The contributions of faith-based and community organizations to preventing and combating delinquency are exemplified by the following programs, which represent only a sample of such programs funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
Amachi Big Brothers Big Sisters
Amachi Big Brothers Big Sisters started in Philadelphia in 2000. The program matches a child with an incarcerated parent with an adult member of a church congregation, generally in the child's neighborhood.
In 2003, with funding from OJJDP, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America provided challenge grants to eleven affiliates to replicate the Philadelphia program. As of June 2005, 121 Amachi-affiliated programs had partnered with more than 1,000 churches to serve some 4,000 children.
National Network of Youth Ministries
The National Network of Youth Ministries (NNYM) is the nation's largest coalition of Christian youth-serving organizations and denominations. Through their combined resources, NNYM serves serves more than 100,000 churches, 250,000 adult youth workers and mentors, and 3 million teenagers.
Faith and Community Based Delinquency Treatment Initiative
With $3.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is implementing a multi-faceted faith-based, 3-year initiative for youthful offenders adjudicated to state juvenile justice secure facilities. Program participation requires consent of the youth and parents.
The program provides residential commitment and aftercare services to moderate- or high-risk youth. The residential component provides a secular program consisting of evidence-based treatments, including motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, a character-based curriculum, and a strengthening families curriculum.
Youth between the ages of 10 and 17 are assigned a mentor at the time of admission to a residential facility. The volunteers are carefully screened through a process that includes a formal background investigation. The program involves chaplains and other faith and community-based mentors in the residential phase of treatment.
The uniqueness of the program lies in its foresight to continue these mentoring relationships and involve local churches and community organizations in a program aimed at rebuilding family relationships following release from detention. The program currently provides residential commitment services and aftercare services to approximately 170 youth.
Tribal Youth Program
OJJDP's Tribal Youth Program (TYP) works to support and enhance tribal efforts to prevent and control delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system for American Indian and Alaska Native youth. Another focus is provision of mental health and substance abuse services to American Indian and Alaska Native youth for both alcohol and drugs.
Some TYP subgrants have faith-based and community aspects as they work on the local level and may use tribal methods of delinquency prevention and rehabilitation in a cultural, traditional, and spiritual context.
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Salvation Army
The Salvation Army works cooperatively with many groups—governmental, social service, civic, religious, humanitarian, educational, health, character building and other groups—to address human needs. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides outreach services, social service programs, camps and youth programs in a positive environment.
More than 35 Boys and Girls Clubs of the Salvation Army receive funding from OJJDP grants to support club programs and to provide their services to those most in need but without the resources to access programs.
A complete list of programs may be found on OJJDP's Programs page.
Center for Faith Based & Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP)
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