Sites Selected to Pilot New Deep-End Reform Strategy

Posted May 6, 2013
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog sitesselectedtopilotnewreform 2013

Richard Ross for Juvenile in Justice

At last year’s JDAI Inter­site Con­fer­ence in Hous­ton, we dis­cussed the Casey Foundation’s inten­tions to expand the focus of JDAI to the dis­po­si­tion­al end of the sys­tem. Anal­o­gous to the Foundation’s deten­tion reform agen­da, efforts to reform the deep end” of the sys­tem would be focused on safe­ly reduc­ing post-dis­po­si­tion­al incar­cer­a­tion and oth­er forms of out-of-home placement.

As explained in Bart Lubow’s state of the ini­tia­tive remarks and sub­se­quent work­shops, Casey’s for­ay into the deep end of the sys­tem would be waged at the nation­al, state and local lev­els. Since the con­fer­ence, the Foundation’s Juve­nile Jus­tice Strat­e­gy Group has simul­ta­ne­ous­ly worked to devel­op approach­es and tools to guide deep-end reform at the local lev­el, while deter­min­ing which sites were the best fit to pilot this expand­ed focus of JDAI.

In the spring of 2012, JDAI sites with at least a cou­ple of years of expe­ri­ence under their belts were asked whether they were inter­est­ed in becom­ing one of the pilot deep-end sites. Approx­i­mate­ly two dozen local sites expressed inter­est, each of which was invit­ed to one of a series of region­al meet­ings aimed at pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion and intro­duc­ing the type of activ­i­ties that are believed to be cen­tral to the ear­ly stages of Casey’s focus on the dis­po­si­tion­al end of the system.

The meet­ings also high­light­ed two dif­fer­ent approach­es to local deep-end reform that the Casey Foun­da­tion plans to test in the first year of this effort: one described as an inten­sive tech­ni­cal assis­tance mod­el and the sec­ond a more self-guid­ed mod­el that will ask the sites to take on some of the tasks typ­i­cal­ly pro­vid­ed by Foun­da­tion staff and con­sul­tants in JDAI.

Last fall, six sites were select­ed to pilot this new work. Jef­fer­son Parish, La. and Mar­i­on Coun­ty, Ind. will serve as the inten­sive TA sites, while Washoe Coun­ty, Nev.; St. Louis City, Mo; Lucas Coun­ty, Ohio; and Bernalil­lo Coun­ty, N.M. will take on the more self-guid­ed approach. It was a dif­fi­cult process to select only six sites. The most com­mon rea­son that sites were not cho­sen to par­tic­i­pate in the ini­tial cohort was that the deep-end focus was a poor fit at this par­tic­u­lar time (e.g., oth­er reform pri­or­i­ties, tran­si­tion of a key leader, issues were pri­mar­i­ly at the state rather than local level).

It was empha­sized to all sites that showed an inter­est in the deep-end focus that the Foun­da­tion expects there to be many addi­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties to take on this work and that we are eager to part­ner with many more sites as we refine the approaches.

Begin­ning in Feb­ru­ary, each of the pilot sites kicked off the new deep-end focus. Over the next year, inten­sive and self-guid­ed sites alike will have access to a series of tools and oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties to help them deter­mine reform pri­or­i­ties (e.g., quan­ti­ta­tive analy­sis guide, qual­i­ta­tive sys­tem assess­ment, work plan tem­plate), learn from expe­ri­ences of oth­er juris­dic­tions (e.g., inno­va­tions guide, inter­site meet­ings, fun­da­men­tals and dis­po­si­tion­al plan­ning train­ing) and receive spe­cial­ized train­ing and/​or tech­ni­cal assis­tance based on local priorities.

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