Models for Change Connections
Models for Change Connections is a new monthly column in the CJJ e-Monitor, bringing SAGs and other CJJ members the latest news and innovations and highlighting state and local partners participating with the Models for Change Initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Models for Change 7th Annual Working Conference
In Wisconsin, a schools-county partnership shows promising DMC reduction results
Wisconsin’s Outagamie County has made significant strides in building bridges to local schools to reduce racial and ethnic disparities, providing an example of a partnership that is in its early, promising stages. It also highlights the legacy of local innovation and collaboration that has characterized the Models for Change Initiative.
In 2009, Outagamie and Kenosha Counties joined the Models for Change DMC Action Network after a year of collaborating with Rock County and learning about their work to reduce their youth detention population. The Outagamie team began to mobilize community resources to address decision points where their Relative Rate Index (RRI) data indicated racial and ethnic disparities in its juvenile justice system. In 2008, the juvenile arrest rate for Outagamie County was ninth highest statewide, and second highest among the top ten most populous Wisconsin counties. RRI data in 2007 indicated significant disparity at the point of arrest and referrals to juvenile court, among other areas.
Sedgwick County’s (KS) Team Justice tackles school-to-prison pipeline
As juvenile justice systems across the country seek creative, cost-effective ways to preserve public safety and promote positive outcomes for court-involved youth, SAGs and other state leaders have been looking at the “school-to-prison pipeline” with increasing concern. The schools are increasingly referring students to police and juvenile court, and in many instances such referrals are a major contributor to racial and ethnic disparities. Sedgwick County (Wichita), Kansas, has been lauded over the past few years as a model for counties seeking to tackle these challenges through a cross-system, collaborative approach.
Bringing partners together to safeguard juvenile rights in Pennsylvania’s courts
On April 9, 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law two bills crafted in response to the “Kids-for-Cash” Luzerne County (PA) scandal, in which two judges received millions of dollars in kickbacks from privately owned youth facilities and wrongfully incarcerated hundreds of youth.
Unlocking “Doorways to Delinquency”: Lessons from a Study on Crossover Youth
In September 2011, Models for Change released the brief “Doorways to Delinquency: Multi-System Involvement of Delinquent Youth in King County (Seattle, WA),” detailing a groundbreaking research and policy reform effort orchestrated by Uniting for Youth, a coalition of youth-serving systems in the Seattle area.
The study confirms what practitioners have known anecdotally for years – that crossover youth, meaning those who are known to both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, experience worse outcomes, including higher rates of recidivism. Yet, it also reveals some eye-opening data: two-thirds of youth in King County’s juvenile justice system on an offender matter had some child-welfare involvement. The magnitude of system crossover surprised researchers and practitioners alike.
Low-Cost Interventions Can Make a Big Difference, Illinois Study Suggests
A recent knowledge brief from Models for Change, “How Can We Know If Juvenile Justice Reforms Are Worth the Cost?” suggests that even incremental positive changes, such as introducing inexpensive behavioral treatments in a juvenile facility, can translate into major cost savings and benefits for youth, families and the community as a whole.
Raising the Standards of Juvenile Indigent Defense in Pennsylvania
The Models for Change Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network published a brief, “Raising the Standards of Juvenile Indigent Defense,” from the Juvenile Law Center. The brief reviews reform efforts taking place in Pennsylvania to ensure that court-involved children across the state receive consistent, effective and fair representation.