Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $400,000)
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) envisions a nation where our children are healthy, educated, and free from violence. If they come into contact with the juvenile justice system, the contact should be rare, fair, and beneficial to them. To meet this vision, this program will focus on increasing the effectiveness of juvenile drug courts by: (1) supporting programs or strategies that recognize and engage the family as a valued partner in all components of the program; (2) supporting local training programs or teams that educate practitioners and their families to meet the needs of the adolescent client and include adolescent brain development, integrated treatment, trauma-informed care, cultural competency, and strong judicial interaction; (3) supporting the development of local programs that will engage stakeholders and build or enhance partnerships among judges, representatives from behavioral health treatment programs, juvenile justice, social services, school and vocational training programs, law enforcement, probation, prosecution, defense, and community organizations; (4) supporting existing juvenile drug courts to monitor and evaluate current practices to develop strategies to create policies and procedures that will address and provide solutions to identified local barriers and (5) developing and implementing data management systems, including disaggregated data by race and ethnicity of participants.
The New York State Unified Court System on behalf of the Albany County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court (JDTC) seeks to address systematic barriers in the juvenile court process by developing strategies that include involving and engaging the family; training drug court staff and community partners; and building collaborative multidisciplinary partnerships within the county. The JDTC will partner with Parsons Child and Family Center, the largest multi-services agency in the area dedicated to helping families and their children, and Mediation Matters, an expert on restorative practices. Eligible youth will participate with family, members of the court system, school, and community to develop a cohesive action plan to end substance use and reduce the likelihood of committing an additional offense. The target population will include non-violent juvenile offenders and their families who live in Albany County. The goals of the project will be to improve drug court outcomes for juveniles with co-occurring disorders through the use of culturally competent and trauma-informed trainings that will: (1) increase youth success in drug court by developing collaborative relationships with families and by increasing parent engagement; (2) ensure 80% of drug court participants will not progress further into the juvenile or criminal justice system; and (3) monitor and evaluate the achievements of the program goals.