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Juvenile Justice - General

This report provides a clear blueprint for closing youth prisons and replacing them with community-based juvenile justice services. Readers will learn how this new system can hold youth accountable — without resorting to incarceration — while cultivating a young person’s strengths, interests and sense of belonging.” Sections of this publication are: introduction: a note on community; defining “continuity of care” for young people in the juvenile justice system; why a continuum is needed; developing a continuity of care—guiding principles, core components, and tying it all together; eight steps for developing a community-based continuum of care for justice involved youth; examples of continua of care; funding a continuum of care for justice-involved youth and their families; and conclusion.

This report presents the findings of an implementation and outcome evaluation of NYC Justice Corps (Justice Corps), a cohort-based workforce development and recidivism reduction program for justice involved young adults that operated from 2008 to 2018. The evaluation examines a 2015 redesign of the Justice Corps program model, which is found to have improved core aspects of service provision while providing a more streamlined set of services. Drawing on findings from this research, the report highlights a set of considerations intended to inform current and future youth justice programming.

A response to behavioral problems in many facilities has been reliance on isolation for acting out youths who are mentally challenged, chronically violent, or gang involved. Instead of being used as a last resort to protect youths from self-harm, hurting others or causing significant property damage that is terminated as soon as a youth regains control, isolation too often becomes the behavior management system by default. Research has made clear that isolating youths for long periods of time or as a consequence for negative behavior undermines the rehabilitative goals of youth corrections … CJCA presents this Toolkit to help its members and the field reduce the use of isolation and ultimately better help youths in juvenile facilities become successful members of the community (p. 5). Sections comprising this Toolkit are: introduction; overview of the issues of isolation and how it is defined; a summary of the research substantiating the negative impacts of isolation; how solitary confinement harms children; CJCA position in the use of isolation; five steps to reduce the use of isolation; conclusion and action steps for juvenile agency administrators; tips from agency directors that have reduced the use of isolation; examples from states that have reduced the use of isolation—Massachusetts, Maine, Indiana, and Alaska; and a statement from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) regarding solitary confinement.

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The research on “what works” with youth involved in the juvenile justice system has grown substantially in the last two decades. Taking account of this new research, a number of states and jurisdictions have made significant changes to their juvenile justice policies and practices. To further this pursuit, this article offers guidance that draws from the most recent research and promising practices based on the new evidence. This article focuses primarily on juvenile justice policies and practices for youth returning to their communities from out-of-home placements (e.g., secure confinement, residential placements). Topics discussed include: the reentry continuum; overarching case management; and six critical elements of juvenile reentry. Addition information and program examples are provided for each of the six elements—assessment of risk for reoffending, strengths, and needs; cognitive-behavioral interventions; family engagement; release readiness; permanency planning; and staffing and workforce competencies.

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Three distinct time periods frame the juvenile justice process: before, during, and after incarceration. This article focuses on services and supports at each of these critical stages, specifically regarding employability skills. These skills, although supportive of, are different than vocational skills. Beyond specific trade skills, employability skills include at a minimum: effective communication, problem solving, taking responsibility, and teamwork. These skills are important in many areas in addition to employment, but they are perhaps most essential to obtain and hold a job. Thus, in this article, the psychological damage of youth incarceration is examined as well as the impact on obtaining and maintaining employment post incarceration. Existing programs and supports for employability skills are explored for before, during, and after incarceration. Finally, resources for practitioners are provided and the needs for future research are discussed (p. 42). Sections of this article include: introduction; the importance of employability skills; psychological damage; trauma-informed care; employment post incarceration; conceptual framework—life course theory; instructional programs targeting competencies for employability skills—before incarceration (examples of employability skills programs, and missed opportunities), during incarceration (examples of employability skills programs, and unmet need), and after incarceration (examples of employability skills programs, and remaining needs); the necessity of further research and development—resources for practitioners, future research, programs and practices, desistance or recidivism, and community-based alternatives; and conclusion.

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This webinar highlights strategies, tools, examples, and best-practice models from across the country that juvenile justice agency managers, staff, and other practitioners may consider in adopting to effectively implement evidence-based programs and services and promote positive outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system.

The objective of this study was to systematically review and statistically synthesize all available research that, at a minimum, compared participants in a restorative justice program to participants processed in a more traditional way using meta-analytic methods. Ideally, these studies would include research designs with random assignment to condition groups, as this provides the most credible evidence of program effectiveness … Overall, the results evaluating restorative justice programs and practices showed a moderate reduction in future delinquent behavior relative to more traditional juvenile court processing … Promising findings in terms of delinquency outcomes for the youth were seen for victim-offender conferencing, family group conferencing, arbitration/mediation programs, and circle sentencing programs. However, in all cases the evidence is equivocal with lower effects for random assignment studies and high variability in findings across studies. The effects for restitution, teen courts, impact panels, and reparative boards are less encouraging, suggesting that these may not be effective programs. In contrast, cautioning and diversion programs had the largest reductions in delinquency, suggesting that this approach may be effective for low-risk and first-time youthful offenders (2-3).

This special report offers a primer on status offenses—misbehaviors that are only illegal because of a person’s age and that unfairly land many kids in the justice system.

This is the go to place for current information about juvenile justice issues. Anyone working with juvenile offenders should visit this website.

"The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) is the only publication covering juvenile justice and related issues nationally on a consistent, daily basis. In the past, traditional journalism organizations filled this function. Today, due to shrinking resources, there are large gaps in that coverage. The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange fills the void. Focused not just on delivering information, but rather on an “exchange” of ideas, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange fosters a community of support around the issues facing the youth of our country … Doing what is best for children means staying well informed on governmental policies and legislation, court rulings, educational trends, treatment, research, prevention programs and other factors that impact the quality of service delivered to the kids that need them most."

Points of access at this website include: news—brain development, legislation, education, parenting, and the system; policy news; ideas and opinions; Bokeh—the JJIE Photo Blog (multimedia and young journalist reports); story series; and tweets.

The crown jewel of this site is the Juvenile Justice Resource Hub. It provides "[r]eady access to reliable, accurate, curated information and analysis on juvenile justice issues" for the content areas of evidence-based practices, mental health and substance use disorders, community-based alternatives, juvenile indigent defense, and race-ethnic fairness. Each area contains sections on key issues, reform trends, resources, experts in the field, and a glossary.

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The Juvenile Justice Research-to-Practice Implementation Resources provide juvenile justice agency managers, staff, and other practitioners with concrete strategies, tools, examples, and best-practice models to help them implement research-based policies and practices and improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. Resources are available for Family Engagement and Involvement, and Evidence-Based Programs and Services.

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