Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $125,000)
The OJJDP FY 09 Earmarks Programs further the Department's mission by providing grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance authorized by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended, to organizations identified in the Explanatory Statement Regarding H.R. 1105 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009), 155 Cong. Rec. H1653 (daily ed. Feb. 23, 2009) (statement by Rep. Obey, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations of the House).
The purpose of this project is to assist girls less than 18 years old charged with non-violent status offenses such as running away, truancy, and ungovernable behaviors at risk of entering the juvenile justice system. The Assessment Center (Center) will assist the court in diverting girls and their families from involvement with the juvenile justice system if there are mitigating circumstances which contributed to their behaviors which could be better addressed by other agencies and organizations. The Center provides a stay of up to 21 days for each girl. System of Services (SOS) is the only agency in the targeted area that provides comprehensive assessments to divert at risk females from involvement with the juvenile court system. Proposed funding will avail over 100 girls under age 18 of program services; 90% of the girls are expected to complete one or more goals established during their residency; also 90% of the girls are expected to exhibit changes in targeted behaviors and not re-offend twelve months following their discharge.
The proposed Center addresses the needs of these girls and their families in crisis in several ways, including, (1) ensuring safety, (2) meeting basic needs for food, clothing and shelter, (3) listening and counseling in a sensitive, non-judgmental manner, (4) assisting the girls to make the decision to return home, when practical, (5) working with older girls who cannot return home to develop plans for safe and stable housing, and (6) providing opportunities to set realistic short and long term goals. The Center fosters a non-threatening environment, to help defuse the highly emotional situations caused by the family strife associated with runaway, truant and ungovernable behaviors. The girls are provided services that address their specific, individual needs through the residential and non-residential community based programming provided by SOS and other community partners. Recommendations are made to the Juvenile Court following the assessment period.