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. The Louisiana Center for ChildrenÂs Rights (LCCR), which serves as the juvenile public defender for Orleans Parish and provides social work support to the East Baton Rouge Office of the Public Defender-Juvenile Section (OPDBR), proposes to expand its successful Brighter Futures program with the hire of two new youth advocate staff positions, one each for Orleans and East Baton Rouge parishes. The purpose of Brighter Futures is to reduce harm and improve outcomes for girls in LouisianaÂs justice system. The project targets the indigent, predominantly African American girls Â approximately 150 annually Â who have become enmeshed in the juvenile justice system in the two parishes that have LouisianaÂs highest juvenile incarceration rates. The Brighter Futures program identifies girls upon system entry and provides the trauma-informed and culturally appropriate care necessary to help them address the root causes and collateral consequences of their arrest. Doing so in conjunction with LCCRÂs unique brand of holistic juvenile defense representation effectively satisfies the juvenile justice systemÂs dual-mandate of identifying the rehabilitative needs (e.g. family, school, mental health) of girls in its care and meeting those needs via the least restrictive means possible Â thereby improving these girlsÂ legal and life outcomes. The projectÂs goal is to reduce juvenile recidivism and escalation to more serious criminality among girls. CA/NCF.