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Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
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5

Partnerships

Before youths become justice involved,1 they are members of families and communities and may receive services from community-based agencies, schools, and other government-funded agencies, such as those charged with child protection and those providing health and mental health services. As they come into contact with the justice system in their neighborhoods and communities, they will come in contact with law enforcement, courts, diversion programs, judges, attorneys (defense and prosecution), probation, detention, corrections, and social service providers. The potential partners in a local juvenile justice system are endless; the degree to which they will develop as partners is unique to each jurisdiction and to the strengths of the partnering organizations and individuals. Each of these partners must be committed to a common goal, such as the one envisioned here of a developmental approach to juvenile justice reform, to realize the desired outcomes in each state, local, and tribal jurisdiction.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is identified as the federal agency specifically authorized to prevent and control juvenile delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system. As such, it is the federal agency that interacts with state and local courts and human service agencies, regulatory bodies, and funding sources that in turn interact with all the potential partners in a local juvenile justice system. It is also the agency that has the greatest opportunity to facilitate not only individual partnerships but also a high-impact collective initiative in juvenile justice reform.

Kania and Kramer (2011, p. 39) contrasted what they called “technical” and “adaptive” problems in their review of large-scale social change. Their comparison described “technical” problems as well-defined with solutions within the ability of one or a few organizations and adaptive problems as “complex, the answer is not known, and even if it were, no single entity has the resources or authority to bring about the necessary change.” Juvenile justice reform is a response to this second type of problem.

As a federal agency for a system that is governed by states and localities, OJJDP can assume several roles: leader, funder, facilitator, supporter, and backbone organization for juvenile justice reform. Often it serves these roles in collaboration with other agencies. OJJDP reported to the committee that it is currently participating in 30 federal interagency initiatives, which are listed in Box 5-1, many within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and some representing multiple federal departments.

The primary outcome reported for these efforts was to increase communication, collaboration, and informa-

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1See Terminology section in Chapter 1 for definitions of “system-involved youths” and other terms introduced by the committee for this report.

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

BOX 5-1
OJJDP Participation in Federal Interagency Initiatives

Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence

Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Data and Research Committee of the Senior Policy Operation Group on Human Trafficking

Defending Childhood Initiative

DOJ Indigent Defense Work Group

Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Subcommittee of Indigent Defense Work Group

Evidence-Based Policy Research Work Group

FBI/ICAC Work Group

Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

Federal Interagency ReEntry Council

Subgroup on Juvenile ReEntry and Transitions

Subgroup on ReEntry Research Network

Subgroup on Children of Incarcerated Parents

Federal Partners for Suicide Prevention

Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Steering Committee

Federal Working Group on the National Strategy on the Prevention of Child Exploitation

Forum on Youth Violence Prevention

Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Committee

Interagency Coordinating Council on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Interagency Coordinating Council on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders—Justice Issues Work Group

Interagency Task Force on Missing and Exploited Children

Interagency Work Group on Youth Programs

National Coordinating Committee on School Health and Safety

OJP Institutional Review Board

OJP Juvenile Justice Research Group

OJP Tiered Evidence Work Group

OJP Wide TTA Managers Meeting

Supportive School Discipline Leadership Collaborative

Victim Services Committee of the Senior Policy Operating Group on Human Trafficking

Work Group on Human Trafficking

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NOTE: DOJ = U.S. Department of Justice; FBI/ICAC = Federal Bureau of Investigation/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; OJP = Office of Justice Programs; TTA = Training and Technical Assistance.
SOURCE: OJJDP presentation to the Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach in Juvenile Justice Reform, January 21-22, 2014.

tion-sharing. In the absence of any performance measures to indicate how progress toward the stated outcome is determined, it is not clear how OJJDP leverages these work groups to advance its overarching agenda, nor is it clear how the work group activities are integrated with other OJJDP activities, including several of the seven interagency work groups for which it is the lead agency. This lack of clear measures of success may explain why some stakeholders express concern that OJJDP is spread too thin and that this diminishes its ability to lead a national juvenile justice reform agenda. The committee believes OJJDP should be judicious in its involvement with these work groups, focusing its efforts as an agency and those of individual staff on those work groups that have a clearly articulated role in an agenda for juvenile justice reform, and limit the amount of time spent on information-sharing where there is no action plan.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (2005, p. 2) has identified collaboration as “any joint activity that

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

is intended to produce more public value than could be produced when the organizations act alone.” This should be the intended outcome for every partnership that OJJDP may enter into to achieve its mission. While it is the only federal agency specifically authorized to prevent and control juvenile delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system, it is not the only agency that has an opportunity to contribute to this mission.

A 2012 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) outlined some common barriers to effective collaboration that may, and likely do, represent challenges to OJJDP’s efforts to collaborate. These challenges include the desire of an organization to maintain control (i.e., turf protection); conflicting service priorities and rules; different missions, goals, and standards for achievement; a lack of mutual respect, understanding, and trust; reluctance to share information or constraints on doing so; incompatible professional cultures; different information technology systems; and lack of understanding of a partner’s limitations (Harbert et al., 1997; Patti et al., 2003). The literature suggests methods OJJDP can utilize to overcome these common barriers and help alleviate organizational and cultural gaps between partners; for example, establishing networks among the administrative staff of participating agencies, co-locating, providing well-focused training, creating common terminologies, and fostering open communication (Bardach, 1998; U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2012).

Other factors that the GAO has identified as enhancing and sustaining collaborative efforts involve engagement in eight specific practices: “defining and articulating a common outcome; establishing mutually reinforcing or joint strategies; identifying and addressing needs by leveraging resources; agreeing on roles and responsibilities; establishing compatible policies, procedures, and other means to operate across agency boundaries; developing mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report on results of collaborative efforts; reinforcing agency accountability for collaborative efforts through agency plans and reports; and reinforcing individual accountability for collaborative efforts through performance management systems” (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2005, pp. 14-15). The committee notes that in addition to the strategies outlined in this chapter, there are resources available to OJJDP as it addresses the factors and conditions that must be present at both the federal and state/local/tribal level to successfully confront a complex social problem, such as juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice system improvement.2 OJJDP has the opportunity to redefine its role in all of its partnerships in ways that will advance a developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system. In this chapter, the committee identifies opportunities for OJJDP to reshape current collaborations and to establish important new partnerships.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

A key opportunity for strategic partnerships at the federal level is within DOJ itself. While OJJDP is the federal agency tasked to improve the juvenile justice system, it is one of five agencies within the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and one of many other agencies within DOJ. Implementation of a developmental approach to juvenile justice will require OJP and DOJ’s support and leadership. The committee recognizes that acceptance of the hallmarks of a developmental approach to juvenile justice reform across all DOJ agencies is a necessary condition for carrying out the strategy outlined in this report.

Where there is a common agenda across DOJ agencies, such as in responding to children exposed to violence,3 multiple agencies engage in mutually reinforcing activities and leverage their resources so that collectively they have a greater impact than individual projects or single-agency funding to address complex problems. However, a shared agenda should not divert any partnering agency from its primary mission; each agency should be able to advance its particular mission in the context of the overall collaboration. DOJ and OJP play an important role in ensuring that agencies within the department are able to collaborate without compromising the focus on their core mission. For example, it would be prudent for OJJDP’s efforts to focus largely on justice-involved youths while it engages the broader agenda of prevention with other DOJ offices and other federal partners (such as those within

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2For example, federal and state agencies have utilized Results-Based Accountability to guide collaborative efforts and the Results Score Card to measure outcomes. See http://resultsleadership.org/ http://resultsaccountability.com/.

3The Defending Childhood Initiative, based on the report from the Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, “leverages existing resources across DOJ to focus on preventing, addressing, reducing, and more fully understanding childhood exposure to violence.” The report is available: http://www.justice.gov/defendingchildhood/about-initiative.html [May 2014].

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

the Department of Health and Human Services) that have primary prevention as a central mission.4 It is critical for OJJDP to maintain a steadfast focus on the populations within its mission, even while leading or participating in efforts with a scope broader than justice-involved youths.

In the area of youth violence, agencies within DOJ and other federal agencies are working on joint programs such as Second Chance (Re-entry), Children of Incarcerated Parents, and My Brother’s Keeper. These efforts provide an opportunity for OJJDP, as a key agency within DOJ, to voice an agenda on the reform of the juvenile justice system as part of a larger community-oriented policy commitment focused on youth violence and delinquency prevention.

A significant example of nesting OJJDP’s agenda in a broader DOJ initiative is evident in the opportunities to collaborate with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The law enforcement community is key in reforming the juvenile justice system, and COPS is a critical partner for OJJDP to reach that community. There are opportunities to embed the hallmarks of a developmental approach in existing COPS-OJJDP activities, as well as to create new joint initiatives.

OJP has made a strong commitment to strategic alignment and partnership.5 OJP includes OJJDP, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, and Office for Victims of Crimes. Currently OJJDP has, or could have, a major role in several initiatives that present an opportunity for implementing the recommendations of the 2013 National Research Council (NRC) report and for incorporating developmentally based principles of juvenile justice reform in the work of all OJP programs. As previously noted, initiatives such as the Second Chance (Re-entry), Children of Incarcerated Parents, and My Brother’s Keeper are all joint OJP department activities and present opportunities to connect different parts of the justice system to the hallmarks of a developmental approach by utilizing the BJA model of demonstration projects and to creatively finance such projects within existing or augmented appropriations.

Recommendation 5-1: The U.S. Department of Justice, including but not limited to the Office of Justice Programs, should authorize, publicly support, and actively partner with OJJDP to provide federal support for developmentally oriented juvenile justice reform in states, localities, and tribal jurisdictions. The federal initiative should include strategic training and technical assistance; demonstration programs; and a range of incentives to states, localities, and tribes to achieve specific outcomes for justice-involved youths, as well as specific system changes.

FEDERAL PARTNERSHIPS

In an environment of unlimited time and financial and staff resources, OJJDP might be able to pursue every partnership possibility at the federal level. However, when there are limited staff and financial resources, as well as limited time, the committee believes OJJDP should focus activities and partnerships on those opportunities that will have the greatest impact on the goal of a more developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system. OJJDP should focus on developing and supporting partnerships that will help the agency develop and implement a learning curriculum for staff (see Chapter 3) and design a demonstration grant program (see Chapter 4) by, for example, borrowing experts in national organizations and foundations and engaging families of justice-involved youths. In addition, OJJDP should identify opportunities for strategic collaborations that address the hallmarks of a developmental approach (see Chapter 2).

For example, to support the goal of a fair and accountable system, OJJDP could explore developing practice guidelines for pre-petition diversion with the Department of Education and COPS. Or it could establish as a coordinating council priority increasing youth and family participation as full partners in system improvement and intensifying family engagement in juvenile justice proceedings.

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4For example, to the extent that OJJDP is carrying out responsibilities assigned under the Missing Children’s Assistance Act or the Victims of Child Abuse Act, the committee believes that appropriations under those statutes need be adequate to support OJJDP’s assigned activities so that they do not divert agency resources from its mission under the JJDPA.

5Remarks of the Honorable Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, at the meeting of the Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach in Juvenile Justice Reform, February 14, 2014, Washington, DC.

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

A third example involves strengthening the existing partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),which presents an opportunity to incorporate the lessons learned in mental health services regarding family engagement. SAMHSA’s Systems of Care initiative has resulted in stronger family involvement and engagement in the delivery of mental health services at the local level. It has been extended to those families who are served through child welfare systems. In some local jurisdictions, there are also lessons learned for involving and engaging families of system-involved youths. These local lessons learned present opportunities for OJJDP to incorporate a developmental approach into Systems of Care and to import the developmentally appropriate family engagement strategies from that initiative into the reform of the juvenile justice system.

Recommendation 5-2: OJJDP should initiate and support collaborative partnerships at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels and should use them strategically to advance the goal of a developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system.

Role of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974, as amended, established the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as an independent organization in the executive branch of the federal government. The coordinating council is composed of representatives from the statutory member agencies (the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services; the Executive Office for National Drug Control Policy; the Corporation for National and Community Service; and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency of the Department of Homeland Security), plus three members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, three appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, and three by the President. All appointed members are to be practitioners in the field of juvenile justice who are not officers or employees of the United States.

As discussed in Chapter 2, one hallmark for a developmental approach to juvenile justice reform is incorporating the perspective of system-involved youth and families in decision making around juvenile justice interventions and reform agendas for system improvements. The coordinating council, which includes juvenile justice stakeholders, provides an opportunity to fully engage justice-involved youths and families at the federal level and to include their perspectives in guiding policy, practice, and reform. As noted by Pennell and colleagues (2011, p. 11):

… through the Second Chance Act of 2007 and the support of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, reentry initiatives are cognizant of the need for family engagement and other ecological approaches. The Second Chance Act has underscored the role of family engagement in a youth’s transition home from a juvenile justice facility and is funding family and community collaborative strategies.

The committee heard broad support from across the juvenile justice field for family engagement. In a presentation to the committee, a representative of the Campaign for Youth Justice noted the desire of juvenile justice system advocates to have family and youth voices included on the coordinating council.6 In another presentation, OJJDP voiced recognition of the value of engaging youth and families at the local level.7 At the most recent meeting of the coordinating council (April 2014), family and youth perspectives were included in the informal networking that took place after the meeting. In remarks to the committee, Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason indicated the possibility of family engagement through a seat on the coordinating council.8

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6Presentation by Carmen Daugherty to the Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach in Juvenile Justice Reform, February 14, 2014.

7OJJDP Presentation to the Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach in Juvenile Justice Reform, January 21-22, 2014.

8Presentation to the Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach in Juvenile Justice Reform by Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason on February 14, 2014. See Appendix A for a list of speakers and interviews.

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

Recommendation 5-3: OJJDP should establish and convene, on an ongoing basis, a Family Advisory Group to the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, composed of youths and families whose lives have been impacted by the juvenile justice system.

The purpose of the coordinating council is to coordinate relevant federal work and support state and local juvenile justice programs. The most recent charter for the coordinating council, which was approved in April 2012 for a 2-year period, states that:

The function of the Council shall be to coordinate Federal juvenile delinquency programs (in cooperation with State and local juvenile justice programs), all Federal programs and activities that detain or care for unaccompanied juveniles, and all Federal programs relating to missing and exploited children. The Council shall examine how the separate programs can be coordinated among Federal, State, and local governments to better serve at-risk children and juveniles and shall make recommendations to the President, and to the Congress, at least annually with respect to the coordination of overall policy and development of objectives and priorities for all Federal juvenile delinquency programs and activities and all Federal programs and activities that detain or care for unaccompanied juveniles…. ”9

Section 3 of the charter also outlines a scope of activities that includes (1) a review of programs and practices of federal agencies to determine whether they are consistent with the JJDPA, (2) the ability to make recommendations regarding joint funding proposals by OJJDP and council member agencies, (3) review of the reasons for federal agencies to take juveniles into custody, and (4) the ability to make recommendations on how to improve practices and facilities holding these identified juveniles.

In examining the work of the coordinating council, the committee received information from OJJDP staff, interviewed members of the council, and reviewed the council Website and materials. Acting on the charter described above, the council’s recent accomplishments, as identified by OJJDP,10 appear to be the exchange of information on critical initiatives and dissemination of information to a national audience. External stakeholders have an opportunity to observe coordinating council meetings in person or by webcast. The committee noted that while OJJDP staff report accomplishments that started with an exchange of information at a council meeting and then developed into follow-up work,11 it was difficult to identify the strategic actions of the coordinating council. For example, OJJDP staff report that the 2013 NRC report now permeates the agency’s work with federal partners. However, the committee was unable to discern whether and how OJJDP has used the authority of the coordinating council to reinforce the developmental approach in each of the council’s member agencies or to recommend future federal activities. The committee did determine that several documents on the coordinating council website do not reflect a coordinated approach to delinquency prevention or juvenile justice and are significantly out of date.12 For example, the fiscal year 2008 Delinquency Development Statements, while no longer required, were used for joint planning and appear to be the most recent expressions of the council’s collective efforts. The statements are a useful listing of programs and grants but do not describe or demonstrate how these programs are designed to address a joint outcome or shared goal.

By working with its federal partners on the coordinating council, OJJDP has the opportunity to lead and coordinate collaborative program initiatives focused on the hallmarks of a developmental approach. A current model that may be useful for OJJDP to examine is the administration’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which brings together the White House Domestic Policy Council; White House Office of Urban Affairs; and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Treasury

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9Charter: Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, signed by the Attorney General, April 20, 2012, page 3. Available: http://www.juvenilecouncil.gov/materials/AG_approval_and_signed_Charter.pdf [May 2014].

10Personal communication from representatives of the OJJDP coordinating council staff, April 11, 2014.

11Personal communication from representatives of the OJJDP coordinating council staff, April 11, 2014.

12The coordinating council’s Website contains the most recent plan “Combating Violence and Delinquency: The National Juvenile Justice Action Plan” from 1996. The most recent Federal Agencies Delinquency Development Statements demonstrating their collective contribution to reducing or preventing delinquency are from 2008, and the hyperlink to “A Shared Vision for Youth,” the collaborative effort to address violence, is broken. The materials on individual agency Websites date from 2008. The Website is Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, http://www.juvenilecouncil.gov/index.html [May 2014].

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

“in support of local solutions to revitalize and transform neighborhoods. The interagency strategy is designed to catalyze and empower local action while busting silos, prioritizing public-private partnerships, and making existing programs more effective and efficient.”13 Together, these agencies and offices have integrated several related programs, targeted resources in a coordinated grant strategy, provided joint technical assistance, and shared best practices. This may be a prototype for work that OJJDP could lead through the coordinating council, which has greater statutory authority14 and leadership involvement than the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative and therefore has the potential to accomplish even more. OJJDP could also look to past coordinating council activities, such as SafeFutures, Safe Schools/Healthy Students, and Safe Kids/Safe Streets, for examples of shared outcomes, multiyear commitments of technical assistance and funding, and agency guidance that could be instructive as the council re-asserts its leadership capacity.

If the coordinating council is used strategically, it can serve an important role in addressing the barriers to collaboration outlined by the GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2012) by laying out an agenda for the federal partners that defines a common outcome; establishes mutually reinforcing or joint activities; addresses needs by leveraging resources; agrees on roles and responsibilities; establishes compatible policies, procedures, and other means to operate across agency boundaries; develops mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report on results; reinforces agency accountability for collaborative efforts through agency plans and reports; and reinforces individual accountability through performance management systems. All of this should be visible to all stakeholders. For example, OJJDP can work through the council to launch an interdepartmental effort to involve the relevant community agencies (e.g., police, probation, prosecutors, schools, health and human services) in establishing developmentally appropriate diversionary tools to reduce the number of youths coming into the system, with particular attention directed to the issue of school referrals to law enforcement that may be criminalizing normal adolescent misbehaviors.

Recommendation 5-4: OJJDP, with the support of the attorney general, should use the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention strategically to implement key components of developmentally oriented juvenile justice reform through interagency, intergovernmental (federal-state-local partnering), and public-private partnering activities with specific measurable objectives.

Federal Budget Opportunities

Federal funding to serve adolescents is typically categorical and focused on narrowly defined purposes or problems. States and localities desiring to tap federal funding for serving youths involved in the juvenile justice system must navigate a web of agency policies, funding restrictions, eligibility requirements, and other complexities. The result is a fragmented service delivery system that frequently fails to meet the multiple needs of system-involved youths (Hayes, 2002; Moore, 2012). Durable, long-term, systemic improvements that result in improved outcomes for youths in the juvenile justice system will require high-quality, coordinated services and opportunities in the community. States and local governments have demonstrated their ability to improve outcomes for children and youths when provided access to integrated funding (National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, 2006; National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, 2004; Rust, 1999). If available federal grant programs are leveraged effectively, they can be used to create a service delivery continuum in communities reaching from primary prevention to aftercare, while supporting systems building, research, and data collection.

Given the sheer number of distinct federal programs relevant to the juvenile justice system and a developmentally informed approach to reforming it, the committee commissioned a paper by The Finance Project to catalog the relevant programs in seven domains: Health and Well-Being, Academic Success, Youth Development and Engagement, Supportive Families and Communities, Accountability and Fairness, Other Supportive Services,

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13See Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative on the website of the White House Office of Urban Affairs: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oua/initiatives/neighborhood-revitalization [May 2014].

14As noted in the April 2012 charter, the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention was established by Section 206 of the JJDPA.

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

and System-Building and Support (Hayes, 2014). Table 5-1 summarizes that catalog, which is available online,15 and its subcategories for activities in each domain. Funding sources for these subcategories were identified and reviewed, where applicable, by stages of youth involvement in the juvenile justice system: primary prevention, diversion, community supervision, placement, and aftercare. Approximately 110 federal programs were identified that support initiatives for youths who are involved in or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system. Programs related to the causes and consequences of juvenile delinquency are authorized under 11 different federal departments and agencies, of which OJJDP manages the smallest number of grant programs with the least amount of resources (Hayes, 2014). OJJDP is the only agency that would use its funds directly for juvenile justice system improvement. As discussed in Chapter 3, restoring OJJDP’s funding and capacity and flexibility would advance the nation’s reform movement. However, even in its current state, by working with its federal partners, OJJDP could use information in the catalog to inform its consideration of interagency initiatives and to provide guidance and support for states, localities, and other stakeholders on ways to leverage federal funding.

Even if leveraged and used creatively, federal funds will not provide support for all of the components of developmentally oriented juvenile justice reform. While federal funding currently supports an array of services, a significant number of the programs are focused on substance abuse and behavioral health services. Relatively few fund family support, family literacy, and other services to strengthen the capacity of parents and family members to address truancy, school dropout, and other adolescent risk-taking behaviors that lead to or are associated with juvenile justice involvement. In addition, only three programs fund indigent defense, and there is little to no funding for training of the judiciary or prosecutors, who are critical components of a fair and equitable system (Hayes, 2014). These are key elements of a developmentally informed juvenile justice system, and OJJDP will need to work with private foundations or encourage states to address these resource gaps as part of a reform effort.

A coordinated federal approach to funding provides each agency with the opportunity to leverage the collective impact of its resources and advance its agency-specific missions. In addition, availability of and access to flexible federal resources will encourage states and localities to engage in system reform efforts. The options for federal partners to provide these resources include all of the following:

  • Use existing administrative authority to establish flexibility in current federal funding. For example, flexibility could be created through waivers of the state match, program eligibility requirements, or grant timelines.
  • Dedicate a share of, or create a preference within, an existing federal program to specifically serve justice-involved youths. For example, housing incentives could be provided for youths returning to their communities from placement by prioritizing vouchers for this population.
  • Commit discretionary funding, for example, to create flexible resources for use by jurisdictions participating in a demonstration program or to address resource gaps such as family support services or indigent defense.
  • Create a pool of federal funding by bundling several programs under a single initiative. For example, separate categorical funding sources could be aligned and delivered through an OJJDP demonstration project.

Recommendation 5-5: OJJDP should work with its federal agency and Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention partners (i) to blend or leverage available federal funds to support OJJDP demonstration projects and (ii) to provide guidance to eligible grantees on leveraging federal funding at the state or local level.

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15The catalog contains a matrix of funding for activities in the seven domains, a one-page description for each funding program with the name of the program, authorizing legislation, brief description of the program’s purpose, how funds may be used, the application requirements, and the process (Hayes, 2014). Available: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/dbasse/claj/dbasse_088937 [August 2014].

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

TABLE 5-1 Federal Funding for Youths with, or at Risk of, Juvenile Justice Involvement (ages 10-24 years)

Health and Well-being Academic Success Youth Development and Engagement Supportive Families and Communities Accountability and Fairness Other Supportive Services System-Building and Support
Prevention and treatment of fetal alcohol syndrome, child abuse or neglect, trauma Academic support Character building Family support services Law enforcement and policing practices (youth-related) Professional development (for practitioners providing discipline/services to youths) Professional development (for practitioners providing discipline/services to youths)
 
Medical and dental care School discipline Civic engagement Family literacy School resource officers Housing Case management
 
Nutrition, Other: arts/culture; family literacy; ESL* Community service, Family counseling Teen courts/specialty courts, Transportation Planning coordination and collaboration
 
Substance abuse treatment Bullying prevention Mentoring Peer interventions Indigent defense Collaborations—community agencies Evaluation
 
Mental health and behavioral services (including anger management) Dropout prevention and recovery Vocational and occupational training; work experience Violence reduction Risk assessment, Short-term crisis placements Technical assistance and training
 
Recreation and fitness Alternative schooling, GED* Job placement, Gang awareness and diversion, Day or evening reporting centers Alternatives to detention Data and information technology
 
Reproductive services, Special education supports; transition planning Summer employment Financial literacy   Multisystem service centers Facilities improvement; management systems improvement

*ESL = English as a Second Language; GED = General Educational Development [tests].
SOURCE: Hayes (2014).

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

NATIONAL ORGANIZATION PARTNERSHIPS

Collaboration with national organization partners also will be critical to achieving the goal of a developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system. OJJDP has successfully adopted the dual role of leadership and partnership in the past with practitioners, affiliated youths serving partner agencies, and organizations to support decision makers in the juvenile justice arena (see also Box 2-2).

The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice

Two national organizations that can facilitate a strong partnership between OJJDP and the states are the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ). The FACJJ comprises representatives from a number of State Advisory Groups. The CJJ includes the State Advisory Groups plus individuals and other organizations, all focused on juvenile justice. OJJDP would be well served if it engaged both entities in concrete partnerships that leverage their relationships with the states beyond the current information-sharing activities by OJJDP. Both entities have the opportunity to incorporate not only the recommendations of the 2013 NRC report but also the recommendations of the Youth Engagement Sub-Committee to include youth voice and engagement at the federal level. This presents another opportunity for OJJDP leadership in juvenile justice reform.

Law Enforcement Organizations

Partnerships with national law enforcement associations should be one of the centerpieces of OJJDP’s efforts to transform how law enforcement deals with young offenders. These organizations represent the majority of the police executives across the nation; many of them have memberships that overlap, and all have the infrastructures already in place to reach and influence their members effectively. The organizations host national, regional, and local training forums. They possess the expertise, staffing, and networking to build and systematically deliver a sustainable program across the nation. Most important, they represent the part of the system where most diversion activities take place. As discussed in Chapter 2, developing and using alternatives to justice system involvement is one of the hallmarks of a developmental approach to reform.

Law enforcement agencies across the country have already recognized the important role they play in the juvenile justice system. In September 2013, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), with support from the MacArthur Foundation, conducted a survey of over 900 law enforcement executives. The survey found that these executives desired to be better informed on how to address the nation’s youths, particularly through early intervention and diversion activities for justice-involved youths, as well as through improved interactions with them and their families (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2013). For optimal results, any effort by OJJDP to engage with national law enforcement entities should be strategic, well defined, supported with funding and training and technical assistance, and built on existing activities.

An example of an ongoing effort to increase pre-arrest jail diversion is the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training developed by the Memphis, Tennessee, Police Department in 1988. The Memphis Police Department, working with members of the local Alliance for the Mentally Ill, designed CIT training that specifically trained officers to respond to incidents involving people with mental illness. The Memphis CIT model and other special-response approaches have been shown to be effective in reducing arrests of those with mental illness and improving the likelihood of treatment with community-based providers. This model took root across the nation, spreading to nearly 2,000 communities in more than 40 states and demonstrating the positive dividends of collaboration among law enforcement, mental health providers, advocates, and federal agencies such as SAMHSA and BJA (Council of State Governments’ Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, 2005; National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2012).16

_________________

16SAMHSA and BJA have funded initiatives that adopt this model, including SAMHSA’s Law Enforcement and Behavioral Health Partnerships for Early Diversion grantees and the BJA-funded Council of State Governments’ Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project. For the former, see http://gainscenter.samhsa.gov/earlydiversion/default.asp [August 2014]; for the latter, see Council of State Governments’ Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, 2005.

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

Standards for Juvenile Justice

Another potential collaborative opportunity for OJJDP is working with the American Bar Association (ABA) to revise and update the ABA’s standards on juvenile justice, a stand-alone volume that supplements the ABA’s influential Standards on Criminal Justice (American Bar Association, 1968). The original Juvenile Justice Standards Project was initiated in 1971 at the Institute of Judicial Administration (IJA) with the intention of annotating the Standards for Criminal Justice to identify how juvenile law diverged from law governing (adult) criminal adjudication. The IJA and ABA staffs found more extensive fundamental disparities than they had anticipated. In particular, the criminal justice standards did not address the issues presented by the separate courts and agencies established to handle problems affecting juveniles and their families. As reviewed by Shepherd (1996), IJA then began to plan

… a modest project to produce a single volume devoted to juvenile justice. Ten years and 23 volumes later, the IJA-ABA Juvenile Justice Standards series was completed…. The House of Delegates [had] approved 17 volumes in 1979, and three more in August 1980. Of the remaining three volumes, Standards Relating to Schools and Education was withdrawn from consideration by the House of Delegates as too specialized; Standards Relating to Noncriminal Misbehavior volume was tabled by the delegates as too controversial; and Standards Relating to Abuse and Neglect was returned for revision. A revised volume on abuse and neglect was approved by the joint commission and published with the final revised drafts of all 23 IJA-ABA juvenile justice standards volumes in 1980. In 1992, the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Section on Criminal Justice formed a subcommittee to review and revive the standards, and that subcommittee … reported that they were still timely and singularly helpful. At the 1994 ABA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, the committee presented a Presidential Showcase Program on “Taking the ABA Juvenile Justice Standards to the 21st Century: Juvenile Justice Reform for the 90s.” The audience was enthusiastic and plans were laid to publish a one-volume compilation of the standards with annotations to mark the body’s intention to urge widespread implementation of the Standards.

In 2006, the Executive Committee of ABA’s Criminal Justice Section approved work on an additional chapter to the Juvenile Justice Standards covering standards relating to crossover, dual-jurisdiction, and multisystem youths. These standards have not been finalized, and work on them continues. Drafts have been reviewed by the Criminal Justice Section’s Standards Committee, and revisions are being made before presentation to the Criminal Justice Section Council.17

It has been almost 35 years since the ABA approved the Juvenile Justice Standards. Review and reconsideration are long overdue in light of developments in the law as well as advances in knowledge about adolescent development. The committee understands that the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section Executive Committee is considering initiating a process to review and revise the existing juvenile justice standards. The committee hopes that the ABA will undertake this project and that it will convene a multidisciplinary task force to conduct the necessary study, with participation by the relevant professional, scientific, and stakeholder organizations, which should include a range of stakeholder groups such as the National Juvenile Defender Center, National Association of Counsel for Children, National District Attorneys Association, American Prosecutors Association, and National Association of Attorneys General. If the ABA does decide to undertake this project, DOJ, acting through OJJDP, should participate actively and provide its full support.

Recommendation 5-6: OJJDP, with support of the attorney general, should support and participate in an American Bar Association project to formulate a new and updated volume of standards for juvenile justice based on the developmental approach.

_________________

17Personal communication on juvenile standards from Kevin Scruggs, Director, Criminal Justice Standards Project, American Bar Association, to Richard Bonnie, Chair, Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach in Juvenile Justice Reform, July 2014.

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

OJJDP’s Role

All of the national organizations discussed here actively work to influence policy and institutional changes on a national level. Effectively engaging these and other national organizations in the effort to reform the juvenile justice system may require OJJDP to (1) educate the leadership within these and other organizations on the hallmarks of the developmental approach, and (2) work with them on developing curriculum and training tools for their constituent agencies, including training tailored to the needs of agency leaders, management, and line staff/officers. The committee sees a clear partnership opportunity involving the CJJ and FACJJ to develop a training plan to ensure that each State Advisory Group participates in and completes the training curriculum (see discussion on training State Advisory Groups in Chapter 4).

Recommendation 5-7: OJJDP should increase its capacity to provide training and technical assistance by initiating or capitalizing on partnerships with national organizations that provide training and guidance to their membership and recognize the need for enhanced training in the hallmarks of a developmental approach to juvenile justice reform.

FAMILY AND YOUTH PARTNERSHIPS

Chapter 2 highlights the evidence that familial involvement throughout the juvenile justice system process is likely to be conducive to successful outcomes and reduced re-offending. Currently, family engagement is viewed in juvenile justice from the individual case/response perspective, which focuses on decision making and planning on a case-by-case basis. Pennell and colleagues (2011) noted that while there is limited empirical evidence regarding the specific correlation with outcomes in the juvenile justice system, this type of engagement has resulted in greater client satisfaction in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. As they summarized their position: “Families know what works for them” (Pennell et al., 2011, p. 43).

As the understanding of family engagement has evolved, a new opportunity for youths and families, particularly legacy families, has emerged. Selected system-involved youths and their family members can now be viewed as full and equal partners in the system itself. Like other partners, system-involved youths and families, including legacy families, can provide direct and meaningful input into discussions on system improvements, policies, programs, and practices that may affect all system-involved youths (Pennell et al., 2011).

OJJDP can be the champion for both family and youth engagement and partnership as it implements the developmental approach to juvenile justice reform. To do so, it could build on recommendations in the 2011 report from the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Safety, Fairness, & Stability for Youth and Families: Recommendations to Strengthen Federal Agency Support of Family Engagement Efforts, and on the experiences of SAMHSA’s Systems of Care in mental health services (Pennell et al., 2011). Other sources to draw upon include the IDEA [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] Resource Centers for education and for family group conferencing in child welfare, as well as initiatives such as those undertaken by Pennsylvania as a Models for Change site. The committee has already recommended a few first-step actions OJJDP can take to move family and youth engagement and partnerships forward (see Recommendations 4-1 and 5-3 and the implementation plan in Chapter 6).

FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIPS

As noted throughout this report, OJJDP has a number of opportunities to work with foundations to develop public-private partnerships that could work collaboratively to: (1) develop and invest in pilot programs, (2) jointly fund established programs, (3) support capacity building for staff or grantees, (4) convene experts and stakeholders, (5) educate the public and members of the policy community, (6) fund research and policy analysis, and (7) evaluate policy and program implementation (Abramson et al., 2012). In the example of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, the federal agencies pooled resources or coordinated existing grants to support the Promise Neighborhood Program. In a parallel effort, a group of foundations separately pooled their resources to fund the technical assistance and training element of a similar grant program entitled the Promise Neighborhoods Institute.

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
×

Ten foundations18 supported the full range of training and technical assistance to the federal grantees, from Web-based resources and trainings to onsite long-term technical assistance.

OJJDP could, for instance, engage in a partnership with a foundation and a national association to identify and address the specific training needs of a specific constituency. An example of this approach is already under way with the IACP and the MacArthur Foundation, with OJJDP support. In June of 2011, the IACP entered into a multiyear project with the MacArthur Foundation to increase the leadership role of state and local law enforcement executives in addressing juvenile justice issues. One of the primary goals for establishing this partnership, called “Law Enforcement’s Leadership Role in the Advancement of Promising Practices in Juvenile Justice,” is to identify opportunities for law enforcement executives to build partnerships and advance innovative approaches to dealing with juvenile offenders in the areas they serve. Through this partnership an advisory group was established, focus group meetings were held, and a national survey was completed. A national summit on law enforcement leadership in juvenile justice was held September 2013. In 2014, a 4-day training institute will be launched to train law enforcement agencies across the country on tools to respond to youthful offenders (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2011).19 This approach could be strengthened by drawing from a curriculum based on the hallmarks of a developmental approach.

However, it is important to note that foundation-government partnerships are as fraught with challenges as the other partnerships discussed throughout this chapter. The Council on Foundations has provided guidance for such collaborative partnerships due to the potential for culture clash and misunderstandings that may result when two such different entities attempt to work together on a joint project. OJJDP would be well served if leadership and staff enhanced their understanding of these differences in order to strengthen their ability to capitalize and leverage these vital relationships (Abramson et al., 2012).

_________________

18The ten contributors were the Annie E. Casey Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, The California Endowment, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Walmart Foundation, and the Open Society Institute.

19See also International Association of Chiefs of Police. Advancing Juvenile Justice in Law Enforcement. Available: http://www.theiacp.org/Advancing-Juvenile-Justice-in-Law-Enforcement [May 2014].

Suggested Citation:"5 Partnerships." National Research Council. 2014. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18753.
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In the past decade, a number of state, local, and tribal jurisdictions have begun to take significant steps to overhaul their juvenile justice systems - for example, reducing the use of juvenile detention and out-of-home placement, bringing greater attention to racial and ethnic disparities, looking for ways to engage affected families in the process, and raising the age at which juvenile court jurisdiction ends. These changes are the result of heightening awareness of the ineffectiveness of punitive practices and accumulating knowledge about adolescent development. Momentum for reform is growing. However, many more state, local, and tribal jurisdictions need assistance, and practitioners in the juvenile justice field are looking for guidance from the federal government, particularly from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in the Department of Justice.

Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform identifies and prioritizes strategies and policies to effectively facilitate reform of the juvenile justice system and develop an implementation plan for OJJDP. Based on the 2013 report Reforming Juvenile Justice, this report is designed to provide specific guidance to OJJDP regarding the steps that it should take, both internally and externally, to facilitate juvenile justice reform grounded in knowledge about adolescent development. The report identifies seven hallmarks of a developmental approach to juvenile justice to guide system reform: accountability without criminalization, alternatives to justice system involvement, individualized response based on needs and risks, confinement only when necessary for public safety, genuine commitment to fairness, sensitivity to disparate treatment, and family engagement. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform outlines how these hallmarks should be incorporated into policies and practices within OJJDP, as well as in actions extended to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to achieve the goals of the juvenile justice system through a developmentally informed approach.

This report sets forth a detailed and prioritized strategic plan for the federal government to support and facilitate developmentally oriented juvenile justice reform. The pivotal component of the plan is to strengthen the role, capacity, and commitment of OJJDP, the lead federal agency in the field. By carrying out the recommendations of Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform, the federal government will both reaffirm and advance the promise of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

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