Blog: Reclaiming Futures

Joint Meeting on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness - Find it on Facebook!

adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment_JMATE-on-Facebook-profileThe Joint Meeting on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness (JMATE) - the only national conference specifically devoted to adolescent substance abuse treatment -- is coming up in December. JMATE has issued a call for papers, registration opens June 1st, and now you can follow JMATE on Facebook.
Reclaiming Futures is one of the co-sponsors, but even if it weren't, I'd be encouraging you to go. I've been to several JMATEs and they were all excellent, informative events. (Also, it's great to be at a treatment conference and never have to ask after a presentation, "Say, does your research apply to teens as well as adults?")

Juvenile Justice Reform Video: Reclaiming Futures Works

Click on the video above to hear the story of one teen struggling with substance abuse in juvenile court at the Reclaiming Futures site in Montgomery County (Dayton), OH, and how Reclaiming Futures made a difference in her life.
Watch it now and share it with your colleagues! It's moving, informative, and extremely well-done.
We're grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) for making the video. Congratulations to Judge Anthony Capizzi and Reclaiming Futures project director Charlotte McGuire and their entire team for all of their great work. 

Reclaiming Futures and Juvenile Drug Courts at CADCA Conference

juvenile-drug-courts_CADCA-logoAre you attending the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) 20th Annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, MD next week?
Come and join us to learn more about how Reclaiming Futures is being implemented through juvenile drug court grants from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
The workshop, titled, "Juvenile Drug Courts:  Building the Model," will give an overview of juvenile drug courts -- their history, challenges, 16 strategies for developing and maintaining them, and current performance measures for success. It will also focus on OJJDP's work to build the juvenile drug court program model through its partnerships with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Reclaiming Futures.
Gwen Williams, MSW, who is a Program manager at OJJDP, will be the primary presenter. She will be joined by Yvonne Sherrer, Community Fellow at the Reclaiming Futures site in Dayton, OH, and Christa Meyers, Project Director at the Reclaiming Futures site in Hocking County, OH
"Juvenile Drug Courts:  Building the Model" will be held on Thursday, February 11th, from 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm, in the room called "National Harbor 4/5."

Reclaiming Futures - the RWJF Grant Results Report

Reclaiming-Futures-juvenile-justice-reform_thick-bookLast month, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released a "grant results report" on the first seven years of Reclaiming Futures.
You can read the summary; useful sidebars, such as the testimony of a teen from Portland, OR before congressional staffers on the importance of Reclaiming Futures in helping her get off meth; or "Lessons Learned" from the project directors of the 10 founding sites.
Go here to access the entire grants results report for an in-depth perspective on how this initiative helps communities improve adolescent substance abuse treatment for youth in the justice system.

11 Things to Do with Teens in the Justice System

juvenile-justice-reform-positive-youth-development-11-activities-teens-jumpingLast week, I featured our top 10 stories on juvenile justice and adolescent substance abuse treatment and 8 great resources to improve adolescent substance abuse treatment.
This week, I'm highlighting posts from our first year to help you focus on creative ways to help teens in the justice system and in recovery learn skills that will help them live crime-free and drug-free lives.
Here's 11 things you can do with teens in your justice system:

8 Great Resources for Improving Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

adolescent-substance-abuse-8-resources-top-of-the-pops-album-coverWant help improving adolescent substance abuse treatment in your community? We've published a lot of excellent resources since we launched this blog a year ago. 
(Yes, we're still celebrating this blog's birthday. Missed our earlier celebration? Check out the list of our top 10 most popular stories on juvenile justice and adolescent substance abuse.)
Here's eight more great posts from our archives, aimed at helping you with teen treatment:

Our Top 10 Stories on Juvenile Justice and Adolescent Treatment - Part 2

Reclaiming-Futures-anniversary-part-2-birthday-cakeYesterday, to celebrate the first anniversary of this blog, we began reposting our top 10 posts from the past year, including one on engaging the families of youth in the juvenile justice system, how to handle confidentiality and consent issues when connecting kids with adolescent substance abuse treatment, and more.
Today, our celebration continues with our top five posts (in reverse order of popularity): 

Our Top 10 Stories on Juvenile Justice and Adolescent Substance Abuse - Part 1

reclaiming-futures-turns-1-birthday-cakeThe Reclaiming Futures blog turns one year old today!
To celebrate a great first year of sharing news, conversation, and resources related to juvenile justice reform, adolescent substance abuse, and (of course) Reclaiming Futures, I've pulled together a list of our top 10 most popular stories.
Today, I'll post five of them, in reverse order of popularity:
#10. Six Tips for Engaging Families in Juvenile Justice System Reform and Advocacy - Involving families is always a struggle for juvenile justice systems. So in this post, Grace Bauer, Field Organizer for the Campaign for Youth Justice, tells you how you can get it done. 

Roundup: Reclaiming Futures in Action; California Mulls Legalizing (and Taxing) Marijuana; and More

juvenile-justice-reform-adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment-news-TVJuvenile Justice Reform Stories

Free Webinar: Anti-Oppressive Practice Basics

What is "Anti-Oppressive Practice"?

It's an emerging framework to advance attention to diversity and social justice in the way community systems and services operate.
In this free webinar, Dr. Laura Nissen and Dr. Ann Curry-Stevens will explain the evolution of cultural competence frameworks and their impact on the fields of substance abuse treatment, justice and others.
The presenters will identify how concepts of oppression, privilege and disparities impact the way in which services are constructed and successes are measured. And finally, the presenters will identify selected tools to increase anti-oppressive practice specific to the Reclaiming Futures initiative.

Nearly $3.7 Million in Federal Funds Awarded to Help New Reclaiming Futures Sites Turn Teen Lives Around

New federal funding has been awarded to expand the Reclaiming Futures model into three more juvenile drug courts across the country over the next four years.
The nearly $3.7 million federal investment was announced by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). RWJF is providing approximately $1 million in additional technical assistance to implement the Reclaiming Futures model.

88 Seconds with Reclaiming Futures in 2014

Ever wonder what juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment will look like in 2014?
We do.
That's why a group of Reclaiming Futures' leaders and allies took time out a couple of weeks ago to ponder how things would look in the juvenile justice system, the adolescent treatment system, within Reclaiming Futures, and in the world at large five years from now (follow the link for more info).  Here's a fun, 88-second video recapping our meeting:

Reclaiming Futures in 2014

Reclaiming-Futures-2014-scenario-planning-meeting-dotsWhat Will Reclaiming Futures Look Like in 2014?

No one knows, of course, not for certain. But a group of people passionately interested in juvenile justice reform and improving adolescent substance abuse treatment -- many of whom were involved in the creation and implementation of Reclaiming Futures -- met recently in Washington, D.C. to make some educated guesses about what's in store.
They also offered their hopes and opinions about what it should look like in five years.

Juvenile Drug Court in Greene County, MO Graduates its First Youth

Reclaiming-Futures-juvenile-drug-court-team-Greene-County-photoThe recipe necessary to reclaim the lives of youth that have penetrated the juvenile justice system begins in our own kitchens. One part parents, one part community, a dash of judicial intervention (to taste) and we have a life that is once again shining and full of promise. 
Case in point: on September 10, 2009, the Greene County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court (JDTC) -- click on the photo at left for a larger view of our team1 -- successfully graduated one of our youth, due to the engagement of the youth and family, the commitment from the JDTC team, and the overall support from the community in Greene County. This commencement represented a very important milestone for a young man who continually demonstrated a willingness to make positive changes in his life.

Nassau County Juvenile Drug Court Celebrates First Graduation

[This article on the juvenile drug court in the Reclaiming Futures site in Nassau County, NY originally appeared, in a longer form in the Spring 2009 issue of the Nassau News, the newsletter of the 10th Judicial District, Nassau County.]
juvenile-drug-court-Warren-and-GeralynOn March 4, 2009, Nassau County, NY held its first Juvenile Drug Treatment Court (JTC) graduation. Three teenagers successfully completed the program.
It was a little overwhelming to think we already had three graduates. When we first talked about creating the program, it had seemed like a logistical impossibility.
And after we got our first participant, there were immediate doubts: What were we thinking? How do we expect to help this kid get off drugs? We’re not equipped. This is never going to work.

Helping Teens in the Justice System: Tapping the Community

The juvenile justice field has been one of the last to accept a strength-based or asset-based community development approach to working with young people and to working with communities to reduce juvenile crime.
However, based on pioneering work on a strength-based bill of rights for juvenile offenders developed by Laura Nissen, Executive Director of Reclaiming Futures and many other asset-based practitioners, the idea of a community development approach to juvenile justice has been slowly taking hold.  

Juvenile Drug Court in Dayton Gets Positive Press

Reclaiming Futures isn't mentioned by name, but its spirit is nicely evoked in this short piece on the juvenile drug court in Dayton, Ohio - one of the original 10 Reclaiming Futures sites. Congratulations, Dayton!
UPDATE: There's also a great 28-photo essay covering the kids' drug court graduation ceremony, and the speech of NBA star Daequan Cook, who came to speak to the graduates

Reclaiming Futures Expands with $2.3 Million Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

reclaiming-futures-funding.jpgBack in March, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) offered $3.6 million for three new Reclaiming Futures sites. Today, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) approved an additional $2.3 million to support those three new Reclaiming Futures sites and provide technical assistance training to the existing 23 sites around the country.

Director of Reclaiming Futures Named Oregon's Social Worker of the Year for 2009

Reclaiming-Futures-director.jpgThis should come as no surprise to anyone who's met her, but Laura Nissen (in photo at left), who directs the Reclaiming Futures national initiative, has been named 2009 Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Oregon Chapter. The award recognizes social workers who have made outstanding contributions to the profession and services provided to Oregon’s individuals, families and communities. 

Reclaiming Futures – Reflections on the Eve of the Leadership Institute

I’m heading to the airport … along with representatives from every Reclaiming Futures community. We’re meeting in New Orleans (see photo at left) this week for our bi-annual Leadership Institute. 
These meetings mark times for both reflection and growth. Anyone who’s been part of the initiative from the beginning can’t help but burst with pride to see what’s been sustained; challenged to see the losses; and deeply humbled by how much remains to be done.
But Reclaiming Futures is not only still here, we’re still growing. We’re now an unprecedented size -- 23 communities representing 15 states and tribes, and excited to welcome three new sites to the RF family this fall.
Our Leadership Institute will feature two keynote speakers who will surely inspire and fuel us for the significant challenges and opportunities ahead: Marian Wright Edelman and Shay Bilchik. Both are visionaries and accomplished change agents by any measure.