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South Carolina DJJ Helps Youths and Community


The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) practices a restorative justice model, which benefits both youth and the community. One of the DJJ’s largest restorative projects is the partnership with Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity where youth under the supervision of the DJJ help construct homes for those in need alongside volunteers in the community.

The Department’s mission is to protect the public and reclaim juveniles through prevention, community services, education, and rehabilitative services in the least restrictive environment. This partnership with Habitat for Humanity does just that. Youth receive hands-on experience in the construction trade while helping to rebuild the communities they will be returning to.

February 21 marked a dedication ceremony for the second house that DJJ helped to build. DJJ is proud of what the youth have accomplished and view its partnership with Habitat for Humanity as building houses, rebuilding communities, and reclaiming youth who are on the brink of re-entering society.

This is only one of the ways that DJJ practices the restorative justice model. DJJ also helps youth acquire important job skills through the Store of Hope, where youth create and sell a variety of custom-crafted items, and through the Job Readiness Training Center, which the Department opened recently.

This article originally appeared on the CJCA blog.

Monday, March 17, 2014 at 11:47 AM

PbS Now Surveying Youths, Staff and Families Using Touch-Screen Kiosks


Juvenile facilities participating in Performance-based Standards (PbS) are now able to survey youths, staff and families using touch-screen kiosk stations. Aimed at replacing paper-based surveys, these kiosks provide a private station for collecting anonymous feedback which facilities use to guide positive change.

I had the opportunity to unveil the new kiosks for the first time at the 2014 PbS State Coordinators Training in Tampa, FL. The demonstration sparked a lot of buzz amongst state agency leaders who were impressed by the real-time feedback that the technology provides. Many of those I talked to agreed that administering surveys at a kiosk would help foster anonymity and increase overall participation and response rates.

PbS partnered with AndPlus, LLC of Framingham, MA to develop the kiosk software. Leveraging modern web and mobile technologies, PbS and AndPlus created a system centered around an Android™ powered tablet computer which is contained in a key-lock secure enclosure. A survey facilitator from the facility uses a PIN number to begin a new survey for each survey participant. The person taking the survey can agree or disagree to participate directly at the kiosk. The intuitive user interface is clear and concise allowing survey participants to read each question, review any additional instructions and select their responses to each question sequentially with the option to end the survey at any time.

Providing surveys at a kiosk station has been a long-time goal of PbS and we couldn’t be more excited to see it come to fruition. Nearly 40 juvenile facilities will be using the kiosks by April 2014 and as many as 100 facilities could implement them by the end of the year. PbS will also be launching the same kiosk systems to community-based residential centers later this year.

This article is retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

WritersCorps Offers New Resource for Youths in the Juvenile Justice System


WritersCorps is a national organization that has been placing professional writers in schools, afterschool programs, and community centers to teach creative writing to young people, for 19 years. San Francisco's WritersCorps has created an exciting free resource for youths in the juvenile justice system.

The teaching artist at the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) in San Francisco, Anhvu Buchanan, created a journal with his students called Words Within the Walls. The journal contains sample poems by youths at JJC, writing prompts and pages for writing. Buchanan developed the book to encourage his students to write outside of class and has found it to be a successful tool. This journal can be used by educators as a teaching tool, offered as a gift to students upon release or it can be a motivational tool in the facility.

The cost of printing and shipping the journal will be covered by a Kickstarter campaign launched by WritersCorps this month. If you’re interested in receiving free copies of Words Within the Walls for the youths at your facilities, send an email to hello@writerscorps.org. Please include your contact information, facility or program name, address and how many copies you need.

Please take an inside look at the journal.

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Indiana and Ohio Offer Training Programs to Youths


Performance-based Standards (PbS) is excited to share some great programs offered to help youths gain essential skills.

Students from the Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility (MJCF) in Indiana participated in a one week training to receive CPR/AED certification. The program, in cooperation with Madison's Kings Daughter Hospital, is aimed at providing students with tangible skills they can use when they return home. Many students shared that the program provided them with valuable knowledge that could assist them in finding employment. MJCF has scheduled another CPR/AED training for May 2014.

The Ohio Department of Youth Services, Buckeye United School District, offers Career-Technical programs to enrolled high school students. The numerous programs offered such as Carpentry and Visual Design & Imaging contain four to five modules and run approximately 10 weeks. Upon completion of one program, students receive a “Certificate of Completion” and are able to enter into another program. During the 2012-2013 school year, 595 students participated in Career-Technical programs and earned 358 “Certificates of Completion.”

Students in the Ohio Department of Youth Services that already have a high school diploma or GED have the opportunity to enroll in the Ashland University College program. The courses are offered during the regular school day and facilitated by ODYS teachers. The courses are also transferable to Ohio’s Community Colleges. Since the fall of 2011, 157 youths have participated and earned 878 credit hours.

Thanks to Indiana and Ohio for sharing some of their programs for youths!

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Friday, February 28, 2014 at 11:23 AM

PBS Newshour Questions Confinement for Adolescents at Rikers Island


The momentum continues around the need for data to shed light on the practice of isolating juvenile offenders.

Questioning Confinement of Adolescents at Rikers Island,” a PBS Newshour that aired Feb. 21, leaves no room to debate the dangers of placing young offenders in isolation – it cites studies linking isolation to high rates of suicide and deterioration of youths’ medical and psychiatric health. However, as expressed by the New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association president, many believe it is a necessary behavior management practice. At Rikers Island, fighting is punished by up to 90 days in isolation and horseplay by as many as 10 days.

The powerful and thorough report by Daffodil Altan of the Center for Investigative Reporting, includes information about isolation ranging from the international ban on its use for young offenders by the United Nations to a description by a 25-year-old youth counselor of his experience in isolation – including one four-month stretch - while held at Rikers Island on assault and robbery charges. But there is very little data because the Department of Corrections is not required to publicly report much more than how many teens are isolated.

As we’ve learned from Performance-based Standards (PbS), data and information about the use of isolation is necessary to change practices and create an effective way to reform cultures and individuals who believe it is a tool needed to manage young offenders. Isolation policies and practices became part of juvenile justice agencies largely by adopting without question the adult prison system’s reliance on solitary confinement. Now the use with adolescents is being questioned nationally and in PbS facilities, we’re seeing it addressed. In some facilities, simply seeing data describing how often and for how long youths are placed in isolation was an awakening and led to interacting with youths to address misbehavior rather than confining them to their rooms. For those who believe isolation is a necessary tool to control behavior, the data has shown that as the use of isolation decreases, there are not more but usually fewer incidents of fights, assaults and staff injuries.

To address the issue of isolation, New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm says he’ll file legislation next month that calls for data to understand what is happening to youths on Rikers and work toward a ban on the use of isolation, which the state of New York recently adopted along with other places all around the country. PbS stands ready to help.

This article originally appeared on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

2014 PbS State Coordinators Training: Helping Kids Succeed


The 2014 State Coordinators Training gathered nearly 30 state coordinators in Tampa, FL Jan. 29 - Feb. 1 at the Marriott Westshore Hotel. This year’s theme, “Helping Kids Succeed” included topics of family engagement, the PbS holistic approach to zero tolerance and trauma and gender responsive programming. The training goal was to help state coordinators rise up to today’s challenges and build resource networks within the PbS community. Throughout the training, state coordinators networked with one another, shared information and resources with other states and came together as a community to ultimately improve the lives of the youths in their care.

The training featured two speakers Ryan Shanahan, Senior Program Associate of the Vera Institute of Justice’s Family Justice Program and Lawanda Ravoira, CEO and founder of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center. Shanahan’s presentation “Why Family Engagement is Key” shared how family members and social supports improve outcomes for kids and are valuable resources for youths’ rehabilitation. Ravoira presented “Family Centered Services through a Trauma and Gender Lens” which showed how traumatic experiences affect development and methods of treatment for both girls and boys. Training participants also learned about PbS’ holistic approach to the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), the work that has been done to help states align with PREA and PbS resources that will be available to create facility environments free of sexual abuse. Marie Swope, Superintendent of Greene County Juvenile Detention, told participants about Greene County that is identifying similarities and the gaps between PbS and PREA and the pilot work underway to develop tools and possible new PbS reports.

Participants also played lead roles over the three days. Shari Wolf from the Ohio Department of Youth Services and Chris Blessinger from the Indiana Division of Youth Services participated in the first PbS Fireside Chat where they reenacted a phone conversation that was initiated after the release of the Department of Justice Report. After Ohio was ranked as one of the facilities with the highest numbers for sexual abuse, Shari was able to use Chris as a resource to help address the report and determine some solutions. The Fireside Chat was a huge success and showed how PbS participants can rely on one another for support to help face some of the challenges in their jurisdictions. Troy Varney from Maine Department of Corrections shared how PbS teams were created in Maine and many other state coordinators shared innovative efforts going on in their own states during the PbS Spotlight: Penny Sampson (NH), Jessica Moncada (ID), Judy Davis (IL), Mike Both (PA), Marq Temple (PA) and Gary Westoby (OR).

Participants also divided into work groups to further the PbS Family-Youth Initiative (FYI). The four work groups were formed as follows: Mike Shores from the Sacramento County Probation Department led a group drafting a family survey for detention centers; Tonya Wright-Cook from the South Dakota Department of Corrections led a group developing recommendations to increase family participation in treatment planning; Dorie Farah from the Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services led a group that identified recommendations for a model Family Council and Ray Michaelson from the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice, led a group developing effective approaches to distribute and collect the PbS Family Survey. Thank you to all participants!

In the training evaluations, all participants agreed that the training met their expectations and kept them engaged. One state coordinator said “I enjoyed every aspect of the training and I especially enjoyed gaining more knowledge on all the subjects. I loved the networking and finding new resources.” Participants gave high marks to the Spotlight session and asked for more time at future trainings to hear about initiatives in other states. Many enjoyed the inspirational TED Talks that were integrated throughout the training and said they would begin to share TED Talks to their own staff and leadership teams. Overall, the training was a huge success and well-received by all attendees. A special congratulations to Dorie Farah and Marq Temple who each won a free tablet in the PbS Kiosk raffle. We enjoyed our time in Tampa this year and look forward to next year’s training!


View our online slideshow of the 2014 PbS State Coordinators Training

Friday, February 14, 2014 at 9:41 AM

The 2014 PbS State Coordinators Training a Huge Hit Among Participants


The 2014 PbS State Coordinators Training was awesome!

We gathered nearly 60 members of the Performance-based Standards (PbS) community in Tampa last week for almost three days of listening, learning, sharing and networking. The training focused on three main issues:

  • Engaging families, how the PbS Family-Youth Initiative (FYI) guides and measures effective connections with families and recent research by PbS’ partner, the Vera Institute of Justice, Family Justice Programs, which shows the many positive outcomes that result when families are part of treatment and youths’ lives while incarcerated;
  • Addressing trauma within juvenile justice facilities and agencies, including an introduction to PbS’ work in Maine that is part of a federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant integrating trauma approached care and philosophy in facilities and supplementing the PbS surveys to measure the impact; and
  • Creating and sustaining zero tolerance cultures, strategies for complying the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards and overview of the PbS pilot project in Greene County, MO, that is developing tools using PbS data to ensure best practices that prevent sexual victimization and adhere to PREA.

Listening to participants from past trainings, this year PbS built in several opportunities for networking among participants, who traveled from 24 states. One session paired state coordinators and let them simply ask questions for 10 minutes each- the room was buzzing! Another session highlighted individual state coordinators’ innovative and successful efforts in changing culture, simplifying data collection and generally improving facility outcomes. The evaluations showed the increased time to hear from their peers about specific strategies and struggles was appreciated and key to participants’ leaving with practical ideas and tools to use at their home agencies.

The presentations by Ryan Shanahan, Senior Program Associate of the Vera Institute of Justice, Family Justice Programs and Lawanda Ravoira, CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center were a hit among the participants with several commenting that the presentations were excellent and informative. The state coordinators also flocked around Brendan Donahue as he showed off new kiosks where youths, staff and families can take surveys which are then directly sent to the PbS website.

Thanks to the training planning team: Coach Janice Shallcross, chair; coaches Barbara Chayt, Dave Crowley and Al Lick; PbS state coordinators Chris Blessinger and Emil Fischer and PbS team Karyn Rautenberg, Kyrei Miller and Lisa Martinek. It was a great event and certainly met the goal of helping state coordinators to rise to the challenges that they face.

I’m looking forward to the next training already – but spending time now letting all the information and energy of the 2014 training soak in.

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Friday, February 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

State Coordinators Engage Their Peers in the First PbS Fireside Chat


The best illustration I’ve ever seen of the powerful networking and support amongst the Performance-based Standards (PbS) community was the “Fireside Chat” session at the 2014 PbS State Coordinators Training in Tampa last week. PbS State Coordinators showed what they can achieve when they work together.

The scene: PbS State Coordinator Chris Blessinger sits facing her open laptop, papers laid on the tables all around her, cell phone at her fingertips as if at her desk in Indiana. Sitting opposite of Chris is PbS State Coordinator Shari Wolf, also working with her laptop and phone, papers and folders in piles as if at her desk in Ohio. Shari starts to read aloud an email letting her know one of the Ohio facilities was included on the list of facilities with the highest rates of sexual victimization in the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2013) Report.

“Oh no, this is not good,” Shari says. “Not good at all.”

She starts typing an email, reaching out to her fellow PbS state coordinators for help. She gets a quick reply and learns Indiana was in the same position the previous year and Chris is willing to help. Shari dials Chris’ number and the whole room waits for Chris to answer.

And answer Chris did. Every question, every concern; sending documents and sharing experiences. The two talked candidly and openly about the issues they faced and strategized ways to ensure their facilities made changes necessary to eliminate sexual victimization. They traded information about hiring and training, policies and practices and responding to elected officials and the media.

You could have heard a pin drop in the room as the nearly 60 training participants listened. I could almost hear the crackle of the fire projected on the screen behind Shari and Chris.

PbS is a unique community of professionals across the country who believe we can help young offenders mature to be successful adults, we can provide safe and nurturing residential programs with effective rehabilitation services and the best way to operate a juvenile facility is to treat all youths as one of our own. It’s hard work shared by all PbS state coordinators and team members that is made easier with the support and connections to each other and the PbS staff and coaches. The 2014 PbS State Coordinators Training brought the PbS community closer together and I believe will help us all grow individually and expand our impact as a group.

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Friday, February 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM

PbS Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Winning Innovations in American Government Award


Performance-based Standards (PbS) is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a winner of the Innovations in American Government Award, the "Oscar" for government agencies and programs and the only such award hanging on the walls at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), PbS' funders from 1995-2007.

"It was a 12-month process of writing about PbS, organizing interviews with participants and the national reviewer when we were named as a top 25 semi-finalist and then a five-minute presentation before the Selection Committee with the 11 other finalists that I'll never, ever forget," said PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey. "And I don't remember what we said as much as the almost paralyzing thrill that PbS was receiving such recognition."

One of the first things that happened as winners in 2004 was the production of a video that was and still is available on the "other" PBS - the Public Broadcasting Station. "A couple of years before the Innovations competition, working with a strategic planning consultant we set a goal to get PbS on PBS," Godfrey said. "It still is amazing to me we did it."

Since the award, PbS has grown in tremendous ways:

  • Worked with OJJDP to transition the program over three years to a self-sustaining fee-based service when federal funding ended;
  • Expanded the content of PbS' standards and outcome measures to working with youths' families and social supports;
  • Adapted the continuous improvement model for community residential programs and adult facilities;
  • Created technology allowing local management information systems to automatically transfer data into the PbS website;
  • Built kiosks to eliminate paper surveys of youths, staff and families.

PbS’ continued growth has truly helped juvenile facilities improve the conditions for youths and staff. Mike Dempsey, Executive Director of the Indiana Division of Youth Services, explains that “PbS has undoubtedly increased the safety of our facilities for staff and for kids.” Explaining the importance of PbS, Timene Farlow, Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Division of Juvenile Justice services, states “PbS is incredibly effective. I don’t know what we would do without it.”

What's next for PbS?

"We have two expansion goals for 2014: broaden use of the survey kiosks to all participating facilities and add new content modules measuring trauma-informed philosophy and care, positive youth outcomes and preventing and monitoring sexual victimization," said Godfrey. "Until we stop locking up young offenders, PbS has work to do and we are ready."

Friday, January 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Automating Performance-based Standards


Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants are leading reforms across the country through their dedication to measuring and using data to make sure they provide the highest-quality services and programs. They also commit to collecting a tremendous amount of information to build a comprehensive picture of their programs. Last October alone participants collected data from more than 10,000 incident reports and over 4,000 youth records and entered that information into the PbS website. PbS has been working to make that process easier and have recently made available an Application Programming Interface (API) aimed at doing so.

Quite often staff will enter the same information into multiple information systems. For example, if an incident occurs at a facility, that incident may be reportable to a state agency reporting system and also reportable to the PbS system.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility (IN) Conducts New Joint Understanding and Cooperation Program


Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana has piloted the Joint Understanding and Cooperation Program (JUCP). JUCP aims to improve the level of mutual respect between staff and youths through a better cultural environment.

The training takes place over three days and includes 14 training hours. Staff and youths attend separate sessions on the first two days of training, but come together for the third day which is instructed by both student facilitators and Indiana Department of Correction instructors. The program covers four different modules—Overview of Joint Understanding and Cooperation Program, which provides an overview of the program; Role Models, which explains role modeling and rapport; Redirecting Inappropriate Behavior, which teaches participants about conflict and appropriate responses to conflict; and Reinforcing Positive Behavior, which explains the appropriate use of positive reinforcement and how to demonstrate skills learned in the course.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Kansas and Indiana Facilities Engage Youths at Christmas Time


Performance-based Standards (PbS) is always excited to share some of the great initiatives that are going on in the field especially during this time of year. Many facilities arrange projects and activities for youths, staff and families during the holiday season.

Youths at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility, a recent Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winner, have been busy creating cards and sun catchers, decorating housing units and baking cookies. Youths also helped deliver the items they made to a local Veteran’s Hospital and nursing home.

Read the full article at the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 12:34 PM

PbS Facilities Get Youths in the Holiday Spirit


Many facilities are helping youths and staff get into the holiday spirit by organizing various activities and events. Performance-based Standards (PbS) is proud to share some great stories from facilities across the country who are making this time of year memorable for youths and staff.

The Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility holds a decoration contest every year during the holidays. This year’s theme was “Fairytale Christmas”. Youths and staff decorated living units that were judged by a panel that included Sacramento officials and members from the community. The decoration contest has helped build rapport between youths and staff especially during the holidays while kids are away from friends and family.

Read the full article at the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Addressing the Unique Needs of Girls in the Juvenile Justice System


A trend that cannot be ignored is the rapid rise of girls entering the juvenile justice system. As more girls are becoming involved with the system, more focus has been placed on the unique needs and challenges that girls face as well as girl-focused reform efforts.

The Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy report “Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls” describes some key points about girls in the juvenile justice system. Firstly, girls are disproportionately “high need” and “low risk,” meaning they have a critical need for services, but do not pose a large threat to public safety. The report also notes that girls are also more likely than boys to be arrested for status offenses, are likely to have experienced traumatic events, have previously unaddressed health issues and come from a background of family conflict and residential instability.

Read the full article at the CJCA blog.

Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Truancy, Running Away and Other Status Offenses – The Coalition for Juvenile Justice Releases Policy and Practice Recommendations


Each year thousands of youth who’ve committed no crime become involved with the juvenile courts for behaviors such as running away, being truant, violating curfew laws, being “beyond the control of their parents” or committing other actions that are only an offense if you are under a certain age (known as “status offenses”). In many states, youth can even be held in juvenile detention for these offenses, if they violate a court order not to commit them again.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM

2014 PbS State Coordinators Training


The Performance-based Standards (PbS) State Coordinators Training is an annual training that convenes state agency leaders in PbS from across the country. At the training, state coordinators learn ways to utilize PbS to help face some of the most pressing and relevant issues in their jurisdictions as well as in the juvenile justice field.

The 2014 State Coordinator’s Training will be held Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 2014 in Tampa, FL at the Tampa Marriott Westshore Hotel. This year’s training centers around the theme of “Helping Kids Succeed” with the goal to help state coordinators rise up to today’s challenges and build resource networks within the PbS community.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Friday, December 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility Hosts Open House for a New Youth Transition Reentry Independent Living (YTRI) Unit


The Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility recently held an open house for its newly opened Youth Transition Reentry Independent Living (YTRI) unit. This unit was opened as a result of the Indiana Department of Correction’s Division of Youth Services involvement in Performance-based Standards (PbS) and learning through national best practices that the use of isolation and confining youth to a room for long periods of time is detrimental to the treatment and developmental process. National best practices also show that isolation of youth should only be used for short periods of time and only for the protection of the youth from harming themselves or others. Such isolation should be brief, supervised and include mental health professionals to minimize the use of isolation and segregation.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

New Report Highlights Negative Effects of Solitary Confinement for Youths

Monday, December 2, 2013 at 5:29 PM

IACP Survey Highlights Successes and Challenges of Responding to Juvenile Offenders


The International Chiefs of Police (IACP) recently, released an IACP publication “Law Enforcement’s Leadership Role in the Advancement of Promising Practices in Juvenile Justice” detailing the results of a nationwide survey of nearly 1,000 law enforcement leaders on juvenile justice.

The survey, which was conducted with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is part of a multi year initiative to increase the leadership role of state and local law enforcement executives to effectively address systemic juvenile justice issues as well as improve local responses to juvenile offenders.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 11:24 AM

A Case for the JJDPA: Building on 40 Years of Youth Justice Reform


As one who began his career in juvenile justice around the time Congress enacted the JJDPA, I’ve witnessed how this landmark legislation has guided youth correction systems to provide better treatment and services to youths for the last four decades.

When I directed a group home in New York City for the New York State Division for Youth in the early 1970s, many status offenders were being mixed in with juvenile delinquents in large institutions in my own state and throughout the country. The Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) provision of the JJDP Act of 1974 signaled the end to a practice that drove kids deeper into the youth corrections system.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 4:53 PM

To Understand Juvenile Detention, Listen to the Kids Inside


There is a world within prisons that only the prisoners know. Correctional officers, administrators, counselors and academics may all have access to a part of the life of a prisoner, but these windows by their nature only offer a limited view of the happenings behind the barbed wire. There's a disconnect that makes it difficult to see that world through a prisoner’s eyes. One way to bridge this gap in information is to go directly to the source: the prisoners.

The Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators recently featured a short article by Kim Godfrey, the Executive Director of Performance Based Standards Learning Institute (PbSLi). PbSLi was an outgrowth of increasing awareness in the 1990s that youth prisons were dangerous for both staff and inmates and ineffective in providing strategies of rehabilitation. A congressionally mandated report resulted in a call for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to create adequate nationwide standards for juvenile facilities. Part of their work is the collection of data, and then putting the data into context in relation to best practices.

The article focuses on PbSLi’s latest brief, “What Youths Say Matters.” Godfrey writes: “I realize that what youths say about their experiences in custody is essential to understanding the truth about what happens in juvenile facilities and provides crucial information needed to manage safe and healthy juvenile facilities.” This, based on her 20 years of listening to and asking questions of kids in detention is a profound (and seldom embraced) position in the world of juvenile justice reform.

The findings focused on PbSLi’s research as well as the Pathways to Desistance study, and show a direct link between the quality of a youth’s experience in detention and their continued involvement in the system and likelihood to commit new offenses. “Youths perceiving a generally more positive facility experience were about 36 percent less likely to continue offending, according to self reports, and about 49 percent less likely to continue according to arrest and/or return to placement reports.”

This flies in the face of the popular idea that negative experiences while incarcerated somehow transform into positive outcomes. “Feeling safe” led to a 6 percent decline in “system involvement and antisocial behavior.” A perception of the fairness and harshness of the facility, along with interaction with antisocial peers also impacted how likely kids were to get back into criminal activity.

Simple strategies focused on youths understanding the facility’s rules, perceiving staff as helpful and school as good, coupled with less segregation, have been shown to correlate with an overall more positive experience. Most telling is the brief’s statement that, “Researchers and experienced professionals agree that staff-youth relationships have the greatest influence on a youth’s experience and ... offer the single largest opportunity to impact safety and rehabilitation.”

This is a key understanding that still has a long way to go in being widely accepted in the juvenile justice field. Too often punitive environments modeled on adult prisons remain in place, leaving no room for the kind of stable and positive adult-youth relationships that form the foundation of how kids become adults. This research should be disseminated widely. It not only make financial sense by reducing costly detentions, it makes moral sense that kids deserve to be treated as kids, no matter what they have done.

This article was retrieved from the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM

PbS Partners with Greene County, MO to Implement Zero Tolerance


There’s no debate that zero tolerance for sexual abuse is a mandatory and moral requirement for facilities that hold some of our most vulnerable youths. In preparation for the national Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards and audits of youth correction and detention facilities, the Performance-based Standards (PbS) program has started a pilot project with the Greene County, Missouri, Detention Center to identify ways to support agency and facility efforts to create safe, healthy cultures free of sexual abuse.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Monday, November 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Oregon Leads the Way on Youth Offender Education


The Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) has begun offering juvenile offenders free online courses that can lead to college credits. The courses, created by Education Portal, contain brief lectures from technical experts and are designed to help youths pass the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test. CLEP credits are accepted by nearly 3,000 colleges and universities.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Friday, November 15, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Trauma-Informed Care Coming to PbS


My eyes were first opened to the need for juvenile justice programs to incorporate trauma-informed care philosophy and practices by Vincent Felitti, MD, co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. His presentation left no doubt in my mind that childhood maltreatment impacts later-life health and convinced me with his data that the more negative experiences a child has, the more likely he or she will have multiple later-life ills and issues such as substance abuse, alcoholism, high-risk behaviors, disease and death.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Monday, November 11, 2013 at 4:43 PM

What’s New in Juvenile Justice: November 8 News Roundup


Do you need to catch up on juvenile justice news? We’ve compiled a list of recent news stories, so you can be up to date about what’s going on in juvenile justice.

The Coalition for Juvenile Justice and the National Juvenile Justice Network are hosting the webinar “Better Responses to Youth Who Commit Status Offenses” on November 12 at 4PM EST.

For more juvenile justice news, read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM

What Youths Say Matters


There’s an old French proverb that says: If you want the truth, ask a child. I’ve taken that to mean telling untruths is something learned later in life, after children learn they can choose their words to achieve a desired outcome – usually to be accepted and praised rather than rejected and punished.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Youth Justice Awareness Month Comes to a Close, but Efforts Will Continue


Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) aims to bring awareness to the consequences of placing youths in adult facilities. Over the past month, there have been blog posts, reports and events all pertaining to this topic. Below are some of the highlights.

YJAM was started in 2008 by Tracy McClard whose 16 year old son had died in an adult facility. Since YJAM’s inception, organizations, families and advocates have hosted a variety of events to raise awareness.

For more YJAM highlights, read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Bennington School (VT) Creates an Artistic Project to Help Community


A heartwarming story comes out of Vermont: Families with young children who entered the Project Against Violent Encounters (PAVE) program received handmade dolls created by girls from the Bennington School.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

PbS Helps Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility (MT) Change Attitude and Improve Outcomes


Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility’s recent success in reducing injuries to staff and youth was highlighted in Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Outcomes by Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). Pine Hills’ story shows how Performance-based Standards (PbS) and using data can be the catalyst for change at a juvenile facility.

Read the full article on the CJCA blog.

Monday, October 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

OJJDP Announces Funding To Support National Girls Institute


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has awarded $400,000 to the American Institutes for Research and the National Crittenton Foundation to support the National Girls Institute (NGI). NGI works to reduce the number of girls in the juvenile justice system and improve the treatment of girls in detention by developing standards of care, providing access to resources, and providing training and technical assistance to professionals working with at-risk and delinquent girls and their families. Announcing the award, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee reiterated the Office’s commitment to advancing the understanding of girls’ issues and improving program and system responses to girls in the juvenile justice system.

Learn more about OJJDP's research and programs related to girls in the juvenile justice system.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Series of Briefs on Trauma-Informed Approach Available Online


The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services, has released six online briefs that discuss the key elements of a trauma-informed juvenile justice system. Topics include current issues and new directions in creating trauma-informed systems, assessment and interventions, family engagement, continuity of care and cross-system collaboration, trauma-informed care in facilities, and racial disparities within the system.

Access additional resources from NCTSN.

Read about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Working Definition of Trauma and Principles and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach

Friday, September 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Preventing Gang Membership Report Available


The National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published “Changing Course: Preventing Gang Membership.” Written by leading public health and criminal justice researchers, “Changing Course” provides principles to help practitioners and policymakers make decisions based on the best available evidence to prevent kids from joining a gang. The report examines why youth are attracted to gangs, explores key child development issues and risks for joining a gang, and offers prevention strategies that a variety of stakeholders — such as schools, law enforcement, public health, and communities — can use to address their specific needs.

Download the executive summary and full report.

Watch an interview with Tom Simon, Deputy Associate Director for Science at CDC, on preventing youth from joining gangs.

Access related resources from the National Gang Center.

Friday, September 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Major gains for family engagement in Indiana’s juvenile justice system


Last year, the Vera Institute of Justice’s Family Justice Program wrapped up a multi-year project to develop and pilot family engagement standards for the Performance-based Standards Learning Institute. All juvenile corrections facilities participating in PbS are now collecting information related to family engagement—including a survey of family members twice a year. There are currently 48 facilities across 15 states collecting family surveys with a total of 1,033 family surveys collected since the start of the project.

One of the original pilot states is already benefiting from having data on family engagement after implementing the new standards last fall. Based on feedback from their PbS reports, Indiana’s Pendleton Juvenile Correctional facility decided to increase their rates of visitation. They analyzed their visitation policies and made drastic changes—opening up visitation hours to just about any time a family member can get to the facility. In addition to the expanded visiting hours, all restrictions on the number of visits a young person could receive were lifted.

These changes went into effect at the beginning of this year and, after just a few short months, the staff are seeing big changes. Not only did they successfully double their normal rate of visitation, they saw improved behavior by young people in the facility. The Family Justice Program found a similar correlation between improved behavior and visits in Ohio.

Based on feedback from the family surveys, Indiana also recognized that families were not involved in treatment and reentry plans. In response, facility staff now call parents to discuss progress and behavior issues. Additionally, a family council was created. The family council, called PIES (Parent Information and Education Session), is designed to improve communication between the facility and parents. For example, acting on the council’s suggestion, the facility now runs family fun nights.

Vera applauds Indiana’s Division of Youth Services for having the courage to reflect on their practice, open themselves up to conversations with families, and make changes to increase opportunities for youth and families to connect.

This article was retrieved from the VERA Institute of Justice blog.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 3:21 PM

OJJDP Releases Report of Family Listening Sessions on Juvenile Justice


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released "OJJDP Family Listening Sessions: Executive Summary." In 2011, OJJDP and the Campaign for Youth Justice convened four listening sessions involving families and youth who have had direct experiences with the juvenile justice system at the local or state levels. This report summarizes the participants' experiences and their recommendations for reform. The listening sessions provide OJJDP, state juvenile justice agencies, and other stakeholders with a greater understanding of the challenges families face when their child becomes involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems.


Read the full report online.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Briefing on State Juvenile Justice Reforms: Connecticut, Texas, and Ohio


Today at 4 pm EDT, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) will hold a panel discussion entitled States’ Innovations in Juvenile Justice: Investing in Better Outcomes for Youth. Murphy will bring together state and federal officials, lawmakers, and juvenile justice experts and advocates for a 90 minute panel discussion on juvenile justice reform in America.

Several states across the U.S. have developed and implemented innovative reforms to reduce the number of children committed to juvenile detention facilities, decrease school referrals to the juvenile court system, and keep children in their communities and schools. Connecticut, Texas, and Ohio have led the way in recent years by adopting these new approaches with great success. Not only have these states saved millions of dollars in wasteful spending and cut back on harmful, ineffective approaches, but they have improved outcomes for children. By reinvesting funds back into programs proven to work, states can grow even more savings by helping children become productive adults.

The discussion will be livestreamed on this page at 4 PM EDT.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Illinois Raises Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction


On July 8, 2013, Illinois’ Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation into law that raises the age of the state’s juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17 year olds charged with felonies. This legislation will allow youth to be tried as juveniles and access more rehabilitative services in the juvenile justice system rather than receiving adult criminal convictions and records. The law does not change state laws that allow youth who commit certain serious crimes, such as first degree murder, to be automatically waived to adult criminal court. Illinois joins 38 states that currently prosecute 17 year olds charged with felonies in juvenile court.


Access information and download “Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction,” the 2-year study recommending that Illinois expand the jurisdiction of its juvenile courts to include 17 year olds charged with felonies.

View the Illinois law raising the age for the state’s juvenile court jurisdiction on felony cases.

Monday, July 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

The Pew Charitable Trusts Release Juvenile Justice Reform Briefs


The Pew Charitable Trusts has released two Web briefs:


View and download “State-Local Partnership in Ohio Cuts Juvenile Recidivism, Costs.”

View and download “Bending the Curve: Juvenile Corrections Reform in Texas.”

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Vera Institute of Justice Releases New Resources


The Vera Institute of Justice has released two new publications:

Download “Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Based Practice

Download “The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth’s Behavior and School Performance

Read about the OJJDP and MacArthur Foundation partnership and support of the Models for Change initiative.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Family Surveys Show Overwhelmingly Positive Engagement


The Performance-based Standards (PbS) Family-Youth Initiative (FYI) collected more than 500 surveys from family members of youths either currently in or recently released from secure facilities and the April 2013 results show the vast majority reported positive experiences with facilities.

“This is a very exciting and essential component of PbS and we’re pleased to see these first results show better-than-expected relationships between facilities and families,” said PbS Learning Institute Executive Director Kim Godfrey. “And more importantly, we’ve already seen facilities change practices in direct response to what families have said to give families more access to their children and information about their treatment.”

The families surveyed came from nearly 30 facilities in eight states. All PbS correction participants were given the option in January to participate in pilot testing the new family survey. The survey is being modified for short-term detention centers and a similar family survey has been used in the community-based PbS programs since 2008.

Some of the results included:

  • Most (86%) families felt welcome at the facility,
  • Most (88%) felt respected by staff members,
  • Most (84%) of families felt their opinion regarding their child’s rehabilitation was valued by staff,
  • Nearly all (95%) families understood and agreed with their child’s treatment plans,
  • Almost all (95%) families understood and agreed with their child’s discharge plans, and
  • Most (84%) reported that they knew whom to contact if they had any questions about their child’s well-being.

FYI was developed by PbS in collaboration with the Vera Institute of Justice, Family Justice Program. Since 2011, PbS and Vera have worked with an Advisory Board made up of family representatives, facility superintendents, researchers and experts to develop a new PbS section to guide best practices to engage and work with families.

In the next phase of this pilot PbS will be rolling out many of the family related questions to all participants. Beginning with the October 2013 reporting period, all facilities participating in PbS will see results from the few additional questions to the youth and staff climate surveys, youth records and the administrative form. Participation in the collection of family surveys will remain optional for October.

If your facility is interested in distributing and collecting the PbS Family Survey, please contact your coach or the Helpdesk at help@pbstandards.org.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 4:34 PM

New Additions to PbS Surveys for October


For the next phase in the Family-Youth Initiative pilot, all facilities participating in PbS will see additional questions to the data collection forms. The information below shows the questions that are being added to each survey starting with the October 2013 collection period.

Administrative Form:

  1. How many facility events were open to families and supportive people during the data collection period?
  2. Does your facility have a family council or a formalized group of parents and family representatives that serves as the liaison for families to the facility administration?
  3. Are family members or representatives included when the facility and/or agency conducts policy reviews?

Staff Climate Survey:

  1. Do staff members talk with youths about the youths’ families and other supportive people?

  2. Which of the following statements are true for you?

    -I have better results working with the youths when I include families.
    -The training I received has improved the way I interact with families. -I value family members and youths’ social supports as partners in my work with the youths.

Youth Climate Survey:

  1. When you leave here, who will you call when you need to talk or need help working out a problem?
  2. Are staff members interested in what you have to say?
  3. Are staff members interested in what your family has to say?
  4. Have staff members asked you questions about how your family and friends help you?
  5. Which of the following statements are true about this facility?
    -My family feels welcomed at this facility.
    -My family talks regularly with staff at this facility.
    -My family and staff generally get along with each other.
  6. Do you have any children?

Youth Record:

  1. Were family and/or supportive people included in the youth’s treatment plan?

  2. Were family therapy sessions suggested in the youth’s treatment plan?

  3. Were the strengths and needs of the youth’s family and supportive people assessed?

  4. Does the youth’s aftercare plan include identification of people who will support the youth in the community?

  5. Number of treatment team meetings that had a family member or other supportive person participate:

  6. Did a family member or supportive person sign the aftercare treatment and placement plan?

  7. Does the youth have any children?

Downloadable copies of the October 2013 PbS Youth Record are currently available in the resources section of the PbS website. All other surveys mentioned above will be posted to the website soon. If you have any questions, please contact the PbS Helpdesk at 1-888-727-5482 or help@pbstandards.org

Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Progress at Ohio Department of Youth Services Leads Federal Court to Find Quality Assurance and Improvement Practices Compliant


For Immediate Release: June 20, 2013

Contact: Kim Parsell 614-466-9854 / 614-623-2209 Kim.Parsell@dys.ohio.gov

Progress at Ohio Department of Youth Services Leads Federal Court to Find Quality Assurance and Improvement Practices Compliant

Agency has demonstrated to the Court that it is able to identify and address challenges in order maintain and improve conditions for youth

Columbus, Ohio- Today U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley found that the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) has demonstrated that it is able to identify and address challenges through its quality assurance and improvement processes.

“We are proud of our staff who have been working hard to reach this milestone achievement,” said Harvey J. Reed, Director of DYS. “Our quality assurance process helps us maintain high standards to make a difference in the lives of the young people we serve.”

“Effective quality assurance and quality improvement practices are key to any institutional reform effort, because they demonstrate to the Court, plaintiffs, and community stakeholders that the agency is capable of identifying and addressing problems related to conditions of confinement as they arise,” said Will Harrell, Lead Monitor. “The agency thus demonstrates that court oversight is no longer necessary by establishing that it can effectively monitor itself.”

“We congratulate DYS on all the progress made over these last five years including a substantial reduction in the institutional population, increased support for community-based treatment, improved treatment and education for youth in DYS custody, and instituting a quality assurance system that will provide a basis for continued improvement,” said Al Gerhardstein and Kim Brooks Tandy, attorneys representing youth. “DYS deserves a great deal of credit for its steady progress, and we are confident that we will see similar progress on the areas that remain in the case.”

Focused court monitoring will continue for mental health services and the special management unit. While some challenges remain, the Department is committed to continuous improvement in its facilities and programs to promote the continued rehabilitation of the youth in its care.

DYS is the juvenile corrections system for the state of Ohio and is statutorily mandated to confine felony offenders, ages 10 to 21, who have been adjudicated and committed by one of Ohio's 88 county juvenile courts. DYS operates four juvenile correctional facilities, provides parole services from five regional sites and funds and supports 625 community programs throughout the state.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 1:37 PM

The Comeback States: Reducing Juvenile Incarceration in the United States


The Comeback States, a new report that NJJN co-authored with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, examines how the turnaround in the number of detained or incarcerated youth came about. In 2000, more than 100,000 kids were being held in detention centers or incarcerated. Just a decade later, there was a drop of almost 40%. The report examines policy reforms nine states have adopted that reflect a new approach to addressing youth incarceration.

Download the report

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 2:44 PM

OJJDP Announces New Funding Opportunities


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has announced the following fiscal year 2013 funding opportunities:

  • National Mentoring Resource Center. OJJDP seeks applicants to develop the center’s capabilities to provide mentoring resources, references, and training materials to support implementation of mentoring practices that are evidence and research based. Applications are due by July 23, 2013.
  • Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems Program. This program, a collaboration between OJJDP and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking, will fund agencies that use a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to providing intervention and supervision services for youth with sexual behavior problems and treatment services for their child victims and families. Applications are due by July 25, 2013.

Visit OJJDP’s funding page for more information about this solicitation and other current funding opportunities.

Monday, June 17, 2013 at 12:32 PM

OJJDP Bulletin Examines Victimization of Youth in Residential Placement


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released “Nature and Risk of Victimization: Findings From the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement.” This is the final bulletin in OJJDP’s series on the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement, which gathered data directly from youth in custody. The survey findings signal an urgent need for policy and program initiatives to reduce victimization and improve protections for confined youth.


View the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement.

View and download “Nature and Risk of Victimization: Findings From the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement.”

Order print copies online from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Monday, June 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM

OYA Offers Innovative Education Options to At-Risk Youth


June 7, 2013

Media Contacts:
C. J. Drake, OYA Communications Office
503-385-5899 or CJ.Drake@oya.state.or.us
Sara Inman, Education Portal
650-962-1200, ext. 521 or sara@education-portal.com

As the first round of Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) kids graduate from their facility’s high school this weekend, the agency is introducing a first-of-its-kind program to help troubled youth catch up on educational opportunities they missed before incarceration.

Known as Education Portal, the program offers free, online college courses that lead to widely accepted college credit. Oregon will be the first state in the nation to offer an array of college courses to juvenile offenders.

Because kids have limited internet access in OYA facilities during school hours, they will have more opportunities to learn from college video DVDs after school. Using Education Portal, youth can earn credit for the first two years of college and significantly reduce the time and cost of earning a degree.

“We who work with troubled kids are only too aware of the school-to-prison pipeline,” said OYA Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “When at-risk youth arrive at OYA, they are often years behind in high school, have learning disabilities, and have suffered from abuse and neglect. We are deeply grateful to Education Portal for this partnership that offers kids a chance to make up for lost time and educational opportunities.”

Each DVD contains a series of 5-minute lectures on math, English or other topics taught by experienced instructors. Each lecture is followed by a brief quiz that is instantly graded. The courses are designed specifically to help OYA youth pass credit-granting exams such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test. CLEP credit is accepted by nearly 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide.

"We are proud to partner with OYA’s efforts to bring college education to incarcerated students and reduce recidivism," said Ben Wilson, Education Portal president.

Approximately 300 of the more than 800 youth in OYA’s 10 facilities statewide are eligible to participate in the Education Portal program. After they leave OYA’s care, they can continue learning by using the company’s internet-based courses.

Fifteen youth from Trask River High School at Camp Tillamook and Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility will graduate Saturday, with other OYA facilities holding ceremonies throughout June.

Click here for a video that explains Education Portal’s program for incarcerated youth.

The Oregon Youth Authority is the state's juvenile justice agency, reducing victimization by helping at-risk young people lead productive, crime-free lives. Learn more at www.oregon.gov/oya and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/oregonyouth.

Education Portal makes education accessible through free, online courses that help students earn widely-accepted college credit, as well as pass the GED exam. Taught by experienced instructors and subject matter experts, Education Portal's 50+ courses consist of over 4,000 fun and engaging micro-lessons designed specifically for the online learner. Since their launch in 2011, over 2 million students have used Education Portal's free online courses. Education Portal is owned by Remilon, LLC, and based in Mountain View, California. Learn more at www.education-portal.com.

Original press release from the OYA website.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

OJJDP Releases Spring 2013 Issue of Journal of Juvenile Justice


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has released the spring 2013 issue of the online Journal of Juvenile Justice.

Articles in this issue include:

  • Family-Focused Juvenile Reentry Services: A Quasi-Experimental Design Evaluation of Recidivism Outcomes.
  • An Examination of the Early “Strains” of Imprisonment Among Young Offenders Incarcerated for Serious Crimes.
  • Parental Acceptance-Rejection Theory and Court-Involved Adolescent Females: An Exploration of Parent-Child Relationships and Student-Teacher Relationships.
  • One Family, One Judge Practice Effects on Children: Permanency Outcomes on Case Closure and Beyond.
  • An Outcome-Based Evaluation of Functional Family Therapy for Youth With Behavioral Problems.
  • Relating Resilience Factors and Decision Making in Two Groups of Underserved Adolescents: Implications for Intervention.


Access past issues of the semiannual, peer-reviewed journal.

Submit manuscripts for future issues.

Friday, June 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM

OJJDP Bulletin Examines PTSD, Trauma, and Psychiatric Disorders in Youth Detainees


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released "PTSD, Trauma, and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth." The bulletin is part of OJJDP’s Beyond Detention series, which examines the results of the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL. This bulletin presents findings on the prevalence of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among juvenile detainees and PTSD’s tendency to co-occur with other psychiatric disorders.

Learn more about the Northwestern Juvenile Project, cosponsored by OJJDP.
View and download "PTSD, Trauma, and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth."
Order print copies online from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 10:03 AM

State Juvenile Corrections Programs Continue To Shine In PbS Project


May 31, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Michael Winder, Communications & Information Manager

State Juvenile Corrections Programs Continue To Shine In PbS Project

Custer, S.D.- For an unprecedented third time, all of the state’s juvenile corrections programs have reached the highest level status possible under a national project that measures conditions and treatment services provided to incarcerated youth.

All three of the reporting programs at the State Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) Academy near Custer obtained Level 4 status during the April 2013 data collection period for the Performance-based Standards (PbS) project. South Dakota became the first state to have all of its reporting programs achieve Level 4 status in April 2011 and repeated the feat in October 2012.

“Since 2009, we have had one or more of our STAR Academy programs maintain a Level 4 status in the PbS project,” said Denny Kaemingk, Secretary of Corrections. “This is a tribute to the dedicated team utilizing evidence-based practices to provide the very best care possible for the youth entrusted to us.”

“Having all three STAR Academy programs repeat the accomplishment of obtaining the highest level possible is quite remarkable,” said Doug Herrmann, Director of Juvenile Services. “Through the commitment of Tonya Wright-Cook as our PbS coordinator, our other agency partners, dedicated staff and the leadership of STAR Superintendent Jeff Haiar and Director of Juvenile Community Services Kristi Bunkers, South Dakota leads the nation in juvenile corrections.”

PbS is a program developed by the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) for agencies and facilities to identify, monitor and improve conditions and treatment services provided to incarcerated youths using national standards and outcome measures.

Data is collected twice per year to measure safety, security, order, medical and mental health services, justice and legal rights, programming and reintegration planning. STAR Academy has participated in the PbS project since 2001. Governor Dennis Daugaard signed an executive order in 2012 requiring the state juvenile corrections programs to continue participating in the project and to report annually to the Legislature on the progress of the project.

There are currently 156 facilities in the nation participating in the PbS project. Nineteen of those facilities reached Level 4 status for the last reporting period, with three of them being from South Dakota.

For more information on STAR Academy’s participation in the PbS project or to view the most recent annual report, visit the Department of Corrections website at: http://doc.sd.gov/juvenile/pbsp.aspx.

For more information on the PbS project, visit the CJCA website at: http://pbstandards.org/initiatives/performance-based-standards-pbs.

Friday, May 31, 2013 at 4:39 PM

OJJDP Announces New Funding Opportunities


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has announced the following fiscal year 2013 funding opportunities:

  • National Juvenile Justice Information Sharing Training and Technical Assistance Program. OJJDP seeks applications for its national program to deliver training, technical assistance, and implementation support for information sharing among juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, education, and other youth-serving agencies. This program will enhance agencies’ ability to provide services and ensure better outcomes for children, youth, and families. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 9, 2013.
  • Division of Innovation and Research Fellowship Program on Juvenile Justice Data. The fellowship will provide an opportunity for researchers with experience and expertise in juvenile justice, survey methodology, and statistics to help implement collaborative cross-agency strategies, policies, and programs to enhance and improve data for use by policymakers and practitioners nationwide. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 15, 2013

Visit OJJDP’s funding page for more information about this solicitation and other current funding opportunities.

Friday, May 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Press Release: The Training Curriculum and Program Guide on Suicide Detection and Prevention in Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities and Residential Programs


The National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA) recently announced the availability of the Training Curriculum and Program Guide on Suicide Detection and Prevention in Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities and Residential Programs, a comprehensive 190-page manual developed by Lindsay M. Hayes. The manual, contained in a three-ring binder and accompanied by a CD of 163 PowerPoint slides, is available for $199, including shipping/handling.

This Curriculum is designed to equip direct care, security, medical, mental health, and education personnel with a comprehensive understanding of suicidal behavior as it relates to the facility environment of a detention center, training school, and/or residential treatment center. It includes a discussion on juvenile suicide research, guiding principles to suicide prevention, why facility environments are conducive to suicidal behavior, staff attitudes about suicide, potential predisposing factors to suicide, warning signs and symptoms, identification of suicide risk despite the denial of risk, high-risk periods, components of the facility’s suicide prevention policy, instruction regarding the proper role of staff in responding to a suicide attempt, critical incident stress debriefing, and liability issues.

The manual is also a Program Guide and provides facility administrators a virtual blueprint for development and/or revision of suicide prevention programs. Eight critical components to a suicide prevention program are outlined in detail — staff training, intake screening/assessment, communication, safe housing, levels of observation/management, intervention, reporting, and follow-up/morbidity-mortality review.

For more information on the Training Curriculum and Program Guide’s content and availability, contact Lindsay M. Hayes, Project Director, NCIA, 40 Lantern Lane, Mansfield, MA 02048, (508) 337-8806, e-mail: Lhayesta@msn.com, or visit this link:


Monday, May 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM