A Regional Approach to Helping Native Youth Beat Substance Abuse Addiction
The Indian Health Service funds 11 regional centers across the country that treat Native youth with substance abuse problems. We spoke to Skye Bass, an Indian Health Service (IHS) public health specialist, about the culturally specific approach used by the Youth Regional Treatment Centers.
NCFY: What do the IHS-funded Youth Regional Treatment Centers offer Native youth that can’t be found in other substance abuse treatment centers?
Bass: The Indian Health Service-funded treatment centers are unique due to the fact that emphasis on American Indian and Alaska Native culture is a central component of treatment.
This emphasis is reflected in most, if not all, aspects of programming, including the design and location of the centers; Indian preference in staff hiring; holistic program components, such as family involvement, spiritual ceremonies, and a focus on healing and coping with grief; and finally, the affirmation of cultural identity, norms of sobriety, and personal responsibility to one’s Tribe and community.
Join the 6/26 Twitter Chat on Bullying
On Tuesday, June 26th, the Advancement Project, Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the Alliance for Educational Justice are hosting a Twitter chat on bullying. In particular, they will explore strategies that schools can take to end bullying. They will also discuss zero-tolerance and school-to-prison pipeline policies.
The three organizations are also releasing a policy report on bullying and zero-tolerance disciplinary measures.
To join the conversation, use the #bullychat hashtag on Twitter and RSVP on Facebook for the opportunity to submit questions ahead of time.
New Financing Tool for Social Programs Opens Doors for Juvenile Justice
Identifying the best programs for solving serious social problems is challenging for governments in the best of times, and all the more so in a constrained fiscal environment where every dollar must count. This is particularly true in areas like juvenile justice where the most effective interventions may involve combining approaches that governments currently support through separate funding streams—and where politicians’ personal views may steer disproportionate amounts of funds to programs that sound good on paper but don’t deliver results.
But an innovative new financing tool called Social Impact Bonds may help solve some of these challenges. Social Impact Bonds, or SIBs, take traditional government funding structures and turn them on their head. Instead of paying costs upfront for a prescribed set of services, SIBs allow governments to define outcomes they want to achieve—and not pay a dime if those goals are not met.
At their core, Social Impact Bonds are a straightforward concept. A SIB is an arrangement between one or more government agencies and an external organization where the government specifies an outcome or set of outcomes they want to achieve and promises to pay that external organization a pre-agreed sum if it is able to accomplish the outcome(s). For a SIB agreement to work, the contracting agencies must place few, if any, controls on how the external organization seeks to achieve the outcome. This allows the external organization to use a combination of approaches to achieve the outcome.
Liveblogging Shay Bilchik at PSU: Improving Systemic Coordination and Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System
Shay Bilchik (founder and Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute) is at Portland State University this afternoon to discuss the juvenile justice system. I'll be liveblogging his talk here, so tune in!
"If We Knew Then, What We Know Now: Implications for Juvenile Justice Policy in America"
4:45pm Dr. David Springer (upcoming Dean of PSU's School of Social Work): I've had the pleasure of serving with Shay on a juvenile justice panel in Austin about a year ago, and we're all in for a real treat.
4:50pm Bilchik: We're launching work with Multnomah and Marion counties' juvenile justice systems...
Oregon has demonstrated a vision that shows the possibility of serving children and families in a great way. The multi-system juvenile justice system here is the best in the country.
4:55pm Bilchik: We're primed to build a better and smarter juvenile justice system. It's no longer just the juvenile justice field, youth development field, education fields.. we're now working across systems. As Dr. Laura Nissen says, "these are boundary founders" who are working across multiple fields. To put it simply, we want to provide love, opportunity and hope to the children who come in contact with the juvenile justice system.
5:05pm Bilchik: We need to make sure that none of our children fall through the cracks and too often we don't do that. Too often these kids are without power (living in impoverished communities) and kids of color.
So what would we have done differently if we knew then what we know now?
Takeaways from Oklahoma: Cultural Sensitivity and Evidence-Based Practices Matter
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Reclaiming Futures Cherokee Nation site in Oklahoma. I am especially impressed by how committed the team members are to not only serving the youth of the Cherokee Nation, but also to helping them connect with their cultural heritage.
I had a couple of key takeaways:
- Cultural sensitivity is key: As Treatment Fellow Lori Medina mentions in her video, the Cherokee Nation site has unique cultural challenges in working with local teens. Being able to fully understand and relate to Native American culture has allowed the site to truly connect with troubled kids and make sure they are on the path to rehabilitation and success. There is a particular focus on learning how to make Native American crafts and participating in cultural events, which not only teaches the kids a marketable trade, but also helps them to connect to their heritage and community.
- Evidence-based practices are crucial: Project Director Jennifer Kirby is a big supporter of using evidence-based practices to improve treatment for troubled teens. As Jennifer explains in her video, the Reclaiming Futures model provides them with the tools to better assess troubled youth at intake. This allows them to make better-informed recommendations for treatment and services, which leads to stronger outcomes.
Felony: A response to cigarettes & cell phones in Georgia youth detention
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Georgia bill would make smuggling cell phones, cigarettes into youth detention centers a felony
Smuggling cellphones or cigarettes into a Georgia youth prison would become a felony under a bill approved without opposition Thursday by the Georgia Senate. Under the bill, which still must pass the House of Representatives, violators could be sentenced to up to four years in prison upon conviction.
- Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice conducts comprehensive needs assessment
SurfKy News Group
The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice recently completed an 18-month study of its training academy, thought to be the country’s first comprehensive job task analysis and needs assessment of a juvenile justice training program.
- Los Angeles City Council unanimously approves changes to daytime curfew law
L.A. City Council unanimously voted this morning in favor of changes to the city's daytime curfew law to improve how the city deals with its truant students.
- Opinion: Make youth justice a safer situation
Recent Texas Tribune-New York Times revelations of ongoing safety concerns in Texas' juvenile justice system only confirm what the leading national research shows: Secure juvenile facilities are a taxpayer burden, work against rehabilitation and can make youths' problems worse.
- California Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to end juvenile justice division faces fight San Francisco Chronicle:
A group of criminal justice leaders are preparing to fight a plan by Gov. Jerry Brown to entirely phase out the state's Division of Juvenile Justice over the next three years and return the most violent and troubled youths to county facilities, despite support for the proposal by some experts.
- Recent increases in drug arrests were for possession, not sales
Jeffrey A. Butts
Between 1991 and 2006, arrests for drug sales and manufacturing actually dropped 6 percent while arrests for possession climbed 139 percent. The same pattern was observed for arrests involving offenders of different ages, but the growth in drug possession arrests was sharpest among juveniles.
Adolecscent Substance Abuse Treatment
- Teens driving under the influence of marijuana
Join Together at Drugfree.org
According to a recent study, nearly one in five (19 percent) of teens say they have gotten behind the wheel after smoking marijuana.
New National Poll: Strong Support for Youth Rehabilitation Over Incarceration and More -- News Roundup
- New National Poll: Strong Support for Youth Rehabilitation Over Incarceration
Poll highlights critical and timely information on youth in the justice system, showing overwhelming public support for treatment and rehabilitation of youth over incarceration and automatic prosecution in adult criminal court. This survey, a sample of 1,000 American adults, was commissioned by the Campaign for Youth Justice.
- Sustainability: Impact Beyond Grant Programs
These slides and guides from Pennsylvania State University are very helpful for juvenile justice programs and prevention work. (Hat tip to Paul Savery)
- Feds Tell California Marijuana Dispensaries to Shut Down
U.S. attorneys say they will prosecute landlords who rent space to operators of medical marijuana dispensaries. The attorneys said they suspect these dispensaries of using the state’s medical marijuana law to profit from large-scale drug sales.
Improving State Juvenile Justice Systems and More -- News Roundup
- Why Are All the Black Kids in Special Ed?
Minority students (and especially Black students) are disproportionately diagnosed with disabilities and placed in special education or lowest-level courses. The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia makes the case for seeking a second opinion.
- Lasting Drop in Smoking, Delinquency, Drug Use
Study shows that tenth-graders in towns using Communities That Care, a prevention system developed by University of Washington researchers, are less likely to have tried drinking or smoking compared with teens living in towns that had not adopted the system. Delinquent behavior, including stealing, vandalism and physical fights, decreased too.
- Kids-for-Cash Sentencing Set for November 4
Robert J. Powell, the former co-owner of two juvenile detention centers in Pennsylvania who testified he paid kickbacks to two judges, may serve 21 to 27 months in prison for failing to report a felony and abetting tax evasion.
Fit for Trial in the Juvenile Justice System (and More) -- News Roundup
- Messaging Brief: Human Needs on the National Radar Screen
This brief from the National Human Services Assembly provides a great summary of framing messages effectively to support human services; includes worksheets.
- Video: "What's Your Elevator Speech?"
Youth workers give their best pitches telling viewers what their organization does to help youth -- and why viewers should support it. Thanks to National clearinghouse on Families and Youth.
Your Input Needed: Building an Online Community Supporting Evidence-Based Practices and Quality Improvement in Behavioral Healthcare
To help with this priority, NIATx has launched a new project, the Building a Sustainable National Infrastructure for Research and Dissemination of Improved Behavioral Treatment Practices, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The informal title for this project is “The Network of Practice.”
Its aim? To build an internet-based community focused on adopting evidence-based clinical practices. The resulting tool may include features such as virtual cafes, a step-by-step guide to implementing an evidence-based practice, a library of practical information, and a cost-benefit calculator.
More than 500 organizations have completed an online survey for this project (and that number is growing). You can still complete the survey (which takes about five minutes to complete) by visiting: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/
For more information about the project or to get involved in its development, please contact: