Comprehensive Responses to Youth at Risk

Elaine Morley
November 1, 2000

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Research and Program Development Division
develops knowledge on national trends in juvenile
delinquency; supports a program for data collection
and information sharing that incorporates elements
of statistical and systems development; identifies
how delinquency develops and the best methods
for its prevention, intervention, and treatment; and
analyzes practices and trends in the juvenile justice
system.
Training and Technical Assistance Division provides
juvenile justice training and technical assistance
to Federal, State, and local governments; law
enforcement, judiciary, and corrections personnel;
and private agencies, educational institutions, and
community organizations.
Special Emphasis Division provides discretionary
funds to public and private agencies, organizations,
and individuals to replicate tested approaches to
delinquency prevention, treatment, and control in
such pertinent areas as chronic juvenile offenders,
community-based sanctions, and the disproportionate
representation of minorities in the juvenile
justice system.
State Relations and Assistance Division supports
collaborative efforts by States to carry out the
mandates of the JJDP Act by providing formula
grant funds to States; furnishing technical assistance
to States, local governments, and private
agencies; and monitoring State compliance with
the JJDP Act.
Information Dissemination Unit produces and distributes
information resources on juvenile justice research,
training, and programs and coordinates the Office’s program
planning and competitive award activities. Information
that meets the needs of juvenile justice professionals
and policymakers is provided through print and online
publications, videotapes, CD–ROM’s, electronic listservs,
and the Office’s Web site. As part of the program planning
and award process, IDU develops priorities,
publishes solicitations and application kits for funding
opportunities, and facilitates the peer review process
for discretionary funding awards.
Concentration of Federal Efforts Program promotes
interagency cooperation and coordination among Federal
agencies with responsibilities in the area of juvenile
justice. The Program primarily carries out this
responsibility through the Coordinating Council on
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, an independent
body within the executive branch that was
established by Congress through the JJDP Act.
Child Protection Division administers programs related
to crimes against children and children’s exposure to
violence. The Division provides leadership and funding
to promote effective policies and procedures to address
the problems of missing and exploited children, children
who have been abused or neglected, and children
exposed to domestic or community violence. CPD program
activities include conducting research; providing
information, training, and technical assistance on programs
to prevent and respond to child victims, witnesses,
and their families; developing and demonstrating
effective child protection initiatives; and supporting the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) was established by the President and Congress
through the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974, Public Law 93–415, as
amended. Located within the Office of Justice Programs of the U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP’s goal is to
provide national leadership in addressing the issues of juvenile delinquency and improving juvenile justice.
OJJDP sponsors a broad array of research, program, and training initiatives to improve the juvenile justice
system as a whole, as well as to benefit individual youth-serving agencies. These initiatives are carried out by
seven components within OJJDP, described below.
The mission of OJJDP is to provide national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile
offending and child victimization. OJJDP accomplishes its mission by supporting States, local communities, and tribal
jurisdictions in their efforts to develop and implement effective, multidisciplinary prevention and intervention programs
and improve the capacity of the juvenile justice system to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and provide
treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of individual juveniles and their families.
Comprehensive Responses to
Youth At Risk: Interim Findings From the
SafeFutures Initiative
Summary
November 2000
Elaine Morley
Shelli B. Rossman
Mary Kopczynski
Janeen Buck
Caterina Gouvis
John J. Wilson, Acting Administrator
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice
Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the
National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
810 Seventh Street NW.
Washington, DC 20531
Janet Reno
Attorney General
Daniel Marcus
Acting Associate Attorney General
Mary Lou Leary
Acting Assistant Attorney General
John J. Wilson
Acting Administrator
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
This document was prepared under grant number 95–JN–FX–K012 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Department of Justice.
Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent
the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration.
The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to The Urban Institute, its
trustees, or its funders.
Cover photo: Copyright 1999 PhotoDisc, Inc.
iii
Foreword
The prevention and control of juvenile delinquency and violence lie at the heart
of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s)
SafeFutures initiative. The initiative joins what we have learned from research
about risk and protective factors with what we now know from experience
about promising approaches to preventing and controlling delinquency, resulting
in a continuum of care that responds to the needs of youth at critical stages
in their development. As such, it embodies the principles of OJJDP’s Comprehensive
Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders.
This Summary describes the lessons learned over the initial 3 years of the
initiative’s implementation in pilot sites in Boston, MA; Contra Costa County,
CA; Fort Belknap Indian Community, MT; Imperial County, CA; Seattle, WA;
and St. Louis, MO. The services that each site provides vary considerably, making
the Summary a valuable information resource for professionals working in
urban, rural, and tribal settings.
I am proud of the accomplishments of the SafeFutures initiative and hope that
the experiences of these sites will help us improve our efforts to prevent and
control juvenile delinquency and victimization.
John J. Wilson
Acting Administrator
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
v
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions and assistance of the
SafeFutures directors and staff associated with SafeFutures initiatives at the six
demonstration sites, without whose assistance this Summary would not have
been possible. The sites are Boston, MA; Contra Costa County, CA; Fort
Belknap Indian Community, MT; Imperial County, CA; Seattle, WA; and St.
Louis, MO. We are also indebted to the many other individuals at each site who
graciously participated in our interviews and provided information about their
communities and their SafeFutures efforts.
We also wish to thank our Urban Institute colleagues E. Blaine Liner, Center
Director of the State Policy Center, and Adele Harrell, Director of the Law and
Behavior Program, for their advice and support.
vii
Table of Contents
Foreword......................................................................................................... iii
Acknowledgments ........................................................................................ v
Executive Summary..................................................................................... ix
The SafeFutures Initiative ............................................................................ ix
Lessons Learned ............................................................................................ x
Introduction ................................................................................................... 1
The SafeFutures Initiative ......................................................................... 2
Goals of the Demonstration Programs ............................................................ 2
Theoretical Foundation ................................................................................... 3
Risk-Focused Prevention ................................................................................ 3
Graduated Sanctions for Youthful Offenders ................................................. 5
The Program Model ........................................................................................ 8
Overview of SafeFutures Communities .......................................................... 9
SafeFutures Local Administration ................................................................ 13
Afterschool Programs (Pathways to Success) ................................ 16
Juvenile Mentoring Programs ............................................................... 20
Family Strengthening and Support Services................................... 27
Mental Health Services for At-Risk and Adjudicated Youth ..... 32
Delinquency Prevention Programs ..................................................... 36
Comprehensive Communitywide Approaches to Gang-Free
Schools and Communities .................................................................... 39
Community-Based Day Treatment Programs—Bethesda
Day Treatment Center Model ................................................................ 45
Continuum-of-Care Services for At-Risk
and Delinquent Girls ................................................................................ 47
Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offender Programs .... 49
Lessons Learned ......................................................................................... 54
Funded Demonstration Programs .................................................................. 55
Community-Based Collaboratives ................................................................ 57
Service Provision .......................................................................................... 60
Endnotes ........................................................................................................ 65
References ..................................................................................................... 67
ix
Executive Summary
The SafeFutures Program To Reduce Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Violence
(SafeFutures) is a 5-year demonstration initiative supported by the U.S. Department
of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention (OJJDP). SafeFutures seeks to prevent and control youth
crime and victimization through the creation of a continuum of care in communities.
This continuum of care enables communities to respond to the needs of
youth at critical stages in their development by providing them with appropriate
prevention, intervention, and treatment services and imposing graduated sanctions.
SafeFutures community-based program operations and evaluation activities
began in late spring/summer 1996. Six local government grantees—Boston,
MA; Contra Costa County, CA; Fort Belknap Indian Community, MT; Imperial
County, CA; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO—were selected to represent urban,
rural, and American Indian communities that demonstrated some prior experience
with and a continuing commitment to reducing crime and victimization
through comprehensive community assessments, strategic planning, and interagency
collaboration.
In response to OJJDP’s interest in determining the success of site-specific efforts,
each community commissioned a local evaluation, and OJJDP funded a
national cross-site evaluation performed by The Urban Institute (Rossman,
Kopczynski, and Morley, 1999; Rossman et al., 1998). This Summary draws on
information obtained through multiple visits to each SafeFutures community
during the first 3 years of the initiative, followup discussions with selected participants
to clarify specific aspects of program implementation, and analyses of
secondary documents.
The SafeFutures Initiative
The SafeFutures initiative is the result of a concerted Federal effort to link research
findings about risk and protective factors for youth with state-of-the-art
knowledge about promising approaches to preventing and controlling juvenile
delinquency. The initiative embraces many of the most important innovations
being suggested by practitioners and researchers (see, for example, Connell,
Aber, and Walker, 1995). SafeFutures seeks to help participating communities
expand collaborative efforts directed at reducing juvenile delinquency and violence.
The initiative calls for the creation of a continuum of care, that is, a
multidisciplinary system capable of timely, effective, and appropriate responses
to individual or family needs for prevention, intervention, treatment, or corrections
services.
x
To a large extent, the SafeFutures initiative is a manifestation of OJJDP’s Comprehensive
Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders (Wilson
and Howell, 1993), which combines research findings about the etiology
and development of delinquency with principles articulated by Hawkins and
Catalano in 1992 on the concept of risk and protective factors. In a sense,
SafeFutures makes the Comprehensive Strategy operational by pooling Federal
and local funds from nine broad program areas, referred to as program components,
to support the demonstration communities’ development or enhancement
of their continuum of services for youth and to contribute to meeting the overall
goals of the initiative. The nine components that constitute SafeFutures are
(1) afterschool programs (Pathways to Success), (2) juvenile mentoring programs
(JUMP), (3) family strengthening and support services, (4) mental health
services for at-risk and adjudicated youth, (5) delinquency prevention programs,
(6) comprehensive communitywide approaches to gang-free schools and communities,
(7) community-based day treatment programs—Bethesda Day Treatment
Center model, (8) continuum-of-care services for at-risk and delinquent
girls, and (9) serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offender (SVCJO) programs
(with an emphasis on enhancing graduated sanctions).
SafeFutures encourages community collaboratives to tailor prevention, intervention,
treatment, and graduated sanctions strategies to local needs and capacities.
As a result of the local autonomy and flexibility built into the initiative, the
services provided by the six sites under the nine specific components vary considerably.
Variation also results from different levels of emphasis on particular
components and from differences in service configuration. In addition, the
SafeFutures initiatives are evolving. Like other comprehensive community
initiatives, these efforts involve a high degree of complexity, from building or
expanding effective collaborations to developing and fine-tuning services to fill
gaps and multidisciplinary delivery mechanisms. Service configurations, partnerships,
and other aspects of systems reform are emerging over time, as local
leaders and program managers identify new opportunities and/or successfully
resolve existing difficulties.
Lessons Learned
A variety of lessons can be learned from the early implementation of the
SafeFutures initiative. Some lessons are common to any complex demonstration,
others are less frequently encountered and may result from SafeFutures’
emphasis on collaboration and the implementation of programs to address the
nine components. This Summary groups key lessons learned into three categories
reflecting three primary audiences: those responsible for creating or managing
funded demonstration projects; those involved in community-based
collaboratives; and those responsible for providing services to youth at high risk
of delinquency, violence, and victimization and their families. Because it is not
always easy to classify a given point and because points may overlap, some
findings probably apply to more than one category.
xi
Funded Demonstration Programs
To implement complex, multifaceted initiatives, funders and demonstration
sites should adopt an iterative and flexible approach to program development
and implementation. Such flexibility, however, has limits for both
sides involved in a demonstration program. Funders’ flexibility may be
somewhat constrained by legislative restrictions regarding the use of funds
or mandated program elements. The demonstration sites’ flexibility to
modify program components is often constrained by the funders’ need to
ensure program fidelity in replicating a particular model.
Communities need access to ongoing training and technical assistance to ensure
effective implementation of highly structured or particularly complex
components and to adapt generic models to the local context. For example, in
addition to providing sites with built-in resources for basic SafeFutures technical
assistance, OJJDP encouraged sites to obtain additional technical assistance
on mentoring through its National Mentoring Center. Funders also may
need to encourage communities to access available technical assistance, as
in years 3 and 4 of the SafeFutures demonstration when OJJDP strongly encouraged
sites to use training and technical assistance to fully implement the
Spergel Model for the gang-free schools and communities component. Further,
funders must expand the range of technical assistance resources as necessary.
The development of the Systems Improvement Training and Technical
Assistance Program (SITTAP) exemplifies OJJDP’s recognition of the need
to provide more focused training and technical assistance on the systems
change objectives of SafeFutures.
Small service providers generally need more and different types of technical
assistance and training than large, well-established organizations. Small
community-based organizations are often less familiar with aspects of
program implementation such as accountability, recordkeeping, reporting,
program evaluation, and other common requirements for demonstration
programs.
Demonstration sites need flexibility to exercise cultural sensitivity and competence
in program implementation. Although several programs in each
SafeFutures community were specifically tailored to the cultural context of
a targeted population, staff and service providers encountered difficulties
adapting some components, such as mentoring, to ensure their relevance to
the cultural context.
Communities and program staff appear reluctant to impose eligibility criteria
in a way that will ensure that they serve youth at highest risk or in greatest
need. Many staff seem to regard all youth residing in target areas as being
at risk and fail to see a need to identify those at greater risk.
Replication of programs that were successful in other communities (or under
different circumstances within the local community) does not guarantee similarly
positive results in a new setting. It may be difficult for demonstration
xii
sites to isolate and duplicate the features of a program that are specifically
responsible for the program’s success.
Program sustainability should be addressed well in advance of anticipated
termination of Federal (or other external) support.
Community-Based Collaboratives
The process of systems reform can be seen as a continuum with gradations
and permutations. Bringing together actors from different institutional contexts
who logically need to interact with one another but have not previously
done so can be viewed as an early indication that systems reform is
under way.
Communities need a considerable amount of time, effort, and trust to develop
viable collaborations, which are complex mechanisms. Collaborations
involve organizations with different institutional climates and varying levels
of autonomy, flexibility, and power; individuals with differing levels of experience
and expertise; and diverse cultural contexts that give rise to different
ways of defining issues and solutions. Collaborative relationships need
to be nurtured and maintained over time. This is not easy to do and requires
considerable time and effort.
To be successful, collaborations need individuals in positions of authority to
exert their leadership to secure resources and support.
In collaborative ventures, the differing perspectives of staff from different
systems need to be recognized and respected if partnerships are to succeed.
To work as a team, partners should “learn each other’s language” and develop
an understanding of the values and norms of their respective fields.
Cross-training also helps promote teamwork.
Turnover among elected officials and administrators of key partner agencies
can have a negative impact on collaborative efforts.
Implementation of services and activities in multiple components can take
longer than either the local communities or the funders originally anticipate.
The use of subcontracts or other agreements with agencies that are already
operating similar programs (e.g., afterschool or mentoring programs) can
facilitate relatively early implementation of programming. The downside of
such agreements, however, may be the continuation of “business as usual,”
rather than the careful consideration of whether reforms are necessary. In
cases where staff have to be hired and new programs established, services
to youth can be delayed by startup activities.
By introducing a variety of accountability mechanisms over the course of
the initiative, communities can help ensure that multiple service providers
fulfill their obligations.
xiii
Programs operating in partnership with other agencies can be discontinued
for reasons unrelated to the initiative—even when the program is considered
successful.
Service Provision
Communities are willing and able to implement programming that is innovative
in the local area. For most communities, however, implementing innovative
programming has both beneficial and detrimental effects. Most
new approaches offer the opportunity to fill a previously unmet need or gap
in service but provide no formulaic approach to success for communities to
follow. In most cases, service providers experience learning curves and
have to find creative ways to redress unanticipated difficulties, many of
which are logistical.
Staff turnover in leadership and other key positions can seriously hinder
program implementation and stability. Turnover affects program continuity
and disrupts institutional memory. Staff may need to reestablish linkages
and, in some cases, restart programs that lapsed during periods of staff
change.
Filling positions—especially positions involving specialized skills—can be
a problem, particularly in rural areas that have a limited professional
workforce.
Recruiting mentors and other volunteers is particularly challenging in lowincome
areas. Transportation and poverty issues affect programs’ ability to
attract and fully utilize volunteers. Recruiting mentors is also more challenging
for programs that serve youth already involved in the juvenile
justice system or youth who may be perceived as high risk by potential
mentors.
“Hidden” resource requirements can pose challenges to program implementation.
Several programs encountered unanticipated costs associated
with transportation and food—both of which are important elements of
many programs that serve a low-income population.
Communities may have difficulty getting families of at-risk youth to support
services for their children or to participate in family-focused services.
A number of factors contribute to this difficulty: parents may feel intimidated
by the institutional settings or staff; parents may fear that participation
might reveal their dysfunctional behaviors; and parents may face logistical
challenges, including limited access to transportation.
Programs need to be developmentally appropriate—in terms of both substance
and setting. Programs seem to experience more difficulty attracting
and retaining older teens than middle or elementary school-age children.
It is more difficult—and takes longer—to see results of program efforts on
youth who are beyond the at-risk stage, such as those already deeply involved
in the juvenile justice system, gangs, or substance abuse. Prevention
xiv
programs often are able to see changes in participants’ behavior and attitude
in the short run. Intervention programs may see little or no real change after
considerable lengths of time. The lack of measurable program outcomes in
such cases makes it difficult for administrators and funders to determine
whether intervention programs are working and should continue receiving
support or whether modifications or alternative programs are needed.
1
Introduction
The SafeFutures Program To Reduce Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Violence
(SafeFutures) is a 5-year demonstration initiative supported by the U.S. Department
of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention (OJJDP). SafeFutures seeks to prevent and control youth
crime and victimization through the creation of a continuum of care in communities.
This continuum of care enables communities to respond to the needs of
youth at critical stages in their development by providing them with appropriate
prevention, intervention, and treatment services and imposing graduated sanctions
on juvenile offenders. SafeFutures community-based program operations
and evaluation activities began in late spring/summer 1996.1 Six local government
grantees—Boston, MA; Contra Costa County, CA; Fort Belknap Indian
Community, MT; Imperial County, CA; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO—were
selected to represent urban, rural, and American Indian communities that demonstrated
some prior experience with and a continuing commitment to reducing
crime and victimization through comprehensive community assessments, strategic
planning, and interagency collaboration.
In response to OJJDP’s interest in determining the success of site-specific efforts,
each community commissioned a local evaluation, and OJJDP funded a
national cross-site evaluation performed by The Urban Institute. (For a more
detailed discussion of the national evaluation, see Rossman, Kopczynski, and
Morley, 1999, and Rossman et al., 1998.)
This Summary is one in a series of reports based on data collected for the crosssite
evaluation. It is based on information obtained through multiple visits by
evaluators from The Urban Institute to each SafeFutures community during the
first 3 years of the initiative, followup discussions with selected participants to
clarify specific aspects of program implementation, and analyses of secondary
documents.2 Future reports will address selected aspects of the initiative, including
specific components of the SafeFutures model (such as gang intervention
efforts) and key elements of the service delivery system (such as systems reform
and strategic planning).
This Summary focuses on the sites’ implementation of SafeFutures during the
first 3 years of the initiative. The first major section describes the SafeFutures
initiative, its goals, and its theoretical foundation. The first section also includes
an overview of the demonstration sites and a discussion of each site’s management
structure for SafeFutures. Subsequent major sections discuss each of the
nine SafeFutures components. Each of these sections provides a brief description
of the component and selected examples of local programs addressing that
component. The examples were chosen to illustrate the variety of programs
implemented and are not intended to serve as an exhaustive inventory of
SafeFutures programming. Rather, examples reflect programming that appears
promising, includes innovative features, or highlights such broad themes as interagency
collaboration, systems reform, cultural competency, and/or advocacy.
S afeFutures seeks to
prevent and control
youth crime and
victimization through
the creation of a
continuum of care in
communities.
2
To illustrate the potential pitfalls facing initiatives such as SafeFutures, the
Summary includes some examples of programs that were discontinued or that
encountered particular difficulties. The final section identifies lessons learned
during SafeFutures’ first 3 years. It is important to acknowledge that sites are
continuing to build on community strengths and respond to the challenges noted
in this Summary. A full account of the sites’ continued progress and challenges
will be documented in the final evaluation report.
The SafeFutures Initiative
The SafeFutures initiative is the result of a concerted Federal effort to link research
findings about risk and protective factors for youth with state-of-the-art
knowledge about promising approaches to preventing and controlling juvenile
delinquency. The initiative embraces many of the most important innovations
being suggested by practitioners and researchers (see, for example, Connell,
Aber, and Walker, 1995). A central feature of SafeFutures is its emphasis on
using comprehensive community strategies to combat the segmentation and
fragmentation of social, health, educational, and juvenile justice services that
often result in missed opportunities to help at-risk youth and their families before
problems escalate to monumental proportions (Morrill and Gerry, 1990;
Burt, Resnick, and Matheson, 1992). Comprehensive community initiatives are
intended to bring about systems reform; they provide public and private entities
with both the opportunity and the challenge to implement more effective policies
and practices (e.g., pooling resources, sharing information). SafeFutures
encourages community collaboratives to tailor prevention, intervention, treatment,
and graduated sanctions strategies to local needs and capacities.
Goals of the Demonstration Programs
OJJDP has articulated the following goals for the local demonstrations (Office
of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1995, 1997):
Prevention and control of juvenile violence and delinquency through
(1) reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors for delinquency,
(2) providing a continuum of services for youth at risk of delinquency and
for juvenile offenders, and (3) developing a full range of graduated sanctions
designed to hold delinquent youth accountable to their victim(s) and
community, ensure community safety, and provide appropriate treatment
and rehabilitation services.
Implementation of enhanced service delivery systems for at-risk youth
and their families. As envisioned by OJJDP, the service delivery system
should constitute a multidisciplinary system of care that offers comprehensive,
developmentally appropriate, and coordinated child and family services
oriented to promoting healthy youth development and reducing delinquency
and victimization. Implicit in this vision is the expectation that each
Comprehensive
community initiatives
are intended to bring
about systems reform.
3
community should be capable of responding in an efficient, effective, and
timely fashion to individual and family needs at any point of entry into the
continuum of care.
Institutionalization of each community’s capacity to sustain its continuum
of care by engaging the support of key leaders in government and
community-based organizations, implementing strategic planning, and expanding
and diversifying funding sources.
Incorporation of accountability mechanisms that determine the success
of SafeFutures’ implementation and the outcomes achieved, including
whether a comprehensive strategy involving community-based efforts and
program resources concentrated on providing a continuum of care has succeeded
in preventing and reducing juvenile violence and delinquency.
Theoretical Foundation
The SafeFutures initiative is largely a manifestation of OJJDP’s Comprehensive
Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders (Wilson and
Howell, 1993), which combines research findings about the etiology and development
of delinquency with principles articulated by Hawkins and Catalano in
1992 on the concept of risk and protective factors. The Comprehensive Strategy
focuses on two distinct populations of juveniles: (1) youth who are at high risk
of future delinquent behavior and (2) youthful offenders who have already exhibited
delinquent behavior and are at risk of, or already are, engaging in serious,
violent, or chronic law breaking.
At its heart, the Comprehensive Strategy suggests an integrated model for community
action that marries two components: (1) a range of prevention/intervention
activities and (2) enhanced juvenile justice system responses in the form of
graduated sanctions and a continuum of treatment alternatives such as restitution,
community service, and aftercare (Howell, 1995). This approach takes into
account the following hypotheses:
Family life profoundly affects criminality (McCord, 1991a, 1991b).
There are varying paths to delinquency (Huizinga, Esbensen, and Weiher,
1991).
Reciprocal, not unidirectional, relationships exist between delinquency,
school, and family/community bonds (Thornberry et al., 1991).
The initiation, continuance, and desistance of delinquency have different
patterns, causes, and correlates (Elliott, 1994; Smith and Brame, 1994).
Risk-Focused Prevention
Research has repeatedly identified risk factors associated with adolescent problem
behaviors, such as failure to complete high school, teen pregnancy and
T he SafeFutures
initiative is largely a
manifestation of OJJDP’s
Comprehensive Strategy
for Serious, Violent, and
Chronic Juvenile
Offenders.
4
parenting, and law breaking (Tolan and Guerra, 1994; Reiss and Roth, 1993;
Hawkins, Catalano, and Miller, 1992; Dryfoos, 1990). The approach popularized
by Hawkins and Catalano (Developmental Research and Programs, Inc.,
1993) identifies a number of critical risk and protective factors in various domains.
Ostensibly, the more risk factors to which a child is exposed, the greater
the chance of the child’s developing delinquent behavior and the greater the
likelihood that the child’s law-breaking behavior will become serious. However,
delinquency can be delayed or prevented by reducing risk factors and enhancing
protective factors such as positive social orientation, prosocial bonding, and
clear and positive standards of behavior (Howell, 1995). Communities can
Key Principles of OJJDP’s
Comprehensive Strategy
The following are the six key principles of OJJDP’s Comprehensive Strategy
for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders:
Strengthen families in their role of guiding, disciplining, and instilling
sound values in their children.
Support core social institutions and their role in supporting families
and helping children develop their maximum potential.
Promote delinquency prevention strategies and activities that reduce
the impact of negative (risk) factors and enhance the influence of
positive (protective) factors in the lives of youth at greatest risk of
delinquency.
Provide immediate, effective, and appropriate interventions at the first
signs of trouble in a child’s life.
Establish a system of graduated sanctions and a continuum of services
to respond appropriately to the needs of each juvenile offender.
Identify and control the small group of serious, violent, and chronic
juvenile offenders who account for the majority of juvenile crime by
providing their incapacitation while at the same time addressing their
treatment needs.
Under OJJDP’s Comprehensive Strategy, families and communities, supported
by core social institutions, have primary responsibility for meeting
the basic socializing needs of the Nation’s children. By identifying risk
factors, communities are able to develop approaches that can reduce juvenile
delinquency.
Delinquency can be
delayed or prevented by
reducing risk factors and
enhancing protective
factors.
5
improve chances for youth to lead healthy, productive, crime-free lives by
reducing economic and social privation and mitigating individual risk factors
(e.g., poor family functioning, academic failure), while promoting youth’s abilities
to (1) bond with peers, family members, and mentors, (2) be productive in
school, sports, and work, and (3) successfully navigate the various rules and socially
accepted routines required in a variety of settings (Hawkins and Catalano,
1992; Connell, Aber, and Walker, 1995). Implicit in this perspective is the recognition
that prevention programming must address risk factors at the appropriate
developmental stage and as early as possible.
The Communities That Care model (Developmental Research and Programs,
Inc., 1993) presents a “blueprint for action” that is consistent with risk-focused
prevention. The model suggests that communities undertake comprehensive
strategic planning to utilize existing resources and programs and to develop a
coordinated response tailored to local needs. The recommended process involves
a planning phase that includes assessment of the community’s resources,
activities designed to mobilize the community, strategic planning to identify local
priorities for strengthening existing resources/services, and development of
evaluation mechanisms to monitor the success of community-based efforts. The
initial planning phase also entails formation of a community prevention board,
composed of key leaders, as a permanent institution to facilitate long-term continuity.
The implementation phase includes ongoing risk and resource assessments
and program evaluations to tailor the risk prevention and protective components
of community-based programs to the changing needs of the local
environment (Howell, 1995).
Graduated Sanctions for Youthful Offenders
The conceptualization of a communitywide system of graduated sanctions is intended
to achieve balanced and restorative justice—accountability, public safety,
and competency development—based on the assumption that a well-designed
system of treatment and punishment options can offer more than “bad choices between
sending kids to jail or sending them to the beach” (Bazemore and Day,
1996, p. 3). Wilson and Howell (1993, in Howell, 1995) describe the potential to
combine fair, humane, and appropriate sanctions with treatment and rehabilitation
in a continuum of care composed of diverse programs that include:
Immediate sanctions for first-time, nonviolent offenders.
Intermediate sanctions in the community for more serious offenses.
Secure care (residential) programs reserved for the relatively small fraction
of juvenile offenders who commit serious or violent crimes.
Implicit in this model is the view that most juvenile offenders can be rehabilitated
using community-based programs and services, rather than more resourceintensive
and restrictive institutional facilities. The graduated sanctions approach
permits the justice system to respond more effectively to a juvenile’s
I mplicit in this
model is the view that
most juvenile offenders
can be rehabilitated
using community-based
programs and services,
rather than more
resource-intensive and
restrictive institutional
facilities.
6
criminal behavior through increased monitoring, identification, and evaluation
of this behavior and by improving the juvenile justice system’s responsiveness,
effectiveness, accountability, and responsibility. The approach is consistent with
research on juvenile offenders that has demonstrated that community-based
sanctions can reduce recidivism at lower cost to the community and with greater
effect than incarceration (Howell, 1995).
Ideally, graduated sanctions should be structured as a continuum through which
law-breaking youth move based on a risk-focused classification structure that
guides juvenile placement decisions. For each level of offense (roughly classified
as minor, serious, or violent), a set of programs would be designated as the
appropriate option to meet the needs of the offender and the community. For
Communities That Care Model: Risk and
Protective Factors
Community
Risk Factors
Availability of drugs.
Availability of firearms.
Community laws/norms favorable to drug use, firearms,
and crime.
Media portrayals of violence.
Transitions and mobility.
Low neighborhood attachment.
Community disorganization.
Extreme economic deprivation.
Protective Factors
Clear and consistent standards for prosocial behavior that are
widely and frequently communicated.
Family
Risk Factors
Family history of problem behavior.
Family management problems.
Family conflict.
Favorable parental attitudes toward and involvement in the
problem behavior.
Protective Factors
Healthy beliefs.
Clear and consistent standards for prosocial behavior.
continued
T he approach is
consistent with research
on juvenile offenders
that has demonstrated
that community-based
sanctions can reduce
recidivism at lower cost
to the community and
with greater effect than
incarceration.
7
example, mentoring, restitution with an employability skills and job placement
component, or teen court might be options for immediate sanctions in a particular
community setting, while boot camp or some form of residential confinement
might be designated as options for secure care. Placement decisions would
weigh the severity of each juvenile’s history of offenses and the presence of risk
factors that indicate a potential threat to the community. The assessment process
also would entail the development of customized treatment plans tailored to
meet the individual needs of each juvenile offender. This type of assessment
might result in assigning a juvenile with a high risk level who committed a less
serious offense to the same intermediate sanctioning program as a violent offender
with a low risk level (Howell, 1995).
Thus far, no community is known to have implemented a fully operational
graduated sanctions system. However, a study by Krisberg et al. (1995) demonstrated
that 14 States using risk-focused classification systems had been effective
in making consistently appropriate offender placements. Recidivism rates
in the study were shown to be more a function of risk level than offense severity.
The study also found that States using this model had demonstrated consistent
cost savings by reducing the use of secure-care residential placements.
However, the use of different types of risk assessment instruments resulted in
School
Risk Factors
Early and persistent antisocial behavior.
Academic failure beginning in elementary school.
Lack of commitment to school.
Individual
Risk Factors
Alienation and rebelliousness.
Friends who engage in a problem behavior.
Favorable attitudes toward the problem behavior.
Early initiation of the problem behavior.
Constitutional factors.
Protective Factors
Prosocial bonding with family members, adults outside the
family, and low-risk peers.
Opportunities for meaningful involvement in positive activities.
Skill-building activities.
Rewards for positive contributions.
Source: Adapted from Developmental Research and Programs, Inc., Communities That Care: Risk-
Focused Prevention Using the Social Development Strategy—An Approach to Reducing Adolescent
Problem Behavior, Seattle, WA: Developmental Research and Programs, Inc., 1993.
F ourteen States
using risk-focused
classification systems
had been effective in
making consistently
appropriate offender
placements.
8
very different numbers of offenders recommended for placement at each risk
level (Krisberg et al., 1995).
The Program Model
SafeFutures seeks to help participating communities to expand collaborative
efforts directed at reducing juvenile delinquency and violence. A major assumption
underlying the program is that communities can accomplish such objectives
by improving their delivery systems for youth and family services. The model
calls for the creation of a continuum of care that is a multidisciplinary system
capable of timely, effective, and appropriate responses to individual or family
needs for prevention, intervention, treatment, or corrections services. Key elements
envisioned by program planners include the following:
A range of services appropriate to diverse client needs, from prenatal stages
through adulthood.
Collaborations across institutional domains (e.g., collaborations involving
human services, juvenile justice, and educational systems).
Public-private partnerships to mobilize the community and to leverage the
resources needed to institutionalize the continuum of care.
In a sense, SafeFutures implements the Comprehensive Strategy by pooling Federal
and local funds from nine broad program areas, referred to as program components,
to support the demonstration communities’ development or enhancement
of their continuum of services for youth and to contribute to meeting the overall
goals of the initiative. Implementation of activities or services to meet the objectives
of the categoric components is one of the key responsibilities of the local
initiatives, in addition to developing or enhancing the collaborative and organizational
framework for the initiative and introducing or continuing systems reform
efforts.
The nine components that constitute SafeFutures are (1) afterschool programs (Pathways
to Success), (2) juvenile mentoring programs (JUMP), (3) family strengthening
and support services, (4) mental health services for at-risk and adjudicated
youth, (5) delinquency prevention programs, (6) comprehensive communitywide
approaches to gang-free schools and communities, (7) community-based day treatment
programs—Bethesda Day Treatment Center model, (8) continuum-of-care
services for at-risk and delinquent girls, and (9) serious, violent, and chronic juvenile
offender (SVCJO) programs (with an emphasis on enhancing graduated
sanctions).3 The table on page 10 summarizes key elements of each component.
Under SafeFutures, sites have the flexibility to implement programs and blend
funds across categories, enabling them to address local needs and manage resources.
For example, both Contra Costa County and Seattle blended funding
for the JUMP and at-risk and delinquent girls components to engineer
mentoring activities targeted to females. Similarly, the Boys & Girls Club
S ites have the
flexibility to implement
programs and blend
funds across categories,
enabling them to
address local needs and
manage resources.
9
in Boston was funded to provide mentoring, afterschool, and delinquency
prevention (court diversion) services during the second year of the initiative,
although only prevention activities were continued the following year.
As a result of the local autonomy and flexibility built into the initiative, the services
provided under specific components vary considerably in the six sites.
Variation among the sites also is due to their having emphasized different components.
The sites’ ability to make services available also varied across sites.
The demonstration sites received their awards at slightly different times, and
different lengths of time were needed both within and across jurisdictions to
reach the point of actually serving youth under the various components. Across
the six communities, some components are provided by agencies that were fully
operational and already providing the same, or similar, services anticipated for
SafeFutures clients. By contrast, service delivery under other components could
not begin until staff were hired and other startup activities completed. Implementation
efforts were hindered in some cases by unexpected challenges or barriers.
SafeFutures initiatives are evolving. Like other comprehensive community initiatives,
SafeFutures efforts involve a high degree of complexity, from building or expanding
effective collaborations through developing and fine-tuning services and
multidisciplinary delivery mechanisms. Service configurations, partnerships, and
other aspects of systems reform are emerging over time, as local leaders and program
managers identify new opportunities or successfully resolve existing difficulties.
During the first 3 years of the demonstration, some communities experienced
turnover in providers for one or more services—which, in effect, required them to
start from scratch with a new provider. Change in some areas also occurred in response
to increasingly specific guidance from OJJDP (and more focused training
and technical assistance, usually directly or indirectly provided by OJJDP) that identified
program expectations, recommended procedures, and anticipated activities.
Overview of SafeFutures Communities
Of the six SafeFutures sites, three are multijurisdictional or large scale in their
geographical scope: Contra Costa County, Fort Belknap, and Imperial County.
The remaining demonstrations target relatively circumscribed neighborhoods.4
Although not required to do so, virtually all of the initiatives have focused their
efforts on minority youth and families, which is likely to underscore the importance
of developing culturally appropriate responses to critical youth needs or
risk factors. The following is a brief description of the SafeFutures communities
and their target areas.5
Boston, MA. Boston SafeFutures targets an area consisting of three neighborhoods—
Grove Hall, Franklin Hill/Franklin Field, and Mattapan—
known as the Blue Hill Avenue Corridor. The Corridor has approximately
56,000 residents, 31 percent of whom are younger than 18 years of age.
The neighborhoods are historically linked into one community through
transit, housing, and commerce. The Corridor typifies inner-city decline:
S ervice
configurations,
partnerships, and other
aspects of systems
reform are emerging
over time, as local
leaders and program
managers identify new
opportunities or
successfully resolve
existing difficulties.
10
SafeFutures Initiative: Program Components
Component Funding* Key Elements
Enhancing Protective Factors: Providing Opportunities and Role Models
Afterschool Programs $40,000 Provide afterschool, weekend, and
(Pathways to Success) summer programs:
Vocational/Entrepreneurial.
Recreational.
Arts education.
Target at-risk youth (ages 6–18) and
their families.
Conduct all activities outside of the
schoolday.
Provide activities with lasting community
impact (e.g., beautification projects).
Juvenile Mentoring $200,000 Support one-on-one mentoring
Programs (JUMP) program.
Involve local education agency and
access to school records.
Target youth at risk of educational
failure, dropping out of school, or
delinquency.
Recruit and assign mentors age 21 and
older.
Design activities that should:
Improve school performance.
Reduce delinquency and gang
participation.
Promote personal and social
responsibility.
Encourage service and community
activities.
Family Strengthening $200,000 Promote healthy child development and
and Support Services positive family interaction and support
families in crisis:
Resource guide.
Gap-filling family service programs
in priority areas.
Intensive family case management
system and services integration.
Mental Health Services $150,000 Develop a task force to promote comfor
At-Risk and munity involvement in mental health
Adjudicated Youth issues.
Support activities to improve accessibility,
quality, and efficiency of mental health
services:
Mobile mental health services.
Consultation services for juvenile
justice staff.
Forensic case management.
Training to improve clinical services.
Involvement of families in
individual service plans.
continued
11
Component Funding* Key Elements
Preventing Delinquency and Promoting Gang-Free Environment
Delinquency Prevention $200,000 Implement programs such as:
Programs Tutoring and remedial education.
Employability skills training.
Health and mental health services.
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
(AODA) prevention services.
Leadership development.
Recreational services.
Comprehensive $400,000 Follow the OJJDP model:
Communitywide Community mobilization.
Approaches to Opportunities provision.
Gang-Free Schools Social intervention.
and Communities Suppression.
Organizational change and
development.
Eleven key agencies included.
Gang-involved youth targeted.
$100,000 may be used for gang
prevention.
Bethesda Day Treatment $30,000 Provide intensive outpatient, community-
Center Services based treatment centers for pre- and
postadjudicated youth with five areas of
service:
Day treatment.
Prep school.
AODA services.
Foster care.
Family systems counseling.
High-Risk Youth, Juvenile Offenders, and Enhanced Juvenile Justice System
Continuum-of-Care $120,000 Implement a comprehensive continuum
Services for At-Risk of services specifically for girls:
and Delinquent Girls Case management and followup.
Basic education.
Life management.
Personal growth.
Health and counseling.
Parenting.
Childcare services for teen parents.
Interaction with positive role
models.
Family involvement.
Serious, Violent, and $100,000 Plan and implement graduated sanctions
Chronic Juvenile Offender for delinquent offenders:
(SVCJO) Programs Immediate.
Intermediate.
Secure confinement and aftercare.
Family involvement and aftercare.
Note: Required elements in bold typeface.
*Funding amounts are the maximum available to each site from OJJDP.
12
vacant lots and boarded-up buildings abound, and few residents use parks
and open areas. It contains three large public housing developments and a
number of “granites,” scattered apartment buildings managed by the State
housing finance agency through private for-profit companies. The Corridor
is characterized by high rates of unemployment and poverty: 26 percent
of the population in the target area fall below the poverty level. Almost
87 percent of the area’s residents are African American (including
Caribbean American), and the remaining population is 9.2 percent Latino,
2.8 percent Caucasian, and 1.3 percent other non-Hispanics. The past 20
years have seen an influx of Caribbean Americans to the Corridor, and
service providers cite a large gap in culturally specific services available
to meet the needs of this population.
Contra Costa County, CA. Contra Costa County is located on the northeastern
shore of the San Francisco Bay. The SafeFutures demonstration
focuses its efforts on two levels. Most of the prevention and gang intervention
activities are concentrated in several neighborhoods in Richmond
(located in the western section of the county), known as the Iron Triangle
area, where approximately 73 percent of the population is African American,
11 percent is Caucasian, 10 percent is Latino, 6 percent is Asian/
Pacific Islander, and 2 percent is Native American. Graduated sanctions
and aftercare case management programs are countywide in scope and target
seriously emotionally disturbed juvenile offenders, female offenders,
and juveniles returning to the community from the Orrin Allen Youth
Rehabilitation Facility.
Fort Belknap, MT. Fort Belknap Indian Reservation is one of two
SafeFutures sites in rural settings and the only site in an American Indian
setting. The reservation, located in the north central part of Montana, is
isolated from major service areas. The closest big cities, Great Falls and
Billings, are each 2–3 hours’ driving distance from Fort Belknap. The
nearest towns are quite small, severely limiting the availability of social
services. Fort Belknap has a tribal enrollment of 5,232 individuals from
two different tribes; approximately 3,800 individuals reside on or adjacent
to the reservation. The reservation includes four distinct communities that
are isolated from each other by distance and cultural differences associated
with different tribes. Approximately 45 percent of the reservation’s residents
live in poverty, and unemployment is high (68 to 72 percent). Alcoholism
is reported to be a major problem. The primary population targeted
for the SafeFutures demonstration is the nearly 1,370 Gros Ventre and
Assiniboine youth (ages 6 to 18 and roughly 51 percent male) living on or
adjacent to the reservation.
Imperial County, CA. Imperial County, located in the southeastern corner
of California near the Mexican border, is another multijurisdictional
demonstration and the other rural SafeFutures community. The county
comprises roughly 4,300 square miles, contains approximately 100,000
F ort Belknap Indian
Reservation is one of two
SafeFutures sites in rural
settings and the only site
in an American Indian
setting.
13
people, and includes the largest percentage of Latinos of any county in the
State. Approximately 31 percent of Imperial County’s youth live in poverty,
and 24 percent of county residents have incomes that are at or below
the poverty level. The targeted area for SafeFutures services includes the
county’s north end communities of Brawley, Calipatria, Niland, and
Westmoreland. These communities are isolated from other services by distance
and topography (i.e., mountains and desert) and have few activities
or supportive programs for youth. Most services are located in the county
seat, El Centro, which is approximately 30–60 minutes’ driving distance
from the north end.
Seattle, WA. Seattle’s initial target area included four distinct low-income
neighborhoods: the Central Area, International District, Delridge, and Southeast
Seattle communities. Poverty and unemployment rates are triple the
citywide average in these areas, which contain all of the city’s low-income
public housing. These areas have experienced some of the highest crime rates
in the city and are focal points for gang-related violence. The population in
these four areas is racially and ethnically diverse, and many of the residents
are recent immigrants or are “linguistically isolated.” Seattle has modified its
focus to target at-risk populations citywide, specifically Asian/Pacific Islander
youth (especially individuals of Vietnamese and Cambodian origin), at-risk
and delinquent girls, gang-affiliated youth, and youth already in the juvenile
justice system.
St. Louis, MO. St. Louis SafeFutures chose three neighborhood areas known
for high levels of socioeconomic risk, juvenile crime, gang participation, and
drug activity. The selected neighborhoods had community-based resources to
support the planned initiative, including three schools refashioned as Community
Education Centers (CEC’s) jointly established by the City of St. Louis
and the St. Louis public schools. The schools redesigned as CEC’s are Carver
and Sherman (elementary schools) and Williams (middle school). The service
area has approximately 58,000 residents; in the Carver and Williams CEC
catchment areas, African Americans account for 91 percent and 99 percent of
the population, respectively, while 47 percent of the population in the
Sherman CEC area is African American. Virtually half of the children in these
neighborhoods are living in poverty, and nearly one-quarter of 16- to 19-yearolds
in the neighborhoods are high school dropouts.
SafeFutures Local Administration
Although the six SafeFutures sites vary in the number and types of participating
entities, most tend to have a core organizational structure composed of an administering
entity (fiscal agent or grantee), a policy advisory group responsible
for providing oversight and direction to the initiative, and a management team
responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the grant.
The independent missions of the entities charged with administrative responsi-
Although the six
SafeFutures sites vary in
the number and types of
participating entities,
most tend to have a core
organizational structure.
14
bility for the SafeFutures grant vary substantially; some have broad, flexible
mandates, while others operate within more limited confines. SafeFutures grants
are administered by the following entities:
Boston, MA: The Office of Community Partnerships, a department in
Boston’s Human Services Cabinet.
Contra Costa County, CA: The County Administrator’s Office.
Fort Belknap, MT: Fort Belknap Community College, a tribally operated
college.
Imperial County, CA: The County Office of Education.
Seattle, WA: The Department of Human Services,6 a city agency.
St. Louis, MO: The Mayor’s Office of Youth Development.
In all sites, the project director is a staff member of the lead administrative entity
responsible for the grant. However, the scope of the project directors’ responsibilities
varies across sites. In some sites, day-to-day management responsibility
for the initiative is either shared with or has been assigned to a project
coordinator. In these instances, the project director retains overall administrative
responsibility. This type of arrangement exists in Boston, Fort Belknap, and
St. Louis (although in the first, the “coordinator” position has the title of
“project director”).
Fort Belknap, Imperial County, and Seattle differ from the others in that some service
delivery staff are directly employed by the SafeFutures initiative and report
to the individual who has direct management responsibilities at those sites (such
as the project coordinator and project director). In effect, these sites have hired
direct service delivery staff in addition to relying on local partnerships or instead
of contracting for services delivered by independent providers. In Fort Belknap,
direct service delivery staff were hired primarily because of the relative lack
of existing service delivery agencies that could provide SafeFutures services.
In Seattle, SafeFutures initially hired staff for the SafeFutures Youth Center
as employees of the Department of Human Services (the agency administering
SafeFutures) because it believed that the facility would become operational more
expeditiously than it would have if subcontracting were used.
The concept of a SafeFutures management team was introduced by OJJDP and
adopted to varying degrees by the sites. The team generally includes the project
director or project coordinator and two or three supporting positions. St. Louis is
the only site that includes local evaluators as part of its management team, although
the local evaluators in Boston began attending management team meetings
during year 2. In some sites (such as Contra Costa County and Imperial County),
representatives of key partner agencies are part of the management team. In addition
to the management team, several sites periodically convene representatives of
partner agencies in various forums. St. Louis is one such site.
T he concept of a
SafeFutures management
team was introduced by
OJJDP and adopted to
varying degrees by the
sites.
15
St. Louis, MO. St. Louis began holding monthly meetings of partner
agencies in the first year of program implementation to focus on broad issues
related to the initiative. Separate monthly meetings of Caring Adults
(staff in partner agencies responsible for overseeing case management of
SafeFutures youth) were added later to share information related to cases
and discuss general issues related to services (e.g., gaps, available resources,
new programs).
The second organizational unit involved in SafeFutures administration and
implementation is a local policy advisory board. The responsibilities of policy
boards range from general oversight and coordination to strategic planning to
achieve systems change. Although each site’s organizational structure includes
a policy board, or functional equivalent, individual sites exhibit considerable
variation in models for involving key leaders and community representatives in
the policy role. Characteristics of policy boards vary by composition, size,
breadth, and scope of advisory responsibility and by whether responsibilities are
overlapping or shared with other local policymaking bodies. (A detailed discussion
of policy boards is provided in Rossman et al., 1998.)
In addition to management teams and policy boards, several sites have convened
a variety of task forces to strategize and support the implementation of
activities that transcend individual agency boundaries. Imperial County is one
of the sites that has used this approach.
Imperial County, CA. The Imperial County Interagency Steering Committee
formed a workgroup focused on budget issues and fiscal strategies.
Leaders of county departments serving youth (such as the Office of Education,
Mental Health, Probation, and Social Services) work together to set
funding priorities, share resources, blend funds, and plan for sustainable
financing. For example, the group decided to blend funds from Social Services
and Probation to support probation officers working in school and
community locations. The group is working with a systems improvement
technical assistance consultant to develop long-range fiscal strategies.
The following sections briefly describe each of the program components and
highlight selected research that suggests such efforts can foster desired results.7
Given the large number of programs implemented under these components
across sites and the changes in those programs during the first 3 years of the initiative,
it would be unwieldy to provide a complete listing of SafeFutures programming.
Instead, brief descriptions of the type and range of programs implemented
under each component are provided, along with selected examples from
various sites. Due to the fluid nature of local efforts, these examples provide
“snapshots” of programs in place at a particular time and may not accurately
describe subsequent configurations.
Some programs provide services associated with multiple components, and
there is no clear-cut way to classify these multifocused programs when using
I ndividual sites
exhibit considerable
variation in models for
involving key leaders
and community
representatives in the
policy role.
16
them as examples. Whenever possible, examples have been placed under the
component to which they appear most closely linked.
Afterschool Programs
(Pathways to Success)
Pathways to Success is the SafeFutures afterschool program component that
targets at-risk youth. It is designed to address behavioral problems and reduce
the likelihood of juvenile delinquency by engaging youth in a variety of
age-appropriate programs focused on vocational training, entrepreneurship, recreation,
and arts education. Afterschool programs provide youth a safe place to
spend free time and the opportunity to socialize with peers and adults. Programs
are intended to provide lasting skills for youth and benefits for the community
(e.g., through beautification programs involving youth volunteers). Activities
are expected to occur during nonschool hours—after school, on weekends, or
during the summer. A maximum of $40,000 per year in funding for this component
is provided to each SafeFutures site under Title II, Part C of the Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974, as amended.
A number of sources have cited the need for youth activities in positive, structured
environments. An increase in the number of women working has led to
greater numbers of unsupervised children before and after school (Lipsitz,
1984). A 1987 Harris poll of 1,000 teachers identified isolation and lack of supervision
after school as a key source of adolescents’ difficulties in school.
Also, adolescents are most likely to commit or be the victims of a crime during
the afterschool hours between 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. (Chaiken, 1997).
OJJDP has supported afterschool programming based on research demonstrating
that the positive effects of participation in such programs for at-risk juveniles
may be wide ranging.8 For example, Fleisher and colleagues (1995) found
significant academic and behavioral improvement for at-risk boys and girls enrolled
in an afterschool judo program. A number of studies of Boys & Girls
Club programs (including those coordinated with other programs) cite positive
outcomes such as improved school performance and substantially reduced contact
with the juvenile justice system, as reflected by lower rates of drug use and
vandalism or reduced delinquency in areas where delinquency for comparison
groups rose (Brown and Dodson, 1959; National Crime Prevention Council,
1985; Schinke, Orlandi, and Cole, 1992). Similarly, Jones and Offord (1989, in
Howell, 1995), in a study conducted in a Canadian Public Housing Project,
found that an intensive, long-term recreation program led to a 75-percent reduction
in juvenile arrests for the experimental group, while the control group had a
67-percent increase in arrests. Finally, Wynn and colleagues (1988) found that
participation in extracurricular activities as juveniles leads to participation in
voluntary and political organizations as adults.
P athways to Success
is the SafeFutures
afterschool program
component that targets
at-risk youth.
17
Most afterschool programs implemented under SafeFutures included two or
more activities, most commonly recreation and tutoring/homework assistance,
and included both structured activities and free time during which youth could
choose from various options. Recreational activities and media commonly included
organized sports, free play, books, videos, games (ranging from board
games to interactive games), and arts and crafts. Academic services generally
focused on homework assistance, although some programs provided more structured
tutoring activities. The number and type of activities available on a given
day often varied. For example, the Imperial County Boys & Girls Club provided
a 6-week series of half-hour computer training sessions, offered on a signup basis,
in addition to daily homework assistance. Seattle’s Sister to Sister program
provided weekly hands-on science and math activities and daily homework
assistance.
Informal behavioral and/or values instruction was commonly built into
afterschool programming, as were efforts to promote the development of juveniles’
self-esteem. Teamwork, respect for others, drug and alcohol avoidance,
and other prosocial objectives were often emphasized in conjunction with juveniles’
participation in sports. Some sites stipulated behavioral expectations in
their criteria for participation. In Fort Belknap, for example, these rules for participation
were stated on the permission form signed by the youth and parent:
respect others; do not use bad language; tell the truth; use people’s correct
names (to avoid gang-related monikers); avoid fighting or hitting; and do not
carry weapons, spit, or litter. In Contra Costa County, students had to maintain
average or above-average grades, stay current with homework assignments, and
avoid disciplinary problems to continue participation. Thus, the programs
served as incentives for positive academic and social behavior.
Afterschool programs are flexible and enable program coordinators to take advantage
of various opportunities in their communities, such as accessing speakers
on various topics, including conflict resolution, substance abuse, health,
pregnancy avoidance, and other prevention education topics. Such presentations
might be made on a one-time basis or as a series for a few weeks or months. In
addition, most afterschool programs include periodic special events, such as
field trips or outings, overnight trips, or holiday parties. Some, such as the programs
in Fort Belknap and Imperial County, included occasional or ongoing
community service activities, such as participating in community cleanup
events or helping elderly residents with household chores. In various sites, such
as Contra Costa County, flexibility across multiple afterschool programs is intended
to enable coordinators of different programs to address the particular
needs or interests of youth in their programs or to take advantage of unique opportunities
in their settings.
Contra Costa County, CA. In Contra Costa County, resource specialists
assigned to the three elementary, one middle, and two high schools receiving
SafeFutures services are expected to develop afterschool (or duringschool)
programs to address needs or issues in those schools, such as
T eamwork, respect
for others, drug and
alcohol avoidance,
and other prosocial
objectives were often
emphasized in
conjunction with
juveniles’ participation
in sports.
18
truancy, violence on school campuses, and low academic performance. As
a result, programming varies considerably across schools. One elementary
school developed a Lions Club group to provide tutoring, group discussion/
support, and recreation to fourth- and fifth-grade girls, while another combined
African dance and tutoring in an afterschool program. The resource specialist
at one high school initiated a group to facilitate communication among
youth involved with different gangs. The group meets before school to prepare
breakfast and discuss school and other experiences during the meal.
Afterschool programs generally are available from the afternoon through early
evening, 3 to 5 days per week during the school year. Most operate on a drop-in
basis, and daily attendance is not required. Half of the sites—Fort Belknap, Imperial
County, and St. Louis—had year-round programs (although their summer
activities may have varied from those provided during the school year, and
some were of limited duration). In some cases, the agency or facility in which
the SafeFutures afterschool program is located (e.g., the Boys & Girls Club in
Boston) offers programs not associated with SafeFutures during the summer
months. Such programs would be available to SafeFutures youth, however.
Considerable variation exists across sites in the agencies responsible for providing
afterschool services. Variation is, in part, related to differences in the way
service delivery is structured in the six sites. Half of the sites—Contra Costa
County, Fort Belknap, and St. Louis—initially provided these services through
what can be considered SafeFutures staff stationed in multiple locations in the
target area (six schools in Contra Costa, three schools in St. Louis, and three
recreation/community centers in Fort Belknap). St. Louis changed its structure
for afterschool programs in year 3, as noted in the example below. In the other
sites, services were provided primarily through subcontracts or other agreements
with agencies that already operated afterschool programs (such as the
Boys & Girls Clubs in Imperial County and Boston, and Girls, Inc., in Seattle)
to which SafeFutures youth were added.
Following are two diverse examples of afterschool programming.
Fort Belknap, MT. In addition to recreational activities and homework
assistance, Fort Belknap’s afterschool programs emphasize cultural education
activities taught by cultural consultants (often tribal elders). One of
the three community center sites was particularly successful in establishing
such a program during year 1, when 5 consultants taught a variety of
Northern Plains American Indian dances to more than 80 youth in the
Hays center. A dance troupe of these youth was formed and began making
presentations throughout the State. A variety of cultural activities, such as
dance, regalia making, beadwork, and drum groups, were established in
other centers during year 2, although none lasted as long as the initial
troupe. In addition to the arts aspect, these cultural activities impart values
such as respect for elders and traditions and promote a drug- and alcoholfree
lifestyle. Cultural activities also were selected as a focus to engage
Considerable
variation exists across
sites in the agencies
responsible for
providing afterschool
services.
19
adults and to ensure that tribal traditions do not die out. Parents/caregivers
helped their children make the dance costumes/regalia, and many attended
dance practices and performances. Staff used these opportunities to meet
informally with parents to discuss their child’s needs and progress and to
encourage the adults to become involved with other SafeFutures activities.
Partly because of the considerable turnover of coordinators at the community
centers and in central SafeFutures administration, cultural programming
has not been offered consistently across the community centers and
has not generally been as successful in attracting and retaining youth as
the original dance troupe.
In the third year of the initiative, one of the afterschool centers introduced
a “Native Strut” program that included career and entrepreneurial concepts
to promote self-confidence. The program centered on developing modeling
and related skills: youth mounted and videotaped fashion shows featuring
their own designs. Both males and females have participated, although
activities initially targeted girls. Through the program, youth had
the opportunity to develop skills in photography, sound engineering, cosmetology
and hair styling, designing and sewing traditional clothing, and
basic business.
St. Louis, MO. St. Louis initially provided afterschool programming
through two sources. The three CEC’s in which SafeFutures had a presence
traditionally operated a variety of afterschool programs. SafeFutures
funds enabled them to expand their offerings to some degree (e.g., by hiring
instructors or purchasing equipment).
An existing afterschool program, Project Respond Educational Pilot Program
(PREPP), operated by Project Respond, also received SafeFutures
support. PREPP provided informal recreational activities, homework assistance,
and structured programming. Structured activities varied over
time and included a program, provided by staff of Girls, Inc., that focused
on nutrition, food preparation, and hygiene. A key feature of PREPP was
its counseling/therapeutic approach. Staff members with backgrounds in
social work and sociology provided informal counseling, anger management
training, and conflict resolution skills training on a one-on-one or
group basis. Staff also made considerable effort to contact families and
develop trust, for example, by making home visits and informally counseling
parents.
The St. Louis management team and partner agencies regarded PREPP as
a successful model, in part because it attracted and retained particularly
high-risk youth or those already involved in gangs. As a result, in year 3,
SafeFutures redirected some of its funds to develop a second therapeutic
afterschool program modeled on PREPP. The new program replaced initial
SafeFutures activities at one of the CEC’s, and two staff who had provided
CEC-based counseling were selected to develop the new program.
S taff used these
opportunities to meet
informally with parents
to discuss their child’s
needs and progress and
to encourage the adults
to become involved with
other SafeFutures
activities.
20
Ironically, as the PREPP model was being replicated at the CEC and contemplated
for other locations, Project Respond closed the original PREPP
program.
Although most sites did not include all of the activities that OJJDP had identified
as falling under the afterschool component, such activities as community
service projects with a lasting community impact, vocational training, and entrepreneurship
frequently were addressed either as short-term activities in the
afterschool programs or under other components. In addition, most sites used
their afterschool programming to address SafeFutures goals extending beyond
those identified for this component. Many sites introduced or reinforced information,
skills, and behavior related to issues such as substance abuse prevention,
anger management, violence prevention, gang avoidance, health,
pregnancy/parenting, and HIV/AIDS/STD’s through discussion groups, workshops
on specific topics, or presentations by guest speakers.
Juvenile Mentoring Programs
At-risk youth and youthful offenders often have limited contact with prosocial
adult role models. Research shows that it is uncommon for these youth to have
a significant relationship with even one unrelated adult (Steinberg, 1990). In
recognition of such needs for positive adult role models, OJJDP initiated its Juvenile
Mentoring Program (JUMP). Developed using the Big Brothers Big Sisters
(BBBS) of America approach as its model, JUMP is designed to foster an
emotional bond and mutual commitment between a child and an adult mentor
(Hamilton, 1990).
JUMP is intended to match adult mentors (age 21 or older) who have successfully
undergone a screening process with youth at risk of educational failure,
dropping out, or involvement in delinquent activities. This program, which is to
be provided in partnership with local education agencies (such as school districts),
seeks to improve academic performance, reduce the dropout rate,
discourage delinquent behavior and gang participation, promote personal and
social responsibility, and encourage service and community activities. A maximum
of $200,000 per year in funding for this component is provided to each
SafeFutures site under Title II, Part G, of the JJDP Act of 1974, as amended.
Although recent research suggests that mentoring programs can be very effective
in increasing protective factors for juveniles, there has been relatively little
scientific evaluation of these initiatives to date. A recent Public/Private Ventures
quasi-experimental evaluation found that BBBS mentoring participants
self-reported that they were less likely than nonmentored youth (who were on a
waiting list for a mentor) to engage in antisocial activities (initiating drug and
alcohol use, hitting peers) and had improved academic performance (grades,
competence, truancy), family relationships (trust, lying, index of parental relationship
quality), and peer relationships (Tierney, Grossman, and Resch, 1995).
Developed using the
Big Brothers Big Sisters
of America approach as
its model, JUMP is
designed to foster an
emotional bond and
mutual commitment
between a child and an
adult mentor.
21
Key aspects of the BBBS mentoring that are believed to contribute to the positive
results include (1) a high level of contact between mentors and participating
youth (averaging 12 in-person hours per month and possible additional telephone
contact); (2) a perspective that identifies the mentor as a friend, not a
“teacher or preacher”; (3) thorough volunteer screening to ensure highly committed
adults as mentors; (4) mentor training focused on communication, limit
setting, relationship building, and ways to effectively interact with youth;
(5) procedures that respect the preferences of youth and their families and possibly
use a professional case manager to arrange matches between volunteers and
youth; and (6) intensive supervision and support of each match by a case manager
who maintains frequent contact with all parties and can resolve difficulties
as they arise (Grossman and Garry, 1997).
Most SafeFutures sites implemented more than one mentoring program. Some
sites targeted mentoring to specific groups, such as at-risk girls or youth involved
in the juvenile justice system. In some cases, mentoring also was
funded under other SafeFutures components in addition to being supported
by JUMP funds. With the exception of Fort Belknap, which uses SafeFutures
program staff to administer its mentoring program, the demonstration sites
originally implemented mentoring services by subcontracting with other local
agencies. Three sites (Imperial County, Seattle, and St. Louis) used local affiliates
of BBBS to provide some or all of their mentoring. (Imperial County
later assigned oversight of the mentoring component to County Office of Education
staff.) Boston, Contra Costa County, and Fort Belknap initiated new
mentoring programs, and encountered startup issues that led to a variety of
difficulties and delays.
Mentoring programs involve numerous details, including:
Recruiting, screening (to ensure the safety of mentees), and retaining suitable
adult volunteers.
Training volunteers to meet program objectives and to handle difficult situations
(e.g., youth or family problem behavior).
Promoting the program to service providers, schools, parents, and others
who can refer targeted youth to the program.
Benefits of Mentoring
Mentors provide the guidance and support of positive role models in
the context of one-on-one relationships.
Mentoring has been recognized as an effective way to use volunteers to
address poverty issues (Freedman, 1992) and thereby increase
community involvement in collaborative efforts.
Most SafeFutures
sites implemented more
than one mentoring
program.
22
Communicating program expectations and guidelines to parents and youth.
Matching youth and adults and resolving unsatisfactory matches.
Establishing routines for accountability and monitoring the success of mentor
relationships.
Most new mentoring programs developed their own structures and procedures,
including recruiting, orientation, and training programs for mentors. Many programs
conducted periodic refresher trainings for mentors or held regular meetings
at which mentors could discuss their experiences, receive advice, and participate
in an informal support group. Boston sought to alleviate startup problems among
its subcontractors—often small neighborhood-based organizations—by contracting
with Greater Boston One to One (the local affiliate of a national organization
that promotes mentoring) to train subcontractor staff to manage mentoring programs.
This assistance, however, was not used as extensively as anticipated for a
variety of reasons, including concerns about the flexibility or relevance of One to
One’s model across different communities and ethnic groups.
Because of the requirements of the JUMP funding, one-on-one mentoring is
the primary focus of SafeFutures mentoring. Most mentoring programs provide
guidelines or requirements for “minimum” frequency and, sometimes, length of
meetings between mentors and mentees—most commonly requiring weekly or
biweekly meetings for 1 to 2 hours. Many programs encourage telephone contact
in addition to in-person meetings. Activities are generally determined by
the mentoring pair and typically include homework assistance, sports or recreation
activities, going out for a snack or meal, participating in cultural events
(e.g., going to a museum or concert), or just spending time together.
Few mentoring programs provide services beyond mentoring. One exception is
the St. Louis mentoring program.
St. Louis, MO. The BBBS mentoring program in St. Louis provides a
range of assistance to youth and families through its Community Connections
program. Parents are asked to fill out a form identifying needs in a
variety of basic areas (such as clothing, school supplies, toiletries, food,
cleaning supplies, and furniture). Volunteers in the BBBS auxiliary division
identify resources to fill these needs, make referrals, and are available
to assist the family in negotiating the social service system, if needed (although
families are also encouraged to act self-sufficiently to address their
own needs).
Some programs supplemented one-on-one mentoring with group activities for
youth or for youth and mentors. In some cases, particularly in programs operated
by BBBS affiliates, group activities are primarily for youth who have not
yet been matched with a mentor or youth whose mentors are still undergoing
screening or training. Other mentor programs include periodic group activities
for mentors and youth, such as community service events, field trips (including
trips to attend sporting or theatrical events), recreational outings, and special
Most new mentoring
programs developed
their own structures and
procedures, including
recruiting, orientation,
and training programs
for mentors.
23
events, including those focused on cultural enrichment and understanding (such
as Black History Month or Cinco de Mayo events) or holiday observation.
Group activities were used as a forum for providing academic assistance in
some programs, including those in Boston and Contra Costa.
Boston, MA. In the Mattapan-Dorchester Churches in Action (MDCA)
mentoring program in Boston, youth met twice a week for 2 hours with
program coordinators and volunteers for assistance with homework. Meetings
were followed by a snack and group discussion. Some mentors attended
these sessions and had their one-on-one meetings afterward, but
group sessions were not intended to be directly linked to mentor meetings.
Contra Costa County, CA. The Mirror Images Nurturing Directions
(M.I.N.D.) program for elementary school girls in Contra Costa initiated a
monthly book club to help girls’ reading and writing skills; mentors were
not required to attend club meetings but could use them as one of their
twice-monthly one-on-one contacts. The book club was discontinued after
it became clear that the girls were uncomfortable reading aloud in front of
the group because of their limited reading skills. Staff arranged to send
girls to an existing tutoring program to improve their academic skills, and
program administration is contemplating reintroduction of the book club.
Two sites—Contra Costa and Seattle—implemented mentoring programs for
youth in or transitioning out of the juvenile justice system in addition to programs
targeting other at-risk youth. Boston recently contracted with a provider
to initiate mentoring services for youth returning to the community from Department
of Youth Services (DYS) placement. Such programs can be viewed as
systems reform efforts, in that they seek to address the community-based aftercare
needs of youth transitioning out of juvenile detention facilities and, in some
cases, link portions of the juvenile justice system with other entities in the community.
The Contra Costa and Seattle programs are described below.
Contra Costa County, CA. Contra Costa’s Volunteers in Probation (VIP)
program (funded under the serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offender
programs component) was initiated as a systems reform effort for the Probation
Department. The department was viewed as an isolated agency that
would benefit from outside involvement. Probation hired a coordinator
(funded through SafeFutures) to recruit and train volunteers, who were initially
to perform two roles. One role was to serve as mentors to youth on
probation, providing individualized attention that probation officers cannot
generally offer. The mentors also relieve probation officers (who have
large caseloads) of some routine functions such as following up on appointments,
making phone calls, monitoring youth, helping youth get into
specified programs, and assisting with transportation. Approximately half
of the volunteers serve as one-on-one mentors. Alternatively, volunteers
may be assigned to assist a specific probation officer with office work.
Later, two additional forms of volunteer activity were added: helping
T wo sites
implemented mentoring
programs for youth in or
transitioning out of the
juvenile justice system.
24
youth produce a Juvenile Hall (detention facility) newsletter and providing
Internet mentoring (to youth in residential facilities). The program also
sponsors group activities for youth and mentors, such as whale watching,
hiking, and ferry rides. The VIP program is viewed as successful in “opening
up” the probation department and serving youth, and it is taking steps
to attain status as a nonprofit organization to enable it to continue after
SafeFutures funds terminate.
Contra Costa County, CA. The Step Up and Lead mentoring program in
Contra Costa focuses on 12- to 18-year-old girls who are on probation.
This program was originally intended to serve girls transitioning out of
detention. This focus, however, turned out to be impractical because many
girls leaving the Hall are sent to group homes, which are often located outside
of the county (target area), making the girls ineligible for SafeFutures
services. In addition, most group homes in the county do not allow visits
by mentors. To address these issues, the program’s focus was changed to
girls on probation in the county. Step Up and Lead is housed in a nonprofit
agency that addresses foster care, but the mentoring program has its own
director and assistant director, both of whom function somewhat as case
managers for the girls. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, this program
also holds periodic group activities for girls and mentors.
Seattle, WA. Seattle’s Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA)
mentoring program’s target population is serious offenders sentenced under
the Washington State Code, who are about to be released from correctional
institutions. JRA is the State juvenile system that oversees youth detained
for more than 30 days and provides juvenile parole services for
those returning to the community from State facilities. JRA received
SafeFutures funding to initiate and operate a program that matches JRA
youth with mentors. One-on-one meetings (at least once a month) between
JRA youth and their mentors begin 6 to 8 months prior to a youth’s release.
Mentors serve as a stable presence in the youth’s lives, facilitating
their transition to the community (e.g., by helping link them to housing
and employment resources or helping them navigate reentry into the
school system). Another key feature of the program is the intensive training
and technical assistance support provided to the volunteer mentors.
This program gained State recognition and was funded for replication in
other parts of Washington.
Across sites, a wide variety of mentor recruiting mechanisms were used, including
personal contact, newspaper or radio advertising, and presentations to corporations
or other groups (e.g., churches or professional organizations). Different
programs found that different methods worked for them; no one approach
seemed to be successful across all sites.
Most sites encountered challenges in recruiting mentors, both in newly established
mentoring programs and in existing programs. In the latter, the increase
Across sites, a wide
variety of mentor
recruiting mechanisms
were used.
25
in the number of youth to be served through SafeFutures created a need for
more mentors than could be recruited in a relatively short time period, resulting
in delays before one-on-one mentoring could start. Most programs sought to
avoid potential concerns about cultural incompatibility by matching youth and
Enhancing Mentor Recruitment in St. Louis
To address recruiting difficulties, St. Louis Big Brothers Big Sisters
(BBBS) introduced two mentoring programs structured unlike the traditional
BBBS model.
The “teammates” program allows two mentors to share mentoring
of the same child. Each mentor meets with the youth a minimum of
once per month, and a monthly group activity involves one or both of
the mentors. Thus, the youth has at least three mentor contacts per
month (two of which are one-on-one).
“Sports buddies” is modeled after a BBBS program initiated on the
west coast. Affinity for sports is used to attract male volunteers interested
in going to sporting events or otherwise sharing their interest in
sports with youth. This program requires a 6-month commitment from
the mentor (instead of the usual 12 months) and involves a one-on-one
mentoring activity once a month, in addition to a monthly group
activity.
Program staff expect that once volunteers begin mentoring under these
more limited approaches, they will be “hooked” and will continue to
serve as mentors, perhaps increasing their commitment to the traditional
mentoring model. BBBS also made efforts to enhance recruitment by
facilitating employment-based mentoring, for example, by offering to
transport youth to the mentors’ downtown workplaces. This transportation
eliminates mentor travel time and concerns about meeting youth in
potentially unsafe locations.
BBBS also made modifications to its usual recruiting procedures. It established
an “African American Ambassadors’ Council” early in the initiative
under which business and community leaders lend their names to recruiting
efforts and participate in limited activities geared collectively toward
recruiting 500 African American mentors, both male and female. In year
2, BBBS hired a director of community relations (whose function is volunteer
recruitment) and a vice president of marketing and communication.
Although these positions are not funded through SafeFutures, recruiting
for SafeFutures is their priority. St. Louis BBBS’s new recruiting practices
and mentor structures and increased focus on minority and low-income
youth are regarded as systems change within that organization.
Most programs
sought to avoid
potential concerns about
cultural incompatibility.
26
mentors by gender and ethnicity whenever possible. Most programs sought
mentors willing to work with youth who had more problems than the youth
typically served by their organizations or encountered by most middle-class volunteers
(typically the mainstay of many mentoring programs). St. Louis provides
an example of an established mentoring program (operated by BBBS) that
experienced difficulties in recruiting sufficient additional mentors, particularly
African American and male mentors.
Cultural considerations affected recruiting in several programs, including those
in Boston, Fort Belknap, and Seattle, and also may affect parental or youth acceptance
of mentoring.
Boston, MA. One Boston faith-based mentoring program operated by
Mattapan-Dorchester Churches in Action found that increasing numbers of
parents were uneasy about allowing their children to be alone with strangers
or to be mentored by persons of a faith different from their own. As a
result, parents were not allowing their children to meet with mentors oneon-
one. MDCA responded by including parents in their weekly meetings
of mentors and mentees, thereby enabling them to meet the mentors and
see their interaction with the children. Although not its intended purpose,
such an approach may increase parental involvement in youth activities
and contribute to family strengthening.
Fort Belknap, MT. Cultural issues also were encountered in Fort Belknap.
Gros Ventre and Assiniboine adults traditionally function as informal mentors
to children, particularly to nieces and nephews. However, formal oneon-
one mentoring was not a familiar concept to parents or potential mentors.
SafeFutures addressed this issue by initiating a group “cultural mentoring”
approach under which mentors work with four or five youth at a time, in addition
to providing one-on-one mentoring. Mentors meet with youth in conjunction
with ongoing cultural education activities (such as doing bead work
or making dance regalia in the afterschool programs) or one-time events,
such as field trips. In one SafeFutures site, several women who are “pipe
carriers” or are involved in traditional tribal societies (in effect, function
as tribal elders) participated in this form of mentoring. Cultural mentoring
also is used on a one-on-one basis. Male tribal leaders from the White
Clay society each mentored a youth who was having behavioral problems
in school. The men took their mentees on a “first hunt,” traditionally regarded
as a sign of adulthood in terms of demonstrating responsibility by
providing for one’s family and tribe. The adults served as strong male role
models, conveying tribal beliefs and traditions as part of the hunt that also
became a source of pride for the participating youth.
Seattle, WA. Seattle’s initiative targeted primarily Asian American youth,
with an emphasis on immigrant and refugee communities. However, recruiting
mentors from these communities was difficult because the concept
of one-on-one mentoring is not part of the native culture for the Asian
Cultural
considerations affected
recruiting in several
programs.
27
groups with which the program worked. In addition, adults in these immigrant
communities often work long hours at low-wage jobs to support
their families, leaving little time available for volunteer activities. There
were also concerns that providing such youth with a mentor might increase
existing gaps between youth and their parents because youth typically
acculturate more quickly than their parents. SafeFutures staff considered
different approaches to address these cultural issues, such as
introducing mentoring in an incremental fashion, perhaps by starting
with tutoring and then expanding to mentoring after a comfortable relationship
has been established.
Family Strengthening and Support
Services
Family strengthening and support programs focus on addressing gaps in
the community’s continuum of family-focused services. Specifically, this
component is intended to support planning and programming that facilitate
positive family interactions and support families in crisis (especially those with
children involved in the juvenile justice system). Such efforts may include the
establishment of an intensive family case management system that is integrated
with family-oriented programs and other SafeFutures components, the introduction
of gap-filling family services, or the development of a resource guide of
existing programs that provide family strengthening and support services. For
this component, a maximum of $200,000 per year in funding is provided to
each SafeFutures site under Title II, Part C, of the JJDP Act of 1974, as
amended.
Although there is often debate about the relative importance of specific factors
in youth development, the literature leaves little doubt that family life plays a
critical role in social functioning. Damon (1988), for example, underscored the
importance of parents’ role in the moral development of children. Smith and
Paternoster (1987), Paternoster and Triplett (1988), and Arbuthnot, Gordon, and
Jurkovic (1987) note that empathy, altruism, and compassion are key protective
factors in preventing delinquency and that the inability to see others’ perspectives
and a resulting lack of empathy is a key risk factor. Hawkins et al. (1988)
found that parenting practices were directly related to adolescent drug use. In
addition, all of the following have been demonstrated to have significant associations
(either positive or negative) with delinquency: parental supervision,
parental rejection, and parent-child involvement (Loeber and Stouthamer-
Loeber, 1986); parental monitoring, discipline, and positive parenting techniques
(including consistent application of discipline and democratic decisionmaking)
(Snyder and Patterson, 1987); antisocial behavior of parents (Slavin
and Rainer, 1990; Henggeler, 1989; Goodwin, 1985; Bohman, 1978); and
physical and emotional abuse (Doerner, 1987).
T he family
strengthening
component is intended
to support planning and
programming that
facilitate positive family
interactions and support
families in crisis.
28
Many researchers have found relationships between delinquency and parental
supervision (Campbell, 1987; Cernkovich and Giordano, 1987; Wells and
Rankin, 1986). Parental monitoring of children is a key component of positive
parenting, both as a predictor of delinquency (Fischer, 1984; Wilson, 1987;
McCord, 1979) and as a protective measure (Snyder and Patterson, 1987).
Higher levels of monitoring are associated with lower rates of sexual activity,
drug and alcohol use (Small, 1990), truancy, running away, and delinquency
(Dornbusch et al., 1985). Steinberg (1990) found that 10- to 16-year-olds whose
parents could not account for their children’s whereabouts were more susceptible
to peer pressure.
Family dysfunction is an equally important predictor of delinquency. The delinquency
that results from dysfunctional family functioning often begins a vicious
cycle in which a youth’s delinquent behavior leads to negative parental reactions,
thus exacerbating the child’s misbehavior (Patterson, 1982) and introducing
a cycle that is both cause and effect (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention, 1995). Hirschi’s (1969) social control theory posits that a
lack of attachment to societal norms, especially those developed through the
parent-child relationship, breaks the bond with society and leaves individuals
free to be criminal. Parental rejection of a child has been cited as one of the
strongest predictors of delinquency (McCord, 1983; Pfouts, Scholper, and
Henley, 1981; Loeber and Dishion, 1984; Kroupa, 1988; Nye, 1958). Similarly,
physical maltreatment of children is significantly related to delinquency
(Thornberry, 1994).
Effective family functioning that includes clear expectations for behavior and
monitoring and enforcement of those standards presumably provides protective
factors in developing a child’s notions of social responsibility (Baumrind, 1967,
1971). For example, in a survey of 10,000 high school seniors, Steinberg (1990)
found that (1) adolescents who rated their parents as firm, democratic, and accepting
were more self-reliant, reported less anxiety and depression, and had a
lower risk of delinquent behavior and (2) ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and
family structure had no moderating effects. Poor discipline, defined as discipline
that is both excessive and inconsistent, is often identified as a significant
indicator of future antisocial, self-destructive, and criminal behavior (Peterson
et al., 1994; Thornberry, 1994; McCord, 1988; Widom, 1989; Elder, Caspi, and
Downey, 1983; Huesmann et al., 1984; Yesavage and Widrow, 1985).
This section describes programs or services specifically identified by sites as
falling under the family strengthening and support component and also family
strengthening services provided under other components. In most SafeFutures
communities, family strengthening services were offered as part of programs
providing youth services funded though other SafeFutures components, such as
the delinquency prevention program or services for at-risk and delinquent girls
components. The Family-School-Community (FSC) program in Contra Costa
County and the Family Resource Centers (FRC’s) in Imperial County and St.
Louis are examples of such arrangements. Although those programs, and others,
P arental monitoring
of children is a key
component of positive
parenting, both as a
predictor of delinquency
and as a protective
measure.
29
made efforts to engage and provide services to parents, their primary focus for
the most part was youth services. Family strengthening generally represented a
relatively small share of the services provided in multiservice programs.
Case management/referrals and counseling (often provided more or less concurrently)
were the most common SafeFutures family strengthening activities. Case
management and counseling for parents or siblings were typically provided in
conjunction with similar services for SafeFutures youth. Case management and
counseling appeared relatively informal in some programs, and some used paraprofessional
staff who lacked training to provide counseling of a more clinical nature.
However, these staff often had access to clinically trained staff, either to advise
them or to work with parents or youth with more serious problems. Parenting
skills classes or workshops were provided through SafeFutures in some sites.
Imperial County, CA. Imperial County’s Probation Department has a
long-standing parenting skills program focused on changing destructive
adolescent behavior. Two members of the SafeFutures law enforcement
team (described in a later section) were trained as class facilitators, enabling
provision of additional classes and expansion to target area communities
not previously served. A support group for troubled teens has been
developed to complement the parenting skills classes.
The programs providing family strengthening services along with a range of
youth services in Contra Costa County, Imperial County, and St. Louis can be
viewed as examples of systems reform and interagency collaboration. All three
involved establishing school-based programs to deliver services to youth and family
members at one or more sites. This approach requires bringing nonschool staff
into schools to provide youth and families with services not typically offered by
schools. Service delivery staff may be SafeFutures staff, as in Contra Costa, or
may include staff from a variety of social service agencies who are assigned to the
school site (on a part- or full-time basis), as in Imperial County. The schools provide
space and, sometimes, other resources to support these programs. School
staff and the staff of these “centers” develop working relationships that transcend
their usual professional boundaries. School staff may play a role in shaping the
services or programmatic offerings of the centers. The main source of youth
referrals—primarily youth who exhibit behavioral or academic problems in
school—is typically school staff. The following examples briefly describe the different
school-based configurations and the family strengthening aspects of their
programs.
Contra Costa County, CA. School-based resource specialists (paraprofessionals)
in Contra Costa provide case management and informal counseling
to parents and youth, in addition to providing afterschool and inschool
activities for youth. Specialists conduct home visits to provide
support and assistance (which may be crisis support in some cases), particularly
when there are difficulties. Some specialists help parents by providing
transportation to appointments at school, court, service agencies,
Case management/
referrals and counseling
were the most common
SafeFutures family
strengthening activities.
30
and other locations. Specialists in two elementary schools initiated or enhanced
“parent rooms” that serve as drop-in centers where parents can interact
with teachers and other school staff, thus strengthening parentschool
bonds. Youth or parents with more serious problems are referred to
the counselor of the agency that employs the specialists.
Imperial County, CA. Imperial County SafeFutures established an FRC in
Brawley High School to function as a “one-stop shop” for services, with collocated
staff from a variety of agencies. Youth or families referred to three
or more services are placed on the FRC’s case management caseload, although
others may receive referrals to services or receive services provided
by the FRC. Parents of all youth referred to the FRC are routinely involved
in initial intake interviews for their children (even for those not on the case
management caseload) and are referred to other services as needed. Two
FRC staff provide services that can be viewed as primarily focused on parents/
family strengthening: a repositioned social service eligibility worker
helps parents access various services and an FRC guidance technician advises
parents about school procedures related to expulsion and reinstatement.
Mental health and substance abuse counselors also have been assigned
to the FRC to provide counseling for those who need it.
St. Louis, MO. St. Louis initially established FRC’s in three school sites,
staffed by teams composed of a family therapist and a community outreach
worker (the latter are certified parent educators). The teams provided
case management, individual counseling, and family counseling and
worked with parents on an individual or small group basis to provide
parenting skills education and support. The FRC’s, which are no longer
operational, were intended to address the specific needs of the Community
Education Centers in which they were located; thus some provided other
services targeted to parents or participated in family strengthening services
offered through their CEC. For example, one CEC held a monthly “family
night” activity for parents and their children. These get-togethers emphasized
literacy and language skills and typically included an activity parents
and children performed together to reinforce the literacy message and promote
bonding.
Seattle incorporated family strengthening into a variety of its programs. This
action also enabled provision of culturally appropriate services.
Seattle, WA. The Asian/Pacific Islander Diversion and Family Support
Program, an alternative dispositional program for first-time nonserious
juvenile offenders, provides services for families and youth. A counselor
serves as interpreter and advocate for parents in the court process. SafeFutures
began funding this program in year 2 to support activities such as reaching
out to families prior to the initial hearing (including visiting families in their
homes), informing youth and families about what to expect during the upcoming
proceedings, linking families to needed services in their own
S eattle incorporated
family strengthening
into a variety of its
programs.
31
community, providing quarterly community education classes on the
American juvenile justice system and available services, and networking
with the community to increase culturally sensitive services.
Seattle, WA. Seattle’s Cambodian Girls Group (CGG), renamed Help
Each Other Reach the Sky (HERS) in year 3, incorporates a number of
parent support services in conjunction with its at-risk and delinquent girls
programming. Parents are required to participate in the CGG parenting
class in order for girls to participate in the at-risk and delinquent girls/job
training program. Girls receive stipends for these jobs, but their stipends
are reduced if parents do not participate in all sessions. The parenting
classes are cofacilitated by an English-speaking teacher and a Cambodian
counselor. They address parenting skills and skills to help the immigrant/
refugee parents function in their new environment, such as opening a bank
account to save for their children’s college education, understanding police
and court procedures, reading a report card, and interacting with
school staff. The classes also are intended to create a support structure for
parents. CGG staff have adopted culturally appropriate teaching styles
(e.g., use of proverbs and drama, which are traditional teaching/learning
methods for this population, but not role-playing, which is considered embarrassing)
to reach this audience. CGG also arranges for counseling services
for parents, including crisis intervention, mental health services to
parents with posttraumatic stress or other mental health needs, and family
therapy sessions with parents and their daughters. Home visits are conducted
by a Cambodian case manager and a Caucasian therapist. These
visits enable followup regarding issues raised in the parenting classes and
therapy sessions.
Relatively few family strengthening services emphasized services to siblings,
although in many cases siblings might be enrolled in SafeFutures programs targeted
directly to them or referred to other youth programs. Seattle’s Sibling
Support Program, discussed in the section “Mental Health Services for At-Risk
and Adjudicated Youth,” page 32, is an exception.
Participants in family strengthening services generally are identified through a
combination of self-referral and referral from other sources, including staff in
the same program or other SafeFutures programs or, sometimes, the juvenile
court. Several programs, including the FRC’s in St. Louis and Imperial County
and the FSC programs in Contra Costa, actively conduct outreach activities in
the community and otherwise publicize the services available. Many family
strengthening programs focus on populations that can be viewed as particularly
high risk. For example, referrals to the parenting skills classes in Imperial
County historically came from juvenile justice agencies. Court referrals also
were common for Fort Belknap’s Positive Indian Parenting classes. Seattle’s
Cambodian Girls Group and the SafeFutures Youth Center served immigrant/
refugee families (the latter focused on gang-involved youth), while the Asian/
Many family
strengthening programs
focus on populations
that can be viewed as
particularly high risk.
32
Pacific Islander Diversion program and Sisters in Common served families of
girls involved in the juvenile justice system. Sisters in Common provides case
management for girls involved in the juvenile justice system and family
strengthening services and case management for their parents.
Mental Health Services for At-Risk and
Adjudicated Youth
The Mental Health Services for At-Risk and Adjudicated Youth component is
intended to improve the accessibility, quality, and efficiency of mental health
services in communities and in juvenile facilities, with a particular focus on juvenile
sex offenders. Mobile mental health units are an example of the type of
enhanced services envisioned by OJJDP, although none of the demonstration
sites have implemented such an approach to date. Other elements of this component
include providing consultation and liaison services to law enforcement and
justice system personnel who work with at-risk and delinquent juveniles, developing
forensic case management systems for incarcerated mentally disordered
youth, and providing training programs for mental health professionals who
provide services to detained or confined juveniles and juvenile sex offenders.
Services developed under this component are intended to include family participation
and to be sensitive to ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Funding for this
component is provided at a maximum of $150,000 per year to each SafeFutures
site under Title II, Part C, of the JJDP Act of 1974, as amended.
Mental health problems in adolescents are reportedly widespread, with as many as
5 percent of adolescents suffering from serious emotional disturbances (Center for
Mental Health Services, 1997). Although the link between mental health disorders
and juvenile delinquency has not yet been firmly established, it has been shown
that mental health disorders and delinquency co-occur (Elliott, Huizinga, and
Menard, 1989). In general, studies to date have shown that a significant portion
of incarcerated youth are suffering from some form of mental health disorder
(Fagan, 1991; Hollender and Turner, 1985; McManus et al., 1984). Although the
disorders experienced by the juvenile offender population are less severe than
those of hospitalized youth, juvenile offenders nevertheless display a significantly
higher prevalence of mental health disorders than the general youth population
(Pumariega et al., 1995). Breda (1995, p. 210), for example, found that among
youth with serious delinquency problems, more than 80 percent had “clinically
significant psychopathology.” In addition, the study found that although there was
only a moderate link between mental health disorders and delinquency, delinquent
youth tended to have multiple mental health problems.
Juvenile sex offenders are responsible for a significant portion of sexual assaults,
including an estimated 20 percent of rapes and 30 to 60 percent of
child molestation cases (Brown, Flanagan, and McLeod, 1984). The number
of juveniles arrested for sex offenses is growing steadily (Snyder and
I n general, studies
to date have shown that
a significant portion
of incarcerated youth are
suffering from some
form of mental health
disorder.
33
Sickmund, 1995). Furthermore, there is an established link between juvenile
sex offending and adult sex offending: about half of adult sex offenders began
offending as juveniles (Barbaree, Hudson, and Seto, in Barbaree, Marshall,
and Hudson, 1993). Although the literature is sparse in this area, it does appear
that cognitive-behavioral models used to treat adult sex offenders can
be adapted to treat juvenile offenders. Some data suggest that effective therapies
include reducing age-inappropriate sexual interests, improving sexual impulse
control, enhancing social and assertiveness skills, cognitive restructuring,
sex education, and relapse prevention (Becker and Kaplan, in Barbaree,
Marshall, and Hudson, 1993). However, basic work remains to be done in
this field. For instance, the Office of Justice Programs is currently working
toward the development of a juvenile sex offender typology that would distinguish
among juvenile sex offenders based on such factors as victim selection,
level of aggression, and modus operandi. Such a typology could be used to assist
judges and other court personnel in making appropriate disposition and
placement decisions.
In recent years, Multisystemic Therapy (MST) has attracted considerable attention
as a viable approach to treating serious juvenile offenders and adolescent
sexual offenders and their families (Henggeler et al., 1996; Sutphen, Thyer, and
Kurtz, 1995). MST uses a family preservation model of service delivery to empower
youth and families by supporting the development of resources and skills
needed to deal with difficulties effectively. Treatment plans are developed in
concert with the family and are designed to intervene within families and between
family members, peers, and other central social relationships. Services
are delivered in real-world settings (e.g., at home, in school).
Because of the complexity of developing mental health programs or services,
there was a long lead time for implementation of this component in most sites.
Only three sites provided direct mental health services as part of SafeFutures
during year 1, although others engaged in planning efforts to devise strategic
responses. The configuration of services provided under this component varies
considerably across sites. Some (such as Contra Costa County and Fort
Belknap) established new residential facilities for mental health services; others
(such as Seattle and Imperial County) included mental health counseling as part
of the menu of services offered by multifaceted programs.
Most sites focused their efforts on youth in the juvenile justice system, as illustrated
by the following examples, which also reflect varying degrees of collaborative
effort and/or systems reform.
Contra Costa County, CA. Contra Costa opened its Summit Center,
which represents a collaborative effort, with funds or staff provided by
SafeFutures, the County Probation Department, and the County Office of
Education and California mental health funds matched by MediCal funds.9
Program staff (e.g., probation counselors and therapists) function as an
integrated team, not in separate departments, and have been cross-trained.
T reatment plans are
developed in concert
with the family and are
designed to intervene
within families and
between family
members, peers, and
other central social
relationships.
34
Youth are identified for participation by the Summit Center’s director,
who serves as a member of the Probation Department Screening Committee
that meets weekly to review cases of youth recommended for placement
other than custody (e.g., to group homes, residential facilities, etc.).
Most youth in the Center have had treatment failures in prior residential
placements; all have some kind of current or prior juvenile offense history.
The program serves 12- to 18-year-old males and can house 20 youth at a
time. Youth in the Center are not in custody but are under general probation
orders. Participation is voluntary; the youth and a parent or responsible adult
must agree to participate in the program. Parental/adult involvement is required
because family therapy is an integral part of the treatment; there are
also multifamily groups led by a therapist and two parent support groups.
Youth participate in individual, group, and family therapy, based on individual
treatment plans. They attend school at the Center (in a class taught
by a County Office of Education teacher and teacher’s aide), with individualized
study plans to address their varying academic needs and status.
The Center operates substance abuse groups (youth also may attend
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings
outside the Center) and groups addressing topics such as conflict resolution,
anger management, and life skills. The program operates on a “level”
system, with youth earning additional privileges as they move through
four progressive levels of behavior and responsibility. Successfully completing
(graduating from) the program takes approximately 6 months.
An aftercare component lasting approximately 1 year provides “wraparound”
services using a model similar to multisystemic treatment. The
approach emphasizes the use of family, system, and community resources
(e.g., mental health or substance abuse resources). Wraparound teams are
formed shortly after youth enter the Summit Center. Youth and families
identify team members, which may include individuals such as parent(s),
sibling(s), other relatives, a neighbor, a member of the youth’s church, the
youth’s probation officer, and “outside” professionals, such as clinicians.
The team is intended to help the family address issues/needs to assist in
the youth’s transition back to the community. The Summit Center case
manager assigned to the team serves as its facilitator while the youth is in
the Center and for up to 1 year after Summit Center completion, although
the team itself is intended to continue after that. The team meets biweekly
or monthly while the youth is in the Center; after the youth graduates,
team meetings are generally held once per month in the youth’s home or
a community location.
Partly because of the perceived success and positive publicity associated
with the Center, the county has developed a comparable facility for girls
(modeled after the Summit Center), which became operational in late
1999. It serves 20 residential and 15 day-treatment clients.
Y outh participate in
individual, group, and
family therapy, based on
individual treatment
plans.
35
St. Louis, MO. St. Louis SafeFutures provided support to the city’s Mental
Health Board (MHB) to plan for this component.10 During the first 2 years
of the initiative, MHB played a leading role in conducting a children’s mental
health needs assessment, developing a strategic plan, and finding resources
to initiate change. Systems change was perceived to have occurred
even at this stage, in that the State mental health agency and the juvenile justice
agencies had begun “talking to each other,” while in the past they had
not had positive interaction. Funding for implementation of the plan is being
provided by the Department of Mental Health, MHB, and SafeFutures, also
illustrating collaboration.
The mental health services being implemented in year 3 focus on youth in
the juvenile justice system. Two new programs are being funded: Child
Conduct Programs and Multisystemic Therapy. The Child Conduct Programs
target 7- to 11-year-olds who are starting to become out of control
and their parents. The program focuses on effective parenting skills to
avert delinquency. Services may include medication, assistance to parents
in finding appropriate youth placement, special education, and other
resources. The MST program uses a team of practitioners, home-based
treatment, and family involvement to treat older youth. SafeFutures funds
will support the service coordinator and the screening of SafeFutures
youth and will likely assist staff training.
Youth receive an informal disposition (suspended interventions) pending
participation in the program. Trained court intake staff, working with a
mental health practitioner, use the Child/Adolescent Functional Assessment
Scale (CAFAS) to determine individual risk levels. When CAFAS
scoring indicates moderate or severe levels of impairment in a variety of
domains (home, school, peer relations, substance abuse, thinking), youth
are given a more comprehensive assessment. If mental health disorders are
not substantiated, youth return to the court; otherwise, a treatment plan is
devised. Services provided by the Department of Mental Health include
psychological consultation, medication, and placement in a group home.
Seattle, WA. Seattle’s Sibling Support Program (SSP) focuses on youth in
the juvenile justice system and their families.11 SSP, which is a continuation
of a project piloted by King County’s Department of Youth Services,
represents a collaboration between SafeFutures, DYS, and the SSP provider
(the Atlantic Street Center, a community-based nonprofit organization).
SSP provides counseling and family therapy services to girls in the
juvenile justice system, their siblings, and their parents. Key objectives
include reducing recidivism and the likelihood that siblings will be offenders.
Participation is voluntary; referrals typically come from probation officers,
members of the Seattle Team for Youth, and judges. A credentialed
therapist initiates the process by screening the parents and explaining the
program’s requirements. A team (including some combination of probation
officer, case manager, Child Protective Services professional, school
T he MST program
uses a team of
practitioners, homebased
treatment, and
family involvement to
treat older youth.
36
officials, and relatives) is then assembled to monitor the offending youth’s
and siblings’ progress and make treatment recommendations. Although
there is no set course of treatment, the typical case progression appears to
include making and keeping regular appointments, getting the child back
into school or ensuring that the child remains in school, and getting the
child and parent to acknowledge substance abuse problems and participate
in therapy. Treatment for youth offenders may also include participation in
other programs or in individual or group therapy.
Delinquency Prevention Programs
The Delinquency Prevention Program encompasses a range of activities and
services for at-risk youth and juveniles who have had contact with the juvenile
justice system. This program promotes prosocial activities that can be offered in
any setting, including school. Suggested activities include tutoring and remedial
education, work awareness or employability skills, health and mental health
services, alcohol and substance abuse prevention, leadership development, or
recreational services. This component is intended to encourage positive approaches
to delinquency prevention that emphasize healthy social, physical, and
mental development. Funding for this component is provided for a maximum
of $200,000 per year to each SafeFutures site under Title V of the JJDP Act of
1974, as amended. Although not required by OJJDP, many demonstration communities
included case management and counseling among the activities provided
by delinquency prevention programs.
In addition to offering enrichment activities and other opportunities (e.g., jobs)
for youth to engage in socially approved networks, much of the focus of this
component is on strategies that involve prevention education or social skills development
to promote positive changes in juveniles’ behavior. These activities
are consistent with theoretical models that suggest individuals perform
antisocially because they lack the necessary skills for prosocial behavior or because
they have limited opportunities and have weak commitment to conformity
(Leiber and Mahworr, 1995; Hirschi, 1969; Cloward and Ohlin, 1960). Several
approaches consistent with delinquency prevention have been described under
various SafeFutures components, such as afterschool programs or services for
at-risk and delinquent girls; others are noted below.
Prevention education (focused on mitigating substance abuse, gang involvement,
or violence, for example) is intended to provide youth with factual information
and the skills to identify and resist risky situations. In general, substance
abuse prevention education approaches that include training in resistance skills
(i.e., skills for effectively resisting social pressure) and broader based life skills
have been found effective, while approaches that emphasize just information
dissemination, fear, appeals to morality, or self-esteem and interpersonal growth
are largely ineffective (Sherman et al., 1997). Some gang and violence prevention
programs teach interpersonal skills and incorporate cognitive-behavioral
T his program
promotes prosocial
activities that can be
offered in any setting,
including school.
37
strategies that appear promising in achieving prevention objectives; however,
more rigorous evaluation is needed to isolate critical elements correlated with
success.
Skills development may include academic instruction, vocational education, or
social skills training designed to facilitate positive peer interaction, anger management,
or a prosocial work ethic. Comprehensive instructional programs that
are delivered over long timeframes designed to reinforce social skills have been
found to reduce delinquency if they focus on developing a range of competency
skills, including self-control, stress management, responsible decisionmaking,
techniques for effective problem solving, and enhanced communication
(Sherman et al., 1997). However, programs that focus on improving employability
skills and job placement have generally not been successful in reducing
delinquency, with the possible exception of the residential Job Corps approach
(Sherman et al., 1997).
Most sites provided delinquency prevention programming through agencies
used to provide other SafeFutures components. In some cases, it is difficult to
separate delinquency prevention programs/activities from those associated with
other SafeFutures components. For example, the Imperial County Law Enforcement
Team, created for SafeFutures, fits under the gang-free schools and communities
component and the delinquency prevention program component, as
does Seattle’s SafeFutures Youth Center (these programs are discussed in the
section “Comprehensive Communitywide Approaches to Gang-Free Schools
and Communities,” page 39).
Imperial County and Fort Belknap developed innovative programs (which also
incorporated elements of systems reform) that were supported through both the
delinquency prevention program and serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offender
program components. These programs involved graduated sanctions, a
key element under SVCJO, but the sites believed these initiatives primarily addressed
delinquency prevention because they served first-time or minor offenders,
with the intent of preventing further or more serious delinquency. In addition,
both programs served some youth who were not involved in the justice
system.
Imperial County, CA. Imperial County established a peer court as a
graduated sanctions option (part of the county’s Court Alternative Program)
for first-time minor offenders, who participate on a voluntary basis
(after admitting responsibility). Court sessions are held once per month
during the school year, and four or more cases are heard per session. A juvenile
court judge or referee presides over the court, with students serving
as jurors, attorneys, and other court staff. Peers determine dispositions,
which usually include requiring the offender to serve as a juror in future
peer court sessions, in addition to sanctions such as community service
(e.g., graffiti removal) and essays or letters of apology.
Most sites provided
delinquency prevention
programming through
agencies used to provide
other SafeFutures
components.
38
The peer court operates as a student club at Brawley Union High School
(where it originated). The club has weekly meetings to prepare for hearings;
volunteer attorneys and other court staff (e.g., bailiffs) assist the students
who will take their roles in court. Club members (some of whom
hope to pursue law careers) rotate the various roles (e.g., clerk, bailiff, juror,
attorneys). Students participating in the club receive credit toward the
school’s mandatory community service requirement. The court serves as a
mechanism to involve/familiarize youth with the juvenile justice system
and teaches participants about accountability—which contributes to the
delinquency prevention aspect of the program. The peer court also can be
viewed as developing job-related or leadership skills in youth.
Imperial County officials perceive the peer court as successful, and during
year 3, it expanded to two additional target area communities (Calipatria
and Niland). A previously existing peer mediation class in a Westmoreland
school (a fourth target area) also has begun sending students to participate
in the court. Activities preparatory to hearings are conducted at
each site, but youth are bused to Brawley for court procedures. Staff report
that mixing youth from all the schools in this forum has encouraged positive
competition. The peer court is an example of systems reform: it added
a new form of graduated sanction to the juvenile justice system, and it involves
collaboration between various segments of the juvenile justice and
school systems.
Fort Belknap, MT. The Tribal Ranch program in Fort Belknap was originally
intended to provide job, entrepreneurial, and life skills to at-risk
youth through work experience at the Tribal Ranch. At the request of court
staff, it was refocused to serve as a graduated sanction program for youth
on probation who are sentenced to community service (generally first offenders).
It also serves nonoffender youth who participate on a voluntary
basis. Youth receive instruction in, and perform, a variety of ranch chores
(a major form of employment/business in this rural setting) and receive
informal counseling from SafeFutures staff who operate the program.
Several communities offered multiple delinquency prevention activities, including
case management and counseling, in the context of one program. This occurred
in the three sites using school-based service delivery (Contra Costa
County, Imperial County, and St. Louis). These programs provided a variety of
activities, such as tutoring/academic assistance, life/leadership skills training,
anger management or mediation skills training, recreation, and support groups
of various kinds. Some of their activities were provided as afterschool programs.
These programs were intended to address the needs of youth and the
schools in which the programs were located. Thus, the nature of these programs
varied across schools and also varied over time within a school.
Some programs focused on developing leadership skills as an alternative to
delinquency.
S everal communities
offered multiple
delinquency prevention
activities, including case
management and
counseling, in the
context of one program.
39
Boston, MA. Boston uses peer leadership in some of its delinquency prevention
programming. In one such program, SafeFutures provides funds to
train and provide stipends for peer leaders who are assigned to three community
centers located in public housing facilities. Although activities
vary at each center, the peer leaders perform functions such as helping
youth with homework, facilitating workshops, leading “rap sessions,”
identifying youth issues, coordinating field trips, and so on. Another peer
leadership effort, the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), is used as a mechanism
for obtaining youth input to SafeFutures decisionmaking and as a
leadership development program. The latter function is intended to encourage
youth to serve as peer trainers, public speakers, and ambassadors
for youth in the community and to provide informal employment readiness
and life skills training. Although YAB was operational during the first
year of the initiative, the administering agency was changed in years 2 and
3, and the program has experienced difficulty in retaining active membership
in YAB.
As noted previously, delinquency prevention activities were often included in
programs supported by other components; some of these are discussed in following
sections.
Comprehensive Communitywide
Approaches to Gang-Free Schools and
Communities
The comprehensive communitywide approaches to gang-free schools and communities
component provides support for communities to follow the OJJDP Comprehensive
Gang Model for reducing community youth gang problems. The evidence
of the impact of gang membership on serious crime is widely supported
(see, for example, Thornberry, 1994; Esbensen and Huizinga, 1993; Klein, 1995).
OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model, or the Spergel model, calls for the implementation
of five strategies for dealing with gang-involved youth in communities
implementing the model. These strategies include (1) mobilizing community leaders
and residents to plan, strengthen, or create new opportunities or establish linkages
to existing organizations for gang-involved youth; (2) using outreach workers
to engage gang-involved youth; (3) providing and facilitating access to
academic, economic, and social opportunities; (4) conducting gang suppression
activities and holding gang-involved youth accountable for their behavior; and
(5) facilitating organizational change and development to help community agencies
better address gang problems through a team problem-solving approach that
is consistent with the philosophy of community-oriented policing (Burch and
Kane, 1999, p. 1). Although the SafeFutures sites are responsible for implementing
all components of the Model, at this point in the demonstration phase, none
has fully done so. This section highlights selected features of sites’ innovative
approaches to various aspects of the Model.
OJJDP’s
Comprehensive Gang
Model calls for the
implementation of five
strategies for dealing
with gang-involved
youth.
40
The first component of the Model calls for a process to mobilize communities to
address such problems by creating a gang task force to develop a comprehensive
community approach to implement recommended interventions. The Model
requires involvement of 11 agencies, including a range of justice system agencies
(such as law enforcement, courts, corrections, parole, probation, and prosecution),
schools, grassroots organizations, the overall community, and youth
employment and community-based youth agencies (Spergel et al., 1994). This
approach seeks to replace the benefits that at-risk youth may associate with
gang membership with more prosocial protective factors through prevention and
intervention. Essentially, the model marries suppression activities with community
outreach to provide services such as employability training and job placement
to gang-involved youth. Funding for this component is available for a
maximum of $400,000 per year to each SafeFutures site under Part D of the
JJDP Act.
Gang prevention programs apparently have been subject to relatively little critical
evaluation (Sherman et al., 1997). Both Spergel (1995) and Howell (1997)
suggest that while no evaluation has revealed successful implementation of a
gang prevention strategy, some promising strategies do exist. Thompson and
Jason (1988) found that gang prevention classes with some afterschool options
led to very low rates of later gang participation, although the study was greatly
weakened by high attrition. Woodson (1981) looked at a program creating gang
“sanctuaries and summits” and found declining murder rates as a result. However,
this study was seriously compromised by other efforts undertaken in the
city at the same time.
More attention has been focused on evaluating gang intervention programs, although
many of these efforts were not methodologically rigorous (Sherman et
al., 1997). Three programs (Miller, 1962; Gold and Mattick, 1974; Torres,
1981) found no significant decline in delinquent and criminal behavior. Klein
(1968) and Spergel (1986, 1995) found that some types of programs, specifically
crisis intervention, conflict mediation, job and school referrals, and direct
interventions to reduce gang cohesion, resulted in less serious violent crime by
gang members. Programs that use mediation or negotiation involving broader
segments of the community—including probation officers and civilians in addition
to police and social workers—to reduce risk factors appear to be more successful
(Sherman et al., 1997). Also, it has been suggested that encouraging individual
cities to tailor their programs to the local gang situation would lead to
more positive outcomes (Klein, 1995).
The evaluation that was conducted of the first 3 years of the Little Village Gang
Violence Reduction Project in Chicago, IL—a prototype of the OJJDP Comprehensive
Gang Model—reports some promising results. Although the components
of community mobilization and organizational change were not fully
implemented, the program successfully employed a cohesive team to implement
the following strategies: social intervention by community youth workers;
provision of social opportunities in education, job training, and employment
Gang prevention
programs apparently
have been subject to
relatively little critical
evaluation.
41
through the development of local contacts and support networks; and targeted
suppression of gang violence through project police and probation teams.
Evaluation results indicated that this multimodal program was successful in
reducing or relatively lowering the rate of gang crime, especially serious gang
violence, for individual youth, targeted gangs, and the Little Village area
(Spergel et al., 1999).
Under this component, sites not only provide some direct services to youth but
also emulate the OJJDP Model by performing activities that do not entail direct
service (e.g., establishing gang task forces, developing gang databases, undertaking
community mobilization). This section focuses on provision of services
to youth.12
Case management/referral was the most commonly provided activity across
sites under the gang-free component, although in some programs it appears to
have been fairly informal. Job skills training of some kind was provided by
most sites, consistent with the Model. Some sites, such as St. Louis, provided
employability training primarily as a free-standing program to which youth
could be referred by various partner agencies. Others blended employability
training into other programs, such as Contra Costa (described on page 44) and
Seattle’s Back to School Program, a joint effort between Central Youth and
Family Services and the Department of Youth Services, which includes a school
reentry component and a vocational component.
Several sites developed innovative programs under this component.
St. Louis, MO. St. Louis SafeFutures subcontracted with a peer outreach
program (Healthstreet/Community Outreach for Risk Reduction [CORR]),
initiated for drug-involved youth, to use a similar approach for outreach to
gang-involved youth (or those at risk for gang involvement). Outreach
workers, some of whom formerly were gang involved, seek to increase
awareness of viable alternatives to gang involvement, including
SafeFutures activities and services. Outreach workers (accompanied by a
supervisor) are in the community most weekdays to contact youth, establish
relationships, and make referrals (primarily for job training and counseling).
Healthstreet support staff perform more formal case management,
referral, and followup functions for youth who express interest in pursuing
the options described. During year 3, some of the staff also began working
with schools to obtain contact information on youth who had academic
difficulties and attendance problems and /or had been suspended or turned
away from school that day because of lateness. Outreach workers offer
such youth referrals to SafeFutures services and also function as advocates
and go-betweens to help these youth be readmitted (where applicable).
During year 3, the outreach efforts initiated under SafeFutures were combined
with similar efforts associated with St. Louis’s implementation of
the Cease Fire model initiated in Boston. This citywide effort is led by the
Case management/
referral was the most
commonly provided
activity across sites
under the gang-free
component.
42
U.S. Attorney’s office. It includes a gang outreach program administered
by the Central Baptist Church, which works in neighborhoods outside the
SafeFutures target area. SafeFutures has referred youth ineligible for its services
to the Central Baptist program; these referrals represent a broadening
of linkages. SafeFutures staff and Healthstreet/CORR staff participate in
monthly meetings of Cease Fire’s gang outreach subcommittee, and there
have been joint training sessions (some supported by SafeFutures) for outreach
workers from both organizations. SafeFutures staff and CORR
workers teamed with Central Baptist staff and other Cease Fire partners
to implement a “Bright Side Blitz” aimed at mobilizing the community
and cleaning up the neighborhood in a priority “hotspot.”
After a recent gang-related homicide, the Cease Fire partners fanned out
within the affected neighborhood to try to prevent retaliatory violence by
diffusing the emotionally charged atmosphere. In addition to offering grief
therapy and victim services, SafeFutures staff arranged safe housing for
two youth who needed to be at a distance from the area.
Seattle, WA. In Seattle, the SafeFutures Youth Center (SFYC), which focuses
on Asian/Pacific Islander youth, falls under both the delinquency
prevention program and gang-free schools and communities components.
SFYC provides case management for youth identified as needing such services,
primarily gang members, juvenile offenders, or those with family
dysfunction (particularly abuse). SFYC has a Vietnamese and a Cambodian
case manager to serve youth of those ethnicities, and there are plans
to add a Laotian case manager during year 4. Because juveniles on probation
are mandated to remain in school, the program has focused on oneon-
one tutoring and homework assistance to help youth meet this requirement.
The center also provides afterschool activities, such as informal
support/discussion groups, recreation, and “hanging out.”
In year 3, SFYC added an academic reentry program for high school dropouts
and those expelled from school. These youth receive high school
credit in general studies classes geared to help them return to the school
system. The program has a certified teacher and operates 5 days per week,
year round. In effect, the program functions as an alternative school for
these youth.
SFYC also provided parent education and support programs, including
home visits and two parent support groups (one each for Cambodian/
Laotian and Vietnamese parents). These programs offered monthly workshops
on topics such as what the roles are of various systems (e.g., child
protective services, police department, schools, DYS, etc.), what to do if
one’s child has contact with law enforcement, and how to deal with
parent-child conflict. The last is a key issue because youth often acculturate
rapidly and in ways that do not support ancestral values, while parents
often wish to retain their traditional heritage.
After a recent gangrelated
homicide, the
Cease Fire partners
fanned out within the
affected neighborhood
to try to prevent
retaliatory violence.
43
The center moved from its initial site to a location closer to the High Point
housing project where most of the youth served by the program live. Center
staff are involved in community efforts, such as a “Tattoo Summit,” a
collaborative effort with the Police Department Gang Unit and the King
County Department of Public Health to help youth who wish to terminate
their gang involvement by establishing a program for removing their gangrelated
tattoos.
SFYC has obtained status as a nonprofit organization, which will facilitate
its sustainability after SafeFutures funding is no longer available.
Imperial County, CA. Imperial County’s Law Enforcement Team (LET),
also known as the Intervention Team, falls under both the delinquency
prevention program and gang-free schools and communities components.
Originally, the team was located in the police department and included
two juvenile probation officers, a deputy sheriff, and a Brawley police officer.
Their work as a team represents a systems reform effort. During year
3, the team’s office was relocated to a police substation in a Brawley public
housing complex located in the heart of gang territory. Also assigned to
the substation are two housing police officers and a Police Athletic League
(PAL)/Community Oriented Policing (COPS) officer, further expanding
justice system interaction, if not the team itself. Two LET members also
have an office at the high school to make them more accessible to youth
and families. In addition, during year 4, the team is being expanded to include
outreach workers, a Family Resource Center coordinator, and other
key service providers.
Since the early stages of the initiative, the team has participated in identification
of and intervention with gang members, joint “gang sweeps” between
probation and the Brawley Police Department (and, sometimes, other agencies),
and joint home visits and patrol activities by the team’s probation officer
and sheriff’s deputy. As the program matured, the team began implementing
a more comprehensive gang intervention agenda to better address
the OJJDP Model guidelines. This led to new areas of emphasis, such as collecting
gang data (including mapping areas of high gang activity), targeting
gang hotspots, and implementing a street outreach component.
LET members perform interventions with youth who have had contact
with law enforcement or the courts or who have been identified as at-risk
youth. These interventions may include one-on-one counseling with the
youth and/or parent or joint counseling/intervention with youth and
parent(s). Referrals to various services are made in conjunction with such
counseling. In addition, team members make presentations on delinquency
and gangs to schools and community groups. Team members also are involved
in the probation office’s skills training program (a family strengthening
effort). Two serve as instructors, while other team members make
presentations to these classes on topics such as drugs and gangs.
As the program
matured, the team began
implementing a more
comprehensive gang
intervention agenda.
44
Some team members make periodic visits to elementary schools to informally
counsel youth referred by school staff for problem behavior, most of whom are
then referred to the FRC or other services. These visits were initiated during
year 1, and this effort was expanded during year 2 into a program involving presentations
by gang-involved probationers to elementary school youth identified
as at risk of gang involvement. Schools also call on team members periodically
to counsel students after a fight or other incident. One of the probation officers
on the team also conducts “school drop-ins” to create a visible law enforcement
presence at schools and informally monitors nonprobation youth identified by
schools as gang involved. These kinds of interactions and information sharing
between schools and justice system agencies also reflect systems reform.
One LET probation officer supervises a reduced caseload of 25 actively
gang-involved youth. The lower caseload enables more intensive supervision.
The other probation officer on the team supervises an informal probation
caseload of 30 high-risk youth or first-time offenders, in addition to
her LET activities. Youth on either caseload (and members of their families)
have been referred for a variety of services supported by SafeFutures,
including mental health or substance abuse counseling.
Contra Costa County, CA. Contra Costa established an aftercare program
focused on gang-involved youth on probation (referred to as “core
team” youth) during year 2. This program was implemented as a variation
of an aftercare program that provides transitional aftercare for all youth
leaving the youth ranch facility (discussed in the section “Serious, Violent,
and Chronic Juvenile Offender Programs,” page 49). Participation is restricted
to males because the ranch is an all-male facility. SafeFutures funds
a deputy probation officer (DPO) to provide intensive probation oversight
for a caseload of approximately 50 youth, typically for 4 to 6 months after
leaving the ranch. These youth are also assigned to a case manager through
the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) or the International Institute. (The three
YSB core team case managers are also assigned to middle or high schools as
FSC case managers, as discussed in the section “Family Strengthening and
Support Services,” page 27.) Case managers refer youth to a variety of services,
including employment programs.
Core team staff members meet every 2 weeks to review the status of each
youth and discuss possible changes in services needed, whether probation
should be revoked, etc. These meetings also enable staff to share information
about gang activity in general, which may provide insight into issues
or behaviors of a particular youth. In addition to the DPO and case managers,
core team meetings are typically attended by the social worker and
SafeFutures supervisor from YSB, staff from the youth ranch, and the directors
of the agencies that provide employment programs for core team
youth. The intention was that police representatives would attend these
meetings, but their participation has been irregular, in part because their
role with respect to this group does not seem clear to them.
S chools call on team
members periodically to
counsel students after a
fight or other incident.
45
A weekly group meeting of core team youth is held because these youth
expressed interest in coming together as a community. The youth dubbed
the group the “YSB Soldiers.” The case managers and YSB staff typically
participate in these meetings, which provide an opportunity for staff to
learn about current issues affecting the youth and about gang-related issues
in the community. Meetings may include presentations or videos
(e.g., related to employment or youth violence). A meal is provided because
staff perceive that “breaking bread” together helps to develop bonds
among the youth, even though they are of different ethnicities and belong
to different gangs. This reportedly has resulted in at least one case where
one core team member protected another—who was associated with a rival
gang—from being hurt in a gang incident.
Two employment-related services receive SafeFutures support to serve
core team youth. One of these, YouthBuild (YB), is an existing employment
training program for youth ages 17 to 24 who do not have high
school diplomas. YB provides extensive hands-on training and instruction
in construction skills combined with academic training leading to a general
equivalency or high school diploma. The program also instills values
through leadership development and community service. SafeFutures
funds are used to reserve several YB slots for SafeFutures youth and for
stipends provided to SafeFutures youth. The second employment-related
service is an “employment aftercare” program provided through Opportunity
West (OW). An OW employment specialist develops jobs (i.e., identifies
willing employers) and places core team youth in them. This program
does not include formal job training, although the employment specialist
provides informal counseling, work orientation, and résumé assistance and
holds periodic workshops/meetings to address issues related to employment.
The OW jobs, which are generally labor intensive (e.g., maintenance
work in city buildings), are intended to develop basic work skills
and an employment track record for the youth. SafeFutures funds are used
to support the half-time employment counselor and to subsidize the salaries
of youth during their “training period” (6 to 10 weeks, depending on
the number of hours worked per day), after which OW helps youth find
unsubsidized jobs.
Community-Based Day Treatment
Programs—Bethesda Day Treatment
Center Model
Community-based day treatment programs modeled after Pennsylvania’s
Bethesda Day Treatment Center are an optional component of the SafeFutures
initiative. Such centers provide intensive supervision, service coordination, and
counseling to youth and families (including home visits, parent or family
reaking bread
together helps to
develop bonds among
the youth.
B
46
counseling, and family intervention services). Individualized educational alternatives
also may be developed for youth who have had difficulties (academic or
social) in mainstream education settings. SafeFutures funding is available for up
to $30,000 (under Part C of the JJDP Act) to permit the demonstration sites to
receive training to develop such centers in their communities.
Founded in 1983, Bethesda Day Treatment focuses on pre- and postadjudicated
youth who are referred to the program by juvenile justice agents. Male and female
offenders are ages 10 to 17. Each youth is assessed, is assigned a caseworker,
and has a service and treatment plan developed to meet his or her
needs. The average stay is 6 months. The program includes individual therapy
(counseling, supervision, and study skills development), group therapy (social
interaction, group counseling, life and job skills training, and group activities),
and family therapy (family and parent counseling, family intervention, and family
training). The program also includes alternative schooling, short-term foster
care, and drug and alcohol counseling. In general, Bethesda Day Treatment offers
an alternative to residential placement or can serve as an aftercare component
for youth returning from a residential placement (Howell, 1995).
At this time, there has been relatively little research on community-based residential
treatment centers. A small-scale evaluation of the Bethesda Day Treatment
model found that the recidivism rate among juveniles participating in the
program was far below national and regional norms, at about 5 percent. Although
this is promising, it should be noted that the scale of the survey was so
small (N=20) that the generalizability of the findings is questionable (Howell,
1995).
None of the SafeFutures sites has adopted the Bethesda model itself, and some
expressed concerns about its applicability for the target areas or population
served in their community. Several sites explored the possibility of implementing
day treatment programs modeled after Bethesda by sending representatives
to visit the Bethesda Center or other day treatment programs. Some sites may
implement day treatment in the later stages of SafeFutures, although not necessarily
following the Bethesda model, and some introduced day treatment as part
of the SVCJO component (discussed below).
Under SafeFutures, day treatment is seen as part of a community’s continuum
of care and can be used as (1) an alternative to placement in detention facilities,
(2) a treatment option prior to adjudication, or (3) an aftercare component for
youth leaving institutional care. Such day treatment would include intensive supervision,
service coordination, and counseling for youth and families (including
home visits, parent or family counseling, and family intervention services).
Other expected program elements are individual, group, and family therapy and
drug and alcohol counseling. Individualized educational alternatives or alternative
schooling also may be developed for youth who have had difficulties (academic
or social) in mainstream educational settings. Some sites, including Boston
and Contra Costa County, are implementing day treatment as part of their
E ach youth is
assessed, is assigned a
caseworker, and has a
service and treatment
plan developed to meet
his or her needs.
47
continuum of care (discussed in the section “Serious, Violent, and Chronic
Juvenile Offender Programs,” page 49).
Continuum-of-Care Services for At-Risk
and Delinquent Girls
The continuum-of-care services for at-risk and delinquent girls component focuses
on providing comprehensive gender-specific prevention, intervention, and
treatment services to young women, along with case management and followup.
Dryfoos (1990) notes that girls with low basic academic skills are five to seven
times more likely to become teen mothers. Acoca and Austin (1996) found that
about three-quarters of female offenders were exposed to violence as children.
Other risk factors include association with an antisocial peer group (Hugo and
Rutherford, 1992), dropping out of school (Snyder and Sickmund, 1995), substance
abuse (Bergsmann, 1994; Dryfoos, 1990), and sexual abuse (Acoca and
Austin, 1996).
Numerous studies suggest that as many as 10 percent of young females are at
extremely high risk for serious criminal activity (Dryfoos, 1990; Reiss and
Roth, 1993; Wilson and Howell, 1993). Between 1983 and 1993, the number of
females involved in the juvenile justice system grew disproportionately compared
with males, including faster increases in the number of person and delinquency
offenses (Girls Incorporated, 1996). By 1994, girls constituted onequarter
of all juvenile arrests (Poe-Yamagata and Butts, 1996). Female juvenile
offenders exhibit many of the same risk factors common to delinquent males,
including physical or emotional abuse, low economic status, and poor parenting
(Bergsmann, 1988; Crawford, 1988; Sarri, 1988, in Bergsmann, 1989), but tend
to receive fewer services, including fewer preventive services (U.S. General Accounting
Office, 1995). Burt, Resnick, and Matheson (1992) report that early
identification and treatment, long-term program commitment, individualized
attention, skill enhancement, life options, vocational orientation, and greater
community involvement can increase girls’ protective factors.
This component is intended to provide services that meet the unique emotional
and developmental needs of young women. A maximum of $120,000 per year is
available to each SafeFutures site under Part C of the JJDP Act. The anticipated
gender-specific programming may include health education (e.g., an introduction
to female anatomy and self-care, basics on appropriate prenatal care, and
information about safe sex), health services, parenting skills, or childcare services
for girls who are parents. It also may include activities supporting basic
education, job training, life management skills, and personal growth focused on
developing a more positive self-image and greater sense of responsibility.
As noted previously, funds for girls’ programming were sometimes combined
with funds from other components. Contra Costa County and Seattle, for example,
combined funds from the juvenile mentoring program and the services
As many as 10
percent of young females
are at extremely high risk
for serious criminal
activity.
48
for at-risk and delinquent girls components to support mentoring programs targeted
to girls, and one of Seattle’s mental health programs (Sibling Support,
discussed previously) also targets this group. It should be kept in mind that
the programs specifically identified as serving at-risk girls were not the only
sources of gender-specific programming. The demonstration sites incorporated
gender-specific programming in other components (such as afterschool programs)
to varying degrees.
Seattle’s Cambodian Girls Group (CGG) is an example of one of the more comprehensive
gender-specific programs. It is also an example of cultural competency
in programming.
Seattle, WA. The Cambodian Girls Group (renamed Help Each Other
Reach the Sky in year 3) provides intensive case management, mental
health services, job skills training, employment and career exploration opportunities,
tutoring, and counseling to teenage Cambodian girls. Girls
served by CGG tend to have family members or friends who are involved
with gangs, with others who are gang involved, or with the justice system.
The girls come from immigrant/refugee families with high levels of conflict,
and parents may be in treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder or
depression.
CGG includes participation in age-appropriate support groups, mandatory
tutoring (3 days per week), employment (5–6 hours per week) at various
organizations that provide job skills and compensation, and parental involvement
in family therapy/parenting classes (discussed in the section
“Family Strengthening and Support Services,” page 27). Family therapy
sessions bring parents and daughters together for a limited number of sessions
to discuss issues relevant to both parties. All girls are required to
participate in support groups, while one-on-one counseling is provided on
an as-needed basis. Girls must meet work/tutoring/therapy attendance requirements
to receive full stipends for participation in the program.
Boston finalized its girls’ program model in the latter part of year 2, when it
subcontracted with an existing agency that provides a range of gender-specific
services.
Boston, MA. ReVision House provides transitional housing for young
mothers and their children for up to 2 years and a shelter serving women
for up to 6 months. Residents are required to participate in job training or
education activities and parenting workshops (which also address health
and hygiene). ReVision House promotes involvement in urban farming,
which is believed to facilitate access to agricultural, environmental, or horticultural
careers. Staff provide training to promote self-sufficiency and
help residents find housing.
SafeFutures funding supports stipends for three resident interns (young
mothers in their late teens). Interns work 20 hours per week and spend
S eattle’s Cambodian
Girls Group is an
example of one of the
more comprehensive
gender-specific
programs.
49
their remaining time involved in activities offered or encouraged by
ReVision House, including chores, budgeting workshops, and appointments
to seek housing (the primary goal for women in the program). Intern
efforts at ReVision include working in the garden and fish farm, helping
with the farmer’s market stand, and promotional activities. Interns also
help coordinate workshops for other residents on a wide range of topics.
The interns also work with at-risk girls (ages 14–18) from several
SafeFutures partner organizations (e.g., Boys & Girls Club, Franklin Field,
Perkins Community Center). Assignments have included providing training
for a “double-dutch” jump rope competition and providing tours and
workshops about fish farming and herb cultivation. Some girls in the partner
agency programs also receive peer leadership training at ReVision that
enables them to make presentations or perform other functions as designated
by the partner agencies. For example, Franklin Field peer leaders
work with younger girls, and those at the Boys & Girls Club assist with
afterschool activities there. Peer leaders also spend time at ReVision, helping
with garden work and the weekly farm stand.
Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile
Offender Programs
The serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offender (SVCJO) component involves
the development of a system of graduated sanctions of increasingly intensive
treatment and rehabilitation services, including immediate interventions,
intermediate sanctions, and secure confinement. Programs such as restitution,
community service, and victim mediation are to be included among the range of
sanctions adopted. Development of an aftercare program to assist juveniles
leaving residential facilities in their reentry to the community also may be part
of this component. The approach anticipates that youth will be assigned to appropriate
levels of intervention or sanctions based on the use of risk and needs
assessment tools developed by the community. Secure confinement is expected
to be reserved for the most serious, violent, or chronic offenders. For those juveniles
who are placed in residential facilities, aftercare programs are envisioned
to facilitate positive reentry to the community. Funding for this component
is provided for a maximum of $100,000 per year to each SafeFutures site
under Part C of the JJDP Act.
As noted earlier, approaches using graduated sanctions, although not fully implemented,
have generally been shown to be associated with positive outcomes. A
study of the Massachusetts system of community-based programs found that the
“regions that most adequately implemented the reform measures with a diversity
of programs did produce decreases in recidivism over time” (Coates, Miller, and
Ohlin, 1978, p. 136). A second study of this program found that it had comparatively
lower recidivism rates than other jurisdictions (Krisberg, Austin, and Steele,
S ecure confinement
is expected to be
reserved for the most
serious, violent, or
chronic offenders.
50
1989). A similar program in Utah was also found to have a “suppression effect”
that reduced the frequency and severity of delinquent offending (Krisberg et al.,
1988). However, it should be noted that not all programs of this type demonstrated
positive outcomes (Howell, 1995).
Several specific aspects of the graduated sanctions model have been shown to
be associated with positive outcomes. The six most commonly cited are (1) continuous
case management; (2) emphasis on reintegration and reentry services,
including reducing the influence of negative role models and increasing prosocial
bonding; (3) opportunities for youth achievement, emphasizing improved selfimage;
(4) clear and consistent consequences for offending; (5) educational and
vocational training; and (6) individual, group, and family therapy (Altschuler and
Armstrong, 1984; Greenwood and Zimring, 1985).
Consistent with the focus of this component, various justice system agencies
were involved in the provision of virtually all SVCJO services. Two existing
community service/restitution programs were expanded under this component—
Payback in St. Louis and the DYS Work Crew in Seattle. Several sites blended
funds from SVCJO and other components to support particular programs, such
as Contra Costa’s Summit Center (discussed in the section “Mental Health Services
for At-Risk and Adjudicated Youth,” page 32). Some graduated sanctions
programs, such as Imperial County’s Peer Court and Fort Belknap’s Tribal
Ranch program, were partly funded through the delinquency prevention component
because they target first-time offenders, although they also address the
SVCJO graduated sanctions objective.
The SVCJO component also may involve developing risk and needs assessment
instruments for use in referring youth to appropriate graduated sanctions components.
Most sites appear to lack formal tools along these lines, although some
have made steps in this direction. For example, Contra Costa’s Probation Department
has been working on developing and testing such an instrument, and
SafeFutures has been assisting in this effort. King County Department of Youth
Services also is developing a risk assessment instrument to drive supervision
plans.
Two sites, Imperial County and St. Louis, implemented reduced caseloads for a
limited number of probation officers under this component. Reduced caseloads
enable closer supervision of youth, who are generally assigned to such
caseloads because they are, or are deemed likely to become, SVCJO’s unless
concentrated intervention is provided. Smaller caseloads enable probation officers
to provide more intensive services than are usually feasible under typical
caseload scenarios. This includes more case management/counseling and referral,
more family contact (which may also include referrals to services for parents
or other family members), and more followup to ensure that services were
received. Reduced caseloads are considered an element of graduated sanctioning
because they permit more intensive supervision of youthful offenders than
is possible under routine circumstances.
S everal specific
aspects of the graduated
sanctions model have
been shown to
be associated with
positive outcomes.
51
Imperial County implemented intensive community supervision specifically targeted
to gang members, under the oversight of one of the probation officers assigned
to the Law Enforcement Team (discussed in the section “Comprehensive
Communitywide Approaches to Gang-Free Schools and Communities,” page
39). St. Louis implemented reduced caseload programs under two justice
agencies.
St. Louis, MO, Family Court. Two Deputy Juvenile Officers (DJO’s) in
the Juvenile Division of Family Court are funded through SafeFutures to
provide intensive supervision and case management for youth who have
been adjudicated delinquent, live in the target area, are gang affiliated, and
have three or more prior offenses. The DJO’s have caseloads of approximately
20 youth each (15 formally placed on supervision and 5 informally—
and voluntarily—under supervision without court processing).
SafeFutures youth reportedly receive a greater range of services (e.g.,
employability training, mentors) through referrals to SafeFutures partner
agencies and faster access to services than youth on regular supervision.
SafeFutures DJO’s have a minimum of one contact per week with youth
on their caseload but usually see them more frequently (as often as two to
three times per day). DJO’s visit schools weekly to check attendance and
meet with school social workers or counselors. They also follow up with
parents.
SafeFutures enabled establishment of an intermediate level of supervision
in what had been a two-tier system (in effect, a systems change). Formerly,
the two tiers were regular supervision (with caseloads of 25–30
youth) and intensive supervision (with caseloads of 15 youth). The new
tier is for youth who have committed more serious crimes than first-tier
youth but not as serious as third-tier youth (the latter have committed repeated
felony offenses, more of them and more serious in nature than
SafeFutures-level youth). Probation administrators noted that it would be
desirable to have this second tier available for the entire city, not just
youth in the SafeFutures target area.
St. Louis, MO, Department of Youth Services. St. Louis SafeFutures
also provides support to enable two Department of Youth Services (DYS)
service coordinators (case managers) to have reduced caseloads of 20 or
fewer adjudicated youth living in the SafeFutures target area. The normal
DYS caseload consists of 25–30 cases. Youth referred to DYS reportedly
constitute the more serious, violent, or chronic offenders; those assigned to
service coordinators typically are returning from secure or intermediate
care facilities (aftercare, in effect), although some are under “direct community
care” (e.g., assigned to day treatment or other community-based
services).
The role of DYS service coordinators is similar to that of the DJO’s. They
meet with caseload youth a minimum of once per week (frequency and
S afeFutures enabled
establishment of an
intermediate level of
supervision in what had
been a two-tier system
(in effect, a systems
change).
52
length of contact vary according to the needs of the client). Service coordinators
seek to involve families in services as much as possible and may
refer family members to services. Weekly visits are made to schools to obtain
information on attendance and performance and discuss the youth’s
behavior with school staff (e.g., counselors) or school police officers.
Meetings with parents usually are followups to school contacts. Coordinators
may refer youth to SafeFutures services that are unavailable to youth
under DYS supervision or to DYS-coordinated services, such as outpatient
or residential drug treatment programs.
In contrast to the sites that revised their supervision practices under
SafeFutures, Fort Belknap lacked a juvenile justice system (other than the
Children’s Court judge). Under SafeFutures, components of an integrated juvenile
justice system have been implemented, representing a significant systems
change. During year 3, the Tribal Code was revised to include the court
positions and functions developed through SafeFutures; this revision enhances
the sustainability of this effort.
Fort Belknap, MT. SafeFutures funds support three staff assigned to the
juvenile court: a juvenile probation officer, presenting officer, and family
court counselor. The three work together to address common issues and
service needs, work fairly closely with SafeFutures staff (a memorandum
of understanding was developed to enable information sharing), and refer
youth to SafeFutures for services. They also developed cooperative working
relationships with off-reservation agencies that commonly serve courtinvolved
youth, such as the county social service agency and the juvenile
probation department for the region (which supervises youth on probation
for offenses committed off the reservation). Such linkages also represent
systems change.
The juvenile probation officer (JPO) provides supervision and case management
functions typical of probation officers. The JPO presides over informal
hearings held to address minor offenses such as curfew violation or
possession of alcohol. The presenting officer performs preliminary review
and investigation of youth referred to the court, presenting the case to the
judge with recommendations and making referrals to the family court or
family services counselor. The family court counselor is assigned to the
court that addresses neglect, abuse, and domestic violence. The counselor
provides case management and counseling for parents and youth. The
counselor also initiated, and has served as the facilitator for, a women’s
support group.
Court staff introduced several new graduated sanctions options including
house arrest, restitution, fines, and community service, primarily at the Tribal
Ranch (discussed in the section “Delinquency Prevention Programs,” page
36). Court staff developed arrangements for temporary placement of youth to
give them time to find an appropriate placement (e.g., the detention facility at
T he juvenile
probation officer
provides supervision
and case management
functions typical of
probation officers.
53
Rocky Boy Reservation, foster homes, or therapeutic foster homes). They also
have identified or developed a number of service options not previously available
to court-involved youth, often on an ad hoc basis. For example, because
of concerns about confidentiality of services on the reservation, sexual abuse
cases are referred to a licensed clinical social worker off the reservation.
Two sites, Boston and Contra Costa County, developed day treatment programs.
Contra Costa’s Probation Department plans to open a day treatment/
transition program in calendar year 2000. It will serve up to 20 youth released
from the youth ranch 2 to 3 weeks early to enter this program. It will include
education, community service, vocational training, and job search training. This
program is expected to be supported by county funds, but it is viewed as part of
the continuum of sanctions and services that SafeFutures has helped develop in
Contra Costa.
Boston, MA. Boston’s day reporting center, implemented in spring 1999,
targets youth returning to the community from locked State DYS facilities
and includes four levels of supervision. Programming at the center includes
a transitional education program, therapeutic groups (for example,
for substance abuse and anger management), and recreational activities. A
mentoring program is planned for youth phasing out of intensive services/
supervision. Youth are monitored through home visits, meetings at school,
and daily contact at the center.
This program represents a systems reform effort in that it involves a contract
between the State’s DYS and a community-based organization,
Roxbury Youthworks (RYW). The latter has a history of working with
court-involved youth, including managing detention diversion programs
and clinics. DYS staff provide case management, tracking, and enforcement,
while RYW staff provide programmatic aspects, such as workshops,
scheduling, outreach, and tracking/monitoring for levels 3 and 4 youth
(those needing less intensive supervision). SafeFutures and DYS provide
funding for the program.
Contra Costa developed an aftercare program under the SVCJO component,
which also is viewed as a systems reform.
Contra Costa County, CA. Contra Costa’s Youth After Care Program
(YACP) was developed through the support of SafeFutures funds, which
enabled the hiring of a second probation officer for the Orrin Allen Youth
Rehabilitation Facility (OAYRF), a residential youth ranch operated by
the probation office for adjudicated boys (typically 14 to 18 years old).
Having two probation officers (PO’s) enables each to be assigned to assist
youth in their transition back to the community after release, in addition to
supervising youth at the ranch. A third officer was added to the ranch in
year 3 (because of expansion of the ranch). The addition of this officer,
who also provides aftercare supervision and in-ranch supervision, reflects
T wo sites, Boston
and Contra Costa
County, developed day
treatment programs.
54
commitment to the program. The funding of this position through “hard”
county funds is an indication of the future sustainability of the program.
Approximately 35 youth are on each aftercare caseload at a time, in addition
to those in the ranch who are also on caseload.
Upon entry to the OAYRF, youth are assigned to a probation officer who
supervises their stay at the ranch and, as a result of this program, provides
aftercare supervision for 45 days postrelease. This arrangement enables
the youth and PO to develop relationships before release (the PO also
works with parents at that stage) and helps familiarize the PO with the
youth’s experiences while at the ranch. The aftercare component includes
more frequent contact than is the case with regular community supervision.
It also ensures that youth have contact with a PO immediately after
release, whereas prior to the YACP, youth often spent some period of time
before having any contact with their assigned PO. Aftercare supervision
generally includes visiting the youth at school two to three times weekly,
meeting with the youth in the PO’s office in the community, and contacting
parents regularly (generally by telephone). In combination, these
forms of contact enable identification of problems earlier than would be
the case otherwise. Probation officers also refer youth to services, as
needed.
A key feature of the aftercare program is ensuring that youth return to
school after release from the ranch. To facilitate this, the probation department
established a “community school” for the YACP in cooperation with
the County Board of Education. The County Board provides a teacher and
an aide for a “transition classroom” serving up to 25 youth. The approach
of the community school is more flexible than that of regular schools and
uses an individualized learning approach to address the different ability
levels of youth in the classroom.
After 45 days in the community, the youth has a court date to assess his
behavior and attitude and is transferred to a different PO for the remainder
of his probation. (If the youth is having problems, the 45-day aftercare period
can be extended or the judge can revoke parole and return him to the
ranch.) Because of the aftercare, the youth and parents are expected to be
more adjusted to the youth being back in the community when the new PO
begins working with them than would be the case otherwise.
Lessons Learned
A variety of lessons can be drawn from the early implementation of the SafeFutures
initiative. Some lessons are common to any complex demonstration; others are
encountered less frequently and may result from SafeFutures’ emphasis on collaboration
combined with implementation of specific component programming.
The findings identified here are grouped into three categories: lessons related to
A key feature of the
aftercare program is
ensuring that youth
return to school after
release from the ranch.
55
funded demonstration projects, lessons related to community-based collaboratives,
and lessons related to service provision. Classifying a given point is not
always easy because some findings undoubtedly apply to more than one category.
Funded Demonstration Programs
An iterative, flexible approach is needed on the part of funders and demonstration
sites to implement complex, multifaceted initiatives. SafeFutures
uses cross-site cluster conferences for this purpose, in addition to the ongoing
training and technical assistance on key program elements.
Cross-site conferences have facilitated an ongoing dialog that has clarified
and shaped the viewpoints of both local administrators/program staff and
Federal agency representatives regarding how SafeFutures should be implemented
with respect to systems reforms and specific programmatic components.
Cross-site conferences also provide opportunities for sites to exchange
information and to learn from each other’s experiences—facilitating crossfertilization
of successful or innovative programs or techniques employed to
address challenges or issues. Electronic communication also can serve this
purpose.
OJJDP modified some policies in response to difficulties encountered by
sites. For example, in year 3, OJJDP modified its expectations related to
mentoring programs to allow sites flexibility regarding the costs of making
and supporting each “match.” OJJDP originally required sites to meet the
cost estimate of $1,000 per match (which was based on a study of costs associated
with Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs). After several
sites reported difficulty matching this cost, OJJDP reviewed the study and
costs associated with other mentoring programs. OJJDP determined that this
amount might not be an appropriate “benchmark” for the kinds of mentoring
programs operated by SafeFutures sites (e.g., focusing on high-risk youth or
those already in the juvenile justice system) and that the requirement could
be relaxed where sites could justify their inability to meet it.
Communities need access to ongoing training and technical assistance to
help implement components with highly structured requirements—such as
mentoring or the gang-free schools and communities component with its
required implementation of the Spergel model of gang intervention—and to
adapt generic models to the local context. Assistance also is needed to reconcile
differing interpretations by local and Federal actors with respect to
the theoretical principles underlying SafeFutures and their practical use
(e.g., what constitutes adequate procedures to accomplish community risk
and resource assessments). Training and technical assistance resources also
have been deployed to assist sites with implementation of evolving concepts
and approaches.
Flexibility in providing additional training and technical assistance regarding
areas with which sites are experiencing difficulty also is desirable. For
Cross-site
conferences also provide
opportunities for sites to
exchange information
and to learn from each
other’s experiences.
56
example, OJJDP enabled sites to obtain additional technical assistance regarding
systems change and the Spergel model, aspects of SafeFutures that
were perceived as particularly challenging. Further, to facilitate collaborative,
multidimensional initiatives such as SafeFutures, training and technical
assistance supported by OJJDP has gone beyond traditional “categorical”
approaches focused on a single program to address topics such as systems
improvement and comprehensive strategic planning.
Continuity of technical assistance providers is important—particularly with
those the community views as a “good fit” for them and with whom the
community has established a satisfactory working relationship.
Small service providers generally need more and different types of technical
assistance and training than large, well-established organizations. Small,
community-based organizations are often less familiar with some aspects of
program implementation such as accountability, recordkeeping and record
reporting, program evaluation, and other requirements commonly associated
with demonstration programs. Staff of such organizations often are particularly
concerned about recordkeeping and tracking requirements associated
with monitoring clients to assess the outcomes of a demonstration program.
This is due partly to concerns about maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive
information. In addition, service delivery staff are primarily focused on
working with youth/families and may believe that recordkeeping and monitoring
take time away from their service provision role. Local program administrators
frequently need to spend more time and effort with such organizations
to ensure that they understand and are able to comply with various
requirements of an initiative.
Demonstration sites need flexibility to exercise cultural sensitivity and competence
in program implementation. Although several programs in each
SafeFutures community were specifically tailored to the cultural context of
a targeted population, staff and service providers encountered difficulties
adapting some components, such as mentoring, to ensure their relevance to
the cultural context. Two sites experienced problems because the concept of
one-to-one mentoring is not part of the culture of the respective target populations
in those sites.
Communities and program staff appear to be reluctant to impose eligibility
criteria to ensure that they serve youth at highest risk or in greatest need.
Many staff seem to regard all youth residing in target areas as being at risk,
without seeing a need to make efforts to identify those at greater risk. Some
programs rely heavily on self-referral or parental referral for client recruitment.
This is logical from the perspective of ensuring that clients are willing
to participate in program activities, but it may result in a failure to serve
youth at highest risk because such individuals might be less likely to selfselect
for participation. By the end of year 3, several sites began using tools
and processes to identify and focus on higher risk youth.
Demonstration
sites need flexibility
to exercise cultural
sensitivity and
competence in program
implementation.
57
Communities have varied in the type and number of youth on whom their initiatives,
or specific program components, focus. Some sites have chosen to
spread resources around to reach as many youth in the community as possible,
while others have concentrated resources to provide more intensive services
to a smaller number of higher risk youth. The former approach is more commonly
associated with prevention programs, while the latter is more common
to intervention programming.
Replication of programs that worked in other communities (or under different
circumstances within the local community) does not guarantee similarly
positive results in a new setting. It may be difficult to isolate and completely
duplicate the features specifically responsible for success. The original
program’s success may have been due to charismatic leadership that is not
easily transplanted. Other program factors also may not translate well in a
new environment, and adapting a program may dissipate and undermine its
effectiveness.
It is desirable to address program sustainability well in advance of anticipated
termination of Federal support. Some SafeFutures programs—such as
Volunteers in Probation (mentoring) in Contra Costa County—took steps to
establish selected programs as nonprofit entities. This enables these programs
to begin fundraising and building a base of support before
SafeFutures Federal funding ends.
Communities often seek to sustain a demonstration program by applying for
other grant funds for its continuation. This approach may seem more expedient
and feasible than securing “hard money” from budgets of local governments
or service providers. However, it often results in modifying key
features of an existing program to make it fit the objectives of the next
funder. It also may result in piecemeal sustainability, in which some elements
of the initiative’s continuum of services receive ongoing support,
while others fade away.
Community-Based Collaboratives
Implicit in the SafeFutures approach is an emphasis on bringing about more
comprehensive and more holistic treatment of youth and families. The road
to systems reform can be seen as a continuum with gradations and permutations.
Bringing together actors from different institutional contexts who
logically need to interact, but have not previously done so, can be viewed as
an early indication of systems reform. At the other end of the continuum is
wholesale systems change, including changes in policies and practices of
institutions brought about collaboratively/jointly to accomplish mutually
agreed-upon reforms. Systems change can also occur within a single institution,
not only across several institutions. Some reform efforts might be
implemented in a single location or may be introduced on a limited scale
with the intent of expanding them systemwide if they appear successful.
Replication of
programs that worked in
other communities does
not guarantee similarly
positive results in a new
setting.
58
The SafeFutures sites provide evidence of systems reform at various stages
along the continuum.
It takes a considerable amount of time for communities to develop viable
collaborations. These are complex mechanisms that involve organizations
with different institutional climates and levels of autonomy, flexibility, and
power; individuals with differing levels of experience and expertise; and
diverse cultural contexts that give rise to different ways of defining issues
and solutions. Organizations need to develop the trust necessary to agree on
how to work together and to decide what to do. Once established, collaborative
relationships need to be nurtured and maintained over time. Consequently,
collaboration is not easy and takes much time and effort. Organizations
must work to overcome histories that include turf issues, longstanding
isolation, dissension and mistrust among key parties, and real shortages of
resources.
In collaborative ventures, the differing perspectives of staff from different
systems need to be recognized and respected if partnerships are to succeed.
For example, staff from juvenile justice system agencies and social service
agencies may work together to deliver a particular service or program, as in
Contra Costa County’s Summit Center. In doing so, they bring different perspectives
on the appropriate way to address particular types of youth behavior,
which may lead to conflict among staff. Partners need to “learn each
other’s language” and develop an understanding of the values and norms of
their respective fields in order to work as a team. Cross-training helps
promote team development and extends staff abilities to deliver holistic
services.
Successful collaborations need individuals in positions of authority to exert
their leadership to secure resources and support. Given the complexity and
cross-cutting nature of comprehensive community initiatives, higher level
forces—often external to the collaboration or even the local community
(e.g., State-level officials)—can exert positive or negative influence on an
initiative. High-level decisionmakers in the public arena and key local or
regional private-sector actors should be informed about the critical nature of
an initiative, to gain their support at the outset. (For funded demonstrations,
it may be useful for the funders to do this.) Such individuals would not be
expected to be active members of the local collaborative (in the sense of
hands-on involvement in committees or direct service delivery) but might
be asked to use their clout in support of the initiative and to mitigate obstacles
that threaten to undermine the achievement of key objectives.
Key community leaders face multiple demands for participation in various
collaborative and strategic planning efforts. Many initiatives—of Federal or
local origin—request (or require) collaboration and/or strategic planning.
Some communities have multiple initiatives of this type in operation at the
same time. As a result, the same key leaders are called upon to participate
in multiple periodic planning, needs assessment, or similar events for the
S uccessful
collaborations need
individuals in positions
of authority to exert
their leadership to secure
resources and support.
59
various initiatives. Because of the multiple demands on their time, it becomes
more difficult for staff of a particular initiative to secure participation
of these key leaders. Increasingly, as funders mandate comprehensive interagency
strategies, local communities will need to develop mechanisms to
“collaborate the collaboratives.”
Turnover among elected officials and administrators of key partner agencies
can have a negative impact on collaborative efforts. The presence of new
leaders may introduce different visions and strategies that dramatically
diverge from those previously endorsed.
Turnover in leadership positions may undercut the pursuit of a coherent
policy, undermining the credibility of the effort and staff morale. At the
least, in such cases, time must be spent rebuilding relationships with the
new administration and reestablishing an understanding of the initiative and
its objectives. Turnover in elected legislative and judicial positions often
leads to subsequent changes in department heads and other influential appointed
positions. As a result, program directors may have to cope with
multiple cases of turnover in relatively short time periods. Turnover can
be particularly disruptive if there are prolonged periods where there is an
“acting” administrator, who may have little incentive to maintain ties to the
collaborative or little power to bring to bear on its behalf. In one site, for
example, the departure of the police chief created a leadership void in the
gang task force, which became virtually inactive for a period of months
when that position was held by acting chiefs.
Implementation of services and activities in multiple components took
longer than either the local communities or the funders originally anticipated.
Sites that had well-developed preexisting strategies were able to
implement program services or activities more quickly, to the extent that
SafeFutures categoric requirements permitted the incorporation of the preexisting
local plans. Some sites primarily provided services through subcontracts
or other agreements with agencies that already operated similar programs
(e.g., afterschool or mentoring programs). This usually facilitated
relatively early implementation of programming, but the downside may be
the continuation of “business as usual” rather than the careful consideration
of whether reforms are necessary. In cases where staff had to be hired and
new programs established, services to youth were invariably delayed by
startup activities.
The SafeFutures sites introduced a variety of accountability mechanisms
over the course of the initiative, in part to ensure that multiple service providers
were fulfilling their obligations. For example, St. Louis instituted a
monthly reporting system for case-managed youth at the start of the initiative.
This management information system (MIS) is used to record information
on service needs and referrals. The MIS has been used to make decisions
about retaining partner agencies and to encourage agencies to make
more referrals. Boston created positions for contract monitors among its
T urnover among
elected officials and
administrators of key
partner agencies can
have a negative impact
on collaborative efforts.
60
administrative staff to provide better oversight of subcontractors. SafeFutures
administrators hold mandatory monthly grants management meetings with
contractors to convey information about administrative and reporting requirements
and other contracting issues. Sanctions are imposed when contractors
are not in compliance with their contracts. In Seattle, the city government
recently introduced outcome-based budgeting, which affects all
city agencies and subcontractors, including those working with SafeFutures.
As a result of this initiative, contractors are required to set quarterly outcome
goals and face funding reductions if they fail to meet them.
Programs operated in partnership with other agencies can be discontinued
for reasons unrelated to the initiative—even in cases where the program is
considered successful. In one site, an afterschool/family strengthening program
that was being replicated because SafeFutures partners believed it was
successfully reaching and retaining high-risk youth was discontinued because
of a decision by the Board of Directors of the agency that operated the
program. This decision was related to financial difficulties of that organization,
not to the effectiveness of the program. In such cases, the local initiative
may have little or no ability to influence the decision of the agency responsible
for the program, unless it is able to provide full funding to enable
continued operation.
Service Provision
Communities are willing and able to implement programming that is innovative
in the local area. To some extent, each of the demonstration sites engaged
in risk taking by implementing at least some services or activities that
no one had ever tried or that were new to their locale. For most communities,
implementing innovative programming had both beneficial and detrimental
effects. New approaches were enticing in that they offered the opportunity
to fill a previously unmet need or gap in service; however, there
was no formulaic approach to success that could be followed. In most cases,
service providers experienced learning curves and had to find creative ways
to redress unanticipated difficulties, many of which were logistical. For instance,
in one site, staff learned that they could not combine programming
for at-risk girls and girls who were juvenile offenders since the latter intimidated
the former and undermined the purpose of the group.
Staff turnover in leadership and other key positions can seriously hinder
program implementation and stability. Several SafeFutures sites experienced
turnover in the position of project director during the first 2 years of
the initiative—and some sites had more than one turnover in the same position
within the first 3 years. Turnover affects the continuity of program
implementation and requires site staff to reestablish linkages and, in some
cases, restart programs that lapsed during periods of staff change. Loss of
institutional memory also occurs in such cases, especially if the program
F or most
communities,
implementing innovative
programming had both
beneficial and
detrimental effects.
61
does not have written guidance and other documentation detailing specific
project operations to facilitate such transitions.
Filling positions—especially positions involving specialized skills—can be
a problem, particularly in rural areas that have a limited professional
workforce. The relative isolation and low wages common to rural areas
make it difficult to recruit individuals with relevant expertise to fill certain
positions. Programs that arrange to provide training to make the existing
workforce more qualified may then face the possibility of losing those staff
after their enhanced skills make them more desirable to other agencies.
Recruiting mentors and other volunteers is particularly challenging in lowincome
areas. Transportation and poverty issues also affect programs’ abilities
to attract and work with volunteers. In rural areas and large counties, the
need to travel long distances works against attracting individuals to serve as
mentors or work as volunteers. Distance also makes it difficult to meet with
volunteers as a group, either to provide training or to hold periodic meetings
to support volunteer efforts. Difficulties in recruiting and retaining mentors
in rural settings also make each match more expensive. In low-income areas,
it is apparently more difficult to find adults who have the ability or motivation
to donate their time. Many of these adults work more than one job,
are preoccupied with the need to find a job, and/or are struggling to raise
their own families with limited resources. In addition, some adults have personal
or legal histories that make it inadvisable to use them as mentors (or
as volunteers in other roles).
In some cases, new mentoring programs established for SafeFutures by
small, community-based organizations had difficulty recruiting mentors because
they were competing for volunteers with large, well-known mentoring
programs (such as BBBS) with more resources and experience in recruiting.
Corporations and other organizations welcome recruiting efforts by such
entities, but are less willing to provide access to their staff to unfamiliar
organizations.
Recruiting mentors is also more challenging for programs that serve youth
already involved in the juvenile justice system or youth who may be perceived
as high risk by potential mentors.
“Hidden” resource requirements can pose challenges to program implementation.
Several programs encountered unanticipated costs associated with transportation
and food (discussed separately below). One program designed to
reenroll clients in school found that once they helped youth return to school,
these students lacked appropriate clothing to attend classes. The program was
unprepared to meet that need or youth’s other needs related to school participation
(e.g., activity cards, sports attire/gear, band equipment). At least one
youth could not officially reregister in school until settling $180 in outstanding
school library fines (the program helped negotiate a payment plan). Similarly,
programs geared to youth employment unexpectedly found that clients
Recruiting mentors
and other volunteers is
particularly challenging
in low-income areas.
62
had no way to get to their jobs or lacked money for lunches (one program
arranged for free lunch program deliveries).
The ability to offer food is an important element of many programs that
serve a low-income population. Providing food and opportunities for group
dining can play a part in enhancing group bonding, modeling prosocial behavior
(e.g., etiquette, respect for others), and meeting the service needs of
low-income youth/families or those in unstable home environments. Many
programs provided healthy snacks during afterschool activities, both to attract
participation and in an effort to address the nutritional needs of youth
(who did not always receive adequate nutrition at home). The PREPP program
in St. Louis provided a hot meal each afternoon, to which parents also
were welcome, as an incentive to youth and to encourage parental involvement.
In Contra Costa County, the weekly meeting of gang-involved youth
includes a shared meal, since staff perceive that “breaking bread” together
helps youth involved in different gangs to bond with each other and with
program staff. Serving food also is viewed as an important drawing card for
programs intended to attract parents or the community in general. Demonstration
sites experienced some confusion or concern about the use of Federal
SafeFutures funds to pay for food in various contexts. Some programs
drew on other resources to underwrite food costs, while a few sought donations
for this purpose.
Transportation and location are critical considerations in programs serving
low-income and at-risk youth. Providing easy access to programs (particularly
afterschool programs) was a challenge in some sites. Transportation
problems were commonly related to the relative lack of public transportation
in low-income areas, the absence of a family vehicle, or the lack of a
family member who could drive the youth to a program. In the rural
SafeFutures sites, these problems were compounded by long travel distances
between various locations. Some programs addressed the problem by
arranging for free bus/subway tokens; others bought or made arrangements
to share vans.
Distance and accessibility concerns were further heightened in some cases
by concerns about the safety of the neighborhood in which a program is located
or whether it is located in an area perceived as the turf of a particular
gang. The latter issues were key concerns in selecting the location of the
SafeFutures Youth Center in Seattle, for example. Some programs made an
effort to locate programs in areas that were considered gang neutral or
sought to define their sites as such.
Conversely, selecting an appropriate site for a program may pose challenges
due to the “at-risk” characteristics of the clientele. One site that initiated
school-based services for youth and families found that elementary school administrators
were not comfortable with the older adolescents these programs
were intended to attract and the schools did not welcome their presence. The
site ultimately closed two of the programs based in elementary schools.
T ransportation and
location are critical
considerations in
programs serving
low-income and at-risk
youth.
63
It is difficult to get families of at-risk youth to support services for their
children or to participate in family-focused services. Despite the emphasis
in OJJDP’s Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile
Offenders on families as the primary providers of care for children, few
sites have been able to meaningfully involve parents in the programs or services
designed to support their children. For the most part, at-risk youth and
juvenile offenders were being served independently of their families. There
appear to be several reasons for the difficulty in engaging parents. Some
parents may feel intimidated by the institutional settings or staff. Others
may be used to resolving personal issues within family/kinship networks
or skeptical about risking privacy to accept assistance from outsiders. Further,
there are parents who fear that program participation might reveal their
own dysfunctional behaviors, such as substance abuse, gang involvement,
criminal behavior, or poor parenting practices. The transience of some lowincome
families also works against establishing relationships with them.
Similarly, the severity of family problems (e.g., substance abuse, imprisonment,
death of parent or sibling) makes service provision more challenging.
In some cases, parents are not truly supportive of changes that they perceive
as turning the child away from the family or displacing the values or authority
of the parents. Some parents undermine program efforts, for example, by
canceling meetings between the mentor and their child, not letting the child
participate in specific program activities, or failing to reinforce programsupported
behaviors at home.
Logistical challenges also affect programs’ abilities to involve parents in
services for themselves or in parent activities associated with youth programming.
Limited access to transportation (public or private) in lowincome
areas (especially rural communities), work hours that may not conform
to a “9 to 5” schedule, jobs that do not provide time off to participate
in family activities, and absence of childcare to enable participation in activities
are among the factors that make participation difficult for parents
who wish to receive, or be involved in, services.
Parents also may be reluctant to participate in classes or programs designed to
improve parenting skills because they believe this indicates that they are not
perceived as good parents. To overcome such feelings, some SafeFutures
programs have made efforts to present such classes in ways that do not imply
that participants lack parenting skills. In Boston, for example, case managers
at health centers and public housing facilities reach out to parents with information
on how the school and juvenile justice systems work, to engage parents
who might resist activities labeled as parenting classes.
The considerable stigma associated with mental health services affects providers’
ability to obtain clients or to serve those in need of such assistance.
Reluctance to participate in mental health services—on the part of youth or
on the part of parents (who are reluctant to receive such services or allow
their child to receive them)—is fairly common, particularly in low-income
I t is difficult to get
families of at-risk youth
to support services for
their children or to
participate in familyfocused
services.
64
or minority communities. In some cases, parents have opted to have their
child spend time in a juvenile detention facility rather than participate in
residential mental health treatment since the former is viewed as a common
(and therefore acceptable) occurrence in their community and usually involves
a shorter stay than the latter. Some youth/parents may simply be resistant
to mental health or substance abuse treatment and may require the
additional leverage of a court order (for juvenile offenders).
Programs need to be developmentally appropriate in terms of both substance
and setting. Programs seemingly experienced more difficulty attracting
and retaining older teens than they did middle or elementary school-age
children. Many SafeFutures programs, particularly afterschool programs,
experienced this problem. There are several possible reasons for difficulties
attracting older teens.
They may be more deeply entrenched in peer groups that support higher
risk activities.
Older teens appear to be reluctant to be associated with programs that
are perceived as serving children and younger teens.
The types of activities commonly offered in afterschool programs, such
as loosely organized sports, free play, and arts and crafts, may not appeal
to older youth.
Older teens may have more options for their free time (e.g., afternoon
sports practice in high schools).
Low-income youth’s need (or desire) for afterschool jobs apparently
mitigates against their participation in programs.
Programs that focused exclusively on older youth, such as Seattle’s SafeFutures
Youth Center, did not appear to have as much difficulty attracting older teens as
those that included a broader range of ages. Some programs, such as Imperial
County’s Boys & Girls Club, scheduled activities for older youth at different
times than those for younger ones.
Staff attempting to attract older youth often are hard pressed to identify programming
that will hold the interest of older adolescents, many of whom are
involved in gangs or the justice system and not all of whom are committed
to engaging in a prosocial lifestyle. In working with such youth, staff often
seek to engage them long enough to have a chance to shape their behavior.
Staff are often reluctant to enforce rules or requirements that might cause
youth to leave a program since participation itself is often seen as an initial
indication of movement toward prosocial behavior.
P rograms need to
be developmentally
appropriate in terms of
both substance and
setting.
65
It is more difficult—and takes longer—to see results of program efforts with
youth who are beyond the at-risk stage, such as those already deeply involved
in the juvenile justice system, gangs, or substance abuse. Prevention
programs often are able to see changes in client behavior and attitude in the
short run. Intervention programs may see little or no real change after
considerable lengths of time. The lack of measurable program outcomes in
such cases makes it difficult for administrators and funders to determine
whether intervention programs are working and should continue receiving
support or whether modifications, or alternative programs, are needed.
Endnotes
1. Each community is eligible to receive approximately $1.4 million per program
year. A supplement of $25,000 was available during year 3 to implement
a management information system to support client tracking.
2. Secondary analysis to date has included review of documents such as the
SafeFutures solicitation and sites’ original proposals to OJJDP, OJJDP
guidance for subsequent years and sites’ continuation applications,
workplans and initial strategic plan documents, progress reports, and materials
describing discrete project activities and services. In general, two to
three multiday visits were conducted at each demonstration community during
each of the first 3 years of the initiative. For each visit, two- or threeperson
research teams toured the targeted areas, interviewed program managers
and other key actors (such as justice system stakeholders and
SafeFutures service providers), observed project activities, and collected
relevant local documents. After each site visit, evaluators reported the site
visit agenda, together with highlights of the local program’s status and issues.
These findings were disseminated as detailed site-specific memos, intended
to support the formative evaluation interests of OJJDP and the local
collaboratives. Relevant information contained in those documents has been
reworked for inclusion in this Summary.
3. Note that programs receiving funds provided under Title II, Part C of the
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974, as
amended (i.e., programs that address at-risk and delinquent girls, family
strengthening, mental health, and serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders)
permit some flexibility. Communities with sufficiently strong programs
in place in any of these component areas could receive permission to
use Part C funds (designated for a particular component) to supplement
other SafeFutures components. All six sites initiated activities in most Part
C components, however. Further, community-based day treatment modeled
after Pennsylvania’s Bethesda Day Treatment Center is an optional component
that none of the sites adopted, although some have introduced other
types of day treatment.
I t is more difficult—
and takes longer—to see
results of program
efforts with youth who
are beyond the at-risk
stage.
66
4. In addition to delivering services to a defined target population, SafeFutures
sites are required to conduct planning and implement systems change
throughout their jurisdiction.
5. Unless otherwise noted, the information contained in this section and the
section covering community risk factors was extracted from applications
submitted to OJJDP for first- and second-year funding of SafeFutures demonstrations.
These documents were submitted in spring/summer 1995 and
1997.
6. Formerly the Department of Housing and Human Services.
7. This Summary is not intended to provide an exhaustive review of the literature.
Taken together, the relevant studies often report mixed results and are
frequently challenged as insufficiently rigorous to justify definitive conclusions.
Despite these difficulties, Federal agencies and practitioners—
whether part of demonstration programs or not—have tried to apply promising
approaches identified by research to improve their own efforts. This
information on research, therefore, is included to identify some of the studies
that lend support to the various SafeFutures components.
8. On a cautionary note: although afterschool recreation programs can mitigate
risk factors and increase protective factors, it is also possible that close
proximity to other at-risk juveniles will increase risk factors due to contamination,
such as has been shown in some gang interventions (Sherman et al.,
1997). The literature addressing the relative merits of afterschool programs
suggests that specific types of components are crucial to outcomes; regrettably,
there is only limited knowledge of which components are most successful
individually and in combination.
9. The Summit Center, planned prior to the SafeFutures initiative, was conceptualized
as a locked mental health unit for serious, violent, and chronic offenders
in Juvenile Hall. However, in order to receive MediCal funding, the
Center operates as an unlocked facility adjacent to, but independent of, Juvenile
Hall.
10. MHB distributes funds collected through a local property tax to agencies
providing mental health and substance abuse services for adults.
11. Seattle provides mental health services under SSP and also as part of the
Cambodian Girls Group, discussed in the section “Continuum-of-Care
Services for At-Risk and Delinquent Girls,” page 47.
12. Because efforts to produce gang-free schools and communities (GFSC) are
closely linked conceptually to the delinquency prevention component and
the serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders component, some sites
used funds from more than one of these to support programs addressing
goals bridging components. This section focuses on the gang-free schools
and communities elements of such programs, where applicable.
67
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(112 pp.).
Innovative Approaches to Juvenile Indigent
Defense. 1998, NCJ 171151 (8 pp.).
Juvenile Court Statistics 1997. 2000,
NCJ 180864 (120 pp.).
Offenders in Juvenile Court, 1997. 2000,
NCJ 181204 (16 pp.).
RESTTA National Directory of Restitution
and Community Service Programs. 1998,
NCJ 166365 (500 pp.), $33.50.
Trying Juveniles as Adults in Criminal Court:
An Analysis of State Transfer Provisions. 1998,
NCJ 172836 (112 pp.).
Youth Courts: A National Movement Teleconference
(Video). 1998, NCJ 171149 (120 min.), $17.
Delinquency Prevention
1998 Report to Congress: Juvenile Mentoring
Program (JUMP). 1999, NCJ 173424 (65 pp.).
1998 Report to Congress: Title V Incentive
Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Programs.
1999, NCJ 176342 (58 pp.).
Combating Violence and Delinquency: The
National Juvenile Justice Action Plan (Report).
1996, NCJ 157106 (200 pp.).
Combating Violence and Delinquency: The
National Juvenile Justice Action Plan
(Summary). 1996, NCJ 157105 (36 pp.).
Effective Family Strengthening Interventions.
1998, NCJ 171121 (16 pp.).
Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants
Strategic Planning Guide. 1999, NCJ 172846
(62 pp.).
Parents Anonymous: Strengthening America’s
Families. 1999, NCJ 171120 (12 pp.).
Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home
Visitation. 1998, NCJ 172875 (8 pp.).
Treatment Foster Care. 1999, NCJ 173421
(12 pp.).
Gangs
1997 National Youth Gang Survey. 1999,
NCJ 178891 (82 pp.).
Gang Members on the Move. 1998,
NCJ 171153 (12 pp.).
Youth Gangs: An Overview. 1998, NCJ 167249
(20 pp.).
The Youth Gangs, Drugs, and Violence Connection.
1999, NCJ 171152 (12 pp.).
Youth Gangs in America Teleconference
(Video). 1997, NCJ 164937 (120 min.), $17.
General Juvenile Justice
Comprehensive Juvenile Justice in State
Legislatures Teleconference (Video). 1998,
NCJ 169593 (120 min.), $17.
Guidelines for the Screening of Persons Working
With Children, the Elderly, and Individuals
With Disabilities in Need of Support. 1998,
NCJ 167248 (52 pp.).
Juvenile Justice, Volume VII, Number 1. 2000,
NCJ 178256 (40 pp.).
A Juvenile Justice System for the 21st Century.
1998, NCJ 169726 (8 pp.).
Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National
Report. 1999, NCJ 178257 (232 pp.).
OJJDP Research: Making a Difference for
Juveniles. 1999, NCJ 177602 (52 pp.).
Promising Strategies To Reduce Gun Violence.
1999, NCJ 173950 (253 pp.).
Sharing Information: A Guide to the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act and
Participation in Juvenile Justice Programs.
1997, NCJ 163705 (52 pp.).
Missing and Exploited Children
Portable Guides to Investigating Child Abuse
(13-title series).
Protecting Children Online Teleconference
(Video). 1998, NCJ 170023 (120 min.), $17.
When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival
Guide. 1998, NCJ 170022 (96 pp.).
Substance Abuse
The Coach’s Playbook Against Drugs. 1998,
NCJ 173393 (20 pp.).
Drug Identification and Testing in the Juvenile
Justice System. 1998, NCJ 167889 (92 pp.).
Preparing for the Drug Free Years. 1999,
NCJ 173408 (12 pp.).
Violence and Victimization
Combating Fear and Restoring Safety in
Schools. 1998, NCJ 167888 (16 pp.).
Guide for Implementing the Comprehensive
Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic
Juvenile Offenders. 1995, NCJ 153681
(255 pp.).
Report to Congress on Juvenile Violence
Research. 1999, NCJ 176976 (44 pp.)
Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders. 1998,
NCJ 170027 (8 pp.).
Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders: Risk
Factors and Successful Interventions Teleconference
(Video). 1998, NCJ 171286 (120 min.), $17.
State Legislative Responses to Violent Juvenile
Crime: 1996–97 Update. 1998, NCJ 172835
(16 pp.).
White House Conference on School Safety:
Causes and Prevention of Youth Violence
Teleconference (Video). 1998, NCJ 173399
(240 min.), $17.
Youth in Action
Community Cleanup. 1999, NCJ 171690 (6 pp.).
Cross-Age Teaching. 1999, NCJ 171688 (8 pp.).
Make a Friend—Be a Peer Mentor. 1999,
NCJ 171691 (8 pp.).
Plan A Special Event! 1999, NCJ 171689
(8 pp.).
Planning a Successful Crime Prevention
Project. 1998, NCJ 170024 (28 pp.).
Stand Up and Start a School Crime Watch!
1998, NCJ 171123 (8 pp.)
Two Generations—Partners in Prevention.
1999, NCJ 171687 (8 pp.).
Wipe Out Vandalism and Graffiti. 1998,
NCJ 171122 (8 pp.).
Youth Preventing Drug Abuse. 1998,
NCJ 171124 (8 pp.).
Revised 11/2/2000
PRESORTED STANDARD
POSTAGE & FEES PAID
DOJ/OJJDP
PERMIT NO. G–91
NCJ 183841
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300


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