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Advancing U.S. Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Date: 2014/09/24 (Rev. 2016/09/24)
  • Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs - www.ojp.usdoj.gov
  • Synopsis : Office of Justice Programs, MacArthur Foundation Renew Partnership With $2 Million Commitment to Advance Juvenile Justice Reform.

Main Document

In a renewed private-public partnership, the Office of Justice Programs' Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are jointly providing $2 million to advance juvenile justice reform.

"Every youth who enters the juvenile justice system deserves to be treated fairly and to receive the help he or she needs," said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee. "Together, our Office and the MacArthur Foundation are working with states and communities to build a better future for youth."

OJJDP and the MacArthur Foundation will each provide two years of funding at $125,000 per year to four organizations - the Center for Children's Law and Policy; the National Youth Screening and Assessment Project at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research, Inc.; and the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice - to support innovative reforms in treatment and services for youth.

Through this partnership, established in 2011, OJJDP and MacArthur will support training and technical assistance for states and local governments to meet the mental health needs of system-involved youth, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and promote coordination and integration for youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

The funding will support the following projects:

  • Disproportionate Minority Contact Reduction: Employing a collaborative, data-driven approach to improve equity and enhance outcomes for youth of color who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. The Center for Children's Law and Policy (CCLP) will provide technical assistance and project oversight. Contact CCLP at tdavis@cclp.org
  • Risk Assessment and Behavioral Health Screening: Using evidence-based tools for effective case planning to achieve reductions in out-of-home placements and delinquency. The National Youth Screening and Assessment Project (NYSAP) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School will provide technical assistance, research and project oversight. Contact NYSAP at gina.vincent@umassmed.edu
  • Mental Health Training for Juvenile Justice: Providing comprehensive adolescent development and mental health training to juvenile correctional and detention staff to improve staff knowledge, understanding and ability to respond to youth with mental health needs. The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research, Inc., will provide technical assistance and project oversight. Contact NCMHJJ at kskowyra@prainc.com
  • Dual Status Youth Technical Assistance Initiative: Designing and implementing multi-system responses to improve outcomes for youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and help systems work more effectively and efficiently together. Technical assistance utilizing a proven framework for system coordination and integration will be provided by the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice, led by Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps. Contact RFK NRCJJ at jtuell@rfkchildren.org

"This work will help secure and build on important developmentally-appropriate advances in juvenile justice reform accomplished through the Models for Change initiative," said Laurie Garduque, MacArthur's Director of Justice Reform. "This work builds on innovations proven effective in more than 35 states and is critical to continuing the momentum for improving outcomes for youth in contact with the law."

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP):

Provides national leadership, coordination and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families. Additional information on OJJDP is available at www.ojjdp.gov

The MacArthur Foundation:

Supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology affects children and society. More information about the Foundation's juvenile justice work is available at www.macfound.org/juvenile_justice

Models for Change:

Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice supports rational, fair, effective and developmentally appropriate responses that hold justice-involved youth accountable while improving outcomes for young people and communities. An initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, it provides expertise and tools to advance reform of juvenile justice systems nationwide. Models for Change is grounded in 20 years of research, practice, and reform efforts in more than 35 states and in collaboration with federal agencies. The Models for Change Resource Center Partnership provides practitioners and policymakers with technical assistance, trainings, tools, and resources, and is anchored by four national Resource Centers focused on key areas of reform: mental health, dual status youth, status offenses, and juvenile defense. For more information about Models for Change lessons, tools, research and accomplishments, visit: www.modelsforchange.net

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. For more information about OJP, please visit www.ojp.gov

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