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 Nebraska, through its Juvenile Reentry Project, will provide reentry and mentoring services to former system-involved youth up to age 24 to help them overcome the collateral consequences of being involved in the juvenile justice system; increase knowledge and awareness of youth and other social and legal services; and empirically assess the efficacy of reentry services, mentoring, and reentry planning provided by the project to youth who are reentering the community after an out-of-home placement. Legal Aids full-time staff attorney, presently serving as the projects Fellow, will develop intensified reentry assistance, education, training, and community partnerships on record sealing and associated issues. The project will also build new relationships across the state with a focus on Douglas County, Nebraskas most populous county, by providing education and training on reentry services issues with youth advocates. CA/NCF