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Improving Outcomes and Reducing Recidivism in Pennsylvania''s Juvenile Justice System

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,000,000)

Section 101 of the Second Chance Act authorizes the Department of Justice to award grants to states to improve reentry outcomes for incarcerated youth. This program will provide grants to support the implementation of an existing statewide plan to better align juvenile justice policy, practice, and resource allocation with what research shows works to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. This program is authorized pursuant to Section 101 of the Second Chance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3797w; Pub. L. No. 110-199.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) will implement a plan to reduce the recidivism rate of youth returning from residential placements in Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system, enhance youth employment and vocational training opportunities, and engage families in planning and delivering reintegration services and programming. Pennsylvania was chosen as the first state for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Models for Change initiative. The working group formed under the Models for Change initiative included high-level representatives from the state Departments of Public Welfare and Education, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee, Juvenile Court Judges Commission, and the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers. In 2004 the working group developed and signed a Joint Policy Statement on Aftercare that contains principles for comprehensive aftercare. In 2010 the Policy Statement was revised and will incorporate the elements of the Juvenile Justice Enhancement Strategy which will serve as the foundational statewide plan for OJJDP supported activities. To test this phase of implementation, the project will focus on four communities: Allegheny, Berks, Lehigh and Philadelphia Counties. The task force will use the learnings from the pilots to expand the implementation plan to improve aftercare services statewide. These counties have designed specific strategies and will collaborate with PCCD and the working group to reduce recidivism rates and improve outcomes for higher risk youth in their respective jurisdictions and will provide the foundation for statewide replication.


Date Created: September 19, 2016