Resources for Key Issues
- Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System is a white paper released July 2014 that is focused on promoting “what works” for youth reentering the community.
- “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community” is an issue brief that outlines principles and promising practices for effective youth re-entry programs, suggests opportunities for improvements in public policy, and makes recommendations for federal leadership.
- The Desktop Guide to Reentry for Juvenile Confinement Facilities guides practitioners in adopting a re-entry focus and identifies ways to redesign institutional operations to facilitate re-entry.
- Reforming Juvenile Justice provides extensive information on how the goals, design, and operation of the juvenile justice system should be informed by knowledge about adolescent development, which has implications for effective aftercare.
- “The Dimensions, Pathways, and Consequences of Youth Reentry” draws on a national roundtable on youth re-entry to recommend the next steps in research and practice to ensure the successful transition of young people back to their communities. Though the roundtable was held in 2003, the recommendations remain relevant.
- The National Juvenile Justice Network’s “Policy Platform: Youth Reentry/Aftercare,” discusses the need for comprehensive youth re-entry programs and recommendations for improvement.
Education and Employment
- “Just Learning” discusses the systemic obstacles to effective teaching and learning in juvenile facilities and the imperative to make education for youth held in them the primary tool of rehabilitation and prevention.
- For more information about the educational challenges faced by youth in the juvenile justice system and recommendations for improvement, see “Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems.”
- The “Learn to Earn” Models for Change Innovation Brief details how the lack of attention to education and career training in juvenile facilities and re-entry has aggravated barriers to employment for youth, and discusses reforms made by the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT) to address this problem.
- See the resources below in Addressing the Challenges of Reentering Youth for further Education and Employment resources.
- See “Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report,” by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, for data on the strong link between institutionalization in correctional facilities and dropping out of high school.
This Issue Brief by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice discusses the opportunities for collaboration and impact on the problem of youth homelessness and juvenile justice with improved re-entry planning as one of the goals.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
See the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Resources page for further resources.
Reconnecting with Families
See Improving Services for Youth/Family Engagement on the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Resources page for further resources.
Re-entry after Short-Term Detention
See Chapter 4 of the Desktop Guide to Reentry for Juvenile Confinement Facilities for best practices on helping youth reintegrate from short-term detention programs.
Challenges Faced by Youth Returning from the Adult Criminal Justice System
“You’re an Adult Now” details the impact of adult-system involvement on youth, and the options for managing them in that system to obtain the best outcomes.
- “Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice” offers guidance from recent research and promising practices in juvenile aftercare.
- For a better understanding of risk assessment tools in juvenile probation and probation intake, see Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation from Models for Change.
- For a thorough understanding of risk assessment instruments in juvenile detention, see “Juvenile Detention Risk Assessment: a Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform.”
- See the resources above in What is Aftercare and Why is it Important? for further resources on the critical elements for effective aftercare.
- The National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), administered by the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and established by the Second Chance Act, serves as a source of information and guidance on adult and youth re-entry. The NRRC provides training and technical assistance to Second Chance Act grantees.
- The Council of State Governments Justice Center website has information on the Second Chance Act, including specific programs and grantees.
- For examples of a few juvenile re-entry initiatives funded by the Second Chance Act, see this fact sheet.
Resources for Reform Trends
- For a good description of the balanced and restorative justice framework and how it has been used in juvenile justice, see OJJDP’s “Restoring the Balance: Juvenile and Community Justice.”
- Pennsylvania aligned their Juvenile Justice System Enhancement
Strategy (JJSES) to correspond with Balanced and Restorative Justice principles. JJSES seeks to reduce harm by applying the best-known research to the principles and goals of BARJ.
- “Incorporating the Strengths Perspective into Intensive Juvenile Aftercare” argues that incorporating a strengths-based perspective into juvenile aftercare programming, rather than the more traditional deficit-based approach, has the potential to reduce recidivism.
- For a detailed description of re-entry courts and the comprehensive planning process involved in setting one up, see Chapter 7 – “The Juvenile Reentry Court” of Graduated Sanctions for Juvenile Offenders – Volume II.
- Reconnecting: The Role of the Juvenile Court in Reentry is a practical guide for planning, implementing, and operating a juvenile re-entry court.
- “Advancing Competency Development in Pennsylvania” is a resource guide that details competency development supportive resources across the state.
- The Ohio Department of Youth Services has a good description of its re-entry continuum on their website, with a number of helpful re-entry resources, including a detailed action plan.
- This “Educational Aftercare and Reintegration Toolkit” by the Education Law Center-PA and the Models for Change Initiative provides information and tools for juvenile justice professionals working on educational issues with youth in the juvenile justice system.
- “Juvenile Detention Risk Assessment” by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) provides a thorough description of detention risk assessment instruments and how they can be used to achieve detention reform objectives.
- See “Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation” for a detailed description of risk assessment and risk assessments instruments, how they are used, and how to most effectively implement them.
- Pennsylvania’s “Probation Case Management Essentials for Youth in Placement” details how the state has used its “Joint Policy Statement on Aftercare for Delinquent Youth” to drive aftercare reform efforts in the state.
- See the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice’s “Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings” for best practices in correctional education and re-entry, and the core activities underlying these principles.
- “Recommendations to Improve Correctional and Reentry Education for Young People” details the policy recommendations that came out of a 2012 summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Education to address correctional and re-entry education for youth and adults.
- JustChildren provides a detailed analysis of the problems in school re-entry and recommended policies in “A Summary of Best Practices in School Reentry for Incarcerated Youth Returning Home.”
- See “Pennsylvania Progress: Preparing Youth for Productive Futures” for a detailed description of the educational challenges facing Pennsylvania youth and the work done to address it with the Philadelphia Reintegration Initiative.
- This Models for Change Innovation Brief describes the Pennsylvania Academic Career/Technical Training Alliance to help incarcerated youth gain better education and job skills while in custody and once released.
- Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System details many of the challenges for reentering youth and promising practices to address them.
- “Better Solutions for Youth with Mental Health Needs in the Juvenile Justice System” is a white paper by the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collabortive for Change that discusses how to best help youth with mental health needs who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.
- National Juvenile Justice Network’s “Time for a Check-Up: How Advocates Can Help Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Get the Mental Health Services They Need,” and the National Academy for State Health Policy’s “Facilitating Access to Health Care Coverage for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth” provide information on the health care challenges of juvenile justice involved youth and suggested reforms.
- Family Involvement in Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System identifies strategies and models at the local and state level to support family involvement in the juvenile justice system.
- “Youth Homelessness and Juvenile Justice” details the problems of homeless youth in the juvenile justice system and suggests ways to assist them.
- See the National Juvenile Justice Network’s “Policy Platform: Youth Reentry/Aftercare,” for a discussion of the challenges confronting youth returning from facilities and recommendations for improving youth re-entry.
- See the Juvenile Law Center’s “Failed Policies, Forfeited Futures: A Nationwide Scorecard on Juvenile Records” forratings and detailed information on the laws in each state and “Juvenile Records: A National Review of State Laws on Confidentiality, Sealing, and Expungement” forcore principles of record protection.
- “Juvenile Records: A Know Your Rights Guide for Youth in Pennsylvania” explains juvenile records and their consequences to youth and walks them through the expungement process.
- Organizations in Illinois, Maryland, and Louisiana have developed web-based expungement tools, or apps, to help youth with the expungement process:
- See the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission’s “Youth Reentry Improvement Report” for a thoughtful analysis of the problems incurred in a parole system based on an adult surveillance-oriented model and detailed recommendations for improvement that have applicability to many states.
- The Central and Eastern Oregon Juvenile Justice Consortium provides detailed information on how its graduated response system works in “A Graduated System of Incentives, Interventions and Sanctions for Youth Offenders on Probation.”
- See this Reclaiming Futures blog post for resources on graduated sanctions and incentives.
- Many probation departments use graduated sanctions grids to help them standardize probation responses to infractions. Click here for a sample grid from Reclaiming Futures and click here for Baltimore City’s Graduated Responses Grid.
- For further information on the benefits of a graduated response system and details regarding the system developed by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services see their PowerPoint slides, “Graduated Responses for Youth Under DJS Supervision.”
- “Supervision Strategies for Justice Involved Youth” details three strategies that are most effective in supervising justice-involved youth.
- This article by Dick Mendel makes the case that the commonly used surveillance-oriented probation does not reduce recidivism and there are other more effective alternatives with proven power to reduce reoffending.
- See OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide on “Detention, Confinement, and Supervision” for ratings and information on programs for confined youth and aftercare.
- CrimeSolutions.gov has evidence ratings, summaries, and more detailed program information on juvenile delinquency prevention programs and practices.
- The Washington State Institute for Public Policy has many reports and charts of information on evidence-based, research-based, and promising juvenile justice programs, including cost-benefit analyses.
- See the Evidence-Based Practices Resources section for many more databases of programs rated for effectiveness.
- See “Back on Track” for recommendations for federal leadership in youth re-entry.
- In “Recommendations to Improve Correctional and Reentry Education for Young People,” the Juvenile Law Center provides a number of federal legislative recommendations.
- This report is based on a year- long benchmarking study of the Department of Labor’s employment focused Reentry Employment Opportunities (REO) program. It includes data on several youth-focused programs.