Casey Selects 16 Organizations to Train Juvenile Justice Staff on the Frontlines

Posted October 14, 2020, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

A shirt from the Reimagining Juvenile Justice train-the-trainer program

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion has select­ed 16 state and local juve­nile jus­tice agen­cies and relat­ed orga­ni­za­tions to con­duct pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment based on the Reimag­in­ing Juve­nile Jus­tice (RJJ) cur­ricu­lum. This train­ing is for front­line staff who are work­ing with youth involved in the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem and their fam­i­lies, and it is designed to help these staff bet­ter sup­port, divert and redi­rect youth to appro­pri­ate and fair jus­tice options.

A clos­er look at RJJ

The RJJ train­ing curriculum’s goals are to:

  • improve sys­tem and youth out­comes by pro­vid­ing alter­na­tives to jus­tice sys­tem involve­ment and incarceration;
  • instill pos­i­tive pro­grams, sup­port and oppor­tu­ni­ties so that young peo­ple can devel­op to their full poten­tial; and
  • increase col­lab­o­ra­tion across pub­lic systems.

The cho­sen agen­cies and orga­ni­za­tions will par­tic­i­pate in the vir­tu­al 2020 RJJ Train-the-Train­er Insti­tute spon­sored by the Foun­da­tion and deliv­ered by the School & Main Insti­tute. This train­ing equips agen­cies and orga­ni­za­tions to take RJJ’s con­cepts, cur­ricu­lum and instruc­tion­al approach back to their home jurisdictions.

The cur­ricu­lum itself encour­ages juve­nile jus­tice pro­fes­sion­als to build on young people’s strengths and assets and to cen­ter their work in racial and eth­nic equi­ty. Pro­fes­sion­als will also learn how to nav­i­gate and col­lab­o­rate with oth­er pub­lic sys­tems to ful­ly access resources for young people.

Ear­ly adopters cred­it the RJJ cur­ricu­lum with mak­ing their staff more recep­tive to oppor­tu­ni­ties for pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment for the young peo­ple they sup­port,” says David E. Brown, a senior asso­ciate at the Foun­da­tion. Juris­dic­tions report they are pur­su­ing ini­tia­tives such as youth-led and adult-guid­ed coun­ty­wide advi­so­ry work­groups and more fam­i­ly-friend­ly dis­charge process­es for youth leav­ing probation.”

What’s next for the 16 train­ing organizations?

Because of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, the insti­tute will take place as a series of online ses­sions from Octo­ber to Decem­ber 2020. Fol­low­ing the insti­tute, the teams of train­ers rep­re­sent­ing each site will deliv­er the RJJ cur­ricu­lum to col­leagues in their home com­mu­ni­ties and juris­dic­tions between Jan­u­ary and Sep­tem­ber of 2021.

Will the RJJ cur­ricu­lum be avail­able broadly?

Casey and School & Main plan to make the RJJ cur­ricu­lum acces­si­ble online to the field in 2021.

Who are the par­tic­i­pat­ing organizations?

Through a com­pet­i­tive process, the Foun­da­tion select­ed 14 coun­ty-focused and two state-lev­el ini­tia­tives. These orga­ni­za­tions are:

  1. AMIkids, Inc, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
  2. 29th Judi­cial Court, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana
  3. Cadence Care Net­work, Ashtab­u­la, Ohio
  4. Cam­den Coun­ty Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions, Youth Ser­vices Com­mis­sion, New Jersey
  5. Char­ter Coun­ty of Wayne, Detroit, Michigan
  6. Col­orado Depart­ment of Pro­ba­tion, Gree­ley, Colorado
  7. Cuya­hoga Coun­ty Juve­nile Court, Ohio
  8. Delaware Cen­ter for Jus­tice, Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware
  9. Delaware Coun­ty Juve­nile Court, Ohio
  10. Flori­da Cir­cuit 7 Depart­ment of Juve­nile Jus­tice Advi­so­ry Coun­cil, Volu­sia Coun­ty, Florida
  11. Juve­nile Court of Fair­field Coun­ty, Ohio
  12. Lorain Coun­ty Depart­ment of Pro­ba­tion and Youth Ser­vices, Ohio
  13. Madi­son Coun­ty Juve­nile Pro­ba­tion, Indiana
  14. Madi­son Coun­ty Juve­nile Court, Tennessee
  15. Neigh­bor­hood Col­lege, River­side, California
  16. Sib­lings Togeth­er, Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

What came before the 2020 RJJ Train-the-Train­er Institute?

The first RJJ Train-the-Train­er Insti­tute occurred in May 2019 with 15 par­tic­i­pat­ing sites. Between July 2019 and Jan­u­ary 2020, RJJ train­ers deliv­ered the course to more than 450 pro­fes­sion­als at their respec­tive sites. These indi­vid­u­als rep­re­sent­ed an array of agen­cies and orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing juve­nile deten­tion, pro­ba­tion, child wel­fare, youth and fam­i­ly ser­vices, courts, local law enforce­ment, school dis­tricts and com­mu­ni­ty-based agencies.

RJJ has been demon­strat­ed to move sys­tems and com­mu­ni­ties to deep­en­ing approach­es and prac­tices that reflect what we know about pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment,” Brown says.

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