Juvenile Justice Posts & Announcements

[Apply Now] YouthBuild Program

[Apply Now] YouthBuild Program

The program provides funding to help organizations that provide pre-apprenticeship services that support education, occupational skills training, and employment services to youth, ages 16 to 24, including youth in foster care, youth involved in the criminal justice system, and/or those who are the child of an incarcerated parent.

Colorado Passes Juvenile Justice Reform Bill

Colorado Passes Juvenile Justice Reform Bill

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (Senate Bill 108) on May 28—a crucial step toward aligning the state’s juvenile justice system with what research shows works to improve outcomes for youth, strengthen public safety, and efficiently use resources.

[Apply Now] Transforming Juvenile Probation Certificate Program

[Apply Now] Transforming Juvenile Probation Certificate Program

The program will support multidisciplinary teams from state and local jurisdictions—including probation leadership, judges, attorneys, and other key stakeholders—to fundamentally rethink their system-wide approach to probation to increase public safety and improve youth outcomes.

American Probation and Parole Association 44th Annual Training Institute

American Probation and Parole Association 44th Annual Training Institute

This summer’s training institute, which focuses on the theme of “Passion, Courage, and Endurance: Transforming Community Corrections,” will offer a number of educational workshops and trainings, ranging from topics in behavioral health, community supervision, pretrial supervision, juvenile justice, reentry, workplace safety, and more.

Second Chance Act Grantee Takes Part in New Young Adult Correctional Program

Second Chance Act Grantee Takes Part in New Young Adult Correctional Program

The Middlesex, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Office opened a new jail unit specifically for young adults this month. Established in partnership with the local nonprofit UTEC and the Vera Institute of Justice, the specialized unit—called People Achieving Change Together (PACT)—seeks to reduce recidivism by offering tailored programming to young people between the ages of 18 and 24 at the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction.

Nevada Passes Juvenile Justice System Reform Act

Nevada Passes Juvenile Justice System Reform Act

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed legislation on June 16 in Carson City that seeks to strengthen public safety and improve outcomes for youth in that state’s justice system.

New Resources Help Translate Juvenile Justice Research into Practice

New Resources Help Translate Juvenile Justice Research into Practice

The resources, organized by common challenges for juvenile justice programs and agencies, draw from the expertise of researchers and the promising practices identified by practitioners around the country. Each resource offers methods to address those common challenges, specifically in the areas of Family Engagement and Involvement and Evidence-Based Programs and Services.

Remembering Ned Loughran (1939–2016)

Remembering Ned Loughran (1939–2016)

We were very sad to hear the news late last week that our friend and colleague Ned Loughran passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Ned was the founder and long-time executive director of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators.

Georgia Juvenile Justice Task Force Shows Commitment to Parental Engagement

Georgia Juvenile Justice Task Force Shows Commitment to Parental Engagement

In 2011, Georgia resident Jennifer DeWeese knew very little about the juvenile justice system in her state. She had never heard of a Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC), nor did she have reason to believe that she would one day end up being an influential voice of personal experience in Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice. But then her teenage son stole their neighbor’s car and served more than a month in an RYDC.

Gov. Sandoval Launches Review of Nevada’s Juvenile Justice System

Gov. Sandoval Launches Review of Nevada’s Juvenile Justice System

Governor Brian Sandoval, First Lady Kathleen Sandoval, State Supreme Court Justice Nancy Saitta, and other legislative and community leaders gathered on July 12 at the Nevada State Supreme Court to launch an effort to strengthen public safety and improve outcomes for youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system.

Washington State Works to Improve Employment Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

Washington State Works to Improve Employment Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

Washington is one state that has been deliberate in its efforts to promote job readiness and vocational success for its incarcerated youth, many of whom are 18 to 20 years of age. From October 2013 to September 2015, Washington State’s Juvenile Rehabilitation division—which operates juvenile correctional facilities across the state under the Department of Social and Health Services—administered a Job Readiness to Employment Project called Manufacturing Academy, made possible through a 2013 Second Chance Act Juvenile Demonstration grant.

Study Highlights Little State Oversight of Educational Services Provided to Incarcerated Youth

Study Highlights Little State Oversight of Educational Services Provided to Incarcerated Youth

The report, “Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth,” reveals that despite spending between $100,000 and $300,000 per incarcerated child in secure facilities, only 13 states provide all incarcerated youth with access to the same types of educational services that students have in the community. Meanwhile, only nine states offer community-equivalent vocational services to all kids in lock-up.

Three States Granted Funds to Facilitate Wide-Ranging Juvenile Justice System Reforms

Three States Granted Funds to Facilitate Wide-Ranging Juvenile Justice System Reforms

North Carolina, Virginia, and Iowa have been chosen by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to receive more than $700,000 each to improve the juvenile justice systems in their respective jurisdictions as part of the FY2015 Second Chance Act Comprehensive Statewide Juvenile Reentry System Reform Implementation Program.

Berrien County, MI, Expands Training, Collaboration Around Juvenile Justice

Berrien County, MI, Expands Training, Collaboration Around Juvenile Justice

The Family Division of the Berrien County Trial Court in Michigan decided in 2001 that its juvenile justice practices simply weren’t working. That meant restructuring the county’s juvenile justice procedures around evidence-based practices, starting by using risk assessments to determine which youth were more likely to commit another offense and thus required more intensive interventions and supervision.

Call for Article Submissions to the Juvenile and Family Court Journal

Call for Article Submissions to the Juvenile and Family Court Journal

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is now accepting submissions to its scholarly, peer-reviewed journal, “Juvenile and Family Court Journal.” Articles should focus on issues of interest to the field of juvenile and family justice, including child abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency, dual status youth, domestic violence, substance use, child custody and visitation, judicial leadership, and related topics.

Improving Education in Juvenile Correctional Facilities

Improving Education in Juvenile Correctional Facilities

Education in correctional facilities has gained national attention over the past year, with discussion of juvenile correctional education in particular included in such reports as the School Discipline Consensus Report and now a new set of guiding principles released by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice.

Data Sharing Makes for Successful Youth Reentry

Data Sharing Makes for Successful Youth Reentry

Every year, the Juvenile Justice Center Wraparound Program in Oakland, California, provides individualized services to more than 350 youth leaving detention, helping them return to school and break the cycle of violence and incarceration in their lives.

Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice

The strategies presented in this post support the National Research Council’s recently published report calling for broad goals to which juvenile justice reform should be directed: holding youth accountable for wrongdoing, preventing further offending, and treating youth fairly.

Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change Resource Center

Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change Resource Center

This new online resource center from the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research Inc. offers a collection of resources that focus on the following topics: mental health screening, diversion models, mental health training for juvenile justice staff and police, evidence-based practices, family involvement, and juvenile competency.

Global Youth Justice Launches 250 Youth Court Websites

In conjunction with the American Bar Association, Global Youth Justice recently helped local youth courts in 41 states launch websites to promote their juvenile justice diversion programs. More than 1,400 communities and tribes worldwide currently operate a youth justice program […]

States Take Steps to Reduce the Prosecution of Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System

A new national survey released by Gerstein, Bocian, Agne Strategies reveals that the majority of Americans support youth justice system reform. The study, which surveyed 1,000 adults from across the nation, shows that the public would support juvenile justice reform efforts that focus on rigorous rehabilitation over incarceration and against placing youth in adult jails and prisons.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • The public strongly favors rehabilitation and treatment approaches, such as counseling, education, treatment, restitution, and community service (89%);
  • The public rejects placement of youth in adult jails and prisons (69%);
  • Americans strongly favor involving the youth’s families in treatment (86%), keeping youth close to home (77%), and ensuring that youth are connected with their families (86%);
  • The public strongly favors individualized determinations on a case-by-case basis by juvenile court judges in the juvenile justice system over automatic prosecution in adult criminal court (76%);
  • Americans support requiring the juvenile justice system to reduce racial and ethnic disparities (66%);

These results are consistent with U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies that have concluded that juvenile transfer laws, which allow state courts to move youth to the adult system for trying and sentencing, are ineffective at deterring crime and reducing recidivism.

New JMHCP Grantees Convene for Orientation and Training

On March 8-9, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice, hosted the fourth annual orientation event for new Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) grantees in Washington, D.C. During the event, FY 2011 grantees learned about keys to success in developing successful criminal justice/mental health collaborations, as well as the requirements of the grant program.

FY2011 JMHCP Grantee Orientation Event Agenda: March 8-9, 2012

Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C. To download a PDF of the agenda, click here. THURSDAY, MARCH 8th 8:00 am – 8:30 am Check-in and Registration [Empire Foyer] 8:30 am – 9:15 am Welcome and Introductions [Empire Ballroom] • Ruby Qazilbash, […]

Five Emerging Practices in Juvenile Reentry

By Shay Bilchik, Director, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University Public Policy Institute; Chair, National Reentry Resource Center Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice As many as 100,000 youth under the age of 18 are released from juvenile correctional facilities […]

Spotlight on JMHCP: State of Alabama

Each month, the Justice Center spotlights high-quality collaborative criminal justice/mental health initiatives that have received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). Justice Center staff members ask the practitioners in these programs to discuss some successes and challenges they have encountered in the planning and implementation process. This month’s profile is from the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts, a 2009 planning and implementation grantee.

Project Summary:

The Alabama JMHCP project aims to build capacity for state-level training and technical assistance for jurisdictions interested in or already operating mental health courts or mental health diversion programs. On October 13–15, 2010, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Alabama Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) hosted the first Alabama Mental Health Court Conference. John Houston, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health (DMH), and Callie T. Dietz, administrative director of courts, opened the conference by stressing the importance of cross-system collaboration in times of jail and prison overcrowding and diminishing resources. About 150 judges, attorneys, treatment providers, and community corrections officers from around the state participated in two-and-a-half days of presentations and breakout sessions led by national experts and practitioners from existing Alabama mental health courts. The conference agenda is available here.

In the next year, the Alabama grantees will prepare for a second conference scheduled for the fall of 2011, continue development of a technical assistance “toolkit” that will include sample forms and access to existing state and national resources, and develop suggestions for standardized data collection across Alabaman mental health courts.

Spotlight on JMHCP: Fayette County, Texas

Each month the Justice Center spotlights collaborative criminal justice/mental health initiatives that have received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). Justice Center staff members ask the practitioners in these programs to discuss some successes and challenges they have encountered in the planning and implementation process. This month’s profile is from Fayette County, Texas, a 2009 Planning grantee.

Brief background on the jurisdiction

Fayette County, Texas, is a rural community roughly halfway between Austin and Houston. It encompasses 950 square miles of land area, with a total population of 22,521. The collaborating entities on this grant are Bluebonnet Trails Community Mental Health Mental Retardation (MHMR) Center (the local mental health authority) and the 155th District Criminal Court. Our proposal centered on the development of a mental health court initiative at the county level, but we were cognizant at the beginning that the strategies we implement will likely go beyond the court level, which has proven to be the case. This area has virtually no history of mental health and criminal justice collaboration, but team members were eager for solutions.

Spotlight on JMHCP: San Francisco

Each month the Justice Center spotlights collaborative criminal justice/mental health initiatives that have received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). Center staff asks the practitioners in these programs to discuss some successes and challenges they have encountered in the planning and implementation process. This month’s profile is from San Francisco, a 2008 JMHCP Implementation and Expansion Grantee.

Program Summary

San Francisco AIIM (Assess, Identify Needs, Integrate Information, and Match to Services) Higher is a partnership between the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department and the Department of Public Health’s Child, Youth and Family System of Care. SF AIIM Higher is a program that offers data-driven assessment, planning, and linkage services that engage juvenile justice-involved youth and their families in targeted and effective community-based interventions.

Legislative Round Up: State Governments Tackle Mental Health and Criminal Justice Issues

State governments across the country are engaged in a wide range of legislative and budgetary efforts to improve the response to individuals with mental illnesses in contact with–or are at risk of contact with–the criminal justice system. Council of State Governments Justice Center (Justice Center) staff have identified a sampling of diverse state-level approaches to addressing criminal justice/mental health issues that have been signed into law over the past two years.