Addiction to alcohol and other drugs impacts more than 85 million Americans. This growing problem has sparked a coast-to-coast addiction and recovery awareness campaign: UNITE to Face Addiction.
Susan Richardson has recently announced her plans to leave the position of national executive director of Reclaiming Futures to return to her home state of North Carolina, and we are grateful for her years of excellent leadership. Yesterday, Reclaiming Futures appointed Mr. Evan Elkin as national executive director, effective May 11, 2015.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and there are many ways to get involved to help create awareness and encourage individuals and families to get help for alcohol-related problems.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month every April since 1987 and provides all the information and resources you’ll need to support this cause.
The theme for this year’s 2015 NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month was chosen to highlight the pervasive impact that alcohol, alcohol-related problems and alcoholism have on individuals, on families and children, in the workplace and in our communities: "For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction."
The NCADD provides many resources that help bring light to this issue and we are all encouraged to share them widely:
Local NCADD Affiliates as well as schools, colleges, churches, and countless other community organizations will sponsor a host of activities to support this cause.
Many organizations have already joined in and are doing their part to raise awareness, including the following:
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- Theme, History, Stigma and Links to Additional Resources
- Sample Proclamation
- Sample Media Advisory and News Release
- Sample PSA scripts
- Sample Op-Ed Newspaper article
- Sample Letter to Editor
- Suggested Grassroots Community Activities: States, Communities, Schools,
- Students, Colleges, Media, Religious Organizations and Parents
For more information, visit the NCADD website.
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!
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University‘s McCourt School of Public Policy has announced that the application window for the 2015 Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program is now open through May 15, 2015.
The Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program, held August 3-7, 2015, is an intensive training designed to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems. The program is operated jointly by the Georgetown Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Center for Children's Law and Policy.
The three primary goals of the certificate program are to help jurisdictions reduce:
- Overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system;
- Disparate treatment of youth of color as compared to white youth within the juvenile justice system; and
- Unnecessary entry and movement deeper into the juvenile justice system for youth of color.
Through the examination of the key decision points in the juvenile justice system, the program’s curriculum provides participants a better understanding of the disparate treatment of youth of color may be experiencing as compared to white youth within the juvenile justice system.
The program will also focus on the relationship between disproportionality in the juvenile justice system and disparate treatment in other child serving systems, including child welfare and education.
After completing the program, participants will be responsible for the development of a capstone project – a set of actions each participant will design and undertake within their organization or community to initiate or continue collaborative efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system.
Visit the CJJR website where you will find further information about the program, including how to apply, tuition, and available subsidies for those with financial need. Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth violence in the U.S. is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24—one of the many reasons National Youth Violence Prevention Week seeks to educate students, teachers, school staff, parents, and the public on effective ways to prevent or reduce youth violence.
Taking place next week, March 23-27, 2015, Youth Violence Prevention Week is founded by The National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE). The initiative kicks off with the 15th SAVE Summit March 21, and expands nationally next week to encourage communities to host events and workshops engaging students in the fight to stop shootings, bullying and other violence in our schools using the planning tools and resources in SAVE’s Action Kit.
According to SAVE, violence in schools has become devastatingly common in the United States (statistics sourced from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention):
- On average, 1,642 young people 10 to 24 years old had physical assault injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments EVERY DAY last year.
- Between 20 and 33 percent of U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. 70 percent of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.
- Only about 20 to 30 percent of students who are bullied notify adults.
- About 17 percent of high school students in 2013 reported taking a weapon to school.
During the week of March 23-27, SAVE will offer activity ideas for schools and community organizations across the country to host events educating youth on the potential of their positive impacts on their communities. Below are a list of events produced by SAVE and its sponsors:
- Monday, March 23: Promote Respect and Tolerance day is hosted by Teaching Tolerance, an organization dedicated to reducing prejudice and supporting equitable school experiences for children. Schools can hold a cultural day to celebrate activities, dress and customs from groups around the world.
- Tuesday, March 24: Manage Your Anger, Don’t Let It Manage You day is hosted by the American School Counselor Organization, which supports school counselors' focus on student development. This day challenges students to create signs or codes to use to communicate when they are angry so they do not let it get out of control.
- Wednesday, March 25: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully day is hosted by the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network, which aims to ensure each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Students can observe conflicts and engage in group discussions to find effective ways to resolve them.
- Thursday, March 26: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully day is hosted by the School Safety Advocacy Council, which provides training to school districts, law enforcement agencies and school safety professionals. School administrators will be challenged on this day to conduct a survey to assess students’ perceptions of safety during the school day and ask for suggestions to improve.
- Friday, March 27: Unite in Action day is hosted by Youth Service America, which increases the number and the diversity of volunteer opportunities for youth around the globe. To wrap up the week, a final challenge will work to “beautify” the school or community by cleaning up graffiti/vandalized areas.
Visit the National Youth Violence Prevention Week website for an activity planning guide, as well as suggested ideas targeted at specific audiences involved in young people’s lives (ie: parents, school, senior citizens, law enforcement, medical services, etc.)
Though alcohol and marijuana top the charts as the two most-abused substances by young people, synthetic drugs—the highly-addictive and highly-threatening substances—are still popular and easily accessible.
Two Webinars Addressing Synthetic Drugs
Beginning April 8, the Office of National Drug Control Policy will host two webinars to discuss the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids (“Spice”) and cathinones (“Bath Salts”), and to provide details on Federal and local efforts to confront these threats. The first webinar, featuring representatives from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration, will introduce these substances, and share insight into the manufacturing, distribution and health risks associated with synthetic drugs. It will also explain the Federal regulatory provisions and enforcement actions. The webinar will take place on Thursday, April 8, from 1-2 p.m. ET. To register, click here.
The second webinar, taking place later this month, will highlight case studies that demonstrate successful community initiatives to prevent use and distribution of synthetic drugs. Watch for details on the second webinar in the next issue of ONDCP’s E-Newsletter Update. Sign up here.
Some Good News: Usage is Declining
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, use of spice products (sometimes called “synthetic marijuana”) is declining, with 5.8 percent of 12th graders using the substance in 2014, compared to 7.9 percent in 2013 and 11.3 percent in 2012. And, less than one percent of 8th, 10th and 12th graders combined use cathinones (“Bath Salts”), which have been reported to result in sometimes violent behavior and even death.
It’s easy to see these low percentages and think that these synthetic drugs aren’t cause for concern, but in fact the impact of these scarcer drugs can have greater negative impacts on young people’s futures. Webinars like this ONDCP series are instrumental in informing mental health and juvenile justice professionals on the latest medical information related to new drugs, which can inform treatment programs on how to adapt to best serve youth.
To register for this webinar, click here.
The most recently available national data tells us that more than 116,000 status offense cases were processed in court in 2011, and young people in more than 8,000 of those cases spent time in a detention facility.
While status offenses are non-criminal in nature, they can often jumpstart a cycle in the juvenile justice system that organizations and groups like The Status Offense Reform Center (SORC) believes can be stopped with the right means.
The SORC has a mission to “help policymakers and practitioners create effective, community-based responses for keeping young people who commit status offenses out of the juvenile justice system and safely in their homes and communities.”
In recognizing how challenging transforming a complex and long-lived system can be, the SORC developed a toolkit to help pave a course ahead for those in positions of authority: A Toolkit for Status Offense Reform. The toolkit addresses many common questions state and local officials have when attempting to make changes to this system:
- Who should be involved?
- What should our new system look like?
- How will we know if it’s effective?
Additionally, there are four sections, or “modules,” included in the toolkit that tackle four key areas to help make the positive changes necessary to divert youth from the system:
This module describes how to productively engage stakeholders in a system change effort.
This module describes how to use data to conduct an assessment of your system.
This module describes how to develop and implement a well-informed plan for system change that can be sustained over the long term.
This module describes how to monitor, assess, and modify your reform plan following its implementation.
For more information, explore the SORC website which includes a library of case studies of successful system reforms in different areas to help determine potential roadblocks and how to overcome them.
Image from SORC website
On March 4, 2015 at 3 p.m. EST, the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) will host a webinar for juvenile justice professionals sharing best practices for protecting youth confidentiality. This includes recommendations for making the process of sealing and expungement accessible to youth. The consequences of poor confidentiality results in obstacles for youth in areas of employment, education and housing.
According to the co-sponsors, you will learn two key takeaways from this webinar:
- Recommendations to protect your state's youth, drawn from the Juvenile Law Center's recent report - Juvenile Records: A National Review of State Laws on Confidentiality, Sealing and Expungement
- Examples from the work that Delaware Center for Justice (a NJJN member) has been doing to improve expungement laws in their state, and how they are addressing challenges and obstacles.
In order to best protect juvenile justice-involved youths and improve outcomes for them in the future, it’s necessary to take these extra steps and follow best practices for confidentiality.
- Protecting the Confidentiality of Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth: Access to Records, Expungement, and Sealing
- When: Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 at 3 PM EST
- Riya Saha Shah - Staff Attorney at Juvenile Law Center.
- Kirstin Cornnell - Director of Operations at the Delaware Center for Justice.
- Register here
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), enacted in 1974 and reauthorizedin 2002, has made strides in setting standards for state and local juvenile justice systems, and providing state funding, training and evaluation. This important legislation and its reauthorizations have continued to protect youth, increase access to prevention and treatment services, and reduce transfers to the adult criminal justice system.
Though JJDPA has remained strong, the juvenile justice field has evolved in a way that requires the legislation to evolve and adapt.
On February 15, 2015, The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) will host a webinar addressing this. “The JJDPA: Updating Federal Law to Reflect New Reforms” will bring together national leaders in juvenile justice and policymakers, including CJJ, the executive director for Juvenile Law Center, and the Office of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
CJJ states, “Please join us for an overview of how this legislation has helped drive reform at the state and local levels. We will also discuss how we can help ensure that federal policy reflects the new knowledge, advancements, and promising practices from the field, and how a reauthorized JJDPA might change the future landscape of juvenile justice practice.”
This webinar will be valuable for juvenile justice professionals, policymakers, advocates and allies in the fields of juvenile justice to understand how the federal landscape of juvenile justice may evolve.
- What: The JJDPA: Updating Federal Law to Reflect New Reforms
- When: February 5, 2015 at 3:00pm ET
- Hosted by: CJJ and the National Juvenile Justice Network.
- Register: Register here
Candid conversation and community events will be the focal points of National Drug Facts Week Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2015. A national health observance led by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Drug Facts Week seeks to work with teens to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse.
NIDA encourages schools, community groups, sports clubs, hospitals and other interested organizations to host an event in your community, supported by a robust collection of resources and interactive tools provided by NIDA on its website. The website is even designed with teen-friendly language and graphics to make it easy for teens to also take action and host events among their peers.
NIDA is also hosting a Drug Facts Chat Day on January 30. The online chat will facilitate conversation between high school students and NIDA scientists, so students from around the country can comfortably ask questions they most want answered, knowing that these expert scientists will give them the facts.
At Reclaiming Futures, we believe in the power of facilitating productive conversation with teens about substance use. It helps to illuminate their needs and identifies ways that parents, family members, educators and health professionals can be supportive in paving a healthy and substance-free future.
Our new pilot project, an adaptation of Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), is an early intervention framework built around a motivational conversation with youth at risk of juvenile justice involvement. We will train front line staff in juvenile justice diversion settings to use screening tools and brief follow up sessions to tailor a treatment response that matches with the youth's level of need and motivation.
Like National Drug Facts Week, this new SBIRT approach seeks to support teens with substance use questions and habits through motivational conversations with health experts. We’re happy to support NIDA’s efforts, and encourage you to share this opportunity.
Visit the National Drug Facts Week website to learn how to host your own community event.
Due to the connection between ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) and juvenile justice system involvement, it has become increasingly important that the system become more trauma-informed in its processes.
The term ACEs refers to childhood abuse, neglect, and general household dysfunction that negatively affects a child’s development. To improve the treatment of young people impacted by ACEs in the juvenile justice system, there is an ongoing effort to increase knowledge of trauma-informed care and how it can improve systems in health, justice and education.
Communities like ACEs Connection, which work to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and to change systems to stop traumatizing already traumatized people, are already paving the way to combat this problem in the future.
The latest resource to support these efforts is a new tool created by JBS International and Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health. These two organizations came together to build a free online tool called “Trauma Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources” that provides insights and resources for those who want to be more trauma-informed.
The tool includes the following to allow users to take advantage of existing research, knowledge, practices, and approaches that have already shown to be effective in addressing trauma:
- Video interviews of national, state, tribal, and local leaders in many child-serving systems; developers of evidence-based treatments and practices; physicians; researchers; administrators of provider organizations; clinicians; youth and young adults; families; and advocates who share lessons learned and identify remaining gaps.
- Issue briefs that provide an introduction and overview for each of the tool’s eight modules.
- Comprehensive resource lists to support users in understanding how to build trauma-informed systems and organizations.
Explore the eight modules of the tool on the site, which is now live!
For past reporting on ACEs in the juvenile justice system, see the following:
The content on the Reclaiming Futures website and blog is intended to be informative, inspiring, and useful. Our Reader Survey was designed with you in mind to ensure we’re delivering what you want to see!
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Your feedback will help us provide the most relevant content to your needs and interests. It will also help us reach you on the platforms you prefer, whether it’s through our newsletter, social media or the blog. Your feedback will shape the content we post going forward.
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The survey will help us gauge your interest in expanding the Reclaiming Futures model. It will allow you to share the areas in which you’d like to become involved, so we can make those easily available to you. If you’re interested in bringing Reclaiming Futures to your community, please contact Donna Wiench.
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Last week, we highlighted two new white papers that provide strategic recommendations for instigating systemic change to reduce recidivism among youth in the juvenile justice system. Next month, the National Reentry Resource Center, with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, will host a two-part webinar series sharing highlights from these white papers.
Aimed at juvenile corrections leaders, probation officers, judicial staff, policymakers and other key stakeholders in the juvenile justice space, these webinars will provide quick summaries of what is working, along with tangible, actionable recommendations.
Webinar #1: Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice Systems
- September 4, 2014 at 2-3:30 p.m. ET
- Register here
- “This webinar will highlight key recommendations from the white paper, "Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System." Participants will learn about the four principles that must undergird any strategy to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. Participants will also learn how to implement the principles effectively, and hear about how some state and local juvenile justice systems have operationalized the principles in practice.”
Webinar #2: Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation
- September 11, 2014 at 2-3:30 p.m. ET
- Register here
- “The second webinar summarizes the issue brief, "Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation," and its five recommendations for improving juvenile justice systems’ approaches to the measurement, analysis, collection, reporting, and use of recidivism data. Participants will learn the essentials on measuring recidivism in an accurate and comprehensive way, and how to use such data to guide system decisions and hold agencies and providers accountable for results.”
To stay up to date on juvenile justice news, consider using Twitter. There are several accounts
that will keep you up to date on all the news and events you need to know about!
Here are ten of the best, most informative accounts for juvenile justice news:
- @JJIE: The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is the only U.S publication that features daily coverage of juvenile justice and related issues around the nation.
- @JusticeforYouth: The Campaign for Youth Justice advocates for juvenile justice reform by providing support to federal, state, and local campaigns.
- @JusticeReform: The Justice Fellowship works to reform the criminal justice system so communities are safer, victims are respected and offenders are transformed.
- @JuvenileCrime: The Global Youth Justice Organization are “juvenile crime champions” that work to prevent the escalation of juvenile crime and incarceration rates around the world by advancing the global expansion of quality youth justice and juvenile justice diversions programs.
- @SentencingProj: The Sentencing Project has been working for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system since 1986.
- @JuvLaw1975: The Juvenile Law Center is a nonprofit law firm working nationally to shape and use the law on behalf of children in the child welfare and justice systems.
- @AntiRecidivism: The Anti-Recidivism Coalition strives to improve outcomes of formerly incarcerated individuals and build healthier communities. ARC is a support network and advocate for fair and just policy.
- @NCJFCJ: The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges works to ensure justice for every family and every child in every court throughout this country.
- @VeraInstitute: The Vera Institute of Justice focuses on making justice systems fairer and more effective through research and innovation.
- @CourtInnovation: Center for Court Innovation is a nonprofit that helps courts and criminal justice agencies aid victims, reduce crime, and improve public trust in justice.
And don't forget to follow Reclaiming Futures!
- On TV: "Young Kids, Hard Time"
On Sunday, November 20 at 10 pm EST, MSNBC will premiere a one-hour documentary that throws back the veil on the reality of young kids serving long sentences in adult prisons. (Hat tip to the Campaign for Youth Justice.)
- Reform: D.C.'s juvenile justice system could be restructured
Council member Jim Graham, charged with overseeing the city's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, is considering a radical change to the agency via, "job development programs, we would have literacy, we would be dealing with this marijuana addiction, having mental health because a lot of these kids are abused. It would be different."
- Civil citations are key to Florida's juvenile justice reform
On July 1, 2011, Florida law began requiring counties to establish a local civil citation process for youth that requires them to admit to the offense, perform community service and possibly participate in intervention services. The non-recidivism rate is 93% in one FL county that has been using this program for two years.
- New community care option for girls in Baltimore
Girls going through the juvenile justice system now have an alternative to detention while waiting to be adjudicated - an alternative that’s been available to boys for years. Some can now attend a youth monitoring program that allows them to live at home and attend a reporting center.
CIGNA and The Partnership at Drugfree.org are kicking off a monthly series of telephone seminars that will help you better understand today’s changing landscape of substance abuse. The seminars are free and there is no registration required. They’re open to any parent, caregiver or loved one interested in learning more about teen drug addiction. Each seminar will include the participation of a leading expert within the field and a parent from The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s Parent Advisory Board, who will share his or her personal experience with the topic being presented.
On Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at Noon-1:00 pm EDT, the series kicks off with a call about teen abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and what parents can do to prevent this dangerous behavior.
Did you know that one in five teens has used a prescription drug not prescribed to them by a doctor?* This month’s podcast and Q&A will explore teen abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and what parents can do to prevent this dangerous behavior.
Last week, School Health Services Coalition, a division of Alameda County Health Care Services Agency in California, released Restorative Justice: A Working Guide for Our Schools. [Be patient: the document can take a bit to load in your browser. --Ed.] The publication is a resource for anyone who seeks to implement restorative justice in the school setting. The 43 page PDF covers the following:
- Introduction to restorative justice and its application to schools
- Use of the approach on three levels (1) as a school-wide prevention practice, (2) to manage difficulties, and (3) for intense intervention
- Benefits, outcomes and impacts from current evaluative reports
- Guidance on initiating restorative justice at the school or district level
- Abstracts of publications and websites for additional information and support.
Georgetown University Public Policy Institute’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) is delighted to announce the release of Safety, Fairness, Stability: Repositioning Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to Engage Families and Communities, a paper co-authored by Joan Pennell, Carol Shapiro, and Carol Wilson Spigner, with commentaries by Kordnie Jamillia Lee and Trina Osher. The paper was released at a symposium held at Georgetown University on May 13, 2011.
Connections to family and community are often severed, at least temporarily, as a result of a youth's involvement in the juvenile justice, child welfare, and/or mental and behavioral health systems. Ensuring that these connections are not severed permanently, or are maintained in the first place, begins by engaging families and communities in a more constructive and respectful manner. This paper recognizes that such connections must be supported in a manner that allows families and communities to provide a sense of stability and permanency in a youth’s life and the life-long connections that youth will need as they transition into adulthood.
The Interstate Commission for Juveniles (ICJ)—an organization responsible for the transfer of supervision for juvenile offenders and the return of juveniles who have absconded, escaped, or run away from one state to another—recently published a Bench Book for Judges & Court Personnel. This bench book provides an overview of legal procedures for the interstate agreement (called a “compact”) to transfer or return juveniles who cross state lines. It also includes an analysis of the compact’s legal foundation, describes sentencing considerations; establishes a process for returning juveniles who have run away from home, escapees, and absconders; explains liability and immunity considerations; and summarizes other relevant considerations.
Indiana, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and the District of Columbia had not adopted the new compact has of March 25, 2011. Check out this memo from the Interstate Commission on Juveniles.
Related post: Georgia Could Become “Asylum State” for Juvenile Delinquents.