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 Winnebago Reservation is located in Northeastern Nebraska. The Tribes Traditional Wellness Court (TWC) serves as a drug court and alternative program for juveniles who have committed minor offenses. The project will be administered by the Winnebago Tribal Court working in partnership with a Juvenile Justice Planning Team. The projects goal is to increase the effectiveness of the TWC to respond to delinquency and related substance abuse needs of tribal non-violent youth offenders who are under age 18. The Tribe will work to prevent and control substance abuse; improve the juvenile justice system by eliminating barriers; and create culturally sensitive pathways for healing. Short formative evaluations of the project will be completed and used to summarize data as it becomes available. The project will include a planning and implementation approach. A TWC inventory and gap analysis of policies, procedures, sanctions, and family services will be conducted the first six months of the project. A planning process will yield strategies designed to increase involvement of offender families and develop training sessions for practitioners and families on meeting needs of offenders. The remaining fifteen months of the grant will be dedicated to implementation and evaluation activities.