Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $300,000)
The Fiscal Year 2017 Smart on Juvenile Justice: Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative (hereinafter Initiative) aims to further OJJDPs mission by funding efforts to (1) develop and implement standards of policy and practice to effectively manage well-resourced, statewide juvenile indigent defense systems; (2) develop state or regional resource centers that will help state, tribal, and local juvenile defense systems enhance the quality of legal representation, leverage resources, and collect and analyze data to measure the effectiveness of juvenile defense initiatives; and, (3) support community-based nonprofit organizations that provide direct reentry services, mentoring, and reentry planning to youth in secure confinement or out-of-home placement who are transitioning, or have recently transitioned, back to their families and communities. The goal of Category Three is to fund community-based service providers to offer and deliver reentry services to youth who are reintegrating into communities following secure confinement or out-of-home placement. Awards under Category Three will be made pursuant to Section 211 of the Second Chance Act, 42 USC 17531; Pub. L. No. 115-31, 131 Stat. 135, 204.
Legal Aid of North Carolina, through its Juvenile Reentry Second Chance Project, will ensure that reentering juveniles have access to the holistic, individualized reentry, social work, and mentoring services needed to successfully transition to their home communities and reintegrate into school settings without collateral barriers from their court involvement and residential placement; ensure that families of reentering juveniles have access to services needed for maximum stability; improve individual student educational outcomes; ensure that juvenile stakeholders (court counselors, juvenile defenders, pro bono attorneys, child welfare advocates, educators, and other juvenile service providers) have the resources and training necessary to be able to identify and refer juveniles who are in need of program services; and ensure that policies and practices related to juveniles placed in residential facilities who reenter their home communities are (1) reasonably calculated to ensure equal access to an appropriate education and (2) not discriminatory. The project will focus services in three urban counties (Wake, Durham, and Guilford), with secondary service provision for high-needs youth in surrounding rural communities. CA/NCF