school linkages and too often are returned to expensive youth prisons due to technical parole violations; and Prisoner Review Board (PRB) parole revocation proceedings are largely perfunctory hearings where the youth's due process rights are not protected.

    "Our research documented that 54 percent of juveniles being sent to state youth prisons have been there before and are returning because of technical parole violations," said George W. Timberlake, who is Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission and retired chief judge of the Second Judicial Circuit. "The system is not doing enough to rehabilitate juveniles inside and outside prison walls, and it often is too quick to return youth to expensive prisons where failure again is likely.


  • New OJJDP report provides latest data and trends in juvenile court cases
    by STEPHEN HAMMILL

    The National Center for Juvenile Justice has published a new report, "Juvenile Court Statistics 2008," developed with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

    Drawing on data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive (the myriad data sets include age, gender, race, entry and detention rates, etc.), the report profiles more than 1.6 million delinquency cases that U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction handled in 2008. It also describes the trends in delinquency cases processed by juvenile courts between 1985 and 2008 and the status offense cases they handled between 1995 and 2008.

    You can read and download the report (PDF file) here.


  • National Reentry Resource Center releases FAQs on Juvenile Justice & Reentry
    by SHAY BILCHIK AND LEAH KANE

    juvenile-reentry_shadow-of-teenagerThe National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), a project of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, recently published a list of frequently asked questions and answers on juvenile justice and reentry.

    As many as 100,000 youth under the age of 18 are released from juvenile correctional facilities every year. These young people often return to their communities with complex needs, such as physical and behavioral health issues and barriers to education and employment. The FAQ provides information on:

    • the organization of the juvenile justice system and its impact on reentry;
    • the characteristics of youth committed to out-of-home placement;
    • the challenges many youth face as they return from placement;
    • and the policies and practices that are key to successful reentry.

  • UPDATE: OJJDP Second Chance Act Grants and June 27 Webinar for Applicants
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-reentry_handwritten-note-I-want-a-second-chance[NOTE: The date and time of the webinar have been changed to June 27th at 2 p.m. EST. -Ed.]

    Via the National Reentry Resource Center:

    The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) recently released the solicitation for Second Chance Act grant applications to state and local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes for juvenile reentry planning and demonstration projects (Section 101 of Public Law 110-199). This funding is available to help jurisdictions plan and implement programs and strategies to reduce recidivism and ensure safe and successful reentry of juveniles released from prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities back to the community.

    The deadline for submitting an application is July 11, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

    To download the solicitation, click here

    To help potential applicants respond to this solicitation, the National Reentry Resource Center will hold a free webinar on Monday, June 20th at 3:00 p.m. ET. June 27th at 2:00 p.m. EST. Representatives from OJJDP will explain the details of the solicitation and answer questions from applicants. To register for the webinar, click here.


  • Webinar: Principles Of Tribal Reentry
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS
     
    Adapted from an announcement made by the National Reentry Resource Center - there's a component regarding youth in the justice system:
     
    juvenile-reentry_tribal-reentry-webinar-series-flyerThe webinar "Principles of Tribal Reentry" focuses on the essential principles for designing and developing culturally relevant reentry systems supportive of released offenders and the tribal communities to which they return. Presenters will discuss the important components of tribal-based reentry programs and those in non-tribal jurisdictions where American Indian/Alaska Native(AI/AN) offenders may be serving time in an adult or juvenile facility. This free webinar will also discuss important governmental, programmatic, policy and cultural factors affecting AI/AN reentry programs.
     
     
    Presenters
    Ada Pecos Melton, President & Owner, American Indian Development Associates
    Daniel Mittan, Director of Court Services, Choctaw Tribal Court
     
     
    When
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:00 pm PST / 3 pm EST
     
     
    How to Sign Up

  • Juvenile Reentry - New Resources + Webinar
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-reentry_breakdancing-teenHow do you help youth be successful who are returning from long-term placements, including lockup? Here's a number of resources -- in multiple media -- that you might find useful for improving how your community handles juvenile reentry.

    1. Making the Most of Second Chances - Conference Materials

    You may have been unable to attend "Making the Most of Second Chances," a national conference on reentry sponsored by the Council of State Governments' Justice Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (I found out about it via the always-helpful National Reentry Resource Center) held in Washington, D.C., in February, but here's the good news: much of it was caught on video.

    By reviewing a list of the conference presentations, I found a couple that were focused on juveniles (you'll find video and PowerPoints):


  • OJJDP Funding: Mentoring for Juveniles Leaving Secure Confinement
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-justice-system_funding-smartiesThe Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is offering grants to support mentoring for youth  leaving secure facilities. One-time awards of up to $625,000 will be made for a project period of up to three years. (Hat tip to Mark Fulop.) 

    From the call for proposals: "The purpose of this initiative is to support the successful and safe transition of juvenile offenders from correctional facilities to their communities. To this end, OJJDP will provide funding to develop, implement, and expand mentoring programs and transitional services. OJJDP expects successful applicants to integrate best practices and proven principles into mentoring service models, develop strategies to recruit and maintain mentors, and assess and develop services to respond to the needs of youth offenders reentering their communities. Local community collaboratives should lead such programs, design them to address local needs, and use local resources. If local resources are not available, the program should obtain resources outside of the community through partnerships and other collaborative efforts.

    Application deadline: May 2, 2011. 

    [UPDATE March 11, 2011:  Got questions?  Check the FAQ.]


  • Funding: Train Juveniles in the Justice System for Tech Careers
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    positive-youth-development_wall-etching-learnYou can now apply to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) for a grant under the Second Chance Act to "establish programs to train individuals in prisons, jails, or juvenile residential facilities for technology-based jobs and careers during the three-year period before their release." (It's not just for juveniles - it's for adults, too.) 

    Webinar: The National Reentry Resource Center will hold a webinar for interesed applicants January 19, 2011 at 11 am PST / 2 pm EST. >>Register here.

    Deadline to Apply: March 3, 2011.


  • Top 3 Juvenile Justice/Teen Treatment Stories from 2010 - What Gets Your Vote?
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-justice-reform_voteWhat were our top three stories for 2010? You can pick from stories on juvenile justice reform ... juvenile drug courts ... adolescent substance abuse treatment ... positive youth development ... family engagement ... or the juvenile justice system in general? 

    What was most useful to you? What was the most intriguing?  What did you pass on to your colleagues? 

    You can pick from any story we published here on the blog in 2010.  But just to make it easy, I've listed 20 stories below that I'd expect to  be on everyone's top-stories list.  If you don't find your favorite below -- and I had to leave out a heck of a lot of good stuff -- feel free to vote for it anyway. 

    (By the way, they stories below are not listed in any particular order.)


  • Roundup: BJS to Study Teens Transferred into Adult Justice System -- and More
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS
    The JPI also recommended that juvenile justice funds be directed at "educational and community-based youth programming" and that substance abuse and mental health treatment services be funded through public health agencies, and not through the justice system: "By reaching people before they come in contact with the justice system, we can reduce future justice involvement and related costs, and reduce the chances that someone will have to deal with the collateral consequences of having a criminal record."

  • Funding: YouthBuild Grants Available
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    positive-youth-development_smarties-with-dollar-signsNow's your chance to apply for a 2011 YouthBuild grant from the Department of Labor. The grant announcement describes YouthBuild this way:

    [YouthBuild is] a youth development program that combines education, career training, and community service. In YouthBuild, out-of-school youth ages 16-24 obtain high school diplomas or GEDs while getting certified in construction and building low-cost housing for families in their communities.  

    Grant amounts are expected to range between $700,000 and $1.1 million for up to three years of funding (two years of program operations, with one year of follow-up). But applicants will need to have formed (or work with an existing) collaborative that includes education/training, workforce investment, juvenile justice, and faith-based and community partners. Applications are due December 3, 2010.
     
    More info: see the YouthBuild notice in The Federal Register.

  • Juvenile Justice System: Engaging Reentry Mentors - a Webinar
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-justice-system_child-reaching-for-skyHaving trouble rounding up mentors for youth in the juvenile justice system?

    Then you won't want to miss this webinar from the National Reentry Resource Center and the Center for the Advancement of Mentoring titled, "Identifying and Engaging Reentry Mentors for Justice-Involved Youth." (Follow the link to register.)

    [UPDATE (Nov. 12): Go here to access the archived webinar and PowerPoint slides.]

    The second of two webinars, it's scheduled for 12:30 pm PST / 3:30 pm EST on November 1, 2010. It'll focus on working with family members to identify "pro-social support" for youth, as well as finding and training extended family and other "natural mentors" in each youth's life to support the mentor and help the young person return to the community.

    All of which sounds like it would apply to any youth in the justice system, not just those reentering the community from a locked facility.

    According to the press release, speakers will include:

    • David Altschuler, Principal Research Scientist, Johns Hopkins University Institute for Policy Studies
    • Shay Bilchik, Founder and Director, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University
    • Roger Jarjoura, Associate Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Founder, Aftercare for the Incarcerated through Mentoring
    • Dennis Talbert, President, Michigan Neighborhood Partnership

     


  • Roundup: Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections, and More
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-justice-system_news-signJuvenile Justice News and Related News



  • Webinar: Improving Educational Outcomes of Youth in Juvenile Justice Facilities
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS
     
    juvenile-justice-system_youth-in-detention-with-booksOn September 14, 2010, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency's (NCCD) Children's Research Center (CRC) will present a webinar on "Improving Educational Outcomes of Youth in Juvenile Justice Facilities." (Hat tip to Randy Muck at SAMHSA.)
     
    Presented by Janice Ereth, Ph.D., Special Advisor, Susan Gramling, J.D., Senior Program Specialist, and Andrea Bogie, MSW, Research Associate from NCCD/CRC, this free webinar will be held at 10:00 am PDT/ 12:00 pm CDT / 1:00 pm EDT. 

  • Roundup: Juvenile Justice Reform at a Crossroads
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-justice-reform_old-TVJuvenile Justice Reform in Jeopardy, or Headed for a Golden Age? 


    • The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) may be in trouble, if Congress reauthorizes it without increased funding for states to comply. That could mean that cash-strapped states may opt out, despite its long success and the high marks given to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for the training and technical assistance it provides to support the JJDPA. What would happen in your state, if the federal allocation was reduced or stayed the same? 

  • National Conference on Juvenile and Family Law Seeks Presentation Proposals
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-court_English-judgesGot a great idea for improving outcomes for children, youth, families, and victims who come into contact with the juvenile court?  The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) wants to hear from you.

    NCJFCJ will hold its annual conference next year on March 27-30, 2011, in Reno, Nevada -- and would like you to submit your presentation proposal between now and September 15, 2010. Proposals will be entertained on a broad range of topics, including child abuse and neglect, mental health, delinquency, family law, domestic violence, and substance abuse.

    If you still have questions, contact Diane Barnette via email, or via phone at (775) 784-6012.


  • Juvenile Reentry - BJA Grants for Treating Dual-Diagnosis Youth in Correctional Facilities
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    Grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance are now available to "establish or enhance residential substance abuse treatment programs in correctional facilities that include aftercare and recovery supportive services." Grants may be used to treat teens in juvenile detention.

    Here's the official description:

    FY 2010 Second Chance Act Reentry Demonstration Program Targeting Offenders with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders Program funds may be used for treating co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders in prison programs, jails, and juvenile detention facilities, providing recovery support services, reentry planning and programming, and post-release treatment and aftercare programming in the community.

    Application deadline is June 3, 2010. 

    (Hat tip to the National Reentry Resource Center.)


  • Families are Key to Juvenile Justice Reform
    by VERA INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE

    Drug use among youth is a serious concern that cannot be solved by punishment. So it’s great to see the juvenile justice field increasingly considering and involving families. For example, the New York Governor’s Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice recently published a report that is replete with recommendations underscoring the importance of family. The report, developed with support from my colleagues at Vera’s Center on Youth Justice, reminded me of a comment by Derek Hitchcock of the Michigan Bureau of Juvenile Justice, who said, “We so often institutionalize our kids; any way to get them linking back to the outside is great.”

    Vera’s Family Justice Program shares this goal, which helps drive our work with juvenile justice agencies, guiding them as they integrate family-focused, strength-based tools and methods that benefit incarcerated youth.
     
    Sometimes, facility staff resist the idea of working with families, but it usually doesn’t take long before we’re discussing the benefits. I often just have to ask, “Who is the first person to know when a young person has relapsed?” or “When kids succeed, who celebrates with them?” Even if every family member does not provide support to a young person, identifying those individuals who do is important to the youth’s recovery and well-being.

  • Juvenile Justice System: Juvenile Reentry in Concept and Practice
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    juvenile-justice-system-reentry_slide-from-webinarIn case you missed it, the National Reentry Resource Center hosted an excellent webinar on juvenile entry last month, featuring David M. Altschuler, Ph.D., principal research scientist at the Institute for Policy Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and Shay Bilchik, founder and director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University Public Policy Institute.

    The presentation, titled "Juvenile Reentry in Concept and Practice," defines juvenile reentry; lays out a conceptual framework for thinking about how youth should be reintegrated into the community; identifies the key risk and protective factors that services need to address; how to structure those services; and common obstacles to establishing adequate case management.

    You can find a recording of the webinar and download the PowerPoint presentation at the National Reentry Resource Center's web page devoted to juveniles in the justice system.

     

    Other Posts of Interest



  • 2010 Coalition for Juvenile Justice Conference: Call for Presentations
    by MARK FERRANTE

    juvenile-justice-reform-conference_CJJ-logoThe 2010 Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) conference is fast approaching: it'll be held April 9-13, in Washington, D.C. The theme? "Ensuring School Engagement and Success for Youth At-Risk."

    Interested in presenting? CJJ will be selecting twelve 75-minute presentations for the breakout sessions. You can learn more here. Deadline for presentation proposals is February 19th. 

    Also, we've created a web page about the conference that you can bookmark. It will be updated as more information about registration and the conference agenda becomes available.


  • Supporting Youth Leaving Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare - New Recommendations
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    Youth in transition reportIn part because of research that indicates that the human brain doesn't fully mature until about age 25, we now know that youth who are "connected by 25" -- have sufficient education, employment skills, and a positive social network -- are likely to be successful in life. But youth without such preparation are likely to struggle, at great cost to themselves and to society.


  • When Teens Leave Residential Care: What's Next?
    by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

    Picture of David AltschulerAnyone in the field of juvenile justice or teen treatment knows that youth who return to the community after a period in a secure residential setting are in for a rough ride. Many return to drugs and crime -- even when aftercare is available. 

    According Dr. David Altschuler (see photo), it's not surprising that so many youth fail in aftercare, since the skills they must learn in order to succeed in residential care are not the same skills they need to succeed in the community.