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 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.
When Jamel Bonilla (pictured left) was released from the Middleton House of Correction, he knew what he needed most to stay out of prison. “I needed work,” Bonilla said. “I needed money.”
The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced $36 million in FY2017 Second Chance Act grants that were awarded to 68 jurisdictions across the country.
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.
Held in Washington, DC, in early February, the National Mentoring Summit featured several sessions that focused specifically on mentoring black youth, cultural competency, and diversity.
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.
UTEC and Roca, two Second Chance Act grantees based in Massachusetts, were highlighted in a recent report by the National Institute of Justice for their innovative approaches to working with young adults.
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.
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 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.
From Prison to Prosperity, a new program offered by the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, seeks to curb recidivism and improve reentry outcomes among young adults by prioritizing employment and financial literacy programming.
Although the guide was developed as a tool for Second Chance Act grantees, its exercises and supporting resources may be helpful for other reentry programs.
Although the guide was developed as a tool for Second Chance Act grantees, its exercises and supporting resources may be helpful for other reentry programs.
Although the guide was developed as a tool for Second Chance Act grantees, its exercises and supporting resources may be helpful for other reentry programs.
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 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.
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.
This report from Vermont Legal Aid and the Vermont School Discipline Reform Coalition provides information critical to helping the state’s policymakers, educators, advocates, parents, and students best assess school discipline in Vermont.
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.
Among the new awards are five $3 million Statewide Recidivism Reduction (SRR) implementation grants, awarded to Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Vermont.
The episode, entitled “Is This Working?,” catalogs a variety of stories of schools struggling with what to do with student misbehavior.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and MacArthur Foundation Announce $2 Million in Funding for Juvenile Justice Programs
Since the release of the School Discipline Consensus Report in June, there have been a number of followup activities to promote the recommendations in the report more broadly.
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.
Congress took a significant first step toward continuing the work of the Second Chance Act today as the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reauthorize the bipartisan bill.
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 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.
Members of Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and others met with juvenile justice leaders to discuss two publications released by the Justice Center.
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).
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.
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.
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released today a comprehensive report providing school leaders and state and local government officials more than 60 recommendations for overhauling their approach to school discipline.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
The National Council on Crime & Delinquency has released the first five reports in an eight-part series developed from a nationwide study on youth deincarceration.
The University of South Florida recently hosted the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy Conference in March 2014. At the event, over 550 researchers, evaluators, policymakers, parents, and advocates discussed new research on improving service systems for children and youth with mental health challenges and their families.
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
On January 16, 2014 Congress passed the $1 trillion omnibus federal spending package, which includes a $51.6 billion Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill. Under this bill, the Second Chance Act would receive $67.7 million in funding, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) would receive $8.2 million, and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative would receive $27.5 million, which includes $1 million for the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections.
On December 4, 2013, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Volunteers of America (VOA), with participation from the Sesame Workshop, hosted a Congressional briefing on the challenges children of incarcerated parents and their caretakers face. About three million children in […]
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.
Youth reentering the community after contact with the criminal justice system often have significant mental health and substance abuse needs.
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 […]
The National Juvenile Justice Network has launched the Juvenile Justice Resource Hub, a new resource developed in partnership with Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change. The hub provides a high-quality overview of key issues in juvenile […]
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 […]
This workshop expands on the highly popular Winter 2013 CSG webinar, Family Engagement in Juvenile Justice: Making it Real. It offers participants the opportunity to concretely experience precepts, and tools that the presenter, in collaboration with a national network of […]
African-American students and children with particular educational disabilities who qualify for special education were suspended and expelled at especially high rates.
For decades, researchers and practitioners in juvenile justice have documented the over-representation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. In recent years, 17 jurisdictions in 8 states have implemented the DMC Action Network approach to reduce racial and […]
This presentation was delivered at the 2013 JMHCP National Training and Technical Assistance Event. The majority of youth involved with the juvenile justice system in this country have a diagnosable mental or substance use disorder. Many youth end up in […]
A significant majority of youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system have mental health and/or substance use disorders. It is critical to identify and respond to the needs associated with these disorders as early as possible and at […]
Many people released from prison have a substantial amount of debt to repay, and child support is often a significant part of these financial obligations. The following feature is a Q&A with Adrienne Noti, Senior Program Analyst at the Office […]
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.
During his 12 years at PERF, Jerry also authored and co-authored numerous publications and guides for law enforcement officials.
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.
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 […]
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, […]
Grantee: Roca, Inc. Grantee Type: Adult Mentoring Grantee Year: FY 2010 Location: Springfield, MA By Crystal Garland, Council of State Governments Justice Center January is National Mentoring Month. Because mentoring is a major part of many reentry programs, we are […]
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.
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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 […]
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 February 9-11, 2011 in Baltimore, MD. Materials from this event are now available on the Consensus Project website at
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 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.
This panel discussion focused on the key components of reentry from the juvenile justice system that can help reduce recidivism and help youth build healthy productive futures.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
FEATURES Vermont and Rhode Island Enact Initiatives to Increase Public Safety and Reduce Corrections Spending At the beginning of the 2008 legislative sessions, policymakers in Vermont and Rhode Island faced projected growth in their prison populations, spiraling corrections costs and […]
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.