Blog: No bio box

Bureau of Justice Statistics Releases 2013 School Crime and Safety Report

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, in collaboration with the National Center for Education Statistics, has released "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013."
This annual report provides the most recent data on school crime and student safety based on a variety of sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, principals, and postsecondary institutions.
Each topic covered in the report has a dedicated section containing a set of indicators that aim to describe a distinct aspect of school crime and safety.
Key Topics:
•Victimization at school
•Teacher injury
•Bullying and cyberbullying
•School conditions
•Fights and weapons
•Student use of drugs and alcohol
•Student perceptions of personal safety at school
Key Findings:

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Judge Anthony Capizzi & Montgomery County Ohio Reclaiming Futures Day

This past Sunday, we recognized the inspiring work of the Montgomery County Ohio Reclaiming Futures site and the leadership of Judge Anthony Capizzi. Their tireless work to reclaim our youth serves as an example to communities across the country. This is truly a group effort, supported by community leaders, treatment providers, court staff, faith community, parents' advisory board and the youth.
Over the past two months, the team has recruited 30 new natural helpers, with another 22 currently in the application process. Sunday's event was a huge success, bringing together local pastors and churches, and helped spark even more interest! Roma Stephens, Reclaiming Futures community fellow, said of the event, "The interesting thing about this type of event is that the total effect is actually immeasurable and ongoing beyond the day of the event. I believe the pastors who were there will cause a tsunami effect."
The proclamation below serves as a reminder of how important our natural helpers and supporters are in this effort.
June 29, 2014
Whereas, Judge Anthony Capizzi has led the Montgomery County Ohio Reclaiming Futures team for over a decade, an exemplary and leading site among the Reclaiming Futures initiative,
Whereas, Judge Capizzi serves as the Judicial Faculty and Trainer for Reclaiming Futures across the country,
Whereas, Judge Capizzi serves tirelessly on a national level with several organizations including the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the United States Department of Justice’s Global Justice Information Sharing Committee, and on the state level with the Ohio Judicial College, as the chair of the Ohio Juvenile Judges Curriculum Committee, and as the former President of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Juvenile Court Judges Association,
Whereas, Judge Capizzi has held leadership positions in various government, civic, and professional organizations that focus on family and children’s issues over the past 35 years,
Whereas, Judge Capizzi has empowered his team to share their expertise with other courts and communities across the country to reclaim the lives of youth,
Whereas, the entire Reclaiming Futures Montgomery County Ohio team has significantly contributed to the development and spread of Reclaiming Futures across the country as a model for the nation,
Whereas, we believe we can reclaim youth in Montgomery County, Ohio, with your help, in any way large or small, as natural helpers or supporters,
We therefore declare June 29, 2014 as Judge Anthony Capizzi and Montgomery County Ohio Reclaiming Futures Day in recognition of their outstanding and dedicated work to children and to the outstanding county-wide community that supports their efforts.
Duly adopted this 25th day of June 2014
- Susan J. Richardson, National Executive Director

OP-ED: Always Learning How to be a Better Mentor

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on and is reprinted with permission.
Role: Mentor, Status: In Progress
It’s nearing 8:30 p.m. on a Thursday. A gorgeous 4-month-old girl with beautiful brown eyes and cocoa skin is monopolizing my time.
“London is 14 pounds now,” Danielle says. “The doctor says she’s thriving.”
Danielle, the real focus of my visit, is London’s mother and my mentee. Before we were matched nearly eight years ago, I was provided four details: She was 15 years old, lived in a group home, had anger management issues and was an avid reader. I’d taught teenagers, supervised a group home, instructed English to kids with anger management issues and loved to read since childhood. As much as a “soul mate mentee” could exist, Danielle was mine. My goals were to spend quality time with her and help her if I could.
Quality time has been everything from an evening at the movies to catching up while helping her move. Help has ranged from finding her a tutor to securing her a place to live. Through a friend, I found her housing after she returned from a semester of college at her dream school that left her saddled with debt. I felt relief but Danielle was crushed. The facility was a transitional group home and for someone who had clawed her way to Spelman through a rotation of high schools and more than 20 housing situations while in foster care, it felt as if her perseverance had been in vain; like it was punishment for completing her first year of college.
As is her way, she stuck it out and then created a better solution for herself. Danielle’s fierce independence has been one of the most rewarding and frustrating aspects of mentoring her. She often felt counted and tracked but rarely valued. At times, I worried if I contributed to this feeling. There is no roadmap to being a good mentor and although we “matched” in key demographics — black, female, born and raised in South L.A. — our 13-year age difference meant we were in very different stages of life. When I endured my own personal upheavals or transitioned into more demanding and time consuming employment, I remained within reach but did a poor job of initiating contact.
In the interim, Danielle kept inching forward. She did things on her own and alternately took my advice and disregarded it. I would vent my frustration at the latter but most of it was reserved for me. Was there something I could be doing that would make her take my more crucial advice seriously?
Somewhere along the way, I stopped making what she did or did not do a reflection of my mentoring and just loved her for who she was and whoever she was becoming. Today, Danielle is juggling her own apartment, re-enrolling as a junior in college and securing new employment. Between motherhood and a budding parental partnership with the child’s father, she has ventured into a life role that is divorced from my firsthand experience. While she has grown and matured as a young woman, I’ve had to improve as a mentor. I was never a replacement for her parents and learned through trial and error that I couldn’t be.
Being a mentor has made me aware that my role in her life has value but also limits. I am not a martyr, a savior or a caretaker to Danielle. I cannot give her what others owe her (a safe and secure childhood), but I can help her better navigate the life she does have. A purposeful mentor understands this, accepts it and reinforces it.
Yet old habits die hard. As I hold her daughter, I have concerns. How will she navigate being a mother? Like anyone else, she’ll use the cherished and terrifying experience of her own childhood to inform but not dictate her parenting. Danielle has been through hell and back, so she is uniquely qualified to protect her daughter from nightmares that most of us couldn’t even conjure up.
Of course there is much more to Danielle’s story, but it is not my job or my right to tell it. A good mentor understands this most of all. I’m not writing her story. I’m just helping with some of the more critical edits.

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Drug Courts at Annual Conference

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) celebrated the 25th anniversary of Drug Courts with its historic 20th annual training conference in Anaheim, California. NADCP is a national nonprofit founded in 1994 by pioneers from the first twelve Drug Courts in the nation, and the preeminent source for comprehensive training and cutting-edge technical assistance to the entire Drug Court field.
From May 28-31, more than 4,500 justice and treatment professionals from across the globe came to celebrate and participate at the 20th annual training conference. This conference remains the world’s largest that focuses on substance abuse, mental health and criminal justice.
Celebrities in attendance included legendary actor Joaquin Phoenix, All Rise Ambassadors Matthew Perry and Martin Sheen, and Grammy Album of the Year winner Paul Williams.
Whether you were in Anaheim or not, the NADCP invites you to check out program handouts and conference materials, watch videos of the star-studded Opening and Closing ceremonies—including the always gripping Parade of Transformation—and browse thousands of pictures.

States Tackle Juvenile Justice Reform; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

Topics: News, No bio box

Tomorrow: Aberdeen, WA Rocks Out for Community Addiction Awareness

Editor's note: this article originally appeared on Rockers In Recovery
Summer is finally here, the grills have all burned off some burgers and dogs, and concert season is in the air. Two synonymous signs of summer are that heat and music both on the rise. Once car windows roll down, and music pours out, it’s time to start the concerts.
Rockers In Recovery(RIR) is kicking off the concert tour season this June 27, 2014 in Aberdeen, Washington, where the RIR East Coast All-Stars, Current Musical Director Lou Esposito (Joe Walsh) will be rockin’ the west coast, in addition to Casey Montana Rogers making her grand debut.
The Director of the band engages the RIR All-Star five-piece band with the help of their Musical Contributors. The Directors then rotate in and out three Musical Contributors on each show based on their availability. This makes for a new experience each time you see the band and NOT JUST THE SAME OLD, SAME OLD.
Unconditional support is paramount in recovery. It isn’t just the addict who is in program, it is the whole family. Addiction hits us all, which is why we all need to celebrate together, because each person is as significant as the other. All of the concerts are free and open to the public because recovery is fun and meant for everyone to understand and share what it is about – unconditional love and support between the recovering addicts and the families and friends.

[VIDEO] The System of Care in Clayton County (Atlanta Metro), Georgia

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently published a short video detailing the system of care in Clayton County, Georgia, designed to support young men of color from dropping out of school and becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. From RWJF: “[Clayton County has] partnered with local organizations, juvenile courts, and school districts to provide comprehensive services to help young males achieve in the classroom, develop career goals and make healthy decisions.”
This system of care aligns well with the Reclaiming Futures model, focusing on engaging the community at large, and the services available within, to help teens make better decisions and develop into healthy adults.
See the video below for more:

Center of Juvenile Justice Reform Welcomes Applicants for the 2014 Multi-System Integration Program

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University‘s McCourt School of Public Policy has announced that applicants will now be accepted for the 2014 Multi-System Integration Program through July 25, 2014.
The Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Multi-System Integration Certificate Program is a weeklong program of intensive study designed for those who want to improve outcomes for crossover youth—defined as children and youth who are known to multiple systems of care, particularly juvenile justice and child welfare.
The Multi-System Integration Certificate Program was created to achieve the following goals:
•Bring together current and future leaders to increase knowledge about multi-system reform efforts related to crossover youth
•Improve the operation of organizations in serving this population
•Provide an opportunity for the development of collaborative leadership skills
•Create a mutually supportive network of individuals across the country committed to systems reform
The Crossover Youth Practice Model, developed by the CJJR in response to the growth in knowledge of crossover youth, will be used throughout the program to illustrate specific values, standards, evidence-based practices, policies, procedures and quality assurance processes that must be in place within a jurisdiction in order to implement or improve practices that directly affect the outcomes for crossover youth.

Concerns Grow About Medical Marijuana's Impact on Teens; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Baltimore’s Newly Approved Youth Curfew Among Strictest in Nation (JJIE)
    Baltimore’s newly approved youth curfew will provide an effective way to keep kids off the streets late at night, making them less likely to become victims or perpetrators of violence. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said: "I am not willing to gamble on the lives of our children. ... This is about taking them out of harm's way."
  • Webinar Next Thursday: PDSA - The AAA Method for Change (Reclaiming Futures)
    Next Thursday's webinar will address process improvement when implementing a new evidenced based practice, improving staff retention, engaging meaningful family and youth participation, or improving interagency communications.
  • Juvenile Recidivism Measurement Inconsistent Across States (JJIE)
    “You get what you measure. If you’re not measuring something or if you’re unable to measure it, you don't know if your policies, programs and practices are having the intended impact,” said Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • West Virginia to Study Juvenile Justice System (
    West Virginia is joining the Pew Charitable Trusts to study its juvenile justice system and find better ways to keep youthful offenders out of detention centers.

Topics: News, No bio box

Hardin County’s Second Annual 5K Run for Recovery

On Saturday, May 24, 2014, Reclaiming Futures Hardin County hosted their second annual Run for Recovery, one of their premier fundraisers for the Hardin Community School and Reclaiming Futures. 135 participants gathered in Kenton, Ohio to support the 5K Run/Walk & Kids Dash. Many more people supported the cause by volunteering for the event and cheering for the participants during the race.

They were able to raise $5,300 ($3,450 after expenses) in contributions which will be used for projects and activities for Hardin County youth in recovery. Khrystal Wagner, Project Director, shared that "having an event like this to bring the community together in support of recovery from mental illness, substance abuse and school credit recovery is exciting and gives me hope that our youth will have sustained support and guidance."
Leaha Archer, Community Fellow and event organizer, said that they had 30 groups/organizations sign up to support the 5K. State Representative Robert Sprague was a new sponsor this year and expressed his interest in increasing his level of sponsorship next year. Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and Kenton Police Department provided safe conditions for the runners and walkers. Hardin Community School 4-H Club signed up for this event as their 4-H service project. Over 40 members assisted by picking up donations and race items, stuffing the participant goody bags, making signage and volunteering for race day.

A few of the youth from Hardin Community School interviewed participants before the race began and when asked “How do you feel about the 5K?," respondents said “I’m excited, ready to run” (Shyla), “It’s going to be fun” (Trevor), “I am glad to see all you guys running it and not me!” (Judge Christopher, Judicial Fellow) and “I feel like I’m going to need a few waffle tacos after this!” (Amanda). When asked the question, “Do you think you are going to win the 5K?," the interviewees stated “Nope, just out here to have fun” (Mark, Community Fellow) and “No, I’m going to do the best I can. I’m not a good runner, my goal is 30 minutes” (Julian).
Tabatha Longeway, a member of Reclaiming Futures Montgomery County, drove from Dayton, Ohio to participate in the 5K with her friend Debbie Beinhart and stated “what a joy to see the overwhelming camaraderie and enthusiasm from the individuals who came out to support the youth of their community. Very uplifting and I can’t wait to come back next year!”
Highlights from the event, including pictures, race results and list of sponsors can be seen on Hardin Community School’s Facebook Page.

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Webinar Next Thursday: PDSA - The AAA Method for Change

Rapid Cycle Testing is a Plan-Do-Study-Act Method to Adapt, Adopt or Abandon a Change in Practice

June 24, 1-2pm PT
Register >>
When implementing change within a System of Care we often discover processes that aren’t working the way we intended them to. With no ill intent, what we do within our system can be ineffectual or even harmful to those that we serve. I believe that we all can agree with the adage that if we continue to do things the way we’ve always done them….we will continue getting the same results.
Next Thursday's webinar is designed to walk you and your system partners through a simple process improvement method that will easily become a part of your agencies/entities quality improvement and quality assurance practices. It can address process improvement when implementing a new evidenced based practice, improving staff retention, engaging meaningful family and youth participation, improving interagency communications and anywhere you discover a need for improvement!
During the webinar time will be set aside for participants to share questions and answers in order to better understand the use of rapid cycle testing within their system of care efforts.
Dr. Edwards Deming, who was trained as a mathematical physicist delivered management trainings, consultation, lectures and writings during the 1940s - 1990s that encouraged the adoption of certain management principles so that organizations can increase quality and simultaneously reduce costs (by reducing waste, duplication, staff turnover, and increase customer loyalty). He described the key to this as being the practice of continual improvement and thinking of what we do as a system, and not as bits and pieces. This method has spread beyond manufacturing to be used within the human service field including medical settings, educational institutions, judicial settings and behavioral health providers. It is useful for any one who wants to improve on what they do in order to achieve the best results.
Borrowing from Deming’s work we use the rapid cycle testing method through the steps of plan, do, study (or check) and act. This simple method is valuable throughout the development, improvement and scaling up or spread of successful processes, practices and interventions.
Register Today >>

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Forsyth County’s Juvenile Drug-Treatment Court Celebrates First Graduates

Forsyth County’s juvenile drug-treatment court celebrated its first three graduates in April. The Forsyth County juvenile drug-treatment court started in January 2013 and is geared toward nonviolent youths ages 12 to 16 who have substance abuse problems and have been sentenced to probation in juvenile court.
The goal of the program is to give participants a chance at a better life, ultimately reducing recidivism. Juanita Campbell, grandmother of one of the graduates, celebrated the program for this mission:
“I thank God for this program because I don’t want to give him to the streets,” Campbell said. “I don’t want to bury him. I don’t want him to spend 30 years in prison.”
Participants are required to remain in school, perform 25 hours of community service, and are subject to random drug testing. It typically takes nine to 15 months to graduate from the program, with assessments every 90 days to monitor the teens’ progress.
Forsyth County Court works with the local Reclaiming Futures to carry out assessments. Jemi Sneed, project director of Reclaiming Futures, said all participants are assessed to determine what type of substance abuse and other treatment they need, and then directed to the most appropriate treatment.

Officers Get Mental Health Crisis Training; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

Topics: News, No bio box

“Scary Mary” Presiding: Dateline NBC Takes an In-Depth Look at Drug Courts

On Sunday, NBC’s Dateline aired an in-depth look at Mercer County, Michigan’s drug courts. The piece, featuring Adult and Juvenile Drug Court Judge “Scary Mary” Chrzanowski, followed the stories of three individuals, whose addictions landed them in drug court, for an entire year.
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) further explains why this riveting piece is so important:

While the story is a profile of just one of over 2,800 Drug Courts in the United States, it underscores two important issues critical to the public’s understanding of all Drug Courts. First, the individuals profiled in the piece, no matter their original charge, were given the option of Drug Court because they were assessed and shown to meet the clinical criteria for drug-dependence. Once they were admitted, the Drug Court team worked tirelessly to keep them in the program and deal with relapse and other issues that arose along the way.

Dateline will post the full episode here later this week. For now you can watch and share select clips on NBC’s website, or watch the teaser below.

Graduation Celebration in Montgomery County, Ohio

As many students graduated across the county in May and June, the Honorable Anthony Capizzi congratulated youth during a different kind of commencement. On May 15, 2014, Montgomery County Juvenile Court celebrated the journey to sobriety of 15 youth along with their families. Judge Capizzi indicated that for some youth and families, the journey was lengthy with many obstacles; for others, the goal of completing Drug Court was swift and certain. Regardless of the path traveled by youth to their graduation date, Judge Capizzi, the Drug Court case managers and counselors never gave up on them. More importantly, the youth and families never gave up on themselves. Two families gave testimonials that Montgomery County Juvenile Drug Court not only facilitated their children’s sobriety but also directly impacted or led to the parents’ sobriety at the same time.
Singer/community activist Vaughn Anthony Stephens was the guest speaker for graduation. Vaughn Anthony has traveled the world singing background for his brother, John Legend. He has also performed solo and collaborated with stars such as Rick Ross, Robin Thicke, Ghostface, Estelle and many others. Currently Vaughn Anthony is launching his own non-profit corporation, the “Be About it Movement,” in his hometown of Springfield, Ohio. Vaughn Anthony provided an inspirational and encouraging message for youth to remain disciplined and focused on their sobriety.
As a special surprise for graduation, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor sent representatives to recognize the accomplishments of Montgomery County’s Drug Court youth. Assistant Senior Policy Advisors Angie Lee and Lisa Hayes presented all graduating youth with Certificates of Achievement signed by Governor Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Taylor. A special recognition was also presented to Judge Anthony Capizzi for his commitment to Drug Court and the youth of Montgomery County. The Resolution presented to Judge Capizzi from Governor Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Taylor recognizes his unwavering support of the Drug Court program.
The Montgomery County Juvenile Drug Court, led by Judge Anthony Capizzi, the Drug Court case managers and staff, and the families and friends of the youth in the program are commended for their work to make their community a safer place to live, work and raise a family.

New Online Database Monitors Juvenile Justice System Change

The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) and Models for Change —a MacArthur Foundation initiative—have released a new online database that will allow policy makers, advocates, researchers and the media to chart nationwide change in juvenile justice policy, practices, and statistics.
This powerful new tool, called the Juvenile Justice GPS (JJGPS - Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics), is a website that monitors juvenile justice system change by examining state laws and juvenile justice practice, combined with the most relevant state and national statistics.
The JJGPS is the first of its kind and will provide a much fuller national and historical overview of the juvenile justice system. It was created with the purpose of increasing clarity on critical issues and encouraging reform.
Director of the NCJJ Melissa Sickmund believes the JJGPS will prove to be an invaluable resource in the years ahead:
“We hope that policy makers will use the information to see where they stand, and when they realize what other states have accomplished, be inspired to make improvements in their own systems.”
The JJGPS will be organized in six main sections, starting with the jurisdictional boundaries section, which includes all laws that transfer juvenile offenders to the criminal court to be tried as adults: