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Congress Approves FY18 Funding Levels for Criminal Justice Programs

Congress Approves FY18 Funding Levels for Criminal Justice Programs

Recently, the U.S. Congress approved the $1.3 trillion Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill that would set government funding through Sep. 30, 2018. The bill provides $30.3 billion for the Department of Justice and includes $2.9 billion for various state and local law enforcement assistance grant programs.

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.

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

The Council of State Governments (CSG) recently announced that Megan Quattlebaum, research scholar in law at Yale University Law School and lecturer in law at Columbia University Law School, will be the next director of The CSG Justice Center.

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.

A Message from The CSG Justice Center’s Executive Committee Chair and Vice-Chair

A Message from The CSG Justice Center’s Executive Committee Chair and Vice-Chair

The tragedies of the past week weigh heavily on us. As public safety officials in our respective states, we were outraged to see the very people working to protect the public murdered because of the uniform they wear. We also feel deeply for residents of communities who, because of the color of their skin, fear the people who have sworn an oath to protect them.

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.

RIDGE Project Among Grantees at NRRC Intensive Training Summit

RIDGE Project Among Grantees at NRRC Intensive Training Summit

The RIDGE Project is today divided into an adult division, a workforce development division, and a youth division. The adult programming begins inside the prison; fathers whose children are younger than 22 and who are within six months from release are eligible.

Q&A with Julian Adler of the Red Hook Community Justice Center

Q&A with Julian Adler of the Red Hook Community Justice Center

As the nation’s first multijurisdictional community court, the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn has served as a neighborhood hub for clinical services, community service, youth programs, and other social supports since its founding in 2000.

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.

The System of Care in Clayton County, Georgia

The System of Care in Clayton County, Georgia

This video by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation details the system of care in Clayton County, Georgia, designed to support young men of color from dropping out of school and becoming involved with the juvenile justice system.

Superintendents Surveyed about Suspensions

Superintendents say teachers are the group most likely to object to policies that would reduce student suspensions, according to a new national survey on school discipline released Monday by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and the nonprofit advocacy group the Children’s Defense Fund.

Coverage of the School Discipline Consensus Report

Coverage of the School Discipline Consensus Report

The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) released the School Discipline Consensus Report on June 3. The report generated significant media attention, including articles and op-eds in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among others.

Bill Introduced to Improve School Discipline and Youth Outcomes

Bill Introduced to Improve School Discipline and Youth Outcomes

On June 25, Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) held a congressional briefing to introduce the Better Options for Kids Act, a bill that provides incentives to states to adopt evidence-based, cost-effective policies that support the elimination of harsh school disciplinary actions and juvenile court punishment for minor offenses.

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant Recipients Convene for Orientation and Training

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant Recipients Convene for Orientation and Training

To help federal grant recipients learn how to develop successful criminal justice and mental health collaborations, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, hosted its fifth annual training and orientation conference, “Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery” on May 13–14 in National Harbor, Maryland.

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.

2014 State-of-the-States

In state-of-the-state addresses across the country this year, governors noted significant improvements to their states’ criminal justice systems. No longer solely focused on imposing tougher penalties for all crimes, states are increasingly making efforts to strengthen community supervision and use […]

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.

A Message from the CSG Chairman

A Message from the CSG Chairman

When I took the gavel as CSG’s Chairman, I announced our national initiative “State Pathways to Prosperity,” which looks at various strategies to boost states’ efforts to improve education and workforce development. One aspect of this national initiative focuses on keeping kids in school and out of the juvenile justice system.

Social Impact Bonds Gain Momentum in the Criminal Justice Field

Social Impact Bonds Gain Momentum in the Criminal Justice Field

As publicly-funded programs and services across the country are experiencing budgetary constraints, many are beginning to look to social impact bonds (SIBs), also known as pay-for-success bonds or social innovation financing, as a possible solution.

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 […]

The Second Chance Act: The First Five Years

This month marks the five-year anniversary of the Second Chance Act, the landmark legislation authorizing federal grants to support programs aimed at improving outcomes for people leaving prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities and reducing recidivism. The bill also funds research […]

School Discipline Consensus Project

School Discipline Consensus Project

African-American students and children with particular educational disabilities who qualify for special education were suspended and expelled at especially high rates.

JMHCP Success Story: CIT and Outreach Program Work Together to Help Young Man and His Family

Over the course of a year, 17-year-old Robert became increasingly reclusive. He had stopped eating regularly and was often angry and easily agitated to the point of threatening his mother. On one such occasion, his mother feared for her safety and called the police. Officers assigned to a specially trained crisis intervention team (CIT) responded and persuaded Robert to let his mother take him to a hospital.

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.

Building Meaningful Partnerships Across the Corrections/Community Divide

At times, the differences in culture and outlook among corrections professionals and community members or government and non-government personnel can seem staggering. Yet building truly effective partnerships that can bridge this divide is essential to achieving long-term improvements for people […]

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, […]

Sites Selected to Pilot New Mental Health Court Curriculum

The Council of State Governments Justice Center has identified four jurisdictions to serve as “pilot sites” for its forthcoming curriculum for practitioners interested in developing mental health courts. Stakeholders from the pilot jurisdictions will use an advance version of the course, which includes online presentations and group activities, and participate in focus groups throughout the fall and winter to help authors finalize it for broad release. The Justice Center will release the final version of the curriculum online–where users can access it for free–in spring 2012.

To continue reading, click here.

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: Beaver County, Pa. (Planning)

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 Beaver County, Pennsylvania, a 2009 Planning grantee.

Brief Background on the Jurisdiction

Beaver County, Pennsylvania, is a semi-rural county, located thirty miles northwest of Pittsburgh. It is an economically diverse area, with a total population of about 180,000. For more than ten years, the Beaver County Behavioral Health (BCBH) and the Beaver County criminal justice systems have worked collaboratively, leading to the development of an outpatient behavioral health “satellite” in the courthouse and a similar opportunity for outpatient services in the local jail, a Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team, a re-entry liaison, specialized probation officers, and re-entry vocational support services.

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.

Smart Responses in Tough Times: Materials from the Justice Center and BJA 2009 Technical Assistance and Training Event.

The Justice Center, in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice, hosted a national technical assistance and training event on July 15-17, 2009 in Washington, DC. Speakers at this event provided training to nearly 500 representatives from state and local governments and community-based programs who are working to improve how the justice system addresses adults and juveniles with mental illnesses. Smart
Responses in Tough Times: Achieving Better Outcomes for People with Mental Illnesses Involved in the Criminal Justice System
was the largest
training forum ever organized by BJA on this topic.

JMHCP Spotlight: Kalamazoo, Michigan

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 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 Kalamazoo Mental Health Court.

Legislative Roundup: State Governments Tackle Mental Health and Criminal Justice Issues

From a new court rule in Idaho that expands the reach of mental health courts to enhanced mental health training requirements for police officers in Indiana and Oklahoma, state legislatures across the country continued to prioritize criminal justice and mental health issues throughout 2008. The Justice Center has compiled a list of several state laws that passed in 2008 focused on individuals with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system

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.