The training institute will offer an interactive learning experience for professionals involved in the community corrections, juvenile justice, and treatment professions.
Juvenile Justice Posts & Announcements
The foundation provides funding for projects that support the core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all.
This webinar will explore ways communities can better support young people who find themselves at the intersections of youth homelessness and juvenile justice.
Cross-disciplinary teams from these jurisdictions will complete a weeklong intensive training onsite in Washington, DC. Alongside experts from CJJR, the CSG Justice Center, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, these teams—comprising chief probation officers, field probation officers, judges, prosecutors, and other officials—will collaboratively develop a capstone project and strategic action plan that details the specific changes they plan to enact upon completion of the training that will improve their system and the opportunities for youth within it.
This year’s summit will offer workshops on an array of topics, such as how to make programmatic changes based on research and data, collective impact in the mentoring field, and mentoring youth who have mental illnesses.
Since 1988, this annual conference has been a leader in promoting the development of the research base essential to improved service systems for children and youth with mental health challenges and their families, including youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
Jurisdictions are invited to apply for this unique training and technical assistance opportunity to use data-driven and research-informed approaches to examine and address factors contributing to length of stay for youth in post-adjudication placement and strengthen policies and practices affecting length of stay for youth.
The conference will offer information on teen, peer, youth, and student court and jury diversion programs, which are volunteer-driven programs that harness positive peer pressure in a peer judgment setting.
The endeavors are part of the Improving Outcomes for Youth (IOYouth) initiative, an effort by the National Reentry Resource Center to answer the call of state and local jurisdictions struggling to ensure that resources are being efficiently used to help young people who interact with the juvenile justice system succeed.
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.
This is the first in a series of posts on aspects of successful reentry. Each post will include curated resources related to the featured reentry topic.
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.
The training institute features a portfolio of on-site training opportunities addressing critical topics in juvenile justice, including probation system review training and multi-system information and data sharing.
The Back to a Future program, based in Palm Beach County, Florida, has worked in close collaboration with probation partners at the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice since its inception in 2013.
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.
“Through this task force, we hope to assess how state and local resources are being used to create better outcomes for the youth who are in our juvenile system,” Gov. Susana Martinez said.
In partnership with the Harvard Kennedy School, the CSG Justice Center convened a meeting of researchers, policymakers, and criminal and juvenile justice agency leaders, who engaged in discussion about translating developmental research into practice in order to improve outcomes for young adults in the justice system.
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.
In 2012, young adults accounted for 10 percent of the U.S. population but nearly 30 percent of people arrested and 21 percent of all admissions to adult state and federal prisons. In response to criminal justice data trends and developmental research, states are exploring various approaches to better support young adults in the justice system.
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.
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.
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 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.
On the heels of new data showing massive reductions in the number of youth incarcerated, representatives from all 50 states met Monday, Nov. 9, to tackle the next big challenge: making sure supervision and services provided in the community reduce the likelihood youth will be rearrested and end up in the adult criminal justice system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to a 2014 national public opinion poll by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a majority of Americans support the use of alternatives to incarceration for youth who have committed low-level offenses.
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.
The episode, entitled “Is This Working?,” catalogs a variety of stories of schools struggling with what to do with student misbehavior.
In Washington State, King County’s Uniting for Youth initiative has brought together youth service agencies to develop cross-systems protocols and processes, and to institutionalize ongoing cross-systems training in an effort to reduce recidivism and improve youth outcomes.
House Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Dave Reichert (R-WA) recently held a briefing to launch the bipartisan congressional Youth Development and Crime Prevention Caucus, with support from Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ted Poe (R-TX).
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.
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.
More than 500 researchers, evaluators, administrators, parents, and advocates came together at the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference, held in Tampa, Florida, on March 2–5 to discuss issues related to health, education, welfare, and juvenile justice.
By Elizabeth Seigle, Policy Analyst The ultimate indicators of a juvenile justice system’s success are recidivism reduction and improved positive youth outcomes. Yet, many jurisdictions struggle to collect and measure data on recidivism and other outcomes and to use this […]
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.
In October 2013, 104 government agencies and nonprofit organizations across the country were awarded grants through the Second Chance Act to help improve the outcomes for and reduce recidivism among individuals leaving prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities.
We have learned a tremendous amount in the last decade about how to best serve youth in the juvenile justice system.
by Elizabeth Seigle, Policy Analyst Over the past decade, state and local jurisdictions have been actively developing strategies to reduce both recidivism and spending in their juvenile justice systems. Many also seek to ensure that every youth who comes in […]
In May 2013, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signed into law Legislative Bill 561, a major reform bill aimed at improving the juvenile justice system in the state.
Over the past two months, juvenile justice stakeholders have convened summits across the country to advance the field, largely in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative.
The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS), in partnership with the Commonwealth Corporation and the Collaborative for Educational Services, hosted the first Annual DYS Youth Art Showcase at the Massachusetts State House on June 11, 2013.
By Nastassia Walsh, Policy Analyst On July 30, 2013, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) hosted a briefing called “States’ Innovations in Juvenile Justice: Investing in Better Outcomes for Our Communities.” Moderated by Michael Thompson, Director of the Council of State […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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, […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The number of people entering the criminal justice system with serious mental illnesses has steadily increased over the years. Criminal justice staff, however, often do not know if these individuals have ever received behavioral health treatment prior to incarceration.
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.