September | October 2014

OJJDP, MacArthur Foundation Renew Partnership With $2 Million Commitment To Advance Juvenile Justice Reform

In a renewed public–private partnership, OJJDP and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are jointly providing $2 million to advance juvenile justice reform.

"Every youth who enters the juvenile justice system deserves to be treated fairly and to receive the help he or she needs," said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee. "Together, our Office and the MacArthur Foundation are working with states and communities to build a better future for youth."

OJJDP and the MacArthur Foundation will each provide two years of funding at $125,000 per year to four organizations—the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP); the National Youth Screening and Assessment Project (NYSAP) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) at Policy Research, Inc.; and the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice (RFK NRCJJ)—to support innovative reforms in treatment and services for youth.

Through this partnership, established in 2011, OJJDP and MacArthur will support training and technical assistance for states and local governments to meet the mental health needs of system-involved youth, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and promote coordination and integration for youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The funding will support the following projects:

  • Disproportionate Minority Contact Reduction: Employing a collaborative, data-driven approach to improve equity and enhance outcomes for youth of color who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. CCLP will provide technical assistance and project oversight. Contact CCLP at tdavis@cclp.org.
  • Risk Assessment and Behavioral Health Screening: Using evidence-based tools for effective case planning to achieve reductions in out-of-home placements and delinquency. NYSAP will provide technical assistance, research, and project oversight. Contact NYSAP at gina.vincent@umassmed.edu.
  • Mental Health Training for Juvenile Justice: Providing comprehensive adolescent development and mental health training to juvenile correctional and detention staff to improve staff knowledge, understanding, and ability to respond to youth with mental health needs. NCMHJJ will provide technical assistance and project oversight. Contact NCMHJJ at kskowyra@prainc.com.
  • Dual Status Youth Technical Assistance Initiative: Designing and implementing multisystem responses to improve outcomes for youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Technical assistance using a proven framework for system coordination and integration will be provided by the RFK NRCJJ, led by Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps. Contact RFK NRCJJ at jtuell@rfkchildren.org.

"This work will help secure and build on important, developmentally appropriate advances in juvenile justice reform accomplished through the Models for Change initiative," said Laurie Garduque, MacArthur’s Director of Justice Reform. "This work builds on innovations proven effective in more than 35 states and is critical to continuing the momentum for improving outcomes for youth in contact with the law."

Resources:

More information about the MacArthur Foundation’s juvenile justice work and the foundation’s Models for Change initiative is available online.