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Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $307,891)

The Justice Department's grant-making components have created a streamlined approach for federally recognized Tribes, Tribal consortia, Alaska Native villages and corporations, as well as authorized tribal designees to apply for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 funding opportunities. The Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) serves as a single solicitation for existing tribal government-specific grant programs administered by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The CTAS solicitation is designed to assist tribes with addressing crime and public safety issues in a comprehensive manner. The CTAS grant-application process was inspired by and developed after consultation with tribal leaders, including sessions at the Justice Department's Tribal Nations Listening Session in 2009, and has been updated based on continued tribal consultations and listening sessions. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides awards under CTAS Purpose Area 8--Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts. The overall goal of this program is to enhance the capacity of tribal courts to respond to the alcohol-related issues of youth under the age of 21. This can include the development of a new juvenile healing to wellness court or enhancements to an existing tribal healing to wellness court.

The Penobscot Nation has identified a number of concerns raised by community members concerning Tribal youth substance and alcohol abuse, which led to the development of the Juvenile Advisory Group which met to discuss issues and solution sets. The Court noticed several Tribal youth were appearing in Court for repeat alcohol related offenses, it appeared that as much as 50% of the juvenile alcohol-related cases were repeat offenders. The collaboration between the Juvenile Advisory Group and the Court led to the Juvenile Wellness Court pilot project. The Juvenile Wellness Court would provide a holistic approach, which emphasizes restorative principles instead of traditional punishment options so that both the offender and the broader community are able to find renewed physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being so as to restore harmony to the community.

The Nation is convinced that its experience with the unfunded Juvenile Wellness pilot project coupled with what it has learned in implementing its Adult Wellness Court will allow it to successfully address each of the problem areas identified in the Purpose Area Narrative to offer Penobscot juveniles a broader range of services and support. The Tribal Court currently has a Juvenile Advisory Panel which consists of various departments. The Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Team would model such a panel but be specific to the program. Initially, the Panel will decide whether a juvenile should be offered the opportunity to participate in the Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court program. Next, they will make recommendations to the Action Plan which will be later finalized by the Juvenile Court Judge.

Date Created: September 16, 2015