By Benjamin Chambers, August 11 2010
Want to help kids in the justice system? Just ask juvenile probation officers what the kids on their caseloads need to be successful. They'll give you a list -- but a surprisingly short one.
Two of the items on everyone's list: helping teens stay in school or find a job. But these can be a challenge for young adults in the juvenile justice system. Youth of color often face the biggest barriers - helping them in these two areas could impact rates of disproportionate minority contact (DMC).
Here's two publications from Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) that might help:
- Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study. It's not exactly a sexy title, especially if, like me, you don't know what "sectoral employment" is. But "sectoral employment" is pretty straightforward: industry-specific training programs are created to prepare unemployed and underskilled workers for skilled positions and connect them with employers who have vacancies. And that's good news.
The results of P/PV's study?
"This random assignment study showed that program participants in sector-focused job training programs earned about $4,500—18 percent—more than the control group over the course of the study and $4,000—29 percent—more in the second year alone. Study participants were also more likely to find employment, work more consistently, work in jobs that paid higher wages, and work in jobs that offered benefits. These findings held for a number of subgroups, including African Americans, Latinos, formerly incarcerated individuals and young adults."
- Recruiting and Retaining Older African American and Hispanic Boys in After-School Programs: What We Know and What We Still Need to Learn. The title almost says it all on this one. Based on a literature review and interviews with 10 after-school programs, it identifies promising strategies for recruiting and retaining middle- and high-school-aged African-American and Hispanic males into after-school programs.
- Helping boys who've had contact with the juvenile justice system may be more important than ever. Follow the link to find out why.
- The Urban Institute published a paper of proven strategies for improving education and employment for young men (see the third bullet).
Updated: February 08 2018