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.”

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events
by DAVID BACKES

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!

Jobs

Events

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Our Most Popular Videos of 2013: Number One
by DAVID BACKES

"What Do Teens in Prison Need to Be Successful?"

Here it is! Our most popular video of 2013. Although this video was created back in 2011, it saw a surge of popularity with the new Netflix show, Orange is the New Black. See some of Piper Kerman's recommendations here, or watch the video in full below. 

Piper Kerman, author of "Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison," shares her perspective on what incarcerated teens need to be successful, based on her own experiences in a federal prison.

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Our Most Popular Videos of 2013: Number Two
by DAVID BACKES

"Reclaiming Futures Stories: Graffiti Artist, Guy, Gives Back"

Our second most popular YouTube video of the year! Through Reclaiming Futures mentors and the support of Snohomish County, a well-known graffiti artist named Guy, in Everett, Washington, gets his life back and creates a public mural.

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How to Help More Young People in 2014
by SUSAN RICHARDSON

Thank you for supporting Reclaiming Futures this year. By improving drug and alcohol treatment and connecting teens to positive activities and caring adults, we have:

  • Helped many young people stay out of trouble with the law,
  • Improved public safety, and
  • Cut the cost of crime to communities.

Whether you are a Reclaiming Futures fellow in one of our 37 sites, or a member of our online community, we appreciate you.

Did you know that 343,000 teens are arrested each year in the United States for drug and alcohol related crimes, yet only one in 16 teens who need treatment receive it?

Please spread the word about Reclaiming Futures' proven six-step model by connecting us to leaders interested in improving outcomes for young people in juvenile detention.  

Improve the way more communities treat kids in the justice system with substance abuse problems by sharing our online resources or by contacting me via email at susan@reclaimingfutures.org or by phone at 503-725-8914. 

We look forward to working with you in 2014 to break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime! 

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Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events
by DAVID BACKES

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!

Jobs

Events

Read More »

Our Most Popular Videos of 2013: Number Three
by DAVID BACKES

"Reclaiming Futures Stories: How an Artist Mentor Helped Natalie"

Through Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County, and the Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR) mentors, Natalie gives up life on the streets to follow her dream of studying photography. This video received the third highest views on our YouTube channel in 2013 and we're excited to share it again.

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Confronting Bias in the Juvenile Justice System; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Black Girls Disproportionately Confined; Struggle for Dignity in Juvenile Court Schools (New Pittsburgh Courier)
    African American girls continue to be disproportionately over-represented among girls in confinement and court-ordered residential placements. They are also significantly over-represented among girls who experience exclusionary discipline, such as out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and other punishment.
  • Teen-Produced Video Highlights Campaign to ‘Raise the Age’ (JJIE.org)
    Last summer, a group of teens enrolled in a program at the New York Center for Juvenile Justice decided to take on what they see as an unfair practice in a recently released video called “Because I’m 16.”
    “Because I’m 16, I can’t drive at night,” a teen says as the video begins. It lists other things you can’t do as a 16-year-old -- drink, smoke, buy a lottery ticket, see an R-rated movie.
  • Reforming the Juvenile Justice System Could Save Hawaii Millions (CivilBeat.com)
    Hawaii is spending nearly $200,000 per bed per year to house juvenile offenders, most of whom got in trouble for non-violent low-level crimes. But the state could save millions of dollars a year by focusing only on the most serious offenders and putting the savings back into the community to help with mental health and substance abuse programs for young offenders, juvenile justice experts say.
  • Confronting Bias in the Juvenile Justice System (JJIE.org)
    In the ABC News video, the white youth and the black youth both appear to be trying to do the same thing: steal a bike in broad daylight in a community park. But the two actors playing thieves, both filmed by hidden cameras at different times, get decidedly different reactions from passers-by.
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How to Help Teens in Detention During the Holidays
by BENJAMIN CHAMBERS

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2010, but we thought you might find it useful.juvenile-justice-system_scraggly-tree-with-one-christmas-bulb-institutional-setting

We know that teens in the juvenile justice system generally have better outcomes when they're connected with their families while they're detained or incarcerated. During the holidays, their feelings of isolation and despair are magnified (and their family members often feel the same way). 

It can make all the difference to have someone remember them during the holidays, and it can be a great opportunity to partner with community organizations. 

Don't know what to do?  Then check out this excellent Holiday Toolkit from the Campaign for Youth Justice. (Be patient - I find the PDF can take a while to load.) It can help you plan:

  • a party or special event at the detention facility (or wherever the youth are locked up);
  • a holiday gift-giving event;
  • a walk-through of the facility by legislators or local policy makers; or
  • a holiday-card campaign.

It's even got sample language for cards, invitations, and a media advisory.  Try it -- and let us know how it goes!

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Informed Journalism: Reporting on Teens and Mental Health
by DAVID BACKES

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) recently hosted a webinar exploring issues around journalism and juvenile justice system. Via JJIE:

Say you've just been assigned to do a story on a 15-year-old kid in trouble with the law. She's got drug problems, she may have mental health issues -- is her story unusual? If her probation officer tells you the girl has been sent to treatment, but it "didn't work," how do you know what questions to ask next?

Get the answers and more in this webinar, where you'll learn about:

  • the actual prevalence of mental health and alcohol and drug issues among young people in the juvenile justice system;
  • why effective treatment is critical to safe communities;
  • how treatment services are funded and regulated;
  • where to go for information about treatment funding and programs in your jurisdiction.

About the presenter: Benjamin Chambers is a writer and editor specializing in juvenile justice who currently works as communications specialist for the National Juvenile Justice Network. Prior to that, he spent seven years working for the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice in Portland Oregon, where he directed the local Reclaiming Futures project.

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Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events
by DAVID BACKES

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!

Jobs

Events

Read More »