Reclaiming Futures Cuts Crime, Saves Money

by Evan Elkin

National evaluation shows that Reclaiming Futures generated $11 million in cost savings over one year; promoted better outcomes for teens and communities.

Five communities using the Reclaiming Futures model — a national public health and juvenile justice reform framework that promotes effective treatment practices — saved $11 million in one year. The national evaluation showed that juvenile drug courts implementing the Reclaiming Futures model saw significant reductions in crime and delinquency, which drove these notable fiscal savings.

Conducted by the University of Arizona’s Southwest Institute for Research on Women and funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention through an interagency agreement with the Library of Congress, research examined cost savings over a 12-month period at five juvenile drug courts around the country where the Reclaiming Futures model was implemented. Results show that the savings from implementing Reclaiming Futures are more than double its cost; net savings amounted to $84,569 per teen. Serving a total of 139 teens over the year of the study, these five communities saved more than $11 million in total. Further, average savings were even greater among participating teens with severe clinical problems, amounting to $232,109 in savings per teen.… Read More »

National Mentoring Month: A Question From the Field

by Reclaiming Futures Staff

Q: How can our juvenile drug court (JDC) maintain and sustain a mentoring program?

A: Mentoring programs can enhance the success and effectiveness of JDCs. Maintaining and sustaining a mentoring program requires cooperation among JDCs, community, and stakeholders. JDCs must have access to a full range of funding, staffing, and community resources required to sustain a mentoring program over the long term.

The longevity of any JDC program relies upon funding and community support. Courts that have been successful have leveraged cross-system resources and opportunities to obtain more funding from all available state and community resources. Community support increases the adaptability and sustainability of mentoring programs by providing mentors, funders, collaborators, and communication agents. It also increases opportunities for contact between youth and positive environments, provides activities for mentors and youth to engage in, and provides youth a feeling of belonging.… Read More »

OJJDP Policy Guidance: Girls and the Juvenile Justice System

by Kate Knappett

Girls are increasingly over-represented in the juvenile justice system; particularly girls living in poverty and young women of color, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in their recently released policy guidance: “Girls and the Juvenile Justice System.” The significant increase of justice-involved girls over the past two decades was also demonstrated in September by Francine T. Sherman and Annie Balck in their “Gender Injustice” report; girls now account for almost 30 percent of youth arrests. OJJDP’s new policy guidance calls for the identification and recognition of known risk factors – which lead girls to the justice system – and the implementation of developmentally informed approaches in order to reduce and divert the involvement of girls in the system. OJJDP’s policy guidance aligns with the White House Council on Women and Girls’ intention to advance equity for women and girls of color.

Identifying Risk Factors  

OJJDP’s policy guidance identifies a number of risk factors which lead to involvement of girls in the juvenile justice system, also referred to as the sexual abuse/trauma-to-prison pipelineRead More »

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events

by Kate Knappett

opportunityBelow you’ll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance use and teen mental health areas. There is no cost to browse or to post.… Read More »

Most States Still House Some Youth in Adult Prisons, Report Says; News Roundup

by Kate Knappett

Every week Reclaiming Futures rounds up the latest news on juvenile justice reform, adolescent substance use treatment, and teen mental health. 

Most States Still House Some Youth in Adult Prisons, Report Says (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
A new report from Campaign for Youth Justice finds that most states still house youth in adult prisons, putting them at risk for abuse. Now is a good time to end this practice, according to the report, due to a recent decrease of youth housed in both adult and juvenile facilities.
Read More »

New Report, Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works

by Kate Knappett

medicine-385947_1920A new report, “Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works,” calls attention to the rising rate of teen overdose fatalities in the United States, the role of prescription painkillers, as well as research-based solutions for prevention and treatment. The report, supported by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, was authored and produced by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, non-partisan organization with a focus on public health policy and community prevention and treatment strategies. 

Significant Increase in Teen Overdose Fatalities

TFAH finds that youth drug overdose fatalities, among 12 to 25 year-olds, more than doubled in 35 states over the past ten years, particularly among young men and boys. Fatality rates for youth overdose more than doubled in 18 states, more than tripled in 12 states, and more than quadrupled in five states (Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming). Analyses reveals that, while no state had a youth overdose death rate over 6.1 per 100,000 before 2001, 33 states were above 6.1 per 100,000 deaths by the year 2013.… Read More »

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events

by Kate Knappett

opportunityBelow you’ll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance use and teen mental health areas. There is no cost to browse or to post.… Read More »

Teen Drug Overdose Death Rate Doubles Over Last Decade; News Roundup

by Kate Knappett

Every week Reclaiming Futures rounds up the latest news on juvenile justice reform, adolescent substance use treatment, and teen mental health. 

Teen Drug Overdose Death Rate Doubles Over Last Decade (Psychiatry Advisor)
Trust For America’s Health released a new report with findings that the American drug overdose mortality rate has more than doubled over the last ten years, and especially among young men between the ages of 12 to 25 years old. Prescription drugs were found to be responsible for many of the overdoses, and were also found to be connected to heroin addictions in young people.… Read More »

November is Native American Heritage Month

by Kate Knappett

first-nation-908605 (2)President Obama has proclaimed November as “Native American Heritage Month.” This is a time to celebrate the many significant historic and contemporary contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives, a population of 5.4 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the juvenile justice field, this month is not only a time to celebrate Native American heritage, but also an opportunity to make visible the unique youth justice challenges faced by Native American communities, and to highlight steps for collaboratively working with tribal communities to improve conditions for Native American youth and their families.

Though 1990 was the first year “Native American Indian Heritage Month” was recognized as a national legal holiday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the pursuit of a holiday to celebrate heritage began in the early 20th century when Dr. Arthur C. Parker – a Seneca Indian and director of the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Rochester, New York – promoted a day to celebrate “First Americans.” In May 1916, the first “American Indian Day” was declared by the state of New York, and many states observed a version of this day for years before official national recognition in 1990 for the month of November.… Read More »

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events

by Kate Knappett

opportunityBelow you’ll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance use and teen mental health areas. There is no cost to browse or to post.
Read More »