Models for Change (Washington, DC)
While this publication’s title would lead you to believe it is specifically for those with technical assistance from the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice, the workbook is designed “to provide practical guidance for state and local jurisdictions in their endeavor to improve the outcomes for dual status youth and families and to enhance system performance among the critical youth- and family-serving agency partners … [and] serves as an accompaniment to the newly revised Guidebook for Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare System Coordination and Integration: A Framework for Improved Outcomes [NIC accession no. 028039]” (p. 1). The initiative process is comprised of four phases: Phase 1—Mobilization and Advocacy; Phase 2—Study and Analysis; Phase 3—Action Strategy; and Stage 4—Implementation. Appendixes provide a wide range of associated material including: Participants by Role; Recommended Infrastructure; Sample Kickoff Invitation; Practice Development Template; Sample Kickoff Agenda; Monthly Progress Report Template; Missions and Mandates Template; Law and Policy Inventory and Analysis Template; County Case Flow Process Mapping; Screening and Assessment Inventory Example; Resource Inventory Example; Santa Clara County MOU (Memorandum of Understanding); and the Outagamie Logic Model.
“Many youth in custody are forced to appear in court shackled with leg irons, belly chains, and handcuffs. The practice of restraining youth who pose no safety threat unnecessarily humiliates, stigmatizes, and traumatizes young people. Shackling youth is inconsistent with the rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system and offends due process. Juvenile defenders involved in the Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network (JIDAN) developed a variety of strategic innovations to end the indiscriminate shackling of youth and the successes have been widely replicated across the nation” (p. 1).
Anyone dealing with the provision of services to justice-involved youth should read this publication. “This report outlines federal and state eligibility, enroll¬ment, and outreach strategies that can help facilitate seamless coverage for system-involved youth. Adoption of these initiatives has the potential to improve the lives of juvenile justice-involved youth and their families, increase their ability to remain in the community, and ultimately, reduce recidivism. Key to the success of these strategies will be ongoing collaboration between the multiple state and federal agencies that interact with the juvenile justice population” (p. 7). Sections of this publication discuss: Medicaid eligibility options to ease community reentry—suspending eligibility, continuous eligibility, presumptive eligibility, and special enrollment procedures (Oregon, Colorado, and Texas); implications of health reform for juvenile justice-involved youth—eligibility and enrollment policies; emerging issues—transitions in coverage between Medicaid, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) and exchanges; and evidence based practices for meeting the needs of juvenile justice-involved youth.
“As states and juvenile justice stakeholders work to facilitate health coverage and access for system-involved youth, they can draw upon the experiences of their counterparts across the country to improve eligibility, enrollment, and outreach processes. Medicaid eligibility strategies in several states have already facilitated seamless coverage for juvenile justice-involved youth, and consumer assistance programs created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will provide additional resources to support continuity of care. Collaboration among Medicaid and juvenile justice systems and stakeholders will be essential to fully realizing the opportunities presented by health care reform.” Sections of this brief cover: the issue of Medicaid coverage for justice-involved youth; innovations—Medicaid eligibility options (suspending eligibility, continuous eligibility, and presumptive eligibility), expedited Medicaid enrollment, and outreach; lessons learned; and looking forward.
<p>“Youth who run away from home, routinely skip school, and engage in other risky behaviors [status offenses] that are prohibited precisely because of their young age are acting out in ways that should concern the adults in their lives. They need appropriate attention—but not from the juvenile justice system” (p. 1). Sections of this report discuss: the rise and fall of status offense cases handled in court (1995-2010); common status offenses—truancy, liquor law violations, runaway, ungovernability, and curfew violations; why courts are poorly suited to deal with status offense cases; what the characteristics are of an effective community-based approach for assisting youngsters charged with status offenses; whether community-bases responses work—yes if done well with examples being in Florida, New York State, Calcasieu Parish (Louisiana), Rapides Parish (LA), and Clark County (Washington State).</p>
“The Guidebook is designed to help jurisdictions engage in a process to determine what integration and coordination efforts will best achieve improved outcomes for children and families and the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. It can be used in conjunction with the publication, Dual Status Youth – Technical Assistance Workbook [NIC accession no. 028039] that provides month-by-month direction to implement the structure, policies, and practices to address dual status youth” (p. xx). It explains the four phases of the initiative process: Phase 1—Mobilization and Advocacy; Phase 2—Study and Analysis (i.e., data collection, management, and performance measurement, resources and practice, and law, policy, and information sharing; Phase 3—Action Strategy; Phase 4—Implementation. Appendixes include: Federal Legislation to Support Systems Coordination and Integration Between Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare; Keeping Our Children Safe--The Child Protection System; The Juvenile Justice System; Executive Summary from Doorways to Delinquency--Multi-System Involvement of Delinquent Youth?; King County, Washington; Oregon’s Executive Order; Baltimore City Memorandum of Understanding; Hopetown Hypothetical Agreement; Discussion Questions for Barriers to Integration and Coordination; Descriptions of Federal Programs for Children and Families; and summaries of federal programs for juvenile justice.
"[I]t is sometimes difficult for stakeholders, who represent different interests in the system, to come to agreement as to key issues with respect to information sharing for individual case management. These include the purposes and value to youth of information sharing; what are the appropriate limits on sharing; and how to minimize the potential negative collateral consequences of information sharing such as self-incrimination and net widening. In addition, with respect to data collection, aggregation and sharing for law, policy and program development, stakeholders in jurisdictions often make the mistake of developing systems before identifying the key questions they want answered by the aggregated data. Similarly, with respect to program evaluation and performance measurement, stakeholders must first determine the outcomes they wish to achieve and the indicators they will use to measure progress towards those outcomes, and then take their baseline measurements. Without this preliminary legwork, jurisdictions could set up information sharing systems that do not fully meet their needs." The Models for Change Information Sharing Tool Kit – 2d Edition is "is designed to assist jurisdictions in implementing information and data sharing initiatives in support of juvenile justice reform initiatives. Three distinct levels of categories of information sharing make up the Tool Kit’s Framework": "Category One: Information Sharing for Purposes of Individual Case Planning and Decision-making"; "Category Two: Data Collection and Sharing for Law, Policy, and Program Development; and "Category Three: Data Collection and Sharing for Performance Measurement and Program Evaluation;". Each category contains these sections: federal law overview; state law; interactive scenarios—sets of questions for testing ones knowledge about information/data sharing with accompanying answer keys; principles—"a set of core principles or positive values that should undergrid all information/data collection and sharing projects"; guidelines—a step-by-step process for developing and implementing such a project including related tools that can be used in the guidelines establishment; and case studies.
Results are presented from a comprehensive Probation Review of Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish. These are especially helpful if your probation department is considering revamping operations in order to achieve better efficiency and reduced recidivism. Sections of this report include: implementation successes; history of the agency; background to the review implementation; assessing the system; prioritization of report recommendations; work plan implementation; changing a system using Probation Review elements—Element A - Program Planning and Implementation, Element B - Best Practices and Benchmarking, Element C - Performance Measurement and Client Outcomes, and Element D - Intra- and Interagency Work Processes; and conclusion. Appendixes include: Statement of Work; excerpt from the work plan; meeting inventory example; Process Evaluation—Staff Meeting; Probation Officer’s Role, Responsibilities and Duties; Criteria Sheet with Performance Measures; Graduated Response Grid; and benchmarks list. “Efforts in Jefferson Parish resulted in substantial improvements in nearly every aspect of the Probation Department activities, including reduced recidivism, reduced rates of detention, reduced probation caseloads, and increased savings.”
“In the past decade, the Supreme Court has transformed the constitutional landscape of juvenile crime regulation. In three strongly worded opinions, the Court held that imposing harsh criminal sentences on juvenile offenders violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. In combination, these cases create a special status for juveniles under Eighth Amendment doctrine as a category of offenders whose culpability is mitigated by their youth and immaturity, even for the most serious offenses. The Court also emphasized that juveniles are more likely to reform than adult offenders, and that most should be given a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate that they have done so. In short, because of young offenders’ developmental immaturity, harsh sentences that may be suitable for adult criminals are seldom appropriate for juveniles. These opinions announce a powerful constitutional principle—that “children are different” for purposes of criminal punishment … This report addresses the key issues facing courts and legislatures under this new constitutional regime, and provides guidance based on the Supreme Court’s Eighth Amendment analysis and on the principles the Court has articulated” (p. 1). The accompanying briefs to the report are: “Overview Brief: The U.S. Supreme Court and the Transformation of Juvenile Sentencing”, “Juvenile Sentencing in A Developmental Framework: The Role of the Courts”, and “Practitioner Brief: Applying a Developmental Framework to Juvenile Sentencing—What Forensic Experts and Attorneys Should Know” all three by Scott, Grisso, Levick, and Steinberg.
"Today, juvenile justice reform has become a largely bipartisan issue as lawmakers work together to develop new policies to align sound fiscal responsibility, community safety and better outcomes for youth. New legislative reforms reflect an interest in developmentally appropriate approaches to more evidence-based methods and cost-effective alternatives to incarceration. There also now exists an abundance of research that is available to lawmakers and the field on adolescent development—that includes the latest neuro[logical], social and behavioral science that distinguishes juveniles from adult offenders. Recent trends in juvenile justice legislation across the country represent a significant new direction to broadly reform justice systems." "Juvenile justice policies require balancing the interests of public safety, accountability and rehabilitation. The challenge for state lawmakers is to develop policies that seek to disrupt the pathways that youth follow into the justice system. In the past five years, juvenile justice reform legislation in the United States has grown at a remarkable pace. The reforms reflect an interest in developmentally appropriate approaches to more evidence-based and cost-effective alternatives to incarceration" (p. 1). Sections following an executive summary include: federal standards; comprehensive omnibus reforms; human trafficking; returning jurisdiction to the juvenile justice system—reforming transfer, waiver and direct file laws, and raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction; prevention, intervention, and detention reform—intervention and realignment, status offenders, and detention reform; due process and defense reform—juvenile competency, indigent defense and other procedural issues, shackling, and solitary confinement; treating mental health needs of juvenile offenders; racial and ethnic disparities; restorative justice; reentry/aftercare—confidentiality of juvenile records and expungement; and conclusion.