Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Proposed Comprehensive Plan for Fiscal Year 1998
Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System
Development of the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders
In FY 1995, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) and Developmental Research and Programs, Inc. (DRP) completed Phases I and II of a collaborative effort to support the development and implementation of OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. This effort involved assessing existing and previously researched programs in order to identify effective and promising programs that can be used in implementing the Comprehensive Strategy. A series of reports were combined into the Guide for Implementing the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. The effort also included convening the forum "Guaranteeing Safe Passage: A National Forum on Youth Violence," holding two regional training seminars for key leaders on implementing the Comprehensive Strategy, and disseminating the guide at national conferences.
In FY 1996, Phase II work included two regional training seminars; the delivery of intensive training and technical assistance to three pilot sites -- Lee County, Florida; Duval County, Florida; and San Diego County, California; and the delivery of technical assistance to five states and selected local jurisdictions implementing the Comprehensive Strategy.
In FY 1997, the project continued its targeted dissemination of OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders at several national conferences and additional regional training seminars and continued providing the five states with intensive training for implementing the Comprehensive Strategy, providing individualized technical assistance to individual jurisdictions interested in implementing the Comprehensive Strategy, and continuing developmental work on Comprehensive Strategy training materials.
In FY 1998, this project will continue the implementation efforts and expand to up to two additional states. In each of the new states, up to six jurisdictions will be identified to receive Comprehensive Strategy implementation training and technical assistance.
This project will be implemented by the current grantees, NCCD and DRP. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Balanced and Restorative Justice Project (BARJ)
Based on research showing that properly structured restitution programs can reduce recidivism, OJJDP has supported development and improvement of juvenile restitution programs since 1977. The BARJ project sprang from OJJDP's RESTTA (Restitution, Education, Specialized Training, and Technical Assistance) Project. In FY 1992, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) was awarded a competitive grant to enhance the development of restitution programs as part of systemwide juvenile justice improvement using balanced approach concepts and restorative justice principles. In subsequent years, the project developed a BARJ program model. The model was initially described in a 1994 OJJDP Program Summary entitled Balanced and Restorative Justice, which became a reference source for BARJ training.
The BARJ project currently provides intensive training, technical assistance, and guideline materials to three selected sites that over recent years have been implementing major systemic change in accordance with the BARJ model. The three sites are Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Dakota County, Minnesota; and West Palm Beach County, Florida. In addition, the BARJ project has continuously offered technical assistance and training to other jurisdictions nationwide. Project staff have also provided training at regional roundtables and at professional conferences dealing with juvenile justice system improvement. In 1997, the project published another reference document entitled Balanced and Restorative Justice for Juveniles: A Framework for Juvenile Justice in the 21st Century. The project also compiled a BARJ Implementation Guide.
In FY 1998, the BARJ project will produce additional reference and training materials and will offer further training and technical assistance.
This project will be implemented by the current grantee, FAU. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Training and Technical Assistance Program To Promote Gender-Specific Programming for Female Juvenile Offenders
The 1992 Amendments to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act addressed, for the first time, the issue of gender-specific services. The Amendments require states participating in the JJDP Act's Part B State Formula Grants program to conduct an analysis of gender-specific services for the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency, including the types of services available, the need for such services, and a plan for providing needed gender-specific services for the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency.
In FY 1995, OJJDP's Gender-Specific Services program focused on providing training and technical assistance directly to states and promoting the establishment of gender-specific programs at the state level. Training and technical assistance were provided to a broad spectrum of policy makers and service providers regarding services available for juvenile female offenders under direct grants, sponsorship of national conferences, and inclusion of a gender-specific service component in the OJJDP-funded comprehensive SafeFutures program.
In FY 1996, building upon these past efforts, OJJDP awarded a 3-year competitive grant to Greene, Peters and Associates (GPA) to provide a comprehensive framework for assisting policy makers, service providers, educators, parents, and the general public in addressing the complex needs of female adolescents who are at risk for delinquent behavior. The project's objectives are to develop and test a training curriculum for policy makers, advocacy organizations, and community-based youth-serving organizations that conveys the need for effective gender-specific programming for juvenile females and the elements of such programs; to develop, test, and deliver a technical assistance package on the development of gender-specific programs; to inventory female-specific programs, identifying those program models designed to build upon the gender-specific needs of girls and preparing a monograph suitable for national dissemination; to design and test a curriculum for line staff delivering services to juvenile females; to design and implement a public education initiative on the need for gender-specific programming for girls; and to design and conduct training for trainers. In FY 1997, the training curriculum for policy makers, advocacy organizations, and community leaders was developed and pilot-tested at three sites, and a final draft of the monograph was completed.
In FY 1998, GPA will develop a needs assessment for State Advisory Groups, develop a technical assistance package, and develop and test a curriculum for practitioners based on the monograph findings.
This program will be implemented by the current grantee, GPA. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Juvenile Transfers to Criminal Court Studies
In FY 1995, OJJDP competitively awarded two extensive studies of the increasing juvenile transfer phenomenon. Most states have passed new legislation either permitting or requiring the transfer of alleged juvenile offenders to criminal court under certain circumstances. Solid research on the intended and unintended consequences of transfer of juveniles to criminal court will enable policy makers and legislatures to develop statutory provisions and policies and improve judicial and prosecutorial waiver and transfer decisions.
Preliminary findings from these two studies (along with other efforts started over the past two years) have provided a wealth of information. The study undertaken in Florida has extensively examined the records of juveniles transferred to adult court, along with similar juveniles who were not transferred, including case attribute information. Through this data collection, the research is bringing to light the differences in case handling and how these differences affect the outcome of the specific case. The differences in dispositions is a concern for many interested in the subject.
In FY 1998, OJJDP proposes to increase the understanding of the transfer issue by expanding the Florida study to include a greater number of cases and to include some basic recidivism measures. The Florida study has relied mainly on paper records for the case information. Such records require considerable time and effort to review. As such, the number of cases included in the first phase of this study was relatively small. Expansion of this study would allow the researchers to examine a greater number of cases in a wider range of jurisdictions in Florida, resulting in a greater understanding of the issue based on how the dynamics of jurisdictions may differ. Also, by expanding the tracking of the case subjects to include arrests and court cases following transfer to adult court, the researchers would provide insight on the recidivism that follows transfer of jurisdiction.
This project would be carried out by the current grantee, the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board of the State of Florida. No new applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
Replication and Extension of Fagan Transfer Study
The Comparative Impact of Juvenile Versus Criminal Court Sanctions on Recidivism Among Adolescent Felony Offenders: A Replication and Extension project will continue in FY 1998, building on the past work of Dr. Jeffrey Fagan. In FY 1997, OJJDP awarded a 2-year project period grant to Columbia University to build on Dr. Fagan's seminal study of 1986 transfers in New York and New Jersey. The earlier study was the first of its kind to compare four contiguous counties with similar social, economic, and criminogenic factors and offender cohorts with essentially identical offense profiles. It was also the first such study to go beyond comparing sentences to studying the deterrent effects of the sanction and court jurisdiction on recidivism rates in juvenile versus criminal court.
The replication and extension research project will be able to answer questions about how case processing decisions have changed in the last decade. The new study will compare case attribute information and case dispositional outcomes in 1981-82 with those cases processed in 1993-94, a time period following sustained growth in the rates of youth violence. In addition, a study component under the direction of Dr. Barry Feld will explore whether there are factors being considered by prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys that explain the variation in sentences/dispositions and recidivism between groups of offenders handled in different systems. This component will provide an analysis of the organizational, contextual, or systemic factors involved in the decision processes affecting both jurisdiction and punishment. The study will also conduct interviews with selected offenders processed in different systems to gain a perspective on the impact of criminal versus juvenile system handling of such cases on further experiences with the justice system. The project will also collaborate with the other research conducted under OJJDP's Juvenile Transfers to Criminal Court Studies program in sharing data collection instruments and in planning appropriate joint analyses.
This project will be implemented by the current grantee, Columbia University. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
The Juvenile Justice Prosecution Unit
OJJDP has historically supported prosecutor training through the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA). This training has increased the involvement and leadership of elected and appointed prosecutors in juvenile justice systems issues, programs, and services. To continue that progress, OJJDP funded a 3-year project period grant in FY 1996 to the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI), the research and technical assistance affiliate of NDAA, to promote prosecutor training. Under this award, APRI established a Juvenile Justice Prosecution Unit (JJPU). The JJPU holds workshops on juvenile-related policy, leadership, and management for chief prosecutors and juvenile unit chiefs and also provides prosecutors with background information on juvenile justice issues, programs, training, and technical assistance.
The project solicits planning and other advisory input from prosecutors familiar with juvenile justice system and prosecutor needs. It draws on the expertise of working groups of elected or appointed prosecutors and juvenile unit chiefs to support project staff in providing technical assistance, juvenile justice-related research, program information, and training to practitioners nationwide. In FY 1997, for example, APRI held two executive seminars for prosecutors and sponsored a National Invitational Symposium on Juvenile Justice. The symposium provided a forum for prosecutors to exchange ideas on programs, issues, legislation, and practices in juvenile justice. APRI has also produced materials focused on juvenile prosecution-related issues for the benefit of prosecutors nationally.
In FY 1998, APRI will present additional workshops and seminars and will develop new reference materials for prosecutors. Documents expected to be developed include a compendium of juvenile justice programs conducted by prosecutors' offices, technical assistance packages related to significant juvenile justice programs and issues of interest to prosecutors, and newsletters updating developments in the juvenile prosecution field.
This project will be implemented by the current grantee, APRI. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Due Process Advocacy Program Development
In FY 1993, OJJDP competitively funded the American Bar Association (ABA) to determine the status of juvenile defense services in the United States, develop a report, and then develop training and technical assistance. The ABA -- along with its partners, the Youth Law Center of San Francisco, California, and the Juvenile Law Center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- conducted an extensive survey of public defender offices, court-appointed systems, law school clinics, and the literature. These data were then analyzed and a report, entitled A Call for Justice, was developed and published in December 1995.
The ABA has also developed and delivered specialized training to juvenile defenders in several jurisdictions, such as the State of Maryland, the State of Tennessee, Baltimore County, Maryland, and several other states and localities, to assist in increasing the capacity of juvenile defenders to provide more effective defense services. In October 1997, the ABA and its partners organized and implemented the first Juvenile Defender Summit at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. The Summit brought together public defenders, court-appointed lawyers, law school clinic directors, juvenile offender services representatives, and others for a 2-1/2-day meeting to examine the issues related to juvenile defense services and recommend strategies for improving these services. A report is forthcoming on the Summit and the recommendations that emerged from the seven working groups.
OJJDP is proposing to fund a Juvenile Defender Training, Technical Assistance, and Resource Center in FY 1998 (discussed under New Programs). However, the Center will not be funded until later in FY 1998 and probably will not be operational until early FY 1999. To ensure that training and technical assistance continue in the interim and into 1999, and to provide for the transition to the new Juvenile Defender Center, OJJDP proposes to continue the Due Process Advocacy grant for an additional year.
This project would be implemented by the current grantee, the American Bar Association. No new applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP) Evaluation
In FY 1997, OJJDP funded an impact evaluation of the Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP) through an interagency fund transfer to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). QOP was designed by the Ford Foundation and Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America as a career enrichment program using a model providing basic education, personal and cultural development, community service, and mentoring. The purpose of the OJJDP funding for the evaluation is to determine whether QOP reduces the likelihood that inner-city youth at educational risk will enter the criminal justice system, including the juvenile justice system. The QOP impact evaluation is designed to measure the impact of QOP participation on such outcomes as high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education and training. Other student outcomes to be examined include academic achievement in high school, misbehavior in school, self-esteem and sense of control over one's life, educational and career goals, and personal decisions such as teenage parenthood, substance abuse, and criminal activity. Data on criminal activity is being collected from individual student interviews.
In FY 1998, OJJDP proposes to continue this evaluation enhancement to the DOL-funded evaluation to provide for the collection of analogous data from the juvenile justice system, thus allowing estimates of the impact of the QOP program on the likelihood of program youth becoming involved in the criminal justice system. Attention would be focused on identifying the appropriate governmental agencies responsible for the data, dealing with confidentiality requirements, determining the feasibility of collecting such information, preparing data collection protocols for each site, and preparing a report outlining the data collection design for implementation.
This program would be implemented through an interagency agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
Intensive Community-Based Aftercare Demonstration and Technical Assistance Program
This initiative is designed to support implementation, training and technical assistance, and an independent evaluation of an intensive community-based aftercare model in four jurisdictions that were competitively selected to participate in this demonstration program. The overall goal of the intensive aftercare model is to identify and assist high-risk juvenile offenders to make a gradual transition from secure confinement back into the community. The Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) model can be viewed as having three distinct, yet overlapping segments: (1) prerelease and preparatory planning activities during incarceration; (2) structured transitioning involving the participation of institutional and aftercare staffs both prior to and following community reentry; and (3) long-term reintegrative activities to ensure adequate service delivery and the required level of social control.
In FY 1995, the Johns Hopkins University received a competitively awarded 3-year grant to test its intensive community-based aftercare model in four demonstration sites: Denver (Metro area), Colorado; Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada; Camden and Newark, New Jersey; and Norfolk, Virginia.
The Johns Hopkins University has contracted with California State University at Sacramento to assist in the implementation process by providing training and technical assistance and by making OJJDP funds available through contracts to each of the four demonstration sites.
Each of the sites developed risk assessment instruments for use in selecting high-risk youth who need this type of intensive aftercare, hired and trained staff in the intensive aftercare model, identified existing and needed community support (intervention) services, and identified and collected data necessary for the independent evaluation of the intensive community-based aftercare program. In accordance with a strong experimental research design, each of the sites uses a system of random assignment of clients to the program.
The Johns Hopkins University and California State University at Sacramento have provided continuing training and technical assistance to administrators, managers, and line staff at the intensive community-based aftercare sites. Staff have been fully trained in the theoretical underpinnings of the IAP model and in its practical applications, such as techniques for identifying juveniles appropriate for the program. Training and technical assistance in this model have also been made available to other states and OJJDP grantees on a limited basis.
This effort is the first attempt to implement an intensive, integrated approach to aftercare with the necessary transition and reentry components. One more year of program operation and data collection would provide the information and data needed for analysis of the effectiveness of the IAP model. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency is performing an evaluation under a separate grant.
In FY 1998, OJJDP proposes to provide a fourth year of funding to the Johns Hopkins University to provide ongoing training and technical assistance to the four selected sites and also provide aftercare technical assistance services to jurisdictions participating in the OJJDP/Department of the Interior Youth Environmental Service (YES) initiative, OJJDP's six SafeFutures program sites, and other programs, including the New York State Division for Youth's Youth Leadership Academy in Albany, New York. In addition, the grantee would work with three other states (Arkansas, New York, and Washington) that plan to implement the IAP model with state funds.
The IAP project would be implemented by the current grantee, the Johns Hopkins University. No
additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
Evaluation of the Intensive Community-Based Aftercare Program
Evaluation of the Intensive Community-Based Aftercare Program
In FY 1995, OJJDP competitively awarded a 3-year grant to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) to perform a process evaluation and design an outcome evaluation of the Intensive Community-Based Aftercare Demonstration and Technical Assistance program. In FY 1997, the project was extended an additional year to begin the outcome evaluation.
The purpose of the outcome evaluation is to answer the following key research questions: (1) To what extent is the nature of supervision and services provided Intensive Community-Based Aftercare Program (IAP) youth different from that given to "regular" parolees? (2) To what extent does IAP have an impact on the subsequent delinquent or criminal involvement of program participants? (3) To what extent does the IAP have an impact on the specific areas of youth functioning that it targets for intervention? These intermediate outcomes include, for example, reduction of substance abuse, improved family functioning, improved peer relationships, improved self-concept, and reduced delinquent or criminal behavior. (4) To what extent is IAP cost-effective?
To obtain the answers to these questions, NCCD is: (1) using a research design that will involve random assignment of IAP-eligible youth to either experimental or control conditions; (2) using a series of measures to compare differences between the two groups in terms of services delivered, pre/post changes in selected areas of youth functioning, and the extent and nature of recidivism; and (3) estimating the per-participant costs for the IAP and control groups.
Data collection is being accomplished using several methods, including use of a series of forms developed to capture data on youth and program characteristics and a battery of standardized testing instruments administered before and after institutional commitment and IAP to measure the changes in youth functioning. The grantee is also conducting searches of state agency and state police records to measure recidivism and analyzing state agency and juvenile court data to estimate costs.
This project will be implemented by the current grantee, NCCD. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Training and Technical Assistance for National Innovations To Reduce Disproportionate Minority Confinement (The Deborah Ann Wysinger Memorial Program)
National data and studies have shown that minority children are overrepresented in secure juvenile and criminal justice facilities across the country. Since the 1988 reauthorization of the JJDP Act, State Formula Grants program plans have addressed the disproportionate confinement of minority juveniles. This is accomplished by gathering and analyzing data to determine whether minority juveniles are disproportionately confined and, if so, designing strategies to address this issue. A competitive Special Emphasis discretionary grant program was developed in FY 1991 to demonstrate model approaches to addressing disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) in five state pilot sites (Arizona, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Oregon). Funds were also awarded to a national contractor to provide technical assistance to assist both the pilot sites and other states, evaluate their efforts, and share relevant information.
In FY 1994 and 1995, OJJDP made additional Special Emphasis discretionary funds available to nonpilot states that had completed data gathering and assessment in order to provide initial funding for innovative projects designed to address DMC.
These efforts to address DMC have yielded an important lesson: that systemic, broad-based interventions are necessary to address the issue. In recognition of the continued need to improve the ability of states and local jurisdictions to address DMC, OJJDP issued a competitive solicitation in FY 1997 for innovative proposals to implement a 3-year national training, technical assistance, and information dissemination initiative focused on the disproportionate confinement of minority youth.
In FY 1997, through a competitive selection process, OJJDP awarded a 3-year contract to implement the DMC training program to Cygnus Corporation, Inc. Project objectives for the first year were: (1) to disseminate to states, localities, OJJDP staff, and key OJJDP grantees a review and synthesis of the existing knowledge base and research on DMC that includes state and local practices designed to address DMC; (2) to develop a training curriculum for policy makers, decisionmakers, and practitioners in the juvenile justice system; (3) to develop and deliver technical assistance to OJJDP grantees and to incorporate DMC issues, practices, and policies; (4) to develop and begin the process of assisting DMC grantees to implement and institutionalize their DMC programs; (5) to collaborate with OJJDP's Formula Grants program technical assistance contractor, Community Research Associates, and OJJDP staff to help states improve their DMC compliance plans and their strategic planning as it addresses DMC; (6) to plan, develop, and implement a national dissemination and education effort to facilitate development of effective DMC efforts at the state and local levels; and (7) to convene an advisory group to support the project team on current DMC policy, practice and progress.
This project will be implemented by the current grantee, Cygnus Corporation, Inc. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Juvenile Probation Survey Research
OJJDP will continue its effort to track nonresidential probation. This project complements OJJDP's program to statistically track juveniles in residential custody. Experience has shown that in order to understand fully the dynamics and characteristics of residential placement, it is necessary also to understand the dynamics of nonresidential sanctions. To that end, the office began a program to monitor the most important, most salient attributes of juvenile probation. Work to date has involved enhancing our understanding of the structure of juvenile probation and the most important response level. The project has tracked the types of juvenile probation offices in operation and cataloged these offices. From this catalog, OJJDP will develop an effective and complete frame for conducting either surveys or censuses.
In 1996, OJJDP convened a meeting of probation practitioners and researchers in the area of probation to fully discuss the issues of probation and the most important statistics a national reporting program should provide. The information and ideas from this meeting yielded a broad and important set of statistical needs to inform the future of juvenile probation. Among the issues identified are the effectiveness of probation, the costs of probation, and the most appropriate population for probation. Each issue will be explored in this project to determine how best to capture the information. The combination of statistical and research projects will be determined in conjunction with the development of this survey.
In FY 1997, the project focused on development of a complete list of juvenile probation offices, including suboffices and head offices. This information will prove vital when determining the specific response level that will give the desired level of information. For example, should OJJDP determine to gather information on each probation officer, a survey of head offices may suffice. However, if OJJDP proposes to collect information on each juvenile probationer, a survey all suboffices may be necessary. Also in FY 1997, OJJDP and the Bureau of the Census continued background work to develop the questionnaire to be used for this survey. The specifics of the questionnaire will depend upon the resolution of several important methodological aspects.
The project will be implemented in FY 1998 through an interagency agreement with the Bureau of the Census. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Training for Juvenile Corrections and Detention Management Staff
This training program for juvenile corrections and detention management staff began in FY 1991 under a 3-year interagency agreement with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). The program offers a core curriculum for juvenile corrections and detention administrators and midlevel management personnel in such areas as leadership development, management, training of trainers, legal issues, cultural diversity, the role of the victim in juvenile corrections, juvenile programming for specialized-need offenders, and managing the violent or disruptive offender. Because of the continuing need for the executive level training NIC provides, the agreement was renewed for an additional 3-year term in FY 1994 and renewed again in FY 1997 for a 2-year term. In FY 1997, NIC conducted eight training seminars, two workshops, a satellite video conference, and made 14 technical assistance awards, reaching more than 6,000 participants.
In FY 1998, OJJDP will continue to support the development and implementation of a comprehensive training program for juvenile corrections and detention management staff through the interagency agreement with NIC. It is anticipated that in FY 1998 the project will provide six seminars to more than 150 executives and management staff and technical assistance related to training to a number of juvenile corrections and detention agencies. The training is conducted at the NIC Academy and regionally.
The program will be implemented by the current grantee, NIC. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Training for Line Staff in Juvenile Detention and Corrections
Training is a cost-effective tool for helping to improve conditions of confinement and services for youth detained or confined in residential facilities. In FY 1994, the National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA) was awarded a competitive 3-year project period grant to establish a training program to meet the needs of the more than 38,000 line staff serving juvenile detention and corrections facilities. In FY 1995 and FY 1996, NJDA developed eight training curriculums, including a corrections careworker curriculum and a train-the-trainer curriculum. In addition, NJDA conducted 42 separate trainings, developed lesson plans, and provided technical assistance to juvenile justice agencies.
In FY 1997, NJDA was funded to provide training and technical assistance services to state agencies and organizations in 16 states, assist regional groups and local organizations, directly train nearly 700 line staff, and respond to telephone requests for technical assistance services. NJDA also established Web site connections with OJJDP, the American Correctional Association, and other organizations. A community college in Michigan is adapting two of the NJDA curriculums, Juvenile Detention Careworker Curriculum and Juvenile Corrections Careworker Curriculum, for academic credit.
In FY 1998, OJJDP proposes to award continuation funding to NJDA. In formal partnership with the National Association of Juvenile Correctional Agencies, Juvenile Justice Trainers Association, and the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, NJDA proposes that FY 1998 goals include the continuing delivery of line staff training and technical assistance, conducting training evaluation in conjunction with the newly developed National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) protocols, providing pilot training for trainers, developing action plans for two new curriculums, drafting line staff professional development models, and disseminating training materials and services through NTTAC and the Internet.
This project would be implemented by the current grantee, NJDA. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
Training and Technical Support for State and Local Jurisdictional Teams to Focus on Juvenile Corrections and Detention Overcrowding
The Conditions of Confinement: Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities Research Report (1994), completed by Abt Associates under an OJJDP grant, identified overcrowding as the most urgent problem facing juvenile corrections and detention facilities. Overcrowding in juvenile facilities is a function of decisions and policies made at the state and local levels. The trend toward increased use of detention and commitment to state facilities, which has been seen in many jurisdictions, has been reversed when key decisionmakers, such as the chief judge, chief of police, director of the local detention facility, head of the state juvenile correctional agency, and others who affect the flow of juveniles through the system, agree to make decisions collaboratively and modify existing practices and policies. In some instances, modification has occurred in response to court orders. Compliance with court orders can be improved with the support of enhanced interagency communication and planning among those agencies impacting the flow of juveniles through the system.
In addressing the problem of overcrowded facilities, OJJDP considered the recommendations of the Conditions of Confinement study regarding overcrowding, the data on overrepresentation of minority youth in confinement, and other information that suggests crowding in juvenile facilities is a national problem. Policy makers can address this issue by increasing capacity, where necessary, or by taking other steps to control crowding.
This project, competitively awarded to the National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA) (in partnership with the San Francisco Youth Law Center) in FY 1994 for a 3-year project period, provides training and technical assistance materials for use by state and local jurisdictional teams. After information collection and preparation of training and technical assistance materials in FY 1994 and 1995, NJDA selected three jurisdictions in FY 1996 for onsite development, implementation, and testing of procedures to reduce crowding. The sites are Camden, New Jersey; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Rhode Island Juvenile Corrections System. In FY 1997, project accomplishments included the following: (1) development of a resource guide, Juvenile Detention and Training School Crowding: Court Case Summaries, and a training tool, Crowding in Juvenile Detention Centers: A Problem-Solving Manual (in draft); (2) delivery of comprehensive technical assistance to two detention centers and limited technical assistance to two state juvenile corrections systems; and (3) training presentations to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and other groups.
In FY 1998, OJJDP proposes to award continuation funding to NJDA to continue efforts to reduce overcrowding in facilities where juveniles are held, through systemic change within local juvenile detention systems or statewide juvenile corrections systems. Among the specific activities proposed for FY 1998 are: (1) publication of a special edition of the NJDA Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention focused exclusively on jurisdictional teamwork to reduce overcrowding in juvenile detention and corrections (jurisdictional teams consist of designated NJDA/Youth Law Center project staff working with key juvenile justice officials in the sites selected for technical assistance); (2) completion of a strategy to deliver comprehensive technical assistance to the Nebraska Health and Human Services Agency; (3) identification of additional sites for comprehensive training and technical assistance; (4) development of a desktop guide on juvenile facility overcrowding; (5) further refinement of the jurisdictional team training and technical assistance package; (6) development of a national videoconference on crowding issues; (7) education and information dissemination to the juvenile justice community; and (8) exploration of public/private partnerships.
This project would be implemented by the current grantee, NJDA. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
National Program Directory
In FY 1998, OJJDP proposes to support the maintenance of this directory that identifies and categorizes juvenile justice agencies, facilities, and programs in the United States to allow for routine statistical data collections covering these agencies and programs. The directory project has developed lists of juvenile detention, correctional, and shelter facilities. This list, which includes all public and private facilities that can hold juveniles who are in the juvenile justice system in a residential setting (i.e., with sleeping, eating, and other necessary facilities), has served as the frame for OJJDP's Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement and would serve as the frame for OJJDP's Juvenile Residential Facility Census. The directory project has also begun development of a list of juvenile probation offices to serve as the frame for OJJDP's Survey of Juvenile Probation.
Beyond developing the computer structure, this project developed the actual sampling frame or address list. The development of complete frames for any segment of the juvenile justice system required many different approaches. The Census Bureau used contacts with professional organizations to compile a preliminary list of juvenile facilities, courts, probation offices, and programs. The Census Bureau will seek contacts in each state for further clarification of the lists, following up until a complete list of all programs of interest has been compiled.
This program would be continued in FY 1998 through an interagency agreement with the Census Bureau. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
Juvenile Sex Offender Typology
The juvenile justice system has struggled to address issues related to juvenile sex offenders' dangerousness, the most appropriate level of placement restrictiveness, the potential for rehabilitation, assessment requirements, and intervention needs. Efforts to effectively address these issues have been hampered by the lack of an empirically based system for classifying this heterogeneous population into meaningful subgroups. To respond to this need, OJJDP competitively awarded FY 1997 funding to two feasibility studies, one being conducted by the University of Illinois-Springfield, the other by Health Related Research. Each study is designed to determine the specific methodologies best suited to generate an empirically validated typology of the juvenile sex offender. The work on these grants will begin early in FY 1998. Based on the results of these initial studies, OJJDP will determine how best to support the development of the typology.
These studies will be implemented by the current grantees, University of Illinois-Springfield and Health Related Research. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Interagency Programs on Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
In October 1996, OJJDP convened a Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Working Group to discuss the mental health needs of juveniles and to suggest funding priorities for OJJDP. In the 1997 program planning process, OJJDP determined that, with the minimal resources available, it would be cost-effective to support several ongoing programs funded by other federal agencies that were consistent with the recommended areas of activity. OJJDP therefore transferred funds to three federal agencies to support the enhancement of juvenile justice components or research on at-risk youth in the mental health area.
First, OJJDP transferred funds to the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to support a 3-year effort to provide technical assistance to the 31 existing CMHS Child Mental Health sites. The project period began on October 1, 1997, and will end on September 30, 2000. These funds will be used to strengthen the capacity of the existing sites by providing technical assistance on mental health services for juveniles in the juvenile justice system and by including them in the continuum of care that is being created in the sites.
OJJDP also transferred funds to the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), which, along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, supports a program to provide technical assistance with regard to programming and services for juvenile offenders with co-occurring disorders. This is also a 3-year project period that began on October 1, 1997, and will end on September 30, 2000. NIC will supplement the existing technical assistance provider, the GAINS Center, to enable it to devote technical assistance resources to support improved treatment and services programs for juvenile offenders with co-occurring disorders in the juvenile justice system. Previously, the focus of the grant had been on the provision of technical assistance to the adult system.
Finally, OJJDP transferred funds to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to partially support additional costs associated with the conduct of an expanded and extended followup study of various treatment modalities for attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) in children. The expanded followup will assess substance abuse and use and related factors necessary for evaluating changes in ADHD children's risk for subsequent substance use and abuse attributable to their randomly assigned treatment conditions. In addition, the multimodal treatment study of children with ADHD affords the opportunity to assess the experience of study participants with the legal system, e.g., contacts with the juvenile justice system, acts of delinquency, court referrals, and other criminal and/or precriminal activities.
In FY 1998, OJJDP will transfer additional funds to support continuation of the NIC and CMHS technical assistance and the training and research of NIMH. No new applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Juvenile Residential Facility Census
In 1998, OJJDP proposes to continue to fund the development and testing of a new census of juvenile residential facilities. This census would focus on those facilities that are authorized to hold juveniles based on contact with the juvenile justice system. During FY 1997, the project conducted an extensive series of interviews with facility administrators and facility staff onsite at 20 locations. The subjects covered in these interviews included education, mental health and substance abuse treatment, health services, conditions of custody, staffing, and facility capacity. From these interviews, the project staff have produced an extensive and detailed report for OJJDP discussing how best to capture information on these topics and has produced a draft questionnaire based on these results.
In FY 1998, the project staff would refine the draft instrument and test it through a series of cognitive interviews onsite at approximately 25 facilities. After another round of revision and comment, the questionnaire would be tested for feasibility by conducting a sample survey of 500 facilities. Again, the questionnaire would go through a round of revision based on the test results before being finalized.
This project would be conducted through an interagency agreement with the Bureau of the Census, Governments Division and Statistical Research Division. No new applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 97
OJJDP proposes to support the second round of data collection under the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 97 (NLSY97) through an interagency agreement with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 1994, BLS began its design and development work for a new National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, similar to the ongoing National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Under the NLSY97, a nationally representative sample of 10,000 youth ages 12 to 17 years old was selected in order to study the school-to-work transition. However, BLS has acknowledged the importance of collecting additional data on the involvement of these youth in antisocial and other behavior that may affect their successful transition to productive work careers.
The breadth of topics covered by this survey provides a rich and complementary source of information about risk and protective factors that are also related to the initiation, persistence and desistance of delinquent and criminal behavior. This interagency agreement supplements the data collection by asking questions about delinquency, guns, drug sales, and violent behavior. In addition to generating the first national, cross sectional, estimates of self-reported delinquency since the late National Youth Survey of the early 1980s, this new longitudinal survey would also provide an opportunity to determine the generalizability of the findings from OJJDP's Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency and other city-specific longitudinal studies across a nationally representative population of youth.
The program would be implemented by the BLS under an interagency agreement. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
National Academy of Sciences Study of Juvenile Justice
The growth of violent juvenile crime from the latter half of the 1980s to the mid-1990s created public anxiety and fueled debate about the viability and effectiveness of this nation's juvenile justice system. This growing concern has led many states in recent years to move away from rehabilitation and move toward deterrence and punishment as primary objectives of their juvenile justice systems.
In FY 1997, OJJDP initiated support for a 2-year study by the National Academy of Sciences to examine research on the functioning of the juvenile justice system over the past 10 years in the areas of delinquency prevention and control. The purpose of this extensive review is to provide a scientifically sound basis for planning a multidisciplinary, multiagency agenda for research that not only informs policy makers and practitioners about the nature and extent of juvenile delinquency and violence but also identifies the most effective strategies for preventing and reducing youth crime and violence.
Issues of interest to the study include: (1) an assessment of the status of research into youth violence, methodological approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of youth violence prevention efforts, and the efficacy of federal, state, and local efforts to control youth violence; (2) a review of research literature and data on juvenile court practices during this period, including the experience with federal requirements regarding status offenders, detention practices, and the impact of diversion strategies and waivers to criminal court for certain offenders and offenses; (3) a review of research literature and data on clients in the juvenile justice system including concerns regarding disproportionate minority confinement and gender equity; (4) an assessment of available evaluation literature on system programs and prevention strategies and programs including identification of gaps in the research and recommendations to strengthen it; and (5) the relationship between the research on the causes and correlates of juvenile delinquency and normal adolescent growth and development.
A project report, synthesizing materials gathered from discussions and papers presented at workshops and expert panel meetings, will provide an overview of the critical issues confronting the juvenile justice field, gaps in current knowledge base, and future directions for research and program development.
This program will be implemented by the current grantee, the National Academy of Sciences. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
TeenSupreme Career Preparation Initiative
In FY 1998, OJJDP, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) Employment and Training Administration, will provide funding support to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for demonstration and evaluation of the TeenSupreme Career Preparation Initiative. DOL will provide $2.5 million to support the program, and OJJDP would provide $250,000 to support the initial costs of the evaluation. This initiative will provide employment training and other related services to at-risk youth through local Boys and Girls Clubs with TeenSupreme Centers. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America currently has 41 TeenSupreme Centers in local clubs around the country and may consider expanding the number of centers in 1998. DOL funds will support program staffing in the existing 41 TeenSupreme Centers and provide intensive training and technical assistance to each site. These funds will also be used by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to provide administrative and staffing support to this program from the national office. OJJDP funds would be used to support the evaluation component of the program. Boys and Girls Clubs of America would contract with an independent evaluator to evaluate the program.
This jointly funded Department of Labor and OJJDP initiative would be implemented by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
Technical Assistance to Native Americans
Native American programs for juveniles are facing increasing pressures because of the growing number of youth who are involved in drug abuse, gang activity, and delinquency. Many reservations are experiencing the problems that plague communities nationwide: gang activity, violent crime, use of weapons, and increasing drug and alcohol abuse.
From FY 1992 to FY 1995, OJJDP funded four Native American sites to support the development of community-based programs to deal with these problems. These sites were the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona; the Navajo Nation Chinle District in Arizona; the Red Lake Ojibwe in Minnesota; and the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico. Each of these communities implemented programs specifically designed to meet the needs of the tribe. For example, in Gila River, an alternative school was developed and implemented. The Navajo Nation expanded the Peace Maker program to accommodate additional delinquent offenders, an approach that was adopted by the Red Lake and Pueblo Jemez communities. Additional programming, such as job skills development, was also initiated in some of these communities to meet the needs of tribal youth. Although these programs were well received, the sites also needed to expand programming options such as gang and drug prevention and intervention programs.
In FY 1997, American Indian Development Associates (AIDA) was selected to implement OJJDP's national technical assistance program for tribes and urban tribal programs across the country. This 3-year program will support the development of additional program options for the four tribes previously funded and extend technical assistance to tribal communities and urban tribal programs nationwide. AIDA initially developed a needs assessment instrument and provided other technical assistance to Juvenile Detention Facilities in Indian Country under an agreement to support the OJP Corrections Program Office's project with the Gila River and Yankton Tribes. AIDA also facilitated team learning activities during the Arizona Indian Youth Gang Prevention Conference, coordinated the First Native American Juvenile Justice Summit, and provided technical assistance to Indian tribes on behalf of OJJDP, the DOJ Office of Tribal Justice, and the OJP Indian Desk.
In FY 1998, AIDA will continue to provide technical assistance to Native American and Alaskan Native communities. Technical assistance will enable the tribes to further develop alternatives to detention, specifically targeting juveniles who are first or nonviolent offenders; design guidebooks for the tribal peacemaking process to be used in addressing juvenile delinquency issues that are reported to Family District Court systems; design and implement juvenile justice needs assessments to assist tribes in responding to juvenile detention and alternatives to detention needs; develop protocols to implement State Children's Code provisions that affect Native American children; establish sustainable, comprehensive community-based planning processes that focus on the needs of tribal youth; plan and conduct juvenile justice training seminars; and assist John Jay College of Criminal Justice to design and develop a Tribal Justice Training and Technical Assistance Workshop under OJJDP's Law Enforcement Training Contract. The workshop will emphasize juvenile probation, serious habitual offenders, and tribal youth gangs.
This program will be implemented by the current grantee, American Indian Development Associates. No additional applications will be solicited in FY 1998.
Training and Technical Assistance To Promote Teen Court Programs
OJJDP considers teen courts, also called peer or youth courts, to be a promising mechanism for holding juvenile offenders accountable for their actions while promoting avenues for positive youth development. Teen courts are included as a promising early intervention program in OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders.
To encourage the use of teen court programs to address problems associated with delinquency, substance abuse, and traffic safety, OJJDP provided funding in FY 1996 to supplement the existing Teen Court Program of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The NHTSA grant was awarded in FY 1994 for a 3-year project period to the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) to develop a teen court guide and provide training and technical assistance to develop or enhance teen court programs. This NHTSA grant was supplemented with OJJDP FY 1996 and FY 1997 funds to support the development of the joint publication Peer Justice and Youth Empowerment: An Implementation Guide for Teen Court Programs and to provide an expanded technical assistance capacity.
The national response to APPA's training and technical assistance and to the guide has been very enthusiastic. A second printing of the guide will be available by April 1998. NHTSA and OJJDP have received numerous requests to provide additional training seminars and technical assistance based on the guide.
In FY 1998, OJJDP is considering further collaboration with NHTSA, HHS, and other interested agencies, to enhance the training seminars with information on the possibility of teen courts being used as an integral part of balanced and restorative justice initiatives, and to help address the growing problem of children who are being suspended and expelled from school because of misbehavior, including misbehavior related to learning problems. These activities would complement current training on the use of teen courts to address youth possession and use of alcohol and marijuana, issues of particular interest to these agencies. Technical assistance would be provided to selected jurisdictions with site-specific strategic planning for the program organizers on developing, implementing, or enhancing teen court programs, particularly in school-related areas. To be eligible for technical assistance, recipients would need to have completed a teen court training seminar. OJJDP would award a competitive grant to implement a 3-year program.
Training and Technical Assistance Coordination for SafeFutures Initiative
OJJDP is considering providing funding for long-term training and technical assistance (TTA) for the remaining three years of the SafeFutures initiative. The purpose of this TTA effort would be to build local capacity for implementing and sustaining effective continuum of care and systems change approaches to preventing and controlling juvenile violence and delinquency in the six SafeFutures communities.
Project activities would include assessment, identification, and coordination of the implementation of training and TA needs at each SafeFutures site and administration of cross-site training.
Since 1984, OJJDP and the U.S. Department of Education have provided joint funding to a national organization to promote safe schools -- free of crime and violence -- through training and technical assistance and the dissemination of information. This initiative has focused national attention on cooperative solutions to problems that disrupt the educational process. Because an estimated 3 million incidents of crime occur in America's schools each year, it is clear that this problem continues to plague many schools, threatening students' safety and undermining the learning environment. OJJDP is considering continuing this partnership with the Department of Education by issuing a competitive solicitation for a cooperative agreement with a private nonprofit organization to provide training and technical assistance to communities and school districts across the country. It is expected that these activities would be closely coordinated with the ongoing review of literature, research, and evaluation of school-based demonstration efforts being undertaken by the Hamilton Fish National Institute on School and Community Violence with OJJDP FY 1998 funding support.
Disproportionate Minority Confinement
OJJDP is interested in exploring additional work in the area of disproportionate minority confinement in secure detention or correctional facilities, adult jails and lockups, and other secure institutional facilities. The proposed work would include a variety of activities, including -- but not limited to -- demonstration programs, national education efforts, and local program evaluations.
Disproportionate minority representation in secure juvenile facilities and other institutions is a major problem facing the juvenile justice system. While minorities represent 32 percent of the juvenile population ages 12 to 17, they represent 68 percent of the confined juvenile population.
OJJDP has previously funded programs designed to assist and enable states to identify strategies to address the overrepresentation of minority juveniles, including an evaluation of a county juvenile court's efforts to reduce minority overrepresentation. Similar efforts, particularly those that offer conceptual, indepth, capacity-building approaches, would help to ensure that minority juvenile offenders receive appropriate treatment at all stages of the juvenile justice system process. OJJDP would seek public/private partnerships and would coordinate any new program efforts with the current training/technical assistance provider, Cygnus Corporation (see the program descriptor for the Training and Technical Assistance for National Innovations To Reduce Disproportionate Minority Confinement).
Arts Programs in Juvenile Detention Centers
OJJDP is considering providing support for mentoring and skill development for youth in juvenile detention centers through the establishment of artist-in-residence programs. This initiative would increase awareness of opportunities to establish visual, performing, media, and literacy artist-in-residence programs in juvenile detention centers.
OJJDP would encourage the development of these programs by convening interested arts organizations and juvenile justice agencies for the purpose of providing training in program development and exposure to "best practices" among existing programs.
OJJDP is also interested in the development and dissemination of technical assistance materials to support the establishment of artist-in-residence programs in juvenile detention facilities.
If OJJDP funds this initiative, it would explore the possibility of partnerships with other federal agencies and would issue a competitive solicitation in FY 1998.
"Circles of Care" -- A Program To Develop Strategies To Serve Native American Youth With Mental Health and Substance Abuse Needs
The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is developing a Guidance for Federal Applicants that will result in the funding of a 3-year program to six to eight sites to plan and develop systems of care for Native American youth who are seriously emotionally disturbed and/or substance abusers. The grantees will engage in a structured process to plan, develop, and test a system of care that achieves the outcomes developed by American Indian, Alaskan Native, or urban nonprofit organizations serving populations of American Indian or Alaskan Native youth.
OJJDP is considering providing resources, including grant funds and technical assistance, where appropriate, to assure that American Indian/Alaskan Native youth who are in the juvenile justice system and who are seriously emotionally disturbed or substance abusers are planned for and made part of the service system. OJJDP would transfer funds to CMHS/SAMHSA to assist with the development and implementation of this program.
Juvenile Defender Training, Technical Assistance, and Resource Center
In FY 1993, OJJDP competitively funded the American Bar Association (ABA) to determine the status of juvenile defense services in the United States, develop a report, and provide training and technical assistance. The ABA -- along with its partners, the Youth Law Center of San Francisco, California, and the Juvenile Law Center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- conducted an extensive survey of public defender offices, court-appointed systems, law school clinics, and the literature. These data were then analyzed and a report, entitled A Call for Justice, was developed and published in December 1995.
The ABA has also developed and delivered specialized training to juvenile defenders in several jurisdictions, such as the State of Maryland, the State of Tennessee, Baltimore County, Maryland, and several other States and localities, to assist in increasing the capacity of juvenile defenders to provide more effective defense services. In October 1997, the ABA and its partners organized and implemented the first Juvenile Defender Summit at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. The Summit brought together public defenders, court-appointed lawyers, law school clinic directors, juvenile offender services representatives, and others for a 2½-day meeting to examine the issues related to juvenile defense services and recommend strategies for improving these services.
This work has served as a backdrop for an ABA recommendation to develop a more permanent structure to support training and technical assistance and to serve as a clearinghouse and resource center for juvenile defenders in this country. Recognizing that a lack of training, technical assistance, and resources for juvenile defenders weakens the juvenile justice system and results in a lack of due process for juvenile offenders, OJJDP is considering providing seed money in FY 1998 to fund the initial planning and implementation of a Juvenile Defender Center. In addition, OJJDP would, either directly or through a competitively selected grantee, seek partners in the public and private sector to help fund and sustain this effort. The Center would be designed to provide both general and specialized training and technical assistance to juvenile defenders in the United States. The design would also incorporate a resource center for purposes such as serving as a repository for the most recent litigation on key issues, a brief bank, and information on expert witnesses. OJJDP anticipates that, if funded, this program would be a 5-year effort.
Gender-Specific Programming for Female Juvenile Offenders
In 1996, one in four juvenile arrests was of a female, and increases in arrests between 1992 and 1996 were greater for juvenile females than juvenile males in most offense categories. Yet programs to address the unique needs of female delinquents have been and remain inadequate in many jurisdictions. The risk factors that females face are not identical with those facing males. Major risk factors for girls include abuse and exploitation, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and parenting, low or damaged self-esteem, and truancy or dropping out of school. Communities and their juvenile justice systems need to develop programs designed to help female offenders overcome these risk factors.
OJJDP is considering funding programming in the area of gender-specific services for female offenders to continue supporting efforts modeled on the OJJDP-funded program in Cook County, Illinois, and gender-specific components of the SafeFutures program sites.
Cook County, for example, used an FY 1995 competitive grant to build a network of support for juvenile female offenders in the county. The county's work in this area involved developing a gender-specific needs and strengths assessment instrument and a risk assessment instrument for juvenile female offenders, providing training in implementing gender-appropriate programming, and designing a pilot program that includes a community-based continuum of care with a unique case management system.
OJJDP is considering supporting programs designed to build infrastructure for programming for female juvenile offenders and to move from development of basic tools through the provision of training and technical assistance to the support of a program demonstration including a focus on teen pregnancy issues. If funded, an evaluation of this demonstration program would also be undertaken through a competitive process in FY 1998.
Evaluation Capacity Building
The question of "what works" pervades discussions of juvenile justice. To find answers, program administrators and agency personnel need to conduct rigorous evaluations of programs of interest. OJJDP has determined that a strong, cooperative arrangement between OJJDP and state agencies responsible for juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programming can most effectively provide answers to this question. To that end, OJJDP is considering initiating a grant program to build the capacity of State Formula Grants program agencies to conduct rigorous evaluations of juvenile justice programs and projects funded in their states with JJDP Act funds. OJJDP would then take the lead in disseminating evaluation results and information to the field.
The intent of these awards would be to build capacity for developing and sustaining such evaluations and to supplement state funding to support the evaluation of programs and projects. OJJDP would award funds to qualifying states that agreed to enhance their existing evaluation capacity and that were able to demonstrate an evaluation program that effectively combines State Formula Grants program funds and OJJDP discretionary funds and that would produce solid evaluation results over a 2-year period.
OJJDP's efforts to address the problems of juvenile offending are enriched most through the thoughtful and dedicated efforts of researchers in the field. Through the work of agencies, individuals, and organizations, OJJDP has benefited from innovative thinking and new directions. To encourage such innovative research in juvenile offending and juvenile justice, OJJDP is considering offering grants in FY 1998 for research initiated by researchers in the field. Through this series of grants, OJJDP would expect to learn new alternatives and options for various problems facing the juvenile justice system.
OJJDP is particularly interested in research that addresses: (1) the mental health needs of youth in custody; (2) the mental health needs of youth at-risk for entering the juvenile justice system; (3) the development of risk and needs assessments for use in the juvenile justice system; (4) the reduction of substance abuse by juveniles; and (5) the circumstances and needs of youth on probation.
OJJDP's evaluation efforts have traditionally focused on the evaluation of OJJDP-funded programs. However, to expand the base of knowledge of effective programs, OJJDP is considering funding evaluations of programs, including those not funded by OJJDP. With scarce dollars going generally for program delivery and administration, knowledge of what works best, and for whom, generally rests on anecdotal evidence. Rigorous scientific evaluations can provide more information about specific programs and alternatives that hold promise.
OJJDP is particularly interested in evaluations that examine Child Advocacy Centers, youth recreation programs, and gender-specific programming.
Analysis of Juvenile Justice Data
Funding for this new program is being considered as a means of providing for the analysis and interpretation of diverse sources of data and information on juvenile offending and the juvenile justice system, beyond that currently funded for the analysis of OJJDP data sets. This project would provide a source for identifying and reporting important information from nontraditional sources. The project would develop OJJDP's capacity to use and analyze data collections covering such related areas as health, education, and employment. It would provide a means for routinely publishing specialized reports that assimilate such data sources. It would also support the management and direction of OJJDP efforts through the contribution of analyses directed towards the Office's priorities and initiatives.
Evaluation of the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders
In FY 1998, OJJDP is considering beginning a multiyear, multisite evaluation of the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. The evaluation would first look at the lessons learned from the Comprehensive Strategy training and technical assistance process that was provided in three pilot communities -- Fort Myers and Jacksonville, Florida, and San Diego, California. The evaluation would then look at the effect of the 2-year training and technical assistance process that is currently being provided in five states and 26 local jurisdictions and is about to commence in up to two additional states. The training and technical assistance process is designed to transfer the knowledge, skills, tools, and practices necessary to develop a comprehensive strategic plan in each community. The evaluation would document the effectiveness of the training and technical assistance process in a sample of communities. The evaluation would also look at the crime and delinquency outcomes and the level of services being provided in each of the jurisdictions that have successfully completed the training and technical assistance process and are implementing their comprehensive strategic plan. In the first year, the evaluation would also document baseline data in the states and local communities.
Blueprints for Violence Prevention: Training and Technical Assistance
In a 1994 survey, more than half of the respondents identified crime and violence as the most important problem facing this country, and violence was unanimously identified as the "biggest problem" facing the nation's public schools. Many communities are ready to take meaningful action to combat these problems, but are struggling in determining both "what works" and how to implement those effective strategies and programs. As a result, many jurisdictions are moving forward with insufficient knowledge on how to be successful in both of these areas of focus.
To address this issue, OJJDP proposes to award a cooperative agreement to the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) at the University of Colorado. CSPV has completed a study, begun in 1996, of 10 violence prevention programs that met a rigorous scientific standard of program effectiveness and replicability -- programs that could be documented in "blueprints" that could be utilized for further replication. Under this grant, CSPV would provide technical assistance to community organizations and program providers to ensure quality implementation of blueprint model programs that have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing adolescent violence, crime, and substance abuse.
The specific goal of this project will be to assist in the replication of these blueprint programs by determining the feasibility of program development for each community or agency request for technical assistance in terms of a needs assessment and the capacity for the community/agency to implement the program with integrity, and providing training and technical assistance to communities/agencies that are ready to begin the implementation process. CSPV would both monitor and assist the program during its first year of operation.
This project would be implemented by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence because of its unique status as the developer of the Blueprints for Violence Prevention project and previous research in this specific area. No additional applications would be solicited in FY 1998.
Teambuilding Project for Courts
OJJDP, in conjunction with the State Justice Institute (SJI), is interested in supporting projects to explore emerging issues that will affect juvenile courts as they enter the 21st century, and develop and test innovative approaches for managing juvenile courts, securing resources required to fully meet the responsibilities of the judicial branch, and institutionalizing long-range planning processes across the multiple disciplines in the juvenile justice system. This joint effort would test innovative programs and procedures for providing clear and open communications between the judiciary, other branches of government, and juvenile justice practitioners.
The primary goal would be to develop and implement a teambuilding project designed to facilitate better coordination and information sharing and foster innovative, efficient solutions to problems facing juvenile courts. Activities may include: (1) preparing and presenting educational programs to foster development of effective multidisciplinary teams; (2) delivering onsite technical assistance to develop a team or enhance an existing partnership; (3) providing information on teambuilding through a national resource center; and (4) preparing manuals, guides, and other written and visual products to assist in the development and operation of effective teams.
Competitive grants would be awarded to support demonstration projects. Funds would be transferred to SJI to administer the program through a cooperative agreement.