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Creating Juvenile Drug Courts Communities of Practice: Sharing Information Across Courts to Improve Practice

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $2,000,000)

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 help OJJDP fulfill this vision, this program will fund Communities of Practice, a project to promote information sharing and learning among juvenile drug courts. The successful applicant will develop a wide range of strategies for juvenile drug courts to connect with one another to problem solve; share information, tools, resources, and experiences; discuss developments and trends related to juvenile drug courts and treatment for adolescent substance abuse; identify and document best practices; and establish peer-to-peer networks. Communities of Practice will inform the current knowledge base of best practices for juvenile drug courts. NCJFCJ proposes to bring together the Juvenile Drug Court Communities of Practice with three primary goals: (1) create new resources to address barriers that impede the effectiveness of juvenile drug courts (JDCs) in serving youthful offenders with substance disorders; (2) create new mechanisms and expand existing mechanisms that enable JDCs to share their experiences and knowledge with one another; and (3) through a variety of delivery strategies, continue to provide information, training and technical assistance to JDC teams and stakeholders about key aspects of JDC operations and services.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ0 will concentrate efforts on building communities of practice that connect JDC practitioners and stakeholders through information exchanges, learning laboratories, and blended learning. Through innovative online focus groups, NCJFCJ will utilize the expertise of a robust Project Advisory Committee to develop concrete solutions to challenges currently facing JDCs. NCJFCJ will work closely with project partners to deliver sustainable training, resources, and tools for JDC teams. NCJFCJ will devote expertise and funding to the development of valuable, as well as practical, publications that will assist JDC teams as they strive to become data literate, savvy about incentives and sanctions, as well as up-to-date about information sharing and ethical concerns within a problem-solving court framework. At the conclusion of the project, NCJFCJ will ensure that JDCs have adequate resources to address the challenges of operating multi-systemic programs; linkages to other programs to provide and receive peer support and coaching; and access to cross-court communication tools that will allow for the sharing of ideas between programs. CA/NCF

This program furthers the Department's mission by providing grants and cooperative agreements for training and technical assistance to organizations that OJJDP designates. The purpose of this supplement to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) cooperative agreement is to further the Department of Justice’s mission of reducing violent crime and reducing substance abuse, including opioid abuse, by supporting innovative training and technical assistance approaches among juvenile drug courts (JDCs) that provide treatment for youth dealing with substance abuse disorders. With the supplemental funding, NCJFCJ will be able to continue to engage JDCs by providing training and technical assistance that promotes information sharing and peer-to-peer learning on implementing research-based guidelines and practices. NCA/NCF

Date Created: September 29, 2015