Our recent Congressional Briefing, Juvenile Justice in the Age of the Second Chance Act, the Youth Promise Act, and the JJDP Reauthorization Bill: Research Guided Policy Implications for Maximizing Reentry Initiatives for Adolescents, was held on October 26 and led by Dr. Catherine Gallagher, Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and co-sponsored by the Center for Justice Leadership and Management directed by Dr. Stephen Mastrofski, Senior Fellow in the CEBCP.
Leading researchers were on hand to brief attendees about a common theme: how to meet the goals of the Second Chance Act with the available evidence across a variety of critical domains for adolescents in the juvenile justice system.
Special thanks to B.J. Koubaroulis of Synthesis Multimedia Productions for providing video footage of the briefing.
LIST OF PRESENTERS (VIEW THE MINUTE BY MINUTE AGENDA HERE)
Ms. Marilyn Roberts, Deputy Administrator for Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Young People in Juvenile Justice Systems
Ms. Janet Chiancone, Research Coordinator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
"A Profile of Young People in the Juvenile Justice System: Data from OJJDP's Collections"
This presentation will provide attendees with a baseline understanding of youth in the juvenile justice system. Primary findings from OJJDP’s series of juvenile justice data collections—which cover juvenile court, probation and residential placement—will be shared to provide an overview of the youth in the system, why they are there, and characteristics of the institutions which provide service to them. Data presented will include information gained from administrative (organizational-level) data, as well as data directly from the youth themselves.
Dr. Stuart Kinner, Senior Research Fellow, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Melbourne, Australia
"Polymorbidity and Mortality Among Justice-Involved Youth: Implications for Re-Entry" (Co-authored by Kate van Dooren)
In both the US and Australia, one in five prisoners is aged under 25 years; however, young people incarcerated in adult correctional facilities are rarely recognized, and little emphasis is placed on their potential health vulnerabilities. A recent Australian study found that 80% of young people leaving prison have at least one physical health, mental health or substance use issue, and one in four (the equivalent of 55,000 young prisoners in the US) report at least one problem in each domain. Data from another recent Australian study suggest that young ex-prisoners are 23 times more likely to die than their age-matched peers in the community. In addition to addressing their criminal justice issues, young people have to contend with a multitude of health issues; what is needed is age-appropriate and youth-specific interventions to reduce the risk of short- and long-term harm in this vulnerable group as they transition back to the community.
Mr. Shay Bilchik, former OJJDP Director, former president of the Child Welfare League of America, and current Director of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute Center for Juvenile Justice Reform
"Improving Delinquency Outcomes for Abused and Neglected Children: Changing the Paradigm Through Multi-System Collaboration"
We know that youth follow multiple pathways into the juvenile justice system. We also know that from an ecological perspective, they face risks and are provided protection in multiple domains: family, peer, school, community and self. This requires a multi-system response, particularly when that pathway begins with child abuse and neglect. Mr. Bilchik’s presentation will explore this pathway in terms of prevalence and covariates and will present practice and system responses that serve to improve outcomes for this population of young people.
Dr. Adam Dobrin, Associate Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida Atlantic University
"A Summary of Current Practices: A National Review of Health and Mental-Health Services in Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities"
There is a tremendous variation among juvenile justice residential facilities as to health and mental health care services provided. This presentation will describe current service provision, and will illustrate how variations in facilities' care is systematically related to certain facility characteristics. These results confirm that there are known and predictable gaps in service provision, and shows where we are most likely to observe lower levels of care. Data will come from two of OJJDP's national censuses of juvenile residential facilities.
Dr. Charlotte Gill, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, George Mason University
"Second Chances” and the Discretion to Divert: Differing Pathways through the Juvenile Justice System"
A recent review of evidence on the effectiveness of court processing of juveniles (Petrosino, Turpin-Petrosino, and Guckenberg, 2009) found that youth who remain in the formal juvenile justice system are more likely to reoffend than those who do not. Increases in delinquency were even greater when formally processed juveniles were compared to those diverted to programs and services outside the system, rather than being released with no further action. But given the amount of discretion exercised at all stages of the juvenile justice system, to what extent are both young offenders’ best interests and public safety concerns served by diversion decisions? Taking a data-driven approach, this presentation examines patterns of arrest and diversion to unpack who gets diverted, when, and why; and the impact of diversion decisions on the communities in which they occur.
Dr. Arash Anoshiravani, Medical Director, Santa Clara County Juvenile Custody Institutions; Instructor, Stanford School of Medicine, Division of Adolescent Medicine
"Medical Systems Serving Justice-Involved Youth."
This presentation discusses the scope of unmet physical and mental health needs of justice-involved youth in the US. I will discuss findings from published studies, my own extensive clinical experience with juveniles in California, and preliminary research findings from a total population study of hospitalizations among detained youth in California. I recommend system integration strategies aimed at improving the overall health and well-being of this population. Research suggests that, compared to other youth, a greater number of adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system suffer from severe medical and mental health problems. Often these health problems are intimately linked with the activities and behaviors that lead to their involvement in the juvenile justice system, including truancy, substance abuse, and physical and sexual violence. Few studies to date have adequately characterized the severity of these youths unmet health needs and the resources required to address those needs. And very few jurisdictions have successfully integrated the various systems that are in place to serve justice-involved youth in a way that effectively improves their health and well-being.
The Impact of Adolescence on Reentry
Ms. Leah Kane, Public Affairs Assistant, Reentry Policy Council
"The Agencies and Domains of Service Relevant to the Second Chance Act."
Dr. Nena Messina, Principal Investigator, University of California, Los Angeles, Substance Abuse Programs
Presentation Given by Dr. Susanna Nemes, Social Solutions International
"Life Course Effects of Trauma for Adolescent Offenders"
This presentation will show the complexity of young female offenders and demonstrate why a comprehensive continuum of care is needed to address their needs. Data presented will include retrospective data from women under criminal justice supervision including family background, sexual/physical abuse histories, drug use, criminal histories, and mental health issues.
Dr. Catherine Gallagher, Associate Professor Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University
"The Intergenerational Effects of Incarceration on Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Implications for Reentry under the Second Chance Act."
Closing: Effectiveness in Programming
Dr. Mark Lipsey, Director, Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University
"Bringing Evidence to Practice in Juvenile Justice"
Despite considerable buzz about evidence-based practice in juvenile justice, few evidence-based practices have actually been implemented in most juvenile justice systems. Barriers to implementation include a limited number of programs certified as evidence based by prevailing criteria, and organizational challenges associated with their cost and the ability of service providers to adopt them with adequate fidelity. An alternative that has proven effective in several juvenile justice systems relies on (a) a broader perspective on practice that focuses on improvement of programs already implemented and (b) a broader perspective on evidence that uses systematic research synthesis to generate evidence-based best-practice guidelines for those improvements. This presentation will provide the background for these perspectives and their implications for improving the effectiveness of juvenile justice programs.
Mr. Jon Baron, President, Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy
"Increasing the Effectiveness of Programs for At-Risk Youth Through Rigorous Evidence About 'What Works'"
Evidence-based policy has emerged as a leading strategy to increase government effectiveness in delinquency prevention and other areas of youth policy, shaping recent Congressional and Executive Branch initiatives. Examples include the rigorous evaluation set-asides in the Second Chance Act of 2008 and in the FY 11 budget for the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) new rigorous evaluation initiative; and major new initiatives enacted into law to scale up evidence-based programs in K-12 education, teen pregnancy prevention, and home visitation for at-risk families with young children. The nonprofit, nonpartisan Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy has played a key role in advancing these initiatives through its work with Congressional, OMB, and federal agency officials. Coalition President Jon Baron will discuss recent developments, and their potential to bring rapid progress to youth policy similar to that in medicine over the past half-century.