News Release – June 1, 2007

Federal Funding Available To Improve Juvenile Justice and Treatment Services

New Partnership Seeks To Strengthen Juvenile Drug Courts

WASHINGTON — (June 1, 2007) Applications are being sought in response to the Juvenile Drug Courts/Reclaiming Futures solicitation issued by the U. S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) as part of a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The solicitation invites communities to propose a juvenile drug court program, using best practices in substance abuse treatment, along with the Reclaiming Futures model. The Reclaiming Futures approach has three major elements: improvement in treatment services for drug and alcohol use; a comprehensive system of care that coordinates social services; and the involvement of the community in creating new opportunities for youth.

“Drug courts are successful when the entire community comes together to support and assist teens struggling with drugs, alcohol and crime,” said J. Robert Flores, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “This solicitation reinforces the vision of holding youth accountable, while providing them with the treatment, guidance and support they need to become healthy, productive adults.”

Under the partnership, OJJDP intends to award up to $425,000 for a period of four years for up to four grants that incorporate the Reclaiming Futures approach. An evaluation will be made of these sites. CSAT will provide an additional $200,000 to support this effort in its first year, while the national program office of Reclaiming Futures will deliver up to $1 million in technical assistance to the selected communities.

RWJF launched Reclaiming Futures in 2002 to change the way judges, probation officers, treatment providers, families and community members work to help youth in the justice system get off drugs and alcohol. Reclaiming Futures combines system reform, treatment improvement and community engagement to help these teens. Young people who enter the justice system with serious drug and alcohol problems may not receive adequate treatment, even though research shows that young people who use drugs and alcohol are more likely to end up in trouble with the law, behave violently, or drop out of school.

“Research tells us that Reclaiming Futures is working and the Foundation is pleased to partner with the federal government to spread this innovative approach to even more communities where teens need our help,” says Kristin Schubert, RWJF program officer for Reclaiming Futures.

A recent independent evaluation by the Urban Institute and the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children found that participating communities report that Reclaiming Futures has improved the coordination and quality of substance abuse interventions for teens involved with the juvenile justice system.

To download an OJJDP grant application and instructions, see funding opportunity number OJJDP-2007-1578 at www.grants.gov. Applications are due June 20, 2007. To learn more about Reclaiming Futures, visit www.reclaimingfutures.org.

“While we have spent the past five years creating changes in the way juvenile justice systems help teens in trouble in 10 communities, we really are just at the beginning of a much larger national movement to provide comprehensive, tailored care to teens across the nation,” said Laura Nissen, Reclaiming Futures national program director.

In February, the RWJF board announced $6 million to further support the 10 pilot sites for two more years and to help other communities implement the Reclaiming Futures model over the next four years. In addition to the up to four communities that receive the new OJJDP grants, the Reclaiming Futures national program office of Reclaiming Futures will help eight additional communities – four starting in 2008 and the other four beginning in 2009 — to adopt Reclaiming Futures in their local juvenile justice system. Applications to become one of these eight Reclaiming Futures sites will be available online at www.reclaimingfutures.org in 2008.

About the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families. More information is available at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org.

About the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions, treatment, and mental health services delivery system. Through its Center for Substance Abuse Treatment SAMHSA provides support for treatment of addictions.

About Reclaiming Futures
Reclaiming Futures is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that offers a new approach to helping teenagers caught in the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime. Its 10 communities include: Anchorage, Alaska.; Santa Cruz, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; four counties in Southeastern Kentucky; Marquette, Mich.; the state of New Hampshire; the Sovereign Tribal Nation of Sicangu Lakota in Rosebud, South Dakota; Dayton, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle, Wash. The national office of Reclaiming Futures is housed in the Regional Research Institute of the Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University. Visit www.reclaimingfutures.org.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Visit www.rwjf.org.