The Case for Abolishing Juvenile Prisons; News Roundup

by Cecilia Bianco

News-oldTV-smlJuvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Justice 40 Years On: Unfinished Business (The Crime Report)
    A report by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency released in April found that racial disparities have increased despite the overall drop in youth incarceration. “While the total number of incarcerated youth has declined in many states, the proportion of youth of color among all youth receiving court dispositions grew substantially” the report states.

  • The Case for Abolishing Juvenile Prisons (The Awl)
    Last month, archaeologists identified the first of the fifty-five human bodies recently exhumed at Florida’s Dozier School for Boys—a now-shuttered juvenile prison where, for decades, guards abused children, sometimes to death, despite cyclical scandals and calls for reform spanning almost a hundred years. Dozier represents an atrocious extreme, but the failures of America’s juvenile justice system are widespread.

Jobs, Grants, Events and Webinars

  • Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It’s free to browse and post!

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

Remembering Reclaiming Futures’ Passionate Leader, Linda Moffitt, 1953-2014

by Susan Richardson

Linda MoffittReclaiming Futures recently lost a determined leader and friend. Linda Moffitt was project director and former juvenile justice fellow for Reclaiming Futures in Anchorage, and such a valuable driver of implementing Reclaiming Futures in Alaska. She is remembered dearly for her steadfast commitment and passion for her work, and her integrity and generosity that was carried throughout everything she did in life.

Upon hearing the news of her passing, friends and colleagues within the Reclaiming Futures community shared stories of Linda. Below is just a small sample of personal memories and impact that Linda had on so many of our lives:

Jim Carlton, Deputy Director, Reclaiming Futures National Program Office
“Though she retired from the Anchorage Division of Juvenile Justice about three years ago, she remained involved with Reclaiming Futures on the local level as their project director and as a coach on the national level. She was a dear person, a treasured resource for us here at the national program office, and she will be greatly missed by all of us here.”

Master William Hitchcock, Former judicial fellow, Anchorage, Alaska
“Linda Moffitt was a key collaborator in the development of the initial Anchorage proposal for Reclaiming Futures. She officially became a core partner in the national movement in 2003 when the probation fellowship was added. Throughout her career as a juvenile probation supervisor and on into retirement, she remained active in the ongoing development and expansion of the Reclaiming Futures model. Her leadership was not limited only to Anchorage, as she also played a key role on the national level as a coach and frequent participant in national fellowship conferences. Her influence led to the adoption of many of the core principles of Reclaiming Futures within the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice, both in Anchorage and other offices throughout the state. Her commitment and passion for this work was unlimited. She will truly be missed by all of us.”

Tom Begich, Former community fellow and Project Director, Anchorage, Alaska
“Linda Moffitt was a true friend and a tireless advocate for youth, fairness, and a better world. She devoted her work life and, after her retirement, her personal life to trying to improve our juvenile justice system, provide greater opportunities and hope for young Alaskans and inspired all of us to give just a little bit more, try just a little bit harder, and see the world with grace, humor and joy. Knowing her well these past few years – her and Cande joining us for wine, enjoying great music and talking about our travel plans, our hopes and our aspirations was a joy I will cherish all my days. She will be very, very missed.”

Hilton Foundation Awards Reclaiming Futures $2 Million Grant

by Jim Carlton

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Awards Reclaiming Futures $2 Million Grant to Expand Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment for At Risk Youth Reclaiming Futures will be adding two new sites this year to implement the Reclaiming Futures model while also piloting an intervention approach called Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). SBIRT […]

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events

by Cecilia Bianco

opportunityBelow you’ll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It’s free to browse and post!




Five Reasons to Contribute to Our Reader Survey

by Cecilia Bianco

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 2.37.47 PMThe content on the Reclaiming Futures website and blog is intended to be informative, inspiring, and useful. Our Reader Survey was designed with you in mind to ensure we’re delivering what you want to see!

Here are the top five reasons you should share your feedback in our quick nine-question survey:

  1. To see the content you want—in the way you want it.

Your feedback will help us provide the most relevant content to your needs and interests. It will also help us reach you on the platforms you prefer, whether it’s through our newsletter, social media or the blog. Your feedback will shape the content we post going forward.

  1. Learn how to get involved.

The survey will help us gauge your interest in expanding the Reclaiming Futures model. It will allow you to share the areas in which you’d like to become involved, so we can make those easily available to you. If you’re interested in bringing Reclaiming Futures to your community, please contact Donna Wiench.

  1. Voice your opinion on what’s missing.

Who do you want to hear from in this sector? What topics would you like us to address more frequently? Tell us where to fill in the gaps!

  1. Share what piques your interest.

There are many aspects to the Reclaiming Futures model, which is implemented in 39 sites around the country. We want to hear which part of the model you’d like us to report on more!

  1. A chance to win $50 Amazon gift card!

If you complete the survey and provide your name and contact information, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon card.

Our goal for this survey is to make sure we are best serving our audience. The results will help us tailor our content to what you want to see and where you want to see it.

Click here to get started. We appreciate your participation!

Webinar: Increasing Family Voice in the Juvenile Justice System

by Susan Richardson

Why is a family voice significant in the juvenile justice system? I’m addressing this question in aOlivia September 19 webinar, along with Sandra Spencer of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.

We’ll discuss why family voice is crucial to the success of and support of youth involved in the juvenile justice system. As an advocate for substance abuse and mental health treatment for teens, Reclaiming Futures helps families connect to the community support resources needed for adolescents to stay clean and sober, and become a productive member of society.

Here are three takeaways you’ll gain from attending this webinar:

  • Understand and discuss why family and youth voice is critical
  • How to incorporate family voice into practice in the juvenile justice system
  • Learn how Reclaiming Futures sites have successfully integrated family voice


  • What: Webinar—Increasing Family Voice in the Juvenile Justice System
  • When: Friday, September 19, 3-4 p.m. EDT
  • Presenters: Sandra Spencer, Executive Director, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health; Susan Richardson, National Executive Director, Reclaiming Futures;
  • Register: Register here
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact: If you are unable to listen from your computer and need to call in, please email

Botticelli Discusses Drugs As A Public Health Issue, Emphasizes Treatment

by Donna Wiench

RadioMy ears perked up on Monday when NPR broadcast an interview with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Acting Director Michael Botticelli.  Earlier this year while accompanying Reclaiming Futures Executive Director Susan Richardson to Washington D.C. I had the chance to briefly meet Acting Director Botticelli, and knew he was highly thought of by the federal juvenile justice staff members  with whom we work.  On August 28, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Botticelli as the Director of ONDCP.

The interview I heard was conducted by NPR’s All Things Considered host, Robert Siegel. In the interview, Mr. Siegel sounded impressed that Acting Director Botticelli publicly acknowledges that he was a recovering alcoholic (25 years). He went on to ask questions about the drug issues of our day, particularly marijuana legalization and prescription pain medication abuse.

What stood out to me, as an advocate for Reclaiming Futures, a parent and as someone who has worked for an agency treating kids with serious drug addictions (mostly marijuana), were the questions to Botticelli about marijuana legalization and his call for dealing with the issue of addiction through a public health lens.

Botticelli spoke about drugs as a public health issue, emphasizing treatment as well as intervention and prevention, a perspective Reclaiming Futures embraces. He also talked about the marketing of marijuana in states where it has become a business and the escalating use of the drug.  He expressed concern that a growing number of teens now see marijuana as less dangerous than tobacco.

“We see escalating use. We know that marijuana is addictive. About 1 in 9 people who use marijuana regularly become addicted,” Botticelli said.

Later, Siegel asked, “Should we stop talking about a war on drugs? Is it – is that a metaphor that does not describe exactly what you’ve just been talking about?”

Botticelli responded that, “We need to deal with addiction and drug use as a public health issue. We need a more compassionate and humane criminal justice response to this issue. I was one of those with my own level of involvement in the criminal justice system and was given a second chance to be a productive citizen. And that’s the response that we want for all Americans.”

The interview also includes an important conversation about prescription painkillers as well. You can listen to, or read a transcript of, the full interview here.

Image by Robert Ashworth via Flickr

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events

by Cora Crary

opportunityBelow you’ll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It’s free to browse and post!



Media for a Just Society 2014 Award Winners Announced: Spotlight on Juvenile Justice Media

by Cecilia Bianco

National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s (NCCD) announced the winners of its 2014 Media for a Just Society Awards. These awards are the only national recognition of media whose work furthers public understanding of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and child welfare issues.

More than 150 entries from 50 different outlets contended to win the categories of book, film, magazine, newspaper, radio, TV/video, web, and youth media. Each of the winning entries was recognized for “[telling] the stories we need to hear to help us create social change and right injustice.”

The winners are as follows:

Book: Men We Reaped: A Memoir, Jesmyn Ward, Bloomsbury USA

Film: Gideon’s Army, Dawn Porter, Trilogy Films

Magazine: “With 2.3 Million People Incarcerated in the US, Prisons Are Big Business,” Liliana Segura, The Nation

Newspaper: “Split the Baby: Two Sides of an Adoption Battle,” Olivia LaVecchia, City Pages

Radio: “Going to Rikers Island,” Maria Hinojosa, Latino USA (NPR)

TV/Video: “Our Turn to Dream,” Brittany Washington, Jordan Melograna, and Jesse Lava, Brave New Films

Web: “The Fight for Black Men,” Joshua DuBois, The Daily Beast/Newsweek

Youth Media: “Life Under Suspicion: Youth Perspectives on NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy,” Raelene Holmes-Andrews, Educational Video Center

Distinguished Achievement Award in Film: Fruitvale Station, written and directed by Ryan Coogler

Leading up to the Oct. 15 awards ceremony, the NCCD will publish blog posts going behind the scenes with this year’s finalists and winners. For more information on this year’s Media for a Just Society Awards, visit the NCCD website.

Watch the youth media submission in full here.


Life Under Suspicion full documentary from JODML on Vimeo.

Celebrate Recovery Month: Tune Into the White House Special Event September 17

by Susan Richardson

You’re invited to tune into a live broadcast of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on September 17 at 2-4pm ET. This White House special event celebrates the 25th anniversary of the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

The event will celebrate the millions of individuals who have reclaimed their lives by overcoming addiction, and those who have persevered with them to aid their success.

You can help recognize these individuals at the event by tweeting questions and comments to @Botticelli44 using the hashtag #RecoveryatWH at any time prior to or during the event. Questions will be selected and posed to the panelists in recovery at the event.

Visit the live broadcast on September 17, or host a viewing party and register here.

With your help, we can take an important pause to highlight stories of recovery, uplift the negative stigma of addiction and take the next step toward a national commitment to recovery.

  • Who: You, your stakeholders, members and affiliates, and ONDCP
  • What: A ONDCP White House special event viewing party
  • Where: Your venue of choice +
  • When: September 17th | 2 – 4pm EST
  • Contact: Nataki MacMurray at or (202) 395-5510