$2 Million OJJDP-MacArthur Partnership Focuses on Juvenile Justice Reform

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A partnership between the federal government and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will provide $2 million over the next two years for juvenile justice reform efforts.

The partnership — established in 2011 between the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and MacArthur — will continue to fund initiatives to:

  • Reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the juvenile justice system.
  • Employ evidence-based methods to reduce out-of-home placements and delinquency.
  • Provide training in adolescent development and mental health to juvenile corrections staff.
  • Respond effectively to “dual-status” youth involved with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

“Every youth who enters the juvenile justice system deserves to be treated fairly and to receive the help he or she needs,” OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee said Tuesday in a news release announcing the renewal of the partnership.

“Together, our office and the MacArthur Foundation are working with states and communities to build a better future for youth.”

OJJDP is awarding each of four organizations $125,000 for each of the next two years, while MacArthur is making a one-time $250,000 grant to each organization. Each of these organizations received the same amount of funding from both entities in 2011:

  • The Washington-based Center for Children’s Law and Policy will select two jurisdictions as part of the effort to reduce DMC in the juvenile justice system. In the original partnership, CCLP worked with Arapahoe County, Colo., and Alachua County, Fla., both of have which have reduced racial disparities, CCLC says.
  • The National Youth Screening & Assessment Project at the University of Massachusetts Medical School will select probation offices in each of two states to get funding to set up and use evidence-based risk-assessment and screening tools. Participating sites will receive funding for a coordinator and other needs, free training and technical assistance.
  • The Delmar, N.Y.-based Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change at the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice is offering six sites training for juvenile justice staff that focuses on adolescent development; mental health disorders and treatment; the critical role of families; and strategies for engaging and interacting with youth.
  • The Washington-based Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice will select four jurisdictions to receive a year’s technical assistance and consultation through proven tools for improving outcomes for dual-status youth.

“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, in the news release. “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.”

Models for Change, launched in 2004, is MacArthur’s ambitious juvenile justice reform initiative.  More than $100 million has been invested to support reform efforts in 35 states.

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