Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Proposed Comprehensive Plan for Fiscal Year 1998

Delinquency Prevention and Intervention

Youth-Centered Conflict Resolution

In FY 1995, OJJDP funded the Illinois Institute for Dispute Resolution (IIDR) to implement the Youth-Centered Conflict Resolution (YCCR) program under a competitively awarded 3-year cooperative agreement. The purpose of this program, which began in October 1995, is to integrate conflict resolution education (CRE) programming into all levels of education in the nation's schools, juvenile facilities, and youth-serving organizations.

During the first two years, IIDR provided training and technical assistance through a number of mechanisms. In year one, activities included participation in the development of a satellite teleconference on CRE, a presentation on the YCCR program at the National Institute for Dispute Resolution annual conference, and three regional training conferences for teams from schools, communities, and juvenile facilities. IIDR also completed the project's first major resource document, Conflict Resolution Education: A Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth-Serving Organizations, and Community and Juvenile Justice Settings. Second-year activities included followup training and intensive technical assistance including onsite work with the Washington, D.C. school system. In the second project year, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, IIDR developed a pilot curriculum and conducted a series of 10 training sessions to assist arts program staff and administrators in infusing conflict resolution skills and principles into art programs for at-risk youth.

Activities planned for FY 1998 include three national training conferences, onsite technical assistance to SafeFutures, Weed and Seed, and other sites, increased followup support, and a survey of gang intervention programs to identify those that use conflict resolution techniques as part of their efforts.

Also, IIDR will expand the level of support that project staff provide to schools, communities, and youth-serving organizations, including training provided in partnership with national organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the National Juvenile Detention Association. Efforts will also be undertaken to facilitate peer-to-peer mentoring among youth education and youth-serving organizations. Special emphasis will be placed on disseminating information about effective conflict resolution programs and implementation issues through print and electronic media. Project staff will also work with staff in state departments of education and offices of state attorneys general to promote replication of local conflict resolution programs and to partner with state agencies to establish training-of-trainers institutes or programs to build local capacity to implement successful CRE programs for youth.

OJJDP is exploring the possibility of a partnership with the U.S. Department of Education to expand this project. The project will be implemented by the current grantee, IIDR. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.

Communities In Schools -- Federal Interagency Partnership

This program is a continuation of a national school dropout prevention model developed and implemented by Communities In Schools, Inc. (CIS). CIS, Inc. provides training and technical assistance to CIS programs in states and local communities, enabling them to adapt and implement the CIS model. The model brings social, employment, mental health, drug prevention, entrepreneurship, and other resources to high-risk youth and their families in the school setting. Where CIS state organizations are established, they assume primary responsibility for local program replication during the Federal Interagency Partnership.

The Federal Interagency Partnership program is based on the following strategies: (1) to enhance CIS, Inc. training and technical assistance capabilities; (2) to enhance the organization's capability to introduce selected initiatives to CIS youth at the local level; (3) to enhance the CIS, Inc. information dissemination network capability; and (4) to enhance the CIS, Inc. capability to network with federal agencies on behalf of state and local CIS programs.

In FY 1997, the CIS/Federal Interagency Partnership: (1) performed extensive research and compilation of conference materials and other resources outlining trends and activities related to family strengthening and parent participation initiatives; (2) produced a quarterly issue of Facts You Can Use; (3) formed a committee responsible for developing a description of the Family Service Center site strategy; (4) formulated a plan for providing training and technical assistance to SafeFutures sites; (5) advanced activities under the Youth Entrepreneurship Program by implementing the second phase of the minigrant process and by providing technical assistance; (6) developed a violence prevention resource directory and offered training on violence prevention; (7) provided program-level liaison and coordination to facilitate access by state and local CIS organizations to federal agency products; and (8) added new features to the CIS Web site to increase local and state program access to federal resources.

OJJDP proposes to continue funding this project in FY 1998 for activities including: (1) provide continuing training and technical assistance on family strengthening and parent participation initiatives for the primary benefit of CIS state and local programs; (2) develop a report on known family strengthening activities occurring within the CIS network of local programs, highlighting best practices; (3) make available to the CIS network resources and materials developed by other organizations that deal with family-focused issues; (4) offer multitrack trainings to SafeFutures sites and, as appropriate, provide technical assistance on the CIS process; and (5) produce and distribute the CIS Facts You Can Use technical bulletin quarterly.

The program would be implemented by the current grantee, Communities In Schools, Inc. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.

The Congress of National Black Churches: National Anti-Drug Abuse/Violence Campaign

OJJDP proposes to award continuation funding to the Congress of National Black Churches (CNBC) for its national public awareness and mobilization strategy to address the problems of juvenile drug abuse, violence, and hate crime in targeted communities. The goal of the CNBC national strategy is to summon, focus, and coordinate the leadership of the black religious community, in cooperation with the Department of Justice and other federal agencies and organizations, to mobilize groups of community residents to combat juvenile drug abuse and drug-related violence.

The CNBC National Anti-Drug Abuse/Violence Campaign (NADVC) is a partner in the Education Development Center's (EDC) Juvenile Hate Crime Initiative. NADVC has used EDC's hate crime curriculum to focus on prevention through the networks and resources in the faith community to address the impact and roles of juveniles and youth in engaging in and preventing hate crimes. Two regional conferences were held during the past year in Columbia, South Carolina and Memphis, Tennessee. Approximately 80 participants, representing more than 20 burned churches from black and white congregations, attended.

In FY 1997, the program expanded through NADVC's Regional Hate Crime Prevention Initiative, the campaign's model for anti-drug/violence strategies, and NADVC's faith community network. NADVC has assisted in the development of programs in 87 sites, whose activities vary depending on their stage of development. The smallest of these alliances consists of six congregations and the largest has 134. The NADVC program involves approximately 2,220 clergy and affects 1.5 million youth and the adults who influence their lives. NADVC also provides technical support to four statewide religious coalitions.

NADVC's technical assistance, consultations, and training have helped sites to leverage more than $15 million in funds from corporations, foundations, and federal, state, and local government. CNBC receives frequent requests for its NADVC model for the development of prevention programs in the faith community. The model is easily tailored to the local community's assessment of its drug, delinquency, violence, and hate crime problems.

NADVC has contributed to many agency conferences, workshops, and advisory committees on the issues of violence, substance abuse prevention, policing, and high-risk youth services. The campaign has also produced a National Training and Site Development Guide and a video to assist sites in implementing the NADVC model.

NADVC would continue to expand to new sites in FY 1998, seek new partnerships, and enhance efforts to address hate crime and family violence intervention issues.

The program would be implemented by the current grantee, the Congress of National Black Churches. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.

Risk Reduction Via Promotion of Youth Development

The Risk Reduction Via Promotion of Youth Development program, also known as Early Alliance, is a large-scale prevention study involving hundreds of children and several elementary schools located in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods of Columbia, South Carolina. This program is funded through an interagency agreement with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). NIMH's grantee is the University of South Carolina. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have also provided funding for the program.

This large-scale project is designed to promote coping-competence and reduce risk for conduct problems, aggression, substance use, delinquency and violence, and school failure beginning in early elementary school. The project also seeks to alter home and school climates to reduce risk for adverse outcomes and to promote positive youth development. Interventions include a classroom program, a schoolwide conflict management program, peer social skills training, and home-based family programming. The sample includes African American and Caucasian children attending schools located in lower income neighborhoods. There is a sample of high-risk children (showing early aggressive behavior at school entry), and a second sample consisting of lower risk children (residing in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods). The interventions begin in first grade, and children are being followed longitudinally throughout the five years of the project.

Funded initially in FY 1997 through a fund transfer to NIMH under an interagency agreement, this program will continue to receive support for an additional four years. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.

Training and Technical Assistance for Family Strengthening Programs

Prevention, early intervention, and effective crisis intervention are critical elements in a community's family support system. In many communities, one or more of these elements may be missing, or programs may not be coordinated. In addition, technical assistance and training are often not available to community organizations and agencies providing family strengthening services. In response to these needs, OJJDP awarded a 3-year competitive cooperative agreement in FY 1995 to the University of Utah's Department of Health Education (DHE) to provide training and technical assistance to communities interested in establishing or enhancing a continuum of family strengthening efforts.

In the first program year, the grantee completed initial drafts of a literature review and summaries of exemplary programs; conducted a national search for, rated, and selected family strengthening models; planned two regional training conferences to showcase the selected exemplary and promising family strengthening programs; convened the first conference for 250 attendees in Salt Lake City, Utah; and developed an application process for sites to receive followup training on specific program models.

In the second program year, DHE completed a second draft of the literature review and model program summaries; convened a second regional conference in Washington, D.C.; conducted program-specific workshops; produced user and training-of-trainers guides; and distributed videos of several family strengthening workshops.

In the third program year, DHE will coordinate technical assistance and training of agencies that are in the process of implementing the identified model programs. In addition, the grantee will establish a minigrant supplement program to provide stipends to a minimum of 10 sites to ensure program implementation. DHE will also update and publish its literature review and develop program-specific bulletins to be distributed by OJJDP and also made available on the OJJDP Web site. The grantee's technical assistance delivery system and the overall impact of the project will also be assessed.

This program will be implemented in FY 1998 by the current grantee, the University of Utah's DHE. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.

Hate Crime

In FY 1998, OJJDP would provide continuation funding to the Education Development Center (EDC) to expand their hate crime prevention efforts. EDC has produced and published a multipurpose curriculum, entitled Healing the Hate, for hate crime prevention in middle schools and other classroom settings. The curriculum has been disseminated to 20,000 law enforcement officials, juvenile justice professionals, and educators throughout the country.

Because of increased racial, ethnic, and religious tensions and hate crimes in various regions of the country, OJJDP expanded this grant to allow EDC to provide training and technical assistance to youth, educators, juvenile justice and law enforcement professionals, and representatives of local public/private community agencies and organizations and the faith community. The recipients of this training/technical assistance obtained the knowledge and skills necessary to establish prejudice reduction and violence prevention programs to decrease bias crimes by youth in their communities. During the past year, EDC conducted training/technical assistance at three sites in different regions of the country (Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; and Miami, Florida). Dissemination of products was achieved through national educational, advocacy, and justice networks and at 15 other national conferences. In FY 1997, additional Hate Crimes project activities were funded through an interagency agreement with the U. S. Department of Education.

In FY 1998, EDC would provide expanded training/technical assistance to new sites and further disseminate the products through the education and juvenile justice networks. In addition, EDC would develop a plan for providing onsite, short-term technical assistance to practitioners who are experiencing specific hate crime problems, are interested in assessing the extent of these problems in their locales, or are developing, implementing, or modifying hate crime prevention strategies. EDC would also develop a plan to assist state juvenile justice agencies to formulate hate crime prevention components for their juvenile delinquency prevention plans.

Guides to the development of hate crime prevention strategies for selected audiences (juvenile justice agencies, schools, communities) and hate crime prevention articles and bulletins would be produced and disseminated. The grantee would research, analyze, and synthesize information on emerging issues such as the juvenile justice system's handling of hate crime offenders, alternative dispositions for youth who commit hate crimes, and approaches to prevention of gender-related hate crimes and those that target other specific populations, such as immigrants.

The project would be implemented, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, by the current grantee, Education Development Center. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.

Strengthening Services for Chemically Involved Children, Youth, and Families

The abuse of alcohol and other drugs (AOD)is inextricably linked with both personal and economic adversity and crime in society. Alcohol and drug abuse exact a devastating toll, especially on the most vulnerable -- young children and adolescents. Recognizing that the U. S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are both servicing the same pool of children affected by parental substance use/abuse, the two Departments have initiated a joint program.

OJJDP will administer this training and technical assistance program, with FY 1997 funds transferred to OJJDP by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through a cooperative agreement with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). To achieve maximum effectiveness in aiding chemically involved families, child welfare professionals must be able to address entrenched family problems caused by alcohol and other drug abuse, while simultaneously delivering services that protect and promote the health and well-being of children. These professionals need information, resource materials, and training to increase their knowledge of the link between chemical dependency and a host of related conditions that negatively affect child and family well-being.

CWLA, a nonprofit organization, will carry out the required activities of this interagency agreement by assisting child welfare personnel to provide appropriate intervention services for AOD-impacted children and their caregivers. Through collaboration between the CWLA program, policy specialists in chemical dependency, child protective services, family support services, foster care, kinship care, and a cadre of other agencies, CWLA will produce a state-of-the-art comprehensive assessment tool and decisionmaking guidelines that frontline child welfare workers and supervisors can use in determining: (1) how alcohol and drugs are impacting child safety and family functioning, and (2) the most appropriate intervention options for each child victim.

CWLA will also conduct training for trainers to facilitate effective use of this guide by child welfare workers.

CWLA's assessment instrument and decisionmaking guidelines for chemically-involved children and families will direct the vital first steps for child welfare professionals toward achieving increased safety to AOD-involved children and families. This instrument will not only outline a strengths-based substance abuse assessment tool, but also suggest new approaches to engaging families and addressing their needs. The casework, placement, and permanency planning options outlined in the guidelines will advance participatory decisionmaking models that result in family strengthening. Case plans that emphasize flexible options, encourage parents as partners in decisionmaking, and involve extended family in caregiving, can promote the best interest of children and families.

Training and technical assistance to child welfare professionals supported by this agreement will help to develop innovative and effective approaches to meeting the needs of children in the child welfare system whose parents are AOD abusers. The activities funded by this agreement will focus on developing, expanding, or enhancing initiatives that raise public awareness and educate child welfare workers and policy makers on the most appropriate services for children of substance abusing parents to prevent these children and youth from becoming AOD abusers.

OJJDP funds would enable CWLA to produce a guidebook for senior officials that describes current practices, models of innovation, and the policy choices faced in linking child welfare service agencies and their substance abuse counterparts. Also under consideration is increasing the number of sites in which CWLA would conduct training-of-trainer sessions from the four sites and 100 workers approved under the cooperative agreement, to eight sites and 200 workers.

This jointly funded project would be implemented by CWLA. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.

Diffusion of State Risk- and Protective-Factor Focused Prevention

OJJDP is providing funds to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), through an interagency agreement, to support this 5-year evaluation program. Fiscal Year 1997 funds were used to begin this diffusion study of the natural history of the adoption, implementation, and effects of the public health approach to prevention, focusing on risk and protective factors for substance abuse at the state and community levels. The study seeks to identify phases and factors that influence the adoption of the public health approach and assess the association between the use of this approach for community prevention planning and the levels of risk and protective factors and substance abuse among adolescents.

The study will also examine state substance abuse data gathered from 1988 through 2001 and use key informant interviews conducted in 1997, 1999, and 2001 to identify and describe the process of implementing the epidemiological risk- and protective-factor approach in seven collaborating states -- Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Maine, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

This project will be implemented by the current grantee, the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington, School of Social Work. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.

Multisite, Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With ADHD

OJJDP would provide funds under an interagency agreement with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to fund this study. OJJDP's participation in this NIMH-sponsored research is designed to enhance and expand the project to include analysis of justice system contact on the part of the subjects. The study began in 1992, studying the long-term efficacy of stimulant medication and intensive behavioral and educational treatment for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Originally funded for five years, this new round of funding would continue the six study sites for another five years, to 2003. Given this continuation, many of the children involved in the study will reach the age at which children normally begin antisocial behavior. To date, no extensive study has examined the relationship between delinquency and ADHD.

This expanded study, principally funded by NIMH, will follow the original study families and include a comparison group. With OJJDP support, the project sites are beginning to look at the subjects' delinquent behavior and legal system contact. This second funding cycle will include studies of substance use and antisocial behavior.

OJJDP would support this study through an interagency agreement with the National Institute of Mental Health. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.

Evaluation of the Juvenile Mentoring Program

The overall goals of the Part G Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) are the reduction of delinquency, gang participation, violence, and substance abuse and related behavior and the enhancement of educational opportunity, academic achievement, investments in school, and contribution to one's community. Translating these impact goals to outcome goals, the evaluation grantee will assess and measure the relative probability that JUMP mentees will reflect reductions in delinquency, gang participation, and associated negative behaviors and show improvements in school attendance, school completion, and academic performance.

The evaluation objectives include assessing and measuring the extent to which the quality of the mentor-mentee relationship generates attitudes, values, and intermediary behavior that increase the probability of the positive outcomes cited as goals. A second objective includes assessing and measuring the attributes of mentor characteristics and behaviors that contribute most to the attainment of mentee results. Other objectives include ensuring that the evaluation instrument is optimally designed, worded, and configured; providing ongoing assistance to JUMP program grantees; implementing quality assurance for raw data received from JUMP grantees and assuring proper entry into the management information data base; preparing appropriate data analysis for each JUMP grantee; generating analyses of site-specific findings; and preparing an aggregate analysis of implementation results and outcome data from all sites, with special focus on attributable program effects and implications for replication.

This evaluation is being conducted by Information Technology International under a 2-year grant that was competitively awarded in FY 1997. The primary focus of the initial award is the original 41 JUMP program sites. OJJDP anticipates extending the project period in FY 1998 for an additional two years in order to expand the ongoing evaluation to the 52 JUMP grants awarded to new sites in FY 1997. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.

Truancy Reduction

Truancy often leads to dropping out of school, delinquency, and drug abuse. For many youth, truancy may be a first step to a lifetime of unemployment, crime, and incarceration.

OJJDP is considering engaging in a joint funding effort with the U.S. Department of Education to award competitive discretionary funds for jurisdictions to address the problem of truancy. OJJDP would be looking for school districts, under the leadership of their superintendents, to apply jointly with law enforcement or other juvenile justice system agencies to develop and implement a collaborative program designed to reduce truancy in their jurisdictions.

Arts and At-Risk Youth

The need for afterschool programs for youth at risk of delinquency is well known. The opportunity to join an afterschool arts program that helps students develop their talents and abilities has been shown to help youth stay in school, receive higher grades, develop self-esteem, and resist peer pressure to engage in negative behaviors, such as substance and alcohol use, and other delinquent acts. Unfortunately, juveniles who are at greatest risk of delinquency are the ones who often have the least opportunity to join such programs because they are not available in their schools, neighborhoods, or communities. These youth have limited experiences both in the world of work and in job training skills. In addition, lack of conflict resolution skills makes it difficult for youth to retain jobs once they are employed because they are not well-equipped to handle conflicts that may arise.

OJJDP is considering funding an afterschool and summer arts program that combines the arts with job training and conflict resolution skills. This project would include summer jobs or paid internships for youth, so that they would be able to put into practice the job and conflict resolution skills they are learning. By combining the arts with practical life experiences, at-risk youth are able to gain valuable insights into their own abilities and the possibilities that await them in the world of work if they continue to attend school, study, and graduate.

OJJDP intends to explore the possibility of collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Labor for this 2-year pilot project. OJJDP would award a competitive grant to develop a strategy based on research, provide technical assistance, implement an impact evaluation, and create reports on the strengths and weaknesses of the pilot program.

Community Volunteer Coordinator Program

OJJDP is considering funding the establishment of "volunteer coordinators" in a limited number of ongoing community-based initiative sites for the purpose of expanding the quality, sustainability, and number of safe and positive activities for young people during nonschool hours. Building on the work of the "Presidents' Summit for America's Future," OJJDP would seek partnerships with other federal agencies to provide grants to identified collaboratives that can demonstrate a clearly articulated plan for increasing volunteerism and representation from schools, law enforcement, city or county government, youth groups, and community-based organizations. The grants would support the hiring of an individual in the community who would be responsible for inventorying programs, planning, and recruiting, connecting, and training volunteers to participate in a range of programs that provide youth services (mentoring, tutoring, neighborhood restoration, counseling, recreational activities, mediation services, media outreach, and other forms of community service for youth).

Learning Disabilities Among Juveniles At-Risk of Delinquency or in the Juvenile Justice System

Some researchers have concluded that children who have difficulties in school often become frustrated because of constant failure. Studies have shown that youth who have a learning disability (LD) are very likely to become truant or drop out of school. However, the relationship between a LD and juvenile delinquency is complex.

A learning disability is a neurological condition that impedes the ability to store, process, or produce information. Learning disabilities can affect the ability to read, write, speak, or compute math and can impair socialization skills. Individuals with LDs are generally of average or above average intelligence, but the disability creates a gap between ability and performance.

School failure associated with learning disabilities is an important risk factor for juvenile delinquency. Whatever the presenting problem (e.g., abuse or neglect, truancy, or delinquency), a large percentage of children who come before the court have some specific learning disability that may have contributed, either directly or indirectly, to the behavior that led to their presence in court. A child with an LD is much more likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system than one without an LD. The prevalence of LD in a population of juvenile delinquents is extremely high -- approximately 35 percent of all children in the juvenile justice system have an identified LD.

To better address the needs of these youth, greater attention needs to be paid at a much younger age to the nature of learning disabilities, their impact on learning and the processing of information in and out of the classroom setting, and their relationship to dropping out and delinquency. Parents, schools, and the juvenile courts need to be more aware of this hidden handicap. These children could be helped if their disabilities were properly diagnosed and treated. Professionals who directly interact with the learning disabled need to share knowledge on how to identify and treat learning disabilities with juvenile justice system practitioners in order to reduce the number of system-involved juveniles who are learning disabled and to retain them in the education mainstream.

To address these critical issues, OJJDP is considering a joint initiative with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. This initiative would include a planning component to develop a systemwide protocol to link appropriate agencies and professionals in the fields of education, juvenile and family courts, law enforcement, social services, juvenile justice system, and other systems that interact with LD youth.

The goals of this initiative would be: (1) to prevent the development of delinquency through early intervention, appropriate education, and other community-based services for students with an LD; and (2) to prevent recidivism by assuring that students with an LD in the juvenile justice system receive appropriate, specially designed instructional and social development skills and services that address their individual needs, and that practitioners receive training on working with this population of offender.

Competitive grants would be awarded to support a planning and demonstration project that provides a systemwide protocol to address the issues surrounding learning disabilities and the link to delinquency both in schools and in the juvenile justice system that includes schools, education, juvenile and family courts, law enforcement, social services, juvenile justice system, and other directly or indirectly related fields. If this initiative is funded, OJJDP would also consider funding an evaluation of the demonstration project.

Advertising Campaign -- Investing in Youth for a Safer Future

OJJDP proposes to continue its support of the National Crime Prevention Council's (NCPC's) ad campaign, "Investing in Youth for A Safer Future," through the transfer of funds to BJA under an intra-agency agreement. OJJDP and BJA are working with the NCPC Media Unit to produce, disseminate, and support effective public service advertising and related media that are designed to inform the public of effective solutions to juvenile crime and to motivate young people and adults to get involved and support these solutions. The featured solutions include effective prevention programs and intervention strategies.

The program would be administered by BJA through its existing grant to NCPC. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.

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