In 1996 three communities -- Lee and Duval Counties, Fla.; and San Diego County, Calif. -- collaborated with the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to apply the processes and principles set forth in the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders; this Bulletin describes the experiences of and lessons learned by these Comprehensive Strategy pilot sites.
The Comprehensive Strategy incorporates two principal components: preventing youth from becoming delinquent through prevention strategies for all youth, with a focus on those at greatest risk; and improving the juvenile justice system response to delinquent offenders through a system of graduated sanctions and a continuum of treatment alternatives that include immediate intervention, intermediate sanctions, community-based corrections, and aftercare services. The Comprehensive Strategy incorporates the philosophy of balanced and restorative justice by using restitution, community service, and other restorative justice programs when appropriate. A key goal of the Comprehensive Strategy is to mobilize all segments of the community -- schools, government agencies, law enforcement, courts, corrections, public and private social service agencies, businesses, civic organizations, the faith community, and private citizens -- to cooperate in a coordinated and comprehensive approach to the problems and needs of juveniles. Although the three pilot sites had different players, processes, structures, and schedules, several critical success factors were common to their Comprehensive Strategy planning experiences: leadership, agency and community support, maximizing existing resources and systems, marketing, training and technical assistance, and early "wins." Challenges and obstacles included data collection, "turf" issues, scheduling and time demands, and community participation. Each of the three pilot sites has benefited significantly from the Comprehensive Strategy planning process. Although it is still too soon to assess the long-term impact on juvenile crime and delinquency, there are numerous short-term indicators of success, including promising plans for each community's future. 2 tables and 11 references
Date Published: March 1, 2000