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.”

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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Illinois Supreme Court Makes Landmark Ruling Retroactive
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

In a pivotal case this March, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Illinois prisoners serving life sentences without parole for crimes committed when they were under 18 will receive new sentence hearings. This case arose after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that life without parole for crimes committed by people under the age of 18 was unconstitutional. The next question in line became whether this ruling would apply only to future cases or to those already serving their sentence. Individual states are now figuring that piece of the equation out.

This decision brings hope to the eighty juveniles in Illinois currently serving life without parole sentences and forces judges to take a closer look at who these young offenders really are as their cases are reopened. There has been significant research leading up to this on the principle that “children are different” from adult offenders and that placing life sentences without parole or imposing the death penalty on juveniles is “cruel and unusual.”

A similar decision was reached in California in August 2012 with the Supreme Court ruling in People vs. Caballero. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that life without parole was unconstitutional and could be applied retroactively to defendants who were sentenced as juveniles for a non-homicide offense. The Washington Legislature also passed a bill this year that would allow juvenile offenders serving life sentences to be eligible for a chance at release after 20 years.

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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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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

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The Long-Term Effects of Abuse on Incarcerated Teens; News Roundup
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

Juvenile Justice Reform

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Father Greg Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries, to Speak at 2014 Leadership Institute
by SUSAN RICHARDSON

Each year, Reclaiming Futures fellows from each of the 39 sites are invited to convene for two and a half days to share experiences, exchange information and learn from national experts.

In just one week, Father Greg Boyle, known for being the founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and reentry program in the United States, will speak at the 2014 National Leadership Institute. We couldn’t be more excited!

Father Greg is the author of the New York Times best seller, "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion." He’s been nationally recognized over the past 25 years for his devotion to our most vulnerable populations. In his words:

There is an idea that has taken root in this world, that is at the root of everything that is wrong with this world, and that idea is that some lives matter more than others. At Homeboy Industries, the most important thing that we do is to say: you matter, you count, you are worth something.

The theme of this year’s Leadership Institute, "Embrace the Vision, Advance the Mission, Leave a Legacy," builds upon Father Greg’s inspiring words. At Reclaiming Futures, we’re looking forward to coming together next week to further advance our mission of helping teens overcome drugs, alcohol and crime.

For those who are unable to attend this year’s Leadership Institute, you can follow along on Twitter using #RFutures14. Also, subscribe to the blog and newsletter to stay up-to-date on presentation materials as they become available.

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Upcoming Webinar to Announce Recommendations for Suicide Prevention
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

Suicide is a critical problem for youth in the juvenile justice system. An upcoming webinar, Preventing Suicide Among Justice-Involved Youth: Newly Developed Tools, Recommendations, and Research, will describe a comprehensive set of nine new resources from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System Task Force.

In addition to outlining these new resources, the webinar will also discuss the Juvenile Justice Task Force’s research findings and recommendations for staff working with this vulnerable population, which advance from the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

Alarming facts from the Juvenile Justice Task Force about suicide with youth in the justice system include:

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth in confinement.
  • Over half of youth in the justice system were considering suicide.
  • One-third of youth in the justice system had a history of suicidal behavior.
  • Risk factors for suicide are often more common among youth in the juvenile justice system.
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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

Jobs

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JJIE.org Releases New Digital Magazine Featuring Stories of Key Juvenile Justice Issues
by CECILIA BIANCO

Last week the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange launched a new multimedia digital magazine in celebration of its fourth year of journalism. The new magazine will feature top stories in juvenile justice on key issues including mental health, substance abuse and disproportionate minority contact.

This new magazine platform will combine video, text and photography to offer a multimedia picture of juvenile justice and the complex issues surrounding it. The first issue, released last week, includes the following feature stories:

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Juvenile Justice Bill Clears Ky. Senate; News Roundup
by ASHLEY HEINONEN

Juvenile Justice Reform

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