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Snowden Cottage Named Finalist for the 2018 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is very pleased to announce Snowden Cottage in Wilmington, DE as one of the finalists for the 2018 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the community residential category. Snowden Cottage was selected for their comprehensive efforts to ensure fairness throughout the program.

The PbS team at Snowden Cottage noticed a low percentage of youths reported the rules were fair on their surveys and decided to focus on improving this measure. To get to the root of the issue, the team held meetings with staff and youths along with a special review and follow up on grievances and complaints. They determined youths were struggling to understand the rules of the cottage due to confusion over their Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) programming. To start, all staff were refreshed on the state policies and the youth’s cottage handbook expectations during staff meetings and individual supervision meetings. Families were also informed about PbS and this improvement plan to demonstrate Snowden’s commitment to improving the overall performance of the treatment they provide.

For youths to feel that the rules of Snowden Cottage were fair, all staff took part in implementing and achieving three successful interventions. The first intervention was an informative focus. Management met with staff to discuss the issue. The staff and youths designed poster boards of rules to display throughout the Cottage. The second intervention included refresher activities for staff and youths such as: Cottage Bingo, Cottage Jeopardy, Who Knows the Cottage Best and Cottage Millionaire. During these activities, youths were able to accept directives from staff, take accountability and promote leadership qualities without feeling like they were being treated unfairly. The third intervention was recognition. Staff recognition was given in various ways via email, kudos, performance evaluations, a quarterly employee award and the residential cottages newsletter to show appreciation for hard work.

Thus far, the interventions outlined in this improvement plan have more than doubled the percentage of youths reporting the rules are fair, reaching almost 100%.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 3, 2018. Stay tuned for more blogs about the 2018 finalists.

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Staff at Snowden Cottage

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Staff team-building

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 5:59 PM

Cache Valley Youth Center Named Finalist for the 2018 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is very pleased to announce Cache Valley Youth Center in Logan, UT as one of the finalists for the 2018 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention category. Cache Valley was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan focusing on helping youths to develop positive external supports in the community. They used a number of different approaches to reach their goal of 100% of youths reporting that they have at least one person at home or in the community they will talk to when they need to talk or need help working out a problem.

Cache Valley Youth Center worked on improving communication with youth and their families. This allows youths to more easily identify people in the community that they can talk to when they are having problems. It also improves the relationship between staff and families. Team members provide updates and answer questions which enables the families to feel validated and that they have a voice in the process.

Their team has done an exceptional job at finding opportunities to seek a safe avenue for youth to identify and talk to people the youth trust in the community when they are released from detention, including calling a trusted team member at the facility.

Programs like yoga give the youths an opportunity to feel comfortable and talk about pressing issues. Gaining trust in the team, youths are more likely to share, identify, and talk about personal concerns, and are also more likely to reach out after release if they need support. Team members are always looking for an opportunity to help the youth identify adults in their life they can trust with their fears and worries.

Incorporating community partners in activities and programs also gives youth more opportunities to identify individuals in their community as supports. Team members also take every opportunity to counsel with youth regarding individuals in their own lives that they can talk to when they are having problems.

The team at Cache Valley Youth Center has been developing and working on this improvement plan for a year now and continues to learn how to best help youths develop social supports in preparation for their release.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 3, 2018. Stay tuned for more blogs about the 2018 finalists.

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Cache Valley Youth Center Team

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Community Partners Participate in a Basketball Activity

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 6:05 PM

Congratulations to the 2018 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest Finalists

 

The submissions are in for the 2018 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest and again, there are many rock stars, comedians, poets and creative artists within the walls of PbS facilities. We received a total of 86 entries, slightly short of our goal of breaking 100 in our fourth year hosting the contest, but all showing passion for performing and plenty of talent.

After careful consideration and a lot of video-watching, the internal Performance-based Standards (PbS) judging team selected 15 awesome performances as finalists:

  • Norman B., Marquis J., Jeremiah L., Quinton M., Darrell R. from Bridge City Center for Youth, Louisiana Youth Services, Office of Juvenile Justice
  • Ronald A. from Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
  • Kaitlyn C. from Echo Glen Children's Center, Washington Juvenile Justice and Rehabilitation Administration
  • Luis O. from Echo Glen Children's Center, Washington Juvenile Justice and Rehabilitation Administration
  • Hailey M. from Geneva Youth Rehab. & Treatment Center, Nebraska Office of Protection and Safety
  • Naudia S. from Geneva Youth Rehab. & Treatment Center, Nebraska Office of Protection and Safety
  • Aurora K. from IYC – Warrenville, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Derrius W. from Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Services
  • Hunter H., Braxton S. from Mill Creek Youth Center, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services
  • Amir W. from Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon Youth Authority
  • Brendon B., Saul C., Marcus D., Matt D., Nicholas F., Alfonso K., Daniel S., Dustin W., Jalen W., Justice Y. from Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon Youth Authority
  • Saul C. from Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon Youth Authority
  • Elijah C., Jason C., Jorden D., Kai G., Jamie G., Sati L., Elijah R., Treveion R. from Snowden Cottage, Delaware Youth Rehabilitative Services Division
  • Jordan C. from Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services
  • Jamarius C., Absalon R. from Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Congratulations to the finalists and all performers. Performing takes not only talent but confidence and commitment and you all rocked!

Next, our Kids Got Talent Contest judges will watch all the performances and vote. Each video is about three minutes long and the competition is tight. The winner will perform live at the annual Awards Night, this year Aug. 3 in Minneapolis.

Thanks to our judges:

  • Nate Balis, Director, Juvenile Justice Strategy Group, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Jozy Bernadette, Contestant, The Voice
  • Sanzanna Dean, Senior Policy Advisor, OJJDP
  • Patrick Griffin, Senior Program Officer, Criminal Justice, MacArthur Foundation
  • Chyrl Jones, Deputy Administrator, OJJDP
  • Mary Ann Scali, Executive Director, National Juvenile Defender Center
  • Marc Schindler, Executive Director, Justice Policy Institute

Thank you also to the many staff who helped produce the videos and submit them to PbS and to the agency directors who supported this effort to treat all youths in custody as one of our own.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 3:20 PM

Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex- West Female Named Finalist for the 2018 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is very pleased to announce Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex- West Female (KJCC) in Topeka, KS as one of the finalists for the 2018 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. KJCC was selected as a finalist for their comprehensive Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) to develop a more effective, responsive and attentive suicide precaution program.

The administrative team at Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex has long understood the importance of suicide assessment, detection, and prevention. However, it wasn't until 2012 that serious efforts were made to improve all aspects involved in this process. After significant consideration and planning, the team narrowed its focus down to six (6) critical points. The team found deficiencies in several areas and decided to focus on these areas to improve suicide prevention precautions.

  1. Implementation of a proactive and creative approach to managing crises to include daily Behavioral Health living unit rounds and offering every youth the opportunity to talk to a behavioral health professional every weekday. This implementation has been very successful in deflecting crisis level behavior before it occurs.

  2. The provision of dedicated resources on the living unit to include an on-unit Behavioral Health Professional, along with a full-time Activity Therapist. The specific focus of the increased Behavioral Health Professional's presence is to provide a more timely and accurate response to any sort of potential self-harming or suicidal behavior.

  3. The implementation of evidence-based curriculums focusing on gender-specific topics and trauma.

  4. The administration adopted a plan for culture change that included the notion that limiting the use of room confinement, isolation and restricted housing would decrease the frequency and volume of self-harming and suicidal behavior.

  5. Improvement of overall awareness in the facility by requiring all staff to participate in an eight hour Mental Health and Juvenile Justice training with a serious focus on youth suffering from issues related to mental health, suicidal behavior and trauma.

  6. An increased emphasis and utilization of multidisciplinary teams to better understand each and every youth on an individual basis.

The team at KJCC has been working diligently on this improvement plan for over five years and continues to see positive results in their data.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 3, 2018. Stay tuned for more blogs about the 2018 finalists.

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Behavioral Health Team

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Executive Staff and PbS Team

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, June 4, 2018 at 6:37 PM

Congratulations to the Finalists for the 2018 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

On behalf of Performance-based Standards (PbS), I am extremely proud to announce the 2018 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Finalists and Honorable Mentions! In this era of juvenile justice reform, changing leadership and fewer yet more complex offenders placed in youth facilities, these outstanding agencies and professionals show us that commitment to implementing best practices results in positive outcomes. They have taken on the difficult work to change cultures from harsh to healthy and find innovative and effective responses to youths’ multidimensional needs.

Each year PbS honors correction, detention, assessment and community residential programs who best exemplify PbS’ guiding principle: treat all youths in custody as one of our own. Year after year, the competition is tough and we are inspired by all of the hard work each facility undertakes to improve outcomes for the youths in their care, the staff who serve them and the families and communities where they will return upon release. This year was no exception. We are very proud to announce the following sites as our 2018 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Finalists.

Correction Finalists:

  • Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex- West Female, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Services
  • Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility, Indiana Department of Corrections, Division of Youth Services
  • Southwest Utah Youth Center- Long Term, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services

Detention/Assessment Finalists:

  • Cache Valley Youth Center, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services
  • Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center, Covington, LA
  • Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility, Sacramento County Probation Department, CA

Community Residential Finalists:

  • Snowden Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
  • South Hadley Girls Treatment, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
  • White’s Residential and Family Services, Indiana Department of Corrections, Division of Youth Services

One finalist in each category will be selected as the winner by the PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Selection Committee and honored at the PbS Agency Coordinator Training and CJCA and PbS Awards Ceremony on Aug. 3 in Minneapolis. PbS will post a spotlight blog about each finalist's specific efforts to treat all youths in custody as one of our own in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. Please look for these inspiring stories on the blog through the end of July.

Additionally, given the strong competition among this year’s 29 applicants, PbS also congratulates four facilities as Honorable Mentions.

Correction Honorable Mentions:

  • Johnson Youth Correction Center, Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice
  • Worcester Secure Treatment Facility, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

Detention/Assessment Honorable Mentions:

  • Kenai Peninsula Youth Detention Facility, Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice
  • Split Mountain Youth Center, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services

Congratulations to all!

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Friday, June 1, 2018 at 4:19 PM

5 Ways Juvenile Probation Administrators Can Use Data

 

The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) has published 5 Ways Juvenile Probation Administrators Can Use Data, the third brief in a series developed by the OJJDP-funded Juvenile Justice Model Data Project. The brief provides five specific examples of how juvenile probation administrators can use aggregate data to improve practices and monitor system improvements.

Monday, April 9, 2018 at 10:11 AM

OJJDP Releases New Information on Status Offenses

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) posted updated information on status offenses this week. See the ten new charts about counts and trends, petitioned status case rates, detention and disposition in the Petitioned Status Offense Cases section of the Statistical Briefing Book Frequently Asked Questions about Juveniles in Court.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 12:22 PM

Breaking down Barriers: Using Youth Suicide-Related Surveillance Data from State Systems

 

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is has announced the release of a new report, Breaking down Barriers: Using Youth Suicide-Related Surveillance Data from State Systems. This report explores the opportunities and barriers that state Garrett Lee Smith grantees face in accessing and using suicide surveillance data from juvenile justice, child welfare, and public behavioral health systems.

An accompanying technical report details the research included in the paper. A series of worksheets is also included to help state Garrett Lee Smith grantees start or continue a dialogue on accessing and using suicide-related data from these three youth-serving state systems.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 1:55 PM

CJCA and PbS' Awards Night Recognizes Inspiring People and Programs Across Juvenile Justice

 

It was an amazing time at the 2017 CJCA and PbS Awards Night on October 26. The sounds of the Windy City were buzzing around the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, but were nothing compared to the celebratory mood in the room as the night commenced with PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey and CJCA President Mike Dempsey’s opening words.

“Thank you all so much for coming,” said Godfrey. “This is such a great event and we love seeing you all here, celebrating all our successes and feeling the energy from so many dedicated, awesome supporters of PbS and CJCA together in one room.”

The night continued with an announcement and video of the PbS Kids got Talent Group Performance Winner – a group of youths from Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility in Oregon, who produced and starred in a fun music video depicting the song “I Wanna Be Like You” from the Jungle Book. It was a fun, upbeat cover of the Disney hit, made even more impressive by the youths’ filming, choreography, and musical talents displayed with a trumpet, bass, ukulele and drums.

Throughout the evening, guests viewed the Barbara Allen-Hagen winners’ videos – Ferris School and Grace Cottage from the Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services and Nampa Observation and Assessment Center from the Idaho Department of Juvenile Services. The stories these winners shared were motivating and inspiring, and tears were shed as the proud recipients accepted their awards on stage.

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Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Winners pose with PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey and PbS Coaches Joyce Burrell and Russ Jennings

Along with the announcement of the PbS Scholarship and Reentry Award winners, and the CJCA President’s Award which went to Harvey Reed, Director of the Ohio Department of Youth Services, PbS and CJCA both had new awards for 2017. PbS was proud to present the winners of the first annual Employment Matching Award, which is a reflection of PbS’ belief that stable and fulfilling employment serves as a bridge back to community and adult life when youths leave facility care. PbS received 14 applications from youths at seven different facilities across five states – all 14 youths were accepted to receive PbS’ first matching awards.

CJCA also presented the first annual Edward J. “Ned” Loughran Outstanding Administrator Award. Ned was CJCA’s first and founding Executive Director and was an advocate without equal for children, youths and families involved in juvenile justice systems and the leaders who served them. CJCA was proud to present the award this year to Commissioner Peter J. Forbes, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services for his extraordinary leadership in CJCA and the field and a strong commitment to improving the lives of youths.

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CJCA Executive Director Mike Dempsey and CJCA President Lisa Bjergaard prepare to present the Edward J. "Ned" Loughran Outstanding Administrator Award

The night reached a crescendo with the showing of the 2017 PbS Kids Got Talent Finalist Montage, and then the moment everyone was waiting for – the Kids Got Talent Live Performance. Taking the stage was Puamelia O. from Echo Glen Children’s Center, Washington State Juvenile Rehabilitation – Rehabilitation Administration. Pua’s confidence and love for the light of the stage immediately shone through as she introduced herself, smiling and excited before the music started and she began her routine. Pua performed an impressive Hawai'ian dance, the first PbS has ever received in the three years of running the Kids Got Talent Contest, to the song “Kaiona” by Hawai’ian artist Keali’I Reichel. Pua was a natural performer who was energized by the limelight, and her talent and infectious enthusiasm was embraced by the room as guests met her performance with a standing ovation and loud cheers.

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Puamelia, the 2017 PbS Kids Got Talent performer, dances on stage

Congratulations to all the finalists and award winners, both youths and staff, and PbS and CJCA warmly thanks all who joined in celebrating everyone’s amazing and inspiring work!

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 4:45 PM

2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Video Spotlight: Grace Cottage

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is proud to announce Grace Cottage in Wilmington, DE as the 2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winner in the community residential category. Grace Cottage was selected for improving communication on rules and rights.

Congratulations to the Grace Cottage team and thank you for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own.

View the video here.

For more information on their impressive improvements, read the Grace Cottage finalist blog.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 4:28 PM

2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Video Spotlight: Nampa Observation and Assessment Center

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is proud to announce Nampa Observation and Assessment Center (O&A) in Nampa, ID as the 2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winner in the detention/assessment category. O&A was selected for reducing the use of restraints and room confinement.

Congratulations to the O&A team and thank you for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own.

View the video here.

For more information on their impressive improvements, read the O&A finalist blog.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 3:25 PM

2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Video Spotlight: Ferris School

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is proud to announce Ferris School in Wilmington, DE as the 2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winner in the correction category. Ferris School was selected for reducing youth assaults and fights by increasing positive interactions and reinforcements by staff.

Congratulations to the Ferris School team and thank you for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own.

View the video here.

For more information on their impressive improvements, read the Ferris School finalist blog.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 4:21 PM

PbS Shares Three Reentry Briefs

 

The PbS Learning Institute (PbS) is proud to share three new briefs developed as part of the Juvenile Reentry Measurement Standards project launched by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in 2015. The three documents provide a project update, literature review findings and field scan findings to report on the first two tasks of the project.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 10:07 AM

PbS Coordinators Training for Ongoing Improvement

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) will host its annual State/Agency Coordinators Training from Oct. 25-27, 2017 in Chicago. PbS participants include youth correction, detention/assessment and community residential programs from 36 states and 15 agencies across the nation. Representatives and leaders from these participating juvenile agencies will convene to collaborate and learn alongside one another with the goal of returning to their local jurisdictions with new and valuable information.

This year’s training will focus on resources far beyond the data. Over the course of the event, PbS will provide various training sessions, regionally-based work group sessions and panel discussions featuring PbS coaches and coordinators. The training will conclude with a guest speaker presentation on trauma by Dr. Christopher Branson, a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the NYU School of Medicine. His work focuses on improving access to effective social services for youth and families involved with the juvenile justice system.

The training is held in conjunction with the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrator’s (CJCA) annual Leadership Institute. State directors and PbS coordinators will convene for the CJCA and PbS Awards Night on Oct. 26, 2017. The ceremony will feature finalists and recipients of the 2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award, Kids Got Talent Contest, Scholarship Fund, Reentry Award and Employment Matching Award.

Stay tuned for updates, pictures and videos after the ceremony, as well as our official announcement of this year’s Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winners!

Monday, October 2, 2017 at 10:16 AM

2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Community Residential Category

 

Congratulations again to all finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award. The field of applications was so strong that for the first time in 11 years of the award, Performance-based Standards (PbS) expanded the field to include semi-finalists in the correction and detention categories. PbS received three applications in the community residential category and all were finalists.

Congratulations to the Community Residential Category Finalists:

Grace Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, looked to ensure that the rules and rights of their residents were clearly communicated. Specifically honed in on improving areas of order and justice, Grace Cottage looked to address them from the core by focusing the majority of their efforts to increase their youths’ knowledge and understanding of the program.

Mowlds Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, focused their improvement plan on further improving areas relating to security and justice through training for their behavior management system. They stress the importance of ensuring that all their residents and staff have a clear understanding of the program in hopes that the results will not only create an impact for their residents in the program but continue to progress beyond that as their residents transition into the community.

Snowden Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, enhanced training around their program’s rules and guidelines to focus their improvement plans on programming, order, reintegration and justice. Snowden Cottage hoped to turn their data into action with the goal of truly listening to the families, youth and staff. They implemented surveys and created training programs based on the results.

Congratulations to all finalists! The winner in each category will be announced at the CJCA and PbS Awards Night on Oct. 26, 2017 in Chicago!

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program which best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

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Garden project outside of Grace Cottage

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Outside Mowlds Cottage

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Dedicated staff members of Snowden Cottage

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, September 18, 2017 at 5:43 PM

Nampa Observation and Assessment Center Named Finalist for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Nampa Observation and Assessment Center (O&A) as one of the finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention and assessment category. The facility was selected as a finalist for addressing use of restraints and room confinement.

Concerned their PbS data about restraints and room confinement showed rates about five times greater than the field average, the PbS team and new leadership at O&A developed a Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) to address the issue. Staff from all areas of the facility formed a team to work on the plan.

The team based their model on the Six Core Strategies to Reduce Restraints and Room Confinement by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They surveyed staff and youth to gather more information on the perceptions of restraint and room confinement use, completed a gap analysis to identify specific needs and developed three primary initiatives for future incidents.

The new initiatives included: debriefing for youths following every incident, a debriefing process for staff following each use of restraints or room confinement and an upper management review of youths involved in multiple incidents. Prior to this initiative, youths had not been debriefed following incidents and the new process gave them a chance to talk with staff and rejoin their group in a timelier manner. Staff started to use debriefing cards for incidents that may have led to a restraint or room confinement to describe the situation, youth and staff safety, escalation of the incident, measures taken and what could be improved on in a similar situation in the future. The upper management review implemented by O&A evaluates circumstances and implements individual strategies for youths involved in multiple incidents.

The team has worked diligently to ensure the sustainability of these efforts. The staff training curriculum was updated to include effective de-escalation and appropriate use of force trainings on a regular basis. Supervisors continue to monitor debriefs and room confinement timing, review videos of incidents and utilize PbS data each April and October to track improvements. Data consistently shows the reduction in restraint use, room confinement and also in staff injuries. The team is confident that these changes will move O&A in a direction focused on treatment for the youths in their care.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

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Staff at Nampa O&A

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Youths playing ball in the gymnasium

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Math class at O&A

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, September 11, 2017 at 4:25 PM

Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall Named Finalist for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall as one of the finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention category. The facility was selected as a finalist for addressing policies on room confinement prior to upcoming changes in state legislation.

California Senate Bill 1143, which was signed in 2016 and takes effect in January 2018, limits the use of room confinement in juvenile facilities. The facility team knew the challenge ahead and got started on making the change right away using the Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) process. Designed with a goal to end all room confinement events in eight hours or less, the team laid out a plan and included staff of varied levels to ensure different perspectives would be considered.

A focus group of staff was recruited to discuss the bill and develop strategies for culture change. They reviewed the bill together then broke into two sub-groups, one to discuss policies and consistent room confinement guidelines and the other to consider increased incentives for positive behavior. Staff found creative solutions to room confinement, including counseling and redirecting poor behavior, and implemented incentive-based programming.

The incentive-based Behavior Modification Program has been successful and encourages staff to continually share innovative ideas. Staff plan more group activities such as bingo, games, arts and crafts and other activities in their units and part of the facility was converted to a game room. Points earned throughout the week can be used for time in the game room to play arcade games or for the Saturday Program for a food reward of pizza or ice cream.

Including staff from the beginning of the transition provided a strong foundation with a vested interest for the culture change. Recent data showing reduced confinement times does not show any increase in critical incidents since the start of the process, a concern of many staff when the new legislation was announced. The team plans to continue closely monitoring incidents and data to gauge effectiveness, ensure sustainability and show staff how the work is paying off.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

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Facility staff of Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall

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Youths and staff in math class

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, August 28, 2017 at 5:04 PM

Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center Named Finalist for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center (FPJDC) as one of the finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention category. The facility was selected as a finalist for addressing youth fear for safety by implementing data-driven training programs.

The PbS team at FPJDC developed a Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) to address the rising percentage of youth reporting fear for safety. The team reviewed additional PbS data and noted other factors known to increase youth fear such as assaults/fights, restraints, confinement, injuries and contraband rates were not high. Concerned that this unexplained fear would prevent the youth from finding success at FPJDC, the team got creative in determining the cause and working toward a solution.

The team started with a thorough review of the initial orientation experience to determine appropriate staffing, orientation content and how the content was being presented to youths. Following the review, the team implemented regularly scheduled orientation classes for new youth, led by key staff, to ensure the rules of the behavior management system were understood. During these classes, youths were given surveys so staff could get a sense of fears and concerns coming in to the facility. With both of these interventions to refine the orientation process, new youth had more confidence in understanding facility operations and were given a voice to address concerns.

Additionally, the team used the youth feedback and Staff Climate Survey data to determine which training programs would best fit the needs of youth and staff in addressing fear. Courses such as “Effective Communication,” “De-escalation of Conflict,” “Supervision of Youth,” and “Developing Healthy Relationships” were scheduled more frequently to empower staff to consistently and purposefully promote a therapeutic and safe environment, the mission of FPJDC.

The team holds agency-wide PbS meetings and has a volunteer, staff-led committee to continuously strategize, promote buy-in and sustain efforts. Collecting additional data and regularly reviewing the results helps the team stay current and meet changes in the population. The proactive, solution-focused approach has been effective and the team cites the consistency of training programs resulting from gathered feedback as a major key to success.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

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Leadership group tour

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Staff training on effective communication

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Staff appreciation day

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, August 21, 2017 at 4:47 PM

2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Detention Category

 

Congratulations again to all finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award. The field of applications was so strong, for the first time in 11 years of the award, Performance-based Standards (PbS) expanded the field to include semi-finalists. In the detention category, six semi-finalists were chosen before narrowing the field to three finalists.

The detention category semi-finalists included:

  • Hadley Assessment, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, for fostering a more family-focused and inclusive environment for youth and families;
  • Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility, Sacramento County Probation Department, CA, for reviewing use of force processes to reduce injuries and improve safety; and
  • Southwest Utah Youth Center-Detention, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services, for working to improve youth safety with a focus on zero tolerance for sexual abuse and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

Hadley Assessment was chosen as the Honorable Mention in the detention category.

After further internal review, PbS determined the three finalists for detention and shared the applications with the Selection Committee, eight seasoned youth professionals, researchers and leaders, who scored each one. The detention category finalists are:

  • Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center, LA, for reducing youth fear for safety by engaging with the youth to determine the cause;
  • Nampa-Observation and Assessment, Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, for reducing the use of isolation and restraints; and
  • Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall, Stanislaus County Probation Department, CA for reducing the duration of isolation and room confinement well in advance of upcoming legislation.

Stay tuned for spotlight blogs featuring each of the finalists on Mondays this summer!

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program which best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 2:04 PM

Ferris School Named Finalist for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Ferris School in Wilmington, DE as one of the finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. The facility was selected as a finalist for reducing youth assaults and fights by increasing positive interactions and reinforcements by staff.

The PbS team at Ferris School began a Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) following their first data collection, which showed a high number of assaults and fights, which resulted in a high level of restraint use and staff injuries during restraints. The team also believed high rates of assaults, fights and restraints were key factors leading to the reported fear for safety among staff and youths.

The team developed a holistic improvement strategy that focused on increasing positive interactions, reinforcement and staff-youth relationships. For the youths, the team created competitions between housing pods and the pod with the fewest restraints would get to choose from a variety of rewards including movie and popcorn nights, ice cream parties or relaxed uniform rules for the weekend. Educational and vocational programs were expanded for the youths to offer more opportunities, including the revival of the construction program. For the staff, the PbS team held focus groups and increased training on resident supervision, security practices, cognitive behavior therapy and gangs. The team also addressed the correctional facility structure by adding chalkboards in the pods, blue lighting in some rooms that create a calmer atmosphere and made more use of the outdoor space including a new gazebo and healing garden for meditation and groups.

Further analyzing the data, the PbS team noticed the assaults and fights were high in the spring when the facility did not offer a team sport. In the fall, the Ferris School youth football team had been undefeated and the momentum inspired the staff to seek another competitive sport for the spring. The recreation department started a lacrosse program and reached out to coaches from nearby colleges and high schools. Youths and staff learned how to play lacrosse and enjoyed a win-less but fun season. Ferris School received the First Stick grant from USLacrosse, was featured in USLacrosse Magazine and was selected as the host site for the May 2017 USLacrosse clinic. Other recreation activities added were competitions between youths and staff, such as basketball and football games that successfully built more positive staff-youth relationships.

The PbS team at Ferris School is comprised of representatives from each living unit and all departments. The team, led by Tanya Banks is dedicated to sustaining these efforts by championing each program and integrating PbS into the daily routine at the facility. Data and survey results are shared with all staff and used to foster positive relationships with youths and their families. With the additional training, support and recognition of staff, the whole facility is committed to positive changes. Through the additional team sports and expansion of programming, the youths are bought in and take more pride in their daily interactions. They want to do well for themselves, the team and the facility.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

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Data shared with staff for open communication

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Ferris School lacrosse team

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Facility Superintendent, Tanya Banks (right), leading a staff discussion

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, August 7, 2017 at 4:34 PM

Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term Named Finalist for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term (SUYC) in Cedar City, UT as one of the finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. The facility was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan to increase family engagement.

Research shows the importance of family contact with youths in custody in reducing recidivism and the State of Utah and SUYC are dedicated to strengthening positive family interactions. Analyzing data following the April 2015 data collection, the SUYC team determined that certain measures of interaction between staff and youth with families were indicating they had room for improvement. They decided to focus on inviting family members and social supports to more facility events and increasing the rate of contact between staff and families.

To reach their goals, the team at SUYC started the discussion during staff meetings. Working with the PbS Blueprint and staff feedback, they decided to implement a quarterly event for family members and social supports. Dedicated to a collaborative process, the staff engaged the youths and their families in realizing this goal. Staff started by developing the rules and expectations for clear parameters in hosting events. Staff sent information about each event to the family members and social supports ahead of time so they were fully informed of the agenda and expectations. Youths were tasked with designing the invitations, addressing envelopes and compiling guest lists – in addition to working with staff to decide each theme and activity. With a clear interest in continuous improvement, staff ask families to take a brief survey following each event to provide some insight on the experience and share what they would like to see next time.

The success of the events could not have been realized without some creative solutions. The facility is located in a rural area across the state from some of the youth’s families, so the team strategically hosts events either the day before or the day of a parole hearing so families have a better chance to attend. Youths have been given the opportunity to invite another prosocial support if family or close social supports cannot attend. The team plans to sustain the process by ensuring youths are very involved in planning each event. The team relies heavily on youth’s input as to what they most enjoy doing with their families to ensure a good time is had by all. Past family nights have included a board game extravaganza, a fancy holiday celebration meal, staff and youth talent show/lip sync contest and several inter-facility sporting events with a barbecue.

The team at SUYC describes the key to their success as undoubtedly the collaboration between youths, staff and families. Youths and staff hold each other accountable for various aspects of planning and the youths build confidence and are empowered to reach their goals. The facility has been successful engaging families and strengthening bonds through family events. Facility Director Jill McKinlay said, “Families seem very relaxed and are spending some quality time with their youth. Often times I see both youth and their family members laughing and enjoying themselves. Also, if a youth doesn't have a family member that can attend, staff have been good to let the youth invite a volunteer or family home evening couple, clergy etc to come in their place, or staff have just interacted with the youth so they feel appreciated.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

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An inter-facility sports program volleyball game with invited guests

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Family Night Barbecue buffet line

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Youths with families and social supports at a Family Game Night

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, July 24, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility Named Finalist for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility (PHYCF) in Miles City, MT as one of the finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. The facility was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan to increase safety facility-wide.

Committed to continuous improvement, the PHYCF team noticed fear for safety among staff was still high after years of efforts to successfully reduce confinement and isolation at the facility. The team decided to formally address the issue of this culture change to a more juvenile-based approach as it related to staff perceptions about what they were doing and why they were doing it.

Each member of the PHYCF Safety Committee spoke with staff within their work sections and learned their process of institutional changes had outpaced their process of cultural changes. The PHYCF team focused on several interventions to address culture change and sought to ensure staff understood the reasons behind all changes as they were being implemented. A three-part approach included interventions within training to inform about dangers of confinement and idle time, disciplinary alternatives and building positive relationships with youths, supervisory support to increase face time between managers and line staff and guidance/oversight to include more monitoring and ongoing reviews of incidents.

Together, these implementations have been successful for the team at PHYCF. They plan to sustain their improvements by continuing with the successful interventions, reviewing and sharing data and continually seeking feedback by viewing every meeting as an opportunity to address concerns and move forward with positive change. The sustained positive changes at PHYCF already resulted in a feature podcast interview of Quality Assurance Manager and PbS Site Coordinator Jeff Holland on Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI)’s Unrestrained blog and a feature video by the Montana State Fund (MSF). PHYCF was selected as an MSF Work Safe Champion due to their successful reduction and continued low rate of staff injury claims.

The team at PHYCF describes the key to their success as looking beyond the data. The data alone was not enough to convince staff that the facility was in fact, safer, as a result of the new juvenile-based approach. It took a more comprehensive approach of sharing research in addition to the data and creating opportunities for discussion and feedback to get staff buy-in. Superintendent and PbS Facility Administrator Steve Ray attributes their success to the persistence of his team: “I have to give our managers and trainers a lot of credit, they continually got back up and kept spreading the message and using the PbS data to prove that what we were doing was working. It was a long journey, one that will likely never be complete, and it was worth it.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

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Staff and youth playing softball during one of many staff-youth tournaments

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Staff at the vocational program booth at the annual Communication Fair, showcasing furniture made by youths

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Youths engaged in the equine program, a series of training sessions with a local expert

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, July 17, 2017 at 5:31 PM

2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Correction Category

 

Congratulations again to all finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award. The field of applications was so strong, for the first time in 11 years of the award, Performance-based Standards (PbS) expanded the field to include semi-finalists. In the correction category, seven semi-finalists were chosen before narrowing the field to three finalists.

The correction category semi-finalists included:

  • Juvenile Corrections Center-St. Anthony, Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, whose improvement plan focused on family engagement and increasing family survey participation;
  • Stanislaus Juvenile Commitment Facility, Stanislaus County Probation Department, CA, whose improvement plan focused on reducing the duration of room confinement;
  • Woodside-Treatment, Vermont Department for Children and Families, whose improvement plan focused on improving staffing to address facility safety; and
  • Kansas Juvenile Correctional Center-West Female, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Services, whose improvement plan focused on tracking self-harm and suicidal behavior and was chosen as the Honorable Mention in the correction category.

After further internal review, PbS determined the three finalists and shared the applications with the Selection Committee, eight seasoned youth professionals, researchers and leaders, who scored each one. The correction category finalists are:

  • Ferris School, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, whose improvement plan focused on facility safety;
  • Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility, Montana Department of Corrections, Youth Services Division, whose improvement plan focused on staff safety; and
  • Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services, whose improvement plan focused on increasing family engagement.

Stay tuned for spotlight blogs featuring each of the finalists in the correction category every Monday this month!

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program which best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 5:25 PM

Sacramento Kings Foundation Visits Youths at Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility

 

Volunteers from the Sacramento Kings Foundation and the Northern California Construction Training worked hard beautifying the facility for Cesar Chavez National Day of Service to honor Cesar Chavez's legacy and support the youths. The facility also got a new Sacramento Proud mural, and a garden, where the kids will learn valuable harvesting and construction skills.

Recently, 2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Semi-Finalist Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility also expanded their swim program and connected with the Pawsitive Impact shelter dog program.

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 12:50 PM

Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS) is Announcing the Next Round of Openings for College Now

 

Next round of openings for College Now: Applications due June 30th! Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS) is excited to announce the expansion of the College Now program and currently accepting applications from interested agencies.

From the CEEAS Announcement:

In January, we started College Now to bring access to college level courses to students in juvenile justice agencies across the country. College Now is designed for juvenile justice agencies interested in helping their students earn college credits during their term of confinement, and providing support and planning to help students continue and persist at college once they are released.

Through College Now, juvenile justice agencies and their education partners will receive intensive support from CEEAS. Agencies will have the opportunity to build college opportunities and establish a college-going culture. At each site, students will use online tools and participate in virtual classes to prepare for CLEP tests. CEEAS will support each agency to become a official CLEP test center.

In addition, CEEAS will support the selection of a teacher or staff member from each site to act as a site coordinator. These site coordinators will facilitate the program, assist students in their study preparation, and lead college awareness activities. Site coordinators will have the opportunity to earn a stipend from CEEAS.

The goal of this program is for students to earn transferrable college credit by passing CLEP exams, to increase their Accuplacer or SAT scores, to complete all required admission and financial aid preparation while they are held in confinement, and to successfully transition to college (full or part-time) upon release.

There is no fee to participate in College Now. However, agencies and their education partners must commit to fully participate. Applications to join College Now in time to participate in our next round of course offerings are due Friday, June 30th.

We are greatly excited about this opportunity, and hope you are too. Please help us spread the word, and we look forward to receiving your applications!

College Now is made possible through the support of the College Board.

Learn more & complete your application here.

Opening of our second school, this time in the Orleans Justice Center: We are looking for a great principal to join us! Click here for more information on the position.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 12:33 PM

Nine Finalists Selected for the 2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Awards Overcame Seemingly Insurmountable Challenges

 

Challenges facing staff and leaders working in juvenile justice facilities can seem daunting: getting kids to stop fighting, convincing staff to use alternatives to room confinement or restraints when kids act out, making staff and kids feel safe and increasing contacts between youths with families. Like standing at the bottom of a tall mountain ready to hike to the summit but not being to see the top because it’s in the clouds. Too far away, too complicated to find, too difficult to reach.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -Nelson Mandela

Yet the nine finalists selected for the 2017 Performance-based Standards (PbS) Barbara Allen-Hagen Award took on those challenges and achieved their goals. They overcame resistance to change and made believers out of skeptics. They looked at obstacles such as limited resources as opportunities and patiently implemented new policies, practices, trainings and programming. They did what many think is impossible: changed facility cultures to be free of fighting, managed behavior with healthy, nurturing staff-youth relationships, made everyone feel safe and welcomed families for visits, treatment meetings and events.

Congratulations to the PbS teams at:

Correction Category Finalists:

  • Ferris School, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
  • Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility, Montana Department of Corrections, Youth Services Division
  • Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services

Detention/Assessment Category Finalists:

  • Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center, Covington, LA
  • Nampa-Observation and Assessment Center, Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections
  • Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall, Stanislaus County Probation Department, CA

Community Residential Category Finalists:

  • Grace Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
  • Mowlds Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
  • Snowden Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services

This is a special group of finalists. For the first time in the PbS award’s 11-year history, the applications were so good that PbS could not select just nine from the pool of nearly 30 so added an additional round of judging of 16 semi-finalists before selecting the finalists. The nine finalists represent some of the very best work done across the country by PbS facilities to implement the adolescent development approach and exemplify PbS’ vision to treat all youths in custody as one of our own.

Congratulations to all!

One winner in each category will be selected by the PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Committee and honored at the PbS State/Agency Coordinator Training and CJCA and PbS Awards Ceremony on Oct. 26 in Chicago. PbS will post a spotlight blog about each finalist's specific efforts to treat all youths in custody as one of our own in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. Please look for these inspiring stories and join us in honoring those who decided to set their sights high and persevered to achieve their goals.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Friday, June 16, 2017 at 3:29 PM

Ohio Youth on Parole and Families Benefit from Free Aftercare Hotline

 

Message from Ohio DYS Director Harvey Reed

Recently the Bureau of Parole launched a free, 24/7 aftercare hotline for youth and their families. By calling 1-877-244-1245, paroled youth and their families can be linked with services.

"I’m proud of our parole staff for wanting to add another tool to assist youth who are transitioning back into the community,” said Steve Curl, Bureau Chief of Parole. "Youth returning home have struggled with finding accessible services. Parole staff certainly help connect youth to many community resources, and now the Aftercare Hotline empowers youth and families to link to services at their own initiation.”

Juvenile parole officers establish relationships with youth in the facilities from the very beginning of their stay at DYS. Upon release, parole staff make contact with youth within 24 hours. Among other topics covered at this first exchange, including how to reach the parole officer, information on the Aftercare Hotline will be provided.

The Aftercare Hotline is easy to use and includes prompts in both English and Spanish. When calling the hotline, users will receive a menu of options to receive assistance for a variety of needs. It is important to note that the Hotline is neither a replacement for 911 emergency services nor a switchboard to DYS staff.

Youth and their families will receive helpful information and referrals to numerous resources throughout the state. The service is non-judgmental, confidential, and free. In a crisis, youth and families need help fast, and this new hotline helps with exactly that.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 9:26 AM

Developing Service Delivery Systems for Evaluations of Juveniles’ Competence to Stand Trial: A Guide for States and Counties

 

In partnership with National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) and with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Youth Screening and Assessment Partners (NYSAP) has released Developing Service Delivery Systems for Evaluations of Juveniles’ Competence to Stand Trial: A Guide for States and Counties.

The purpose of the guide is to help states or counties develop a forensic evaluation system (FES) for providing courts evaluations of juveniles’ competence to stand trial (JCST). An FES for JCST evaluations has three components that are described in the guide’s three modules:

  • Module 1: Developing a JCST Evaluation Service Delivery System
  • Module 2: Creating Evaluation Standards
  • Module 3: Quality Control: Developing a Process to Apply the Standards

Read the full guide.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 11:54 AM

14 Performances Advance to Finalist Round in 2017 Talent Contest

 

Congratulations to the 14 finalists of the 2017 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest and thank you to the numerous facility staff and agency leaders who supported all 109 contestants. Giving youths opportunities to shine, be recognized for doing something positive and feel good about themselves is one of the key tenets of the research-based developmental approach now reforming juvenile justice systems across the country. It’s not always the easiest or most intuitive thing to do, in facilities or families, as parenting my own three adolescents/young adult children has shown me.

Yet, more than 100 youths got the chance recently to do just that. Staff and leaders in 26 juvenile facilities and residential programs in 16 states created opportunities for youths to sing, dance, read poetry, play instruments, perform card trick and show off basketball skills and be recorded for submission to the Talent Contest. One state, the Ohio Department of Youth Services, created an agency-wide competition including even more youths and those winners were selected to be the national competitors. The Kansas Department of Corrections Juvenile Services agency submitted a total of 19 entries including boys and girls.

This is the third year PbS has held the national talent competition and each year we have received an increasing number of contestants. The performances are all wonderful and I’ve realized the contest is not so much about talent but about providing a chance for the youths to be recognized for having special gifts and pursuing their passions.

The competition was tough. After careful review and deliberation, 14 finalists have been selected and passed on to the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest judges to select the winner. Congratulations to:

  • Eric M., Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
  • Puamelia O., Echo Glen Children’s Center, Washington Juvenile Justice and Rehabilitation Administration
  • La’Lisa H., Geneva Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, Nebraska Office of Protection and Safety
  • Marc D., IYC-Chicago, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Zyronta T, Marjuan B., Javeon P., IYC-Pere Marquette, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Aurora K., Sebastion G., Terrell A., IYC-Warrenville, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Derrius W., Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Services
  • Paul T., Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Services
  • Xavier V., Kearney Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, Nebraska Office of Protection and Safety
  • Korbin C., North Coast Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon Youth Authority
  • Austin N., Brendon B., Charles J., Jeremiah F., Dustin W., Danny S., Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon Youth Authority
  • Zachary G., Tanner C., Kenneth Rubenstein Juvenile Center, West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services
  • Andrew N., Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services

PbS will publish a series of blogs featuring each of our finalists over the coming months and the winner of this years’ contest will be announced prior to the 2017 CJCA and PbS Awards Night in October where he or she will be invited to perform live.

Stay tuned!

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 3:07 PM

PbS Announces Semi-Finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

This year’s applications for the 2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award were truly the most difficult to judge to date.

Nearly 30 applications were received describing inspiring stories of successful reforms and demonstrating leadership and commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own, the overarching criteria to be selected a winner. The applications were so strong that PbS could not narrow the field down to just nine finalists after the first round of review as has been done the last ten years of the award. Instead, PbS is proud to announce 16 semi-finalists will advance to the next round and compete to become a finalist. The winners will be selected from the pool of finalists, three in each of the facility categories: correction, detention/assessment and community residential.

The first review of the applications was done internally using a weighted scoring process that considered each application question response and the overall application quality. Seven correction applications and six detention/assessment applications were too close to call and thus, the new round of semi-finalists was created. Only three applications were received for the community residential category and all three will advance as semi-finalists.

The applications this year focused on improving a range of topics from increasing safety to reducing restraints to increasing family participation and family survey rates. The semi-finalists based their improvement strategies on research and evidence-based practices, included staff and youths and established meaningful communications within the facility or program. They showed creative use of limited resources, reaching out to the community and recognizing successes. The semi-finalists are:

Correction:

  • Ferris School, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
  • Juvenile Corrections Center-St. Anthony, Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections
  • Kansas Juvenile Correctional Center-West Female, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Services
  • Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility, Montana Department of Corrections, Youth Services Division
  • Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services
  • Stanislaus Juvenile Commitment Facility, Stanislaus County Probation Department, CA
  • Woodside-Treatment, Vermont Department for Children and Families

Detention/Assessment:

  • Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center, LA
  • Hadley Assessment, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
  • Nampa-Observation and Assessment, Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections
  • Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility, Sacramento County Probation Department, CA
  • Southwest Utah Youth Center-Detention, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services
  • Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall, Stanislaus County Probation Department, CA

Community Residential:

  • Grace Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
  • Mowlds Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
  • Snowden Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services

Stay tuned to find out which facilities move on to become finalists!

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program which best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Celebrating Outstanding Ongoing Achievements

 

Every field seems to have its own version of the Oscars. Some of the best known are the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater and the Grammy Awards for music and recording. All three recognize the best performers in the fields and were modeled after the Oscars, which were first presented in 1929. Sports, literature, technology, automotive, painting, photography, hospitality, leadership and more all have awards and winners, national and local competitions. I can’t think of many fields that don’t offer some sort of recognition.

There is something about awards that appeals to everyone. Cuba Gooding Jr.’s 1997 acceptance speech for winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor is one of my favorite examples of why I like awards: it made me (and most people in the room and watching on TV) smile, laugh, tear a little bit, tingle with excitement, clap and get totally caught up in his enthusiasm and joy. He kept going well after the house band started to play him off and when he did leave the stage, the whole room was standing. He raised the bar for future acceptance speeches.

When PbS was selected as a winner of the 2004 Innovations in American Government Award, the press release from the Ash Institute of Democratic Governance and Innovation called it “the Oscars” for government agencies and programs. The award was started in 1985 to recognize exemplary models of government innovation and advances to address the nation’s most pressing public concerns. At the ceremony, none of the winners jumped around the stage with excitement like Cuba Gooding Jr. did, but the whole room was charged with enthusiasm and joy. I couldn’t help from getting swept up in it all. I was as happy and proud of PbS as I was inspired by everyone in the room. The feeling spread to all PbS participants. There were press releases, celebrations and local recognitions as well as a renewed energy to keep up the good work.

These are just some of the reasons PbS offers five different types of annual awards.

The application period has just closed on two 2017 PbS awards: the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award for facilities best exemplifying PbS’ commitment to treating all youths as one of our own and the Kids Got Talent Contest recognizing the talents of youths in PbS facilities and programs. I’m pleased but not surprised to see the number of submissions for both competitions are far greater than last year and came from 23 states (two-thirds of PbS’ states), many of whom applied for both. This year’s Kids Got Talent Contest is the most competitive yet – 91 videos of singing, dancing, spoken word, instrumentals and more.

The winners will be celebrated in style in October. As in past years, there will be smiles, laughter, some tears and lots of clapping and cheering. I look forward to being caught up in all that enthusiasm and joy.

Watch the video of the 2016 PbS Awards Night.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Friday, April 7, 2017 at 4:39 PM

National Recognition of Staff and Youths from the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

The recognition of the Central Oklahoma Justice Center (COJC) as the 2016 Barbara Allen-Hagen award correction facility winner represented a milestone moment for our agency. One of the daily barometers for understanding the significance of this recognition is the faces of the youth and staff at COJC and how proud they are in winning the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award. Public recognition for the staff that the culture change they have been asked to embrace is recognized and valued.

Being a nationally recognized program brought NBA star Dwight Howard’s D12 Foundation with the Muhammad Ali Center to COJC. Howard wanted to visit Juvenile facilities but not just any facility, facilities that are known to treat kids with respect and offer progressive programming. The I am Second Foundation premiered their movie at COJC about the life of Rap star Gene “No Malice” Thornton AKA “Malicious” and how he turned his life around. We have also received visits and inquiries from juvenile justice departments throughout the country. The dedicated staff have continued to build relationships, engage families and the administration has continued to improve safety measures across the entire facility for the youth we serve.

The award sends a signal to the families of the young men we care for at COJC that their children will be treated with respect and that we value their safety and long term success.

We have already started on winning the second one.

This message from Office of Juvenile Affairs Executive Director Steven Buck is part of a series of interviews with past Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winners. PbS participants may sign in to pbstandards.org to fill out an application. Applications for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award will be accepted until March 31, 2017.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 4:58 PM

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

 

Sports fans know Dwight Howard as Superman for donning a red cape at the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest and winning with superhuman dunks. He became PbS’ superhero last year by inspiring youths in facilities to be their best. Last month, PbS got to say thanks.

In 2016 Dwight Howard spent a day at each of two PbS facilities, Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC) and the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center, amongst several he visited while traveling and playing basketball. He wanted to share his story to motivate and help youths facing challenges. And, he wanted to visit facilities that were helping youths. The D12 Foundation found PbS on the internet in an article announcing COJC was a finalist in the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award competition for best exemplifying PbS’ commitment to treat all youths as one of our own and called.

According to staff and youths lucky enough to be present, the visits were life-changing, inspiring, thrilling, awesome and really cool. On a rare day off during the season, Dwight took his time to talk to all youths, small groups of youths and individuals while visiting. He shared the powerful message central to the D12 Foundation’s efforts to promote education, literacy and youth leadership: get educated, give back to the community, stay away from drug use and trouble, be respectful, stand up to peer pressure and bullying.

Then, when he called about help visiting in Philadelphia, he agreed to heighten the recognition of the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest by serving as a judge. PbS received 85 entries, a fifty percent increase from the previous year, the first of the contest. Two of the entries were youths shooting hoops. Dwight sent all the finalists an autographed certificate.

Finally on Feb. 27, 2017 on behalf of PbS, I got to say thank you. He was in Boston. It was an hour or so before the opening tip of the game between his Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics. He had just warmed up for about 30 minutes with precise shots around the three-point area. He took his earbuds out and walked over to the sideline to Laura Chauvin of Sustainable Philanthropy Partners and link to Dwight and the D12 Foundation. She introduced me and PbS. He nodded in recognition and lowered the top half of his 6 foot, 11-inch frame to shake my hand and hear my thanks. He was kind, sincere and compassionate. Dwight said he really enjoyed the visits, spending time and talking directly with the youths. He wants them to know they can do something positive with their lives and work hard to be who they want to be. He said he would continue his efforts to inspire hope and care about youths facing challenges. Then he posed for pictures with a wide smile.

In the very early years of when the Superman cartoons were adapted to the screen, Superman’s father told him to use his powers “in the interests of truth, tolerance and justice.” Superman Dwight Howard uses those powers and more to help youths be their best.

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This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 12:45 PM

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Embraces Teamwork and Community

 

Winning the 2016 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award solidified for the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center’s (FPJDC) staff and the stakeholders of our region, that our detention center continues to operate at a demonstrable level of excellence. The center’s mission has always been to provide a safe environment for juveniles requiring secure residential detention services, while meeting their social, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs. However, these are basic tenants that don’t necessarily promulgate a sense of striving for excellence or best-practice. This operationally excellent mindset is what prompted FPJDC to engage with PbS over 8 years ago, to seek out best-practices, and to also share with other agencies the best-practices we already had in place.

Our work on improving the conditions of confinement for youth in detention is spectacularly exemplified in the BAH Award video of our facility; a video that has left an lasting impression on many of the practitioners and citizens of this area, as well as having garnered visits and inquiries from juvenile justice departments of various states throughout the country. PbS executive staff and contractors worked for several days interviewing staff and capturing the visual essence of our programming model. The end result is a visually stunning portrayal of the work conducted by a, now nationally recognized, juvenile detention center.

From the teamwork of all FPJDC staff, by way of the execution of each Facility Improvement Plan to the development and submission of our BAH Award entry, this agency has grown professionally. Winning this award is a testament to the pursuing of a vision through hard work and then netting positive results. We embrace this success and present it as one more story to share within our industry, in hopes of inspiring other agencies and their youth care workers to foster a desire of improving detention services for the kids and citizenry of their communities.

This message from Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center Executive Director Joey Dominick is part of a series of interviews with past Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winners. PbS participants may sign in to pbstandards.org to fill out an application. Applications for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award will be accepted until March 31, 2017.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 6:19 PM

Positive Impacts of the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

 

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award is the highest honor for a juvenile facility that is committed to improving the quality of life for the youth that it serves. If we were thrilled in 2012 when Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility was bestowed this honor, then it is difficult to find words to describe the exhilaration we experienced in 2015 when we learned that the same facility was the first ever to receive this national award for a second time.

Winning the award twice has significantly affirmed the staff at the facility for the incredible work they do. Local, state, national, and even international recognition has resulted in networking opportunities and the chance to share with other jurisdictions. The honor has boosted culture while promoting staff buy-in of initiatives and sustainability of progress made. What’s more, it has furthered our dedication and determination to rely on data to shape our plans to improve outcomes for youth.

We’re grateful to be bestowed the honor twice. While we have submitted applications that have not resulted in awards, the process itself is valuable in that it demonstrates that the administration supports and believes in its staff. Through the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award, PbS has created an opportunity for corrections and community programs to help countless youth benefit from an improved environment, one that we would want for our own children. There’s no doubt this has given families peace of mind knowing that their youth reside in a facility that has been recognized for continuously improving conditions of confinement and quality of life.

This message from Ohio Department of Youth Services Director Harvey Reed is the first in a series of interviews with past Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winners. PbS participants may sign in to pbstandards.org to fill out an application. Applications for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award will be accepted until March 31, 2017.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 5:43 PM

Department of Education Releases Resources To Support Justice-Involved Youth Transition

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced the release of new guides and resources to help justice-involved youth successfully transition back to traditional school settings and avoid recidivism. The resources include a guide written for incarcerated youth, a newly updated transition toolkit and resource guide for practitioners in juvenile justice facilities, a document detailing education programs in juvenile justice facilities from the most recent Civil Rights Data Collection, and a website that provides technical assistance to support youth with disabilities transitioning out of juvenile justice facilities. The resources supplement the Department’s joint guidance with the U.S. Department of Justice to improve school climate and reduce the school-to-prison pipeline.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 10:59 AM

Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2014: Selected Findings

 

In October 2014, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) administered the eighth Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC). JRFC began in 2000 with data collections occurring every other year. JRFC routinely collects data on how facilities operate and the services they provide. It includes questions on facility ownership and operation, security, capacity and crowding, and injuries and deaths in custody. The census also collects supplementary information each year on specific services, such as mental and physical health, substance abuse, and education.

This bulletin presents selected findings from the 2014 survey.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 11:05 AM

Juvenile Justice & Behavioral Health Learning Community Opportunity

 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in concert with the National Technical Assistance Network for Children's Behavioral Health, is pleased to announce a Learning Community meeting to take place on May 4, 2016 at 2:00PM EDT. The meeting will guide participants through identifying and addressing behavioral health needs in juvenile justice residential settings. Assessment tools, instruments, and screening processes will be discussed, as well as several strategic service delivery structures in those same settings.

For more information, download the event flyer or register now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 10:25 AM

New CNCS/SIF Juvenile Justice Grant Opportunities Available

 

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), is currently accepting applications for its FY 2016 Social Innovation Fund Classic grant competition. SIF seeks to award up to $39 million to eligible grant-making institutions, especially those who emphasize healthy futures, youth development, and economic opportunities for low-income youth. Applications which focus on juvenile justice by using innovative, evidence-based solutions will be given top priority. The fact sheet and full announcement are available on CNCS’ website. Notice of intent is due Friday, April 15, 2016, and applications are due by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 3:48 PM

NCCD Calls for Letters of Interest

 

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency is requesting letters of interest from social service agencies, school districts, local child protection agencies, and juvenile justice systems who wish to engage in collaborative data-sharing to gain a better understanding of youth involved with the justice system.

The project will identify at-risk youth and will enable the communities which serve them to appropriately and efficiently allocate specific resources, increasing the impact of social services on those youth who need them most (particularly young people of color).

Letters of interest are due March 25, 2016.

A full description of the project and eligibility requirements are available on NCCD's website..

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 11:02 AM

The Performance-based Standards Scholarship Fund

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce the launch of the PbS Scholarship Fund, created to inspire, encourage and provide financial support for youths and staff seeking to further their post-secondary education. This year’s scholarship fund has $6,000 available for youths and staff in PbS facilities. Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2016.

Read the overview.

View and print the application.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 3:04 PM

Dwight Howard and D12 Foundation Visit Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center

 

How cool would it be to wake up one morning, go to work and get a phone call from a famous athlete who read about something wonderful you did and wants to come visit and meet you? And where you worked was a youth correctional facility?

It happened to Jerry Fry and his team at the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC).

The call came “completely out of the blue,” Fry described, from NBA star Dwight Howard’s D12 Foundation to COJC Administrator of Programs Steve Moore. The foundation representative told Moore that Howard wanted to visit juvenile justice facilities but not just any facility; facilities that are known to treat kids with respect and offer progressive programming. COJC’s name showed up while the foundation was researching youth facilities as one of the 2015 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award finalists. It was selected for changing COJC’s culture from the old correctional approach where staff focused on control and minimally engaging youths following a riot more than three years ago to now, a place where staff and youths work together to help the youths succeed and spend a lot of time together sharing experiences such as Howard’s visit. The PbS stats showing reduced violence and increased programming helped.

“We were absolutely thrilled that Dwight Howard wanted to speak to our kids,” Fry said. “All sports fans know who he is. Our kids, just like any other kids, love basketball so they were all familiar with him prior to us knowing he was coming for a visit.” Fry shared this description of the visit: “COJC is almost 100 years old. The largest space that we have for meeting is in our gym which is downstairs from our school. When Dwight got to the bottom of the stairs where the kids could see him the entire gym erupted in applause. That made Dwight flash a big smile which led to even more applause. The kids absolutely loved him!

“…Dwight was an outstanding speaker. He is charismatic, insightful, funny and genuine. He brought a very positive message and delivered it as well as he plays basketball. He first spoke to the large group, which consisted of all of our residents, many of our staff and their family members and two local high school basketball teams. It was standing room only. When it was over we broke the kids into small groups for more individualized attention. He met with the two basketball teams and all of our kids. He posed for pictures with our kids, the basketball teams and all of my staff. He signed autographs for each and everyone one of our kids and anyone else that wanted one. He stayed way past the time he was scheduled to leave. He was pleasant and engaging the entire time. He did not stop smiling. It was evident to me that he came to COJC because he wanted to. I believe that he genuinely wants to use his celebrity to help people, especially young people. We hope to have him back again.”

I have a hunch that’s a layup.

alt text Superintendent and PbS Facility Administrator Jerry Fry shaking hands with Dwight Howard

alt text Dwight Howard speaking to the group

alt text Dwight Howard meeting with youths

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 2:30 PM

New Report by The National Crittenton Foundation: Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls

 

The National Crittenton Foundation and the National Women’s Law Center have released a report on how trauma can affect girls’ behavior and explains the need for trauma-informed care within the juvenile justice system.

To facilitate developmental juvenile justice system reform for girls, this report will:

  1. Map girls’ current paths into and through the juvenile justice system;
  2. Describe the social contexts driving girls’ behavior and involvement in the juvenile justice system; and
  3. Detail recommendations for an alternative, developmental approach to redesign juvenile justice systems to address harmful social contexts and girls’ resulting behaviors, rather than penalize and punish girls for challenges beyond their control.

View the PDF Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 11:33 AM

New Report from NCSL: Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation 2011-2015

 

The National Council of State Legislators (NCSL) has released a new report on state efforts to re-examine policies and rebalance approaches to juvenile justice.

The legislative trends across the country illustrate the new direction to broadly reform juvenile justice systems. Some of the specific trends include:

  • Restore jurisdiction to the juvenile court;
  • Divert youths from the system;
  • Reform detention;
  • Shift resources from incarceration to community-based alternatives;
  • Provide strong public defense for youths;
  • Address racial and ethnic disparities in justice systems;
  • Respond more effectively to the mental health needs of young offenders; and
  • Improve re-entry and aftercare programs for youths.

Download Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation 2011-2015.

Monday, October 26, 2015 at 10:34 AM

New Report from MacArthur Foundation: The Supreme Court and the Transformation of Juvenile Sentencing

 

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the release of Professor Elizabeth Scott’s report: The Supreme Court and the Transformation of Juvenile Sentencing. Over the last decade, the Supreme Court has transformed the constitutional landscape of juvenile crime regulation. 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.

Three targeted issue briefs were developed to accompany the report:

To view the reports and accompanying issue briefs, visit: modelsforchange.net/transformation.

Monday, October 5, 2015 at 9:13 AM

PbS Facilities Offer Youths Unique Programs

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants offer unique programs for youths to foster positive development and teach skills they can use when they return to the community.

Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility (CJCF) in Ohio now offers youths a unique program in aquaponics—the raising of fish and plants in one integrated system. Fish are kept in large tanks, while plants are grown in water. Youths ensure everything runs smoothly by feeding the fish, cleaning the tanks, maintaining water quality and making necessary repairs. A portion of the fish and plants will be used to instruct youths in cooking skills. Some of the plants such as lettuce, green beans, zucchini, squash and strawberries will be donated to a food bank.

The Donald E. Long School in Multnomah County, Oregon recently began a new gardening project. The Health and Vocational teacher shares a lesson in the classroom, then the youths move to the garden for hands-on experience growing fruits and vegetables. There are currently 24 youths in the program, with potential to expand to over 70. So far, the feedback from youths has been positive!

Thank you to the PbS facilities who shared their unique programs for positive youth development!

This article was originally posted on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 11:12 AM

JJGPS StateScan: Racial and Ethnic Fairness in Juvenile Justice: Availability of State Data

 

The Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics (JJGPS) has released a publication in its StateScan series on the Racial and Ethnic Fairness in Juvenile Justice: Availability of State Data. This recent publication reviews the available racial and ethnic fairness data and discusses its public significance and obstacles.

StateScan is a series of publications providing a closer look at juvenile justice laws and practices within each state.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 10:44 AM

JJGPS StateScan: U.S. Age Boundaries of Delinquency

 

The Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics (JJGPS) has released a publication in its StateScan series on the U.S. Age Boundaries of Delinquency. The August 2015 installment details the history, purpose and current status of age boundaries in the United States and its territories based on an analysis of the 2014 juvenile and penal codes.

StateScan is a series of publications providing a closer look at juvenile justice laws and practices within each state.

Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 11:24 AM

Great Summer Activities from Central Utah Youth Center

 

This summer, the Central Utah Youth Center (CUYC) has been alive with the sound of whirring machines, bouncing balls, cheers, laughter and more.

Both youths and staff have been thrilled with the implementation of the SPARKS Physical Education Program. CUYC now has an exercise room complete with treadmills, rowers, elliptical machines and weights. They also received the various equipment and lesson planning tools necessary to implement a fun, interactive program to encourage youths to be fit and active.

So far, staff and youths have played exciting team games such as Ultimate Flying Disc, which allowed everyone to be out in the yard enjoying the mild summer in Utah. CUYC also held a fun Hula Hoop contest with competitions for who could keep his or her hoop up the longest and who was able to get the highest number of hoops rotating around their waist at the same time. CUYC even had soothing, though not extremely graceful, yoga workouts on their new yoga mats.

Youths were also able to get out and bask in the beautiful weather this summer by helping plant, maintain and harvest a wonderful garden, on the CUYC property. The kitchen staff planned recipes to include the harvested vegetables, so the youths could enjoy the "fruits" of their labor. Youths were also able to experience the rewarding feeling of giving when additional vegetables were donated to the local food bank.

Thank you to Kristine Black and the staff at CUYC for sharing their summer activities!

This article was published on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 10:56 AM

2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Video Spotlight: South Hadley Girls Treatment Program

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) congratulates South Hadley Girls Treatment Program in South Hadley, MA, as the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen award winner in the community-based category. South Hadley Girls Treatment Program was selected as a winner of this award—given to the facility who best develops and implements a plan to improve outcomes—for transitioning from a point and level system to a behavioral support system based in positive youth development.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of PbS, this year the winners received a video about their programs and improvements.

The beginning of the video shows the South Hadley facility as another house on the street, then gives an inside look to show the treatment-based, community environment it contains. The home-like atmosphere allows the girls to feel more like themselves as they prepare to transition back to their own homes. One of the residents, Naomy, said: “I’m not home right now. I don’t have my mom, I don’t have my family. And knowing that I have that little space in the program where I can feel like myself, I can be myself. This is home for now, and it’s gonna be okay.”

The staff at South Hadley build positive adult relationships with the youths while maintaining boundaries and teaching responsibility. Program Director and PbS Site Coordinator Melissa King said: “The staff are very dedicated to try to make sure that the young ladies feel that they’re connected to something.” South Hadley transitions most of the girls back to their own homes, and aims to teach them how to trust and build relationships. The positive reinforcement and relationships built at South Hadley have an effect on the girls, as shown by the amount who stay in contact after leaving the facility.

South Hadley used to have a points system, where points could be taken away at any time and not always with a clear reason. The transition to a tier system was a necessary change to reach the goal of positive youth development. Peter Forbes, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, said: “The key for me really has been to get staff out of the heavy accountability correctional mode and into more of a coaching mode.” The new system at South Hadley consists of “Think + Learn + Contribute” to focus on positive development as opposed to negative actions. It allows the staff to be able to give help and support instead of further punishment, and it translates better in the community.

Congratulations to South Hadley Girls Treatment Program and thank you for your continual commitment to positive development and treating all youths in custody as one of your own!

View the video here.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 11:35 AM