OJJDP has published a new blog post on the importance of programs and services to help youth successfully return to their communities following secure confinement or out-of-home placement. The blog post was published in conjunction with Reentry Week 2021, which took place April 26–30.
OJJDP supports two Second Chance Act programs, which fund reentry services that help people transition from detention or treatment back to their families and communities. The Youth Offender Reentry program funds education, job placement, behavioral health, housing, and treatment for reentering youth, along with state and local efforts to improve the reentry component of their juvenile justice systems. Addressing the Needs of Incarcerated Parents and Their Minor Children supports the positive development of children with incarcerated parents, family engagement between incarcerated parents and their minor children, and reentry services for parents.
OJJDP anticipates awarding approximately $14.75 million in fiscal year 2021 for the two Second Chance Act programs.
The blog post describes a number of events held during Reentry Week, including two webinars sponsored by the Department of Justice-supported National Reentry Resource Center. One covers the process of developing reentry plans for youth; the other discusses distance-based strategies to encourage child-parent engagement in correctional facilities. Additional webinars focused on youth and families are also available on the Reentry Week website.
The pandemic has compelled family treatment courts to modify practices that address the complex needs of families that are affected by substance use disorders and involved in the child welfare system.
The Center for Children and Family Futures, the training and technical assistance provider for OJJDP's Family Drug Court program, held a series of virtual events in 2020 to foster information sharing and collaboration among family treatment court practitioners. During these Idea Exchange sessions, attendees discussed challenges and interim solutions on topics such as:
- Supporting parenting time (visitation).
- Addressing operational challenges, including court reviews and drug testing.
- Maintaining family engagement.
- Providing recovery supports.
- Addressing child safety concerns.
- Responding to participant behavior.
- Engaging in effective cross-system communication.
- Facilitating evidence-based parenting programming.
- Meeting the basic needs of children and their families.
Access notes from the Idea Exchange sessions and additional resources for families affected by substance use disorders during the pandemic.
The latest issue of The AMBER Advocate highlights the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program's shift to virtual instruction and digital resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The issue recounts the rescue of a kidnapped infant in Utah through swift response by state and local law enforcement and observant private citizens following an AMBER Alert.
It also discusses the success of the Navajo Nation's first independently issued AMBER Alert, which returned two sisters home unharmed, and provides brief overviews of activities in various states and international jurisdictions.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) recently released Advancing the Collection of Juvenile Justice Data, which describes its work with OJJDP to improve data on juvenile residential placement facilities and the youth they hold. The article discusses two statistical collections—the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP) and the Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC)—which together provide the most comprehensive information available on national and state-level trends and characteristics of juveniles in residential placement.
To address challenges in maintaining and improving the quality, completeness, and utility of these data, NIJ is working with OJJDP and other federal partners to review and redesign the CJRP and JRFC. NIJ is managing a study aimed at improving data collection and methods for generating statistics about juveniles in residential placement and the facilities in which they are held. The project team has also engaged an expert panel of juvenile corrections leaders, researchers, and other juvenile justice practitioners to ensure that the project recommendations fully address information gaps and needs in the field. Project results and recommendations are scheduled to be published by the end of 2021.
JAMA Pediatrics has published an article—Association of Firearm Access, Use, and Victimization During Adolescence With Firearm Perpetration During Adulthood in a 16-Year Longitudinal Study of Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System—that discusses the results of a study funded by the National Institute of Justice. Researchers examined the association between adolescents' firearm use, access, and victimization, and subsequent firearm ownership and use in young adulthood among youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
This study builds on the OJJDP-funded Northwestern Juvenile Project. The project was the first large-scale longitudinal study of delinquent youth's mental health outcomes after detention in Cook County, IL, and was highlighted in OJJDP's Beyond Detention bulletin series. The researchers found that—for this urban sample of 1,829 Cook County youth who were both arrested and detained—firearm use, access, injury, and being threatened with a weapon during adolescence may be risk factors for firearm use and ownership in adulthood.