Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $425,000)
The Reducing Risk for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System supports girls who are involved in the juvenile justice system. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-93;133 Stat. 2317, 2410.
Pace Center for Girls will serve girls currently involved in or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system to help them heal from trauma, build prosocial skills, and reduce involvement in unhealthy/unsafe behaviors. Through its Reach Program Services, Pace will provide gender-responsive, strength-based counseling, case management, and therapy programs for 100 girls ages 1117, with an emphasis on girls from Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) and high-poverty areas in Macon-Bibb and Peach Counties in Georgia. The Reach program will deliver the Mental Health Training Curriculum for Juvenile Justice (MHT-JJ) throughout the community of professionals who work with at-risk girls. Girls who have experienced trauma, abuse, maltreatment, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are more likely to enter the juvenile justice system which increases their risk of retraumatization, revictimization, exploitation, and recidivism. The Reach program incorporates trauma-informed strategies to address ACEs and victimization, and help girls build nurturing relationships. Using the Problem-Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers, therapists will assess risk factors known to precipitate girls entry into the juvenile justice system and help girls take ownership and responsibility for meeting sanctions, including restorative justice. Expected outcomes include decreased law enforcement involvement, improved peer/family relationships, improved behavioral health, and increased social skills. Pace will evaluate improvement against baseline data, including behavioral issues related to delinquency, juvenile justice system involvement, school attendance, and recidivism. The MHT-JJ training will support Paces goal that each girl is surrounded by a village working together for her well-being. In recognition of its efficacy, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice already offers MHT-JJ to its employees. In concert with the Department of Juvenile Justice, Pace will extend this training to all juvenile justice-affiliated personnel (judges, court staff, lawyers, etc.) as well as others in the community (such as teachers, volunteer mentors, and local leaders) so that more adults involved in the girls lives share an understanding of their needs and have trauma-informed strategies and skills. The applicant has an MOU with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. CA/NCF.