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.
This project will expand the critical girl-specific advocacy, accountability, prevention, and intervention work taking place in Milwaukee County. Through this proposal, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (WI DOJ) will develop a project designed to support existing nonprofit direct-service work that is taking place in 37 low-income QOZs. WI DOJ will coordinate efforts of three women- and minority-led Milwaukee-based nonprofits to address the findings and advance the recommendations of the county-facilitated Girls workgroup, guided by the National Crittenton Institutes National Girls Initiative (NGI). These three agencies are Youth Justice Milwaukee, Represent, and My Sistas KeepHer. This funding, infused into evidence-based tools used by these agencies, will also help WI DOJ measure the goals and progress of these organizations through data collection and monthly consultation.
Youth Justice Milwaukee will fulfill an advocacy role to address obstacles to expanding gender-responsive prevention and intervention during the project period of this award. This organization will not only develop and complete an awareness campaign for Milwaukee County to promote girl-specific programs and policies for the state, but will also serve as a direct advocate for the other two nonprofit agencies that will fulfill duties with this funding. Represent will activate a local network of positive youth workers and advocates to identify strategies to expand the base of positive adults who can support girls at risk or survivors of sex trafficking. My Sistas KeepHer will use funding to increase access to safe opportunities to expand social networks, practice self-love, and develop communication skills through poetry and performance. This funding will expand the program through weekend workshops and summer intensives in addition to the annual events. My Sistas KeepHer and Represent will work with WI DOJ to provide direct-service delivery to 405 girls in Milwaukee County over the course of this grant. This expansion will increase access to creative expression, healing, and community building across the span of adolescence.
Further, this funding will strengthen existing services and support grassroots innovation that respond to the complex needs noted by county partners. The project will also produce a roadmap for the work to be integrated into Milwaukee Countys juvenile justice continuum of care, as well as other jurisdictions across the state. The project will not involve research. CA/NCF