Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $600,000)
The Second Chance Act provides a comprehensive response to the increasing number of incarcerated adults and juveniles who are released from prison, jail, and juvenile residential facilities and are returning to their communities. The FY 2013 Second Chance Act Reentry Program for Juveniles with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders seeks to reduce long-term alcohol and other substance abuse among juveniles in secure confinement facilities and to improve drug treatment and mental health services provided to them during their confinement and through the completion of their court supervision. A secure confinement facility may include a juvenile detention center, juvenile correctional facility, or staff-secure facility. Eligible juveniles must have been confined under juvenile court jurisdiction.
The purpose of this project is to help juvenile offenders with co-occurring disorders (COD) transform to successfully function in their communities and remain out of the justice system. Since 2003, juvenile felony and misdemeanor drug, DUI, and drunkenness arrests have skyrocketed approximately 1,000%, with attendant mental health, police, school, and other problems associated with drug and alcohol use. More than 80% of youth accepted into Ventura Countys Juvenile Specialty Court (JSC) have COD. The target area is Ventura County, California. The target population is 64 juvenile offenders with COD who are accepted into JSC. The goals of the project are to reduce recidivism and maintain sobriety through improving COD treatment integration, increasing youths' commitment to change, and providing intensive case management services to youth and their families to successfully integrate youth into the community. Project objectives are to increase graduation rates from JSC programs, increase educational attainment, help youth find and retain jobs, and provide intensive use of community resources to strengthen youth and families. A minimum of 40 participants will graduate by fully achieving the goals and objectives in their individual treatment plans prior to release and a minimum of 32 will refrain from recidivism as defined by OJJDP. JSC will measure progress through data collection and reporting from JSC's VISION database, a pre and post questionnaire that will measure youths' transformation, and through use of an independent Program Evaluator.