Juvenile Justice

Articles

Police-Community Relations

Police-Community Relations

This report summarizes lessons learned from the Center for Court Innovation's efforts to cultivate better communication and understanding between police, communities, and youth. (June 2015)

Publications

Stepping Up: Strengthening Police, Youth, and Community Relationships

Stepping Up: Strengthening Police, Youth, and Community Relationships

By Members of the Youth Justice Board

This report, researched and presented by the 2014-15 Youth Justice Board, focuses on how teenagers with prior arrests can benefit from meaningful interventions and avoid further justice system involvement. It also provides recommendations to strengthen police-youth relationships in New York City. 

Publications

Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

In order to address the high prevalence of children’s exposure to violence, in 2010, eight sites around the country were selected by the U.S. Department of Justice for the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program. This national initiative aims: 1) to prevent children’s exposure to violence; 2) to mitigate the negative impact of such exposure when it does occur; and 3) to develop knowledge and spread awareness about children’s exposure to violence, both within and beyond the chosen pilot sites. The eight demonstration sites are:

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Publications

Through the NOVA Door: A Process Evaluation of Shelby County’s Defending Childhood Initiative

Through the NOVA Door: A Process Evaluation of Shelby County’s Defending Childhood Initiative

By Elise Jensen and Rachel Swaner

The Shelby County Defending Childhood Initiative, known as the Network for Overcoming Violence and Abuse (NOVA), used a place-based approach to target children and families exposed to violence in three apartment complexes in the Frayser and Hickory Hill neighborhoods of Memphis. The initiative placed staff in apartment complexes to conduct outreach to children and families in need, and, through case management and advocacy, to refer families to necessary services for therapeutic treatment. Other project components included community awareness campaigns, professional training on topics such as children’s exposure to violence and data confidentiality, and the creation of a shared data management system. (April 2015)

Publications

Nawicakiciji – Woasniye – Oaye Waste: A Process Evaluation of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Defending Childhood Initiative

Nawicakiciji – Woasniye – Oaye Waste: A Process Evaluation of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Defending Childhood Initiative

By Rachel Swaner

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe Defending Childhood Initiative incorporated the Lakota way of life in all of its programming and approaches and viewed bringing back Lakota culture as a form of prevention work. The Rosebud DCI model focused heavily on providing case management services for children who have been exposed to violence. Staff facilitated traditional healing ceremonies and made referrals to culturally appropriate treatment, as well provided court- and school-based advocacy. Additionally, the initiative focused on bringing awareness about children’s exposure to violence and available resources to the different communities and schools on the reservation. Finally, staff worked to revise tribal legislation and policy to be more responsive to children’s exposure to violence. (April 2015)

Publications

Love One Another and Take Care of Each Other: A Process Evaluation of the Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project

Love One Another and Take Care of Each Other: A Process Evaluation of the Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project

By Lama Hassoun Ayoub

Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project was informed by a commitment to culture as prevention—reconnecting youth and families with the Chippewa Cree language, culture, and traditions. The primary components of the initiative were advocacy and case management for children and families coping with exposure to violence; crisis intervention services; treatment referrals; traditional healing ceremonies; and community awareness and education activities. (April 2015)

Publications

Tackling Urban Inequalities: A Process Evaluation of the Boston Defending Childhood Initiative

Tackling Urban Inequalities: A Process Evaluation of the Boston Defending Childhood Initiative

By Lama Hassoun Ayoub

The Boston Defending Childhood Initiative centralized the importance of racial/social justice and health equity during planning and implementation in nearly every approach for addressing children’s exposure to violence. Specific strategies included funding community health centers to provide treatment for children exposed to violence; funding local community organizations to implement family nurturing programs; creating a youth-led and produced web series to raise awareness about violence; and engaging professionals (e.g., through “learning communities”) in long-term training on topics related to trauma-informed care and evidence-based therapeutic interventions. (April 2015)

Publications

Building a Safer Tomorrow: A Process Evaluation of Grand Forks County Defending Childhood Initiative

Building a Safer Tomorrow: A Process Evaluation of Grand Forks County Defending Childhood Initiative

By Elise Jensen

Safer Tomorrows, the Grand Forks Defending Childhood Initiative, was unique in its implementation of universal prevention programming in Grand Forks County schools, extending to all students (pre-kindergarten through high school) in public, private, and rural schools. The programs addressed multiple forms of violence (e.g., bullying, dating violence); strategies for preventing violence; fostering healthy positive relationships with others; and improving personal social-emotional health. Other components of Safer Tomorrows included trauma-informed treatment for children exposed to violence; community awareness strategies tailored to the local sports culture; and training of professionals on topics related to children’s exposure to violence and trauma. (April 2015)

Publications

“We Have the Power to Stop the Violence”: A Process Evaluation of Cuyahoga County’s Defending Childhood Initiative

“We Have the Power to Stop the Violence”: A Process Evaluation of Cuyahoga County’s Defending Childhood Initiative

By Rachel Swaner

The Cuyahoga County Defending Childhood Initiative was unique in the creation of a fully integrated, county-wide screening, assessment, and service system for children ages 0-18 who have been exposed to violence and are experiencing trauma symptoms. Smaller initiative components included two targeted prevention programs in high-risk neighborhoods; community awareness and education campaigns; and professional training activities. (April 2015)

Publications

Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

By Rachel Swaner, Lama Hassoun Ayoub, Elise Jensen and Michael Rempel

The National Institute of Justice funded the Center for Court Innovation to evaluate the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program. The evaluation produced a series of reports describing how stakeholders at each site organized themselves to create and implement a strategic plan; detailing each site’s model; and clearly delineating lessons and actionable recommendations for other jurisdictions that might be interested in replicating the process. This report provides a cross-site synthesis of implementation strategies, lessons learned, and recommendations drawn from six of the demonstration program sites—including separate, crisply described recommendations for other jurisdictions, for tribal jurisdictions in particular, for funding agencies, for technical assistance providers, and for evaluators.

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Publications

School-Based Youth Courts: Student Perceptions of School Climate, Safety, and Disciplinary Measures

School-Based Youth Courts: Student Perceptions of School Climate, Safety, and Disciplinary Measures

By Elise Jensen

Schools are increasingly using youth courts in place of detention and suspension, diverting students who commit school infractions from standard punishment. In this study of two New York City high school youth courts, youth court participants, teachers, and administrators expressed positive perceptions of the capacity of the youth court to serve as a meaningful alternative to the use of traditional discipline, although student surveys showed that the youth court did not have a quantifiable impact on school climate. The current study, though exploratory in nature, points to productive directions for future research.

Interviews

Hospital Seeks to Halt Violence Among Minority Youth

Hospital Seeks to Halt Violence Among Minority Youth

Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital in Binghamton, New York is working with community partners to develop a restorative, strength-based program that will divert high-risk youth from gang involvement as well as violent behavior. At the kick-off summit for the Minority Youth Violence Prevention initiative, Nancy Frank and Ralphalla Richardson discuss how they became interested in partnering with police to help stop the cycle of harm in some of Binghamton’s struggling neighborhoods.

Publications

Moving the Mountains: A Conversation with New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman

Moving the Mountains: A Conversation with New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman

In January of 2015, New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman visited the Center for Court Innovation for a one-on-one conversation with Greg Berman. Topics ranged from the challenges of implementing justice reforms, managing fiscal crises, the value of strongly worded dissents, and how Judge Lippman likes to relax. This is an edited transcript of that wide-ranging conversation.

Publications

Mental Health Screening Outcomes Among Justice-Involved Youths Under Community Supervision

Mental Health Screening Outcomes Among Justice-Involved Youths Under Community Supervision

By Warren A. Reich

Youth detained in juvenile correctional facilities are known to have an elevated rate of mental health symptoms, but far less is known about the mental health status of juveniles under community supervision. In this study, 812 youths participating in alternative to detention programs in New York City were screened for mental health disorders. Forty-eight percent of boys and 62% of girls were indicated for possible mental health problems. The most frequently appearing flags were for mania and posttraumatic stress disorder. Besides reporting prevalence rates for multiple disorders, the study also examines the relationship between mental health and re-arrest. Published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 53: 3 (2014): 211-230. Click here for an abstract and how to order.

Publications

Building Healthy Teen Relationships: An Evaluation of the Fourth R Curriculum with Middle School Students in the Bronx

Building Healthy Teen Relationships: An Evaluation of the Fourth R Curriculum with Middle School Students in the Bronx

By Amanda Cissner and Lama Hassoun Ayoub

As the first U.S.-based evaluation of the The Fourth R: Strategies for Healthy Young Relationships, a dating violence prevention curriculum, this randomized controlled trial tests the effectiveness of the program with middle school students in the Bronx, New York. The curriculum, previously found to have limited impacts with Canadian ninth-graders, was found to have modest effects with the younger target audience. Notably, it was found to delay sexual activity for all participating students, and those students who received more of the program saw even greater delays in sexual activity, as well as reductions in bullying perpetration and attitudinal improvements. Results also suggest that high-risk students realized some reductions in dating violence.

 

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