Blog: Resources

Help Young People and Youth of Color Get Work and Stay in School

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:

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment: NIATx Third-Party Billing Guide

adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment_woman-and-printing-calculatorWith parity legislation and the changes that health care reform will bring, agencies that treat adolescents will need to adapt their business practices.
Reform expands available funding for prevention, treatment and recovery support services. It also opens the door to third-party reimbursement.
NIATx developed the NIATx Third-party Billing Guide to help agencies create or improve a system for billing third-party payers. The guide includes step-by-step instructions to implement a billing system, improve collections, and strengthen the business practices essential to stability and growth.

Download a copy of the NIATx Third-party Billing Guide today!

Making the Case for Your Program: Social Return on Investment

juvenile-court_calculations-on-graph-paperIs your program for youth in juvenile court worth it? 
Does it really make sense to spend all that money on treating a kid for his drug habit, or to provide 20 teens with job readiness skills? 
Chances are, it does. Your program probably saves the community a lot of money in avoided costs -- but can you prove it?  That's the tricky part.

Moms Want Justice: Meaningful Family Partnerships in Juvenile Justice Reform

juvenile-justice-reform_family-partnership-guide-coverWant to partner with families on juvenile justice reform?
Been there, done that, but still struggling?
Do yourself a favor and check out "An Advocate's Guide to Meaningful Family Partnerships: Tips from the Field," from the National Juvenile Justice Network. 
Based on interviews with 26 advocacy organizations and in-depth interviews with eight juvenile justice advocacy groups (both family-led and non-family-led), the guide is a great primer / refresher on what works when partnering with families.
You'll find reminders about leveling the playing field so that professional advocates and family advocates can both contribute; the need to be frank about and work to address underrepresentation of people of color on the staff of advocacy organizations; and ways to help advocates celebrate their wins even when the legislative process falls short of their ultimate goals.
What's one of the biggest barriers to recruiting family members as advocates for juvenile justice reform? Often, they begin their journey as advocates because they care intensely about their own child, sibling, or relation; they're less interested in fighting for changes to the system on behalf of other people's children.
Here, the NJJN guide once again provides useful tips. None of the solutions are likely to surprise you, but they're often overlooked in my experience, especially when it comes to juvenile justice agencies seeking to give families voice.  
In addition, you'll also find capsule examples of organizations that have achieved success with recruiting family members, building their expertise, and benefiting from the ability of family advocates to push reform from outside the system: 

Supporting Teens in Treatment and Beyond: Our Community Summit and Lessons Learned

community-involvement_people-working-at-tablesI’m sure you already know the Reclaiming Futures mantra for teens in the justice system who have alcohol and drug issues: “More treatment, better treatment, and beyond treatment!”
The hardest part of the mantra to bring to fruition is the third part of it – how can we help support youth in recovery once they’re done with treatment (or even the juvenile court)? Changing behavior for the long-term isn’t easy, and youth need positive activities and supportive adults to help them stay sober and crime-free.
To begin to tackle our own “beyond treatment” plan, Bristol County Reclaiming Futures recently hosted a “sustainability summit.” Our goal was to initiate conversation about how to better meet the needs of at-risk and justice-involved youth with substance abuse issues, and I’m happy to report that the project generated a lot of positive energy and even made the news! We generated a number of strategies to move forward, and a task force comprised of summit attendees and other interested parties soon begin working on implementing them. (Special thanks to Dan Merrigan of Boston University, our Reclaiming Futures coach, for facilitating the work group project.)
Some highlights:

Juvenile Justice Reform: Finding Opportunities When Budgets are Slashed

juvenile-justice-reform_NJJN-real-costs-benefits-report-coverIt's easy to focus on juvenile justice reform during good times; the real test comes with budget cuts.
But even wrenching cuts to staff and services can provide a chance to achieve lasting improvements to juvenile justice policies and programs.
Don't believe me? The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) has just provided us all with a road map that's concrete, helpful, and surprisingly inspiring. Titled, "The Real Costs and Benefits of Change: Finding Opportunities for Reform During Difficult Fiscal Times," it's a model of cool-headed resourcefulness.

OJJDP Fact Sheets on Juveniles in Court

juvenile-justice-system_Batman-tells-Robin-to-download-the-fact-sheetsYou probably saw that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) recently put out "Juvenile Court Statistics 2006-2007," compiled by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ). Since not everyone will have the time to thumb through a 158-page report, so NCJJ also compiled four bite-sized fact sheets derived from the full report for your convenience:

Check out John Kelly's post on this over at Youth Today, where he points out the stats that jumped out at him.

Talking About Teens on Drugs -- and More: Weekly Roundup

adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment_old-TVTeens on Drugs - How We Talk About it Matters

  • Hat tip to Outreach for this piece on heroin use by teens in the suburbs from Robbie Woliver, the journalist who broke the story a year ago: "These kids just don't think it's a big deal one way or another -- there is no stigma any longer, nor is it a badge of honor. It doesn't make them 'cool.' It's just what everybody does. No big deal."
  • This is scary stuff, no doubt, but the coverage is troubling. Woliver wants everyone to wake up because suburban teens are using heroin -- teens who are not just "the lowest-life dregs of society in skid rows and downtrodden ghettos in the worst parts of urban areas," but who "have the same family values." Which makes me wonder what Woliver would think of the teens in the justice system, where substance abuse and addiction has been a common problem for years. Maybe what's needed isn't just alarm about middle-class white kids dying from heroin, tragic though that is. Maybe we need to start caring about all our kids. 

  • Want to know what works when it comes to talking to the public about teens with drug and alcohol issues who are in trouble with the law? Check out the recommendations in Solutions Storytelling: Messaging to Mobilize Support for Children's Issues. (Hat tip to sparkaction.)

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment: Mutual Aid & Recovery from Addiction

adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment_meeting-room-stencil-graffittiWhen you work with adolescents in substance abuse treatment, one of your biggest challenges is what happens after they complete treatment. Connecting teens with positive people who can help them maintain sobriety can be quite difficult. 
So it's great to see that Faces & Voices of Recovery has revamped and revitalized its Guide to Mutual Aid Resources, an online, one-stop resource of over 50 online and in-person mutual aid groups that are helping people find and sustain their recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. According to a press release, "the groups are organized into practical, user-friendly categories like, 'Youth-Focused' or 'Medication-Assisted.'"

Effective Practice in Juvenile Justice - and More: Roundup

Teens in Lockup - a Documentary and a Photo Project about Juveniles in the Justice System

  • juvenile-justice-reform_screenshot-from-JuviesClick on the screen shot at right to check out four short clips from "Juvies," an award-winning documentary from 2004 focusing on youth in California's juvenile justice system who were tried as adults and received extremely harsh sentences (photo at right is of "Sandra). You might also be interested in the "syllabus" assembled by the filmmakers in response to frequent requests for additional classroom resources to supplement the film. 


How to Get Teens to Engage in Treatment, and More: Bonus Roundup

Last week, I received too many links and resources to put in last week's roundup of links related to the juvenile justice system and adolescent substance abuse treatment.
So here's a bonus roundup - there's something here for everyone!
Mentoring At-Risk Teens

Roundup: Why Coercive Punishment Doesn't Change Behavior - and More

adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment_treatment-e-book-for-familiesAdolescent Substance Abuse Treatment


Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) Midwest Region Conference Open for Registration

juvenile-justice-system-conference_Chicago-from-AboveThe Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) will be holding its 2010 Midwest Region Conference in Chicago, July 9-11. 
The conference will include sessions on  the impact of adolescent brain development research on policy and practice; the role of restorative justice in reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) reduction; media and stakeholder's perspectives on effective messaging, and more. (You can see a draft agenda here.) 
Registration is now open through July 2nd -- a great bargain at $50!

Roundup: Proven Practices for Improving Education and Employment for Disadvantaged Young Men - and More

juvenile-drug-courts-news-roundup_old-TVJuvenile Justice Reform News

Resource Roundup: Juvenile Justice, Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment, Crossover Youth, and More

This week, we've got a bonanza of resources, conference presentations, and toolkits related to the juvenile justice system, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and working with troubled youth generally. 
Presentations from Juvenile Justice Conferences You Missed

Still suffering heartburn because you weren't able to make it to that fantastic juvenile justice conference this year? No worries. You can find many of the presentations online. For example:

  • Presentations from the Coalition for Juvenile Justice 2010 onference. (Hat tip to Mark Fulop.)
  • The 2010 Blueprints conference can help update you on what really works in preventing youth violence.
  • Even if you're not a grantee of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), you can find interesting material posted from a recent orientation OJJDP held for new grantees: for example, there's a presentation on how to evaluate your program, another that covers "tools to improve services and program performance," a review of the findings from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), and of course, an overview of OJJDP grant programs.

Juvenile Justice Reform: DOJ Report on Delays in Case Processing

juvenile-justice-reform_delays-in-youth-justice_skeletonDid you know that juveniles don't have the right to a speedy trial under the U.S. Constitution? (Adults do.)
But given teens' developmental need for a clear connection between their behavior and its consequences -- not to mention the importance of addressing the needs of victims -- it's important for their cases to be processed as quickly as possible. 
Yet the time it took juvenile courts to process cases went up by 10% between 1995 and 2004, even though the number of cases dropped eight percent during the same time period. Obviously, that's not good. 
What's going on? For answers, check out a new Department of Justice (DOJ) report, Delays in Youth Justice, by Jeffrey Butts, Gretchen Ruth Cusick, and Benjamin Adams. It was produced under the auspices of the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment: SAMHSA Names CASPAR an Evidence-Based Practice

In mid-March, “CASPAR,” a treatment-improving system developed and evaluated at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), was designated an evidence-based practice on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). 
This Computer-Assisted System for Patient Assessment and Referral (CASPAR) uses technology to promote validated assessment of substance abuse patients along with corresponding referral to community-based, free or low-cost services addressing various client needs. By “needs” I mean those needs that can’t be met on-site, such as medical and dental services, job training, getting a driver’s license reinstated and most any other type of service needed.
Although we pitch the system on the TRI website for use with adult clients, it can also be used to find referrals for adolescents with substance use/abuse problems. Criminal justice case managers, those providing brief interventions in physician offices, etc. can also use CASPAR.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Provider? Free NIATx E-Learning Course Now Available

Do you provide substance abuse or mental health treatment to adolescents or adults? You can improve the quality of care you provide -- and your bottom line -- by using the NIATx model of process improvement.
In that model, successful change efforts begin with a walk-through.  Just what is a "walk-through?" It's a way for staff in your organization to experience the services they provide just as their clients or customers do.
Our new e-learning course, Process Improvement 101, gives an overview of the NIATx model and the tools users need to prepare for a walk-through in their organizations. You can complete this free course in less than an hour, or view one segment at a time. 

Now More Than Ever, Join "Recovery Month 2010"

adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment_SAMHSA-Recovery-Month-kit-coverEvery September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) celebrates National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month).
Recovery Month serves to educate the public on how substance abuse contributes to the national health crisis, that addiction is a treatable disease, and that recovery is possible. Although Recovery Month is officially observed in September, we continue to raise awareness about the hope of treatment and recovery throughout the year.