News Release – September 26, 2007

$1.275 Million Awarded To Juvenile Drug Courts in Missouri, New York and Ohio

Three counties chosen to enhance services for youth involved in substance abuse and juvenile offending

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice’s, Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) awarded $1.275 million to three juvenile drug courts to integrate the juvenile drug court and Reclaiming Futures program models to provide a more comprehensive and coordinated system of treatment and services directed at juveniles involved in unlawful and dangerous substance abuse behavior.

The three sites chosen for grants of $425,000 each are Greene County, Missouri; New York State Unified Court System, New York; and Hocking County, Ohio. The juvenile drug courts in the three counties will receive the federal funds over four years beginning October 1, 2007.

“Through our partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, OJJDP seeks to promote best practices and the delivery of individually tailored responses that assist youth in taking responsibility for their drug use by enhancing the courts’ capacity to integrate the juvenile drug court and Reclaiming Futures models,” said OJJDP Administrator, J. Robert Flores.

In addition to the OJJDP grants, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will provide $200,000 in technical assistance in the first year of the program to support the treatment, while the national program office of Reclaiming Futures will deliver up to $1 million in technical assistance through the duration of the program.

The three counties responded to a competitive federal grant solicitation that asked communities to propose a juvenile drug court using best practices in substance abuse treatment and the Reclaiming Futures model. The Reclaiming Futures approach is based on three key 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.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) launched the Reclaiming Futures initiative at 10 sites across the nation in 2002 as part of a 5-year $21 million effort to change the way judges, probation officers, treatment providers, families and community members work to help youth in the justice system receive comprehensive and coordinated treatment to prevent them from continuing to engage in unlawful and dangerous substance abuse behavior. Research shows that young people who use drugs and alcohol are more likely to end up in further trouble with the law, behave violently, or engage in unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as dropping out of school. Accordingly, young people who enter the justice system because of drug and alcohol offenses need to receive an appropriate court response that matches accountability with overcoming addiction.

A recent independent evaluation by the Urban Institute and the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children showed the 10 participating communities report that Reclaiming Futures has improved the coordination and quality of substance abuse interventions for teens involved with the juvenile justice system.

“We’re excited about this partnership and this national effort to make the Reclaiming Future approach as common as juvenile drug courts are today,” says Kristin Schubert, RWJF program officer for Reclaiming Futures.

In February, RWJF announced a new investment of $6 million to further support the 10 pilot sites for two more years and to help 12 more communities – six in 2008 and six in 2009 – to adopt Reclaiming Futures in their local juvenile justice system.

“Reclaiming Futures offers a different way of doing business for communities that want to help teens with drug and alcohol problems,” said Laura Nissen, Reclaiming Futures national program director. “We’re eager to spread our ideas and lessons not only to the three communities chosen by the federal government, but to many more throughout the United States as well.”

About the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (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. Additional information is available at ojjdp.ncjrs.gov.

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. Visit csat.samhsa.gov.

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 original communities include: Anchorage, Alaska.; Santa Cruz, California; Chicago, Illinois; four counties in Southeastern Kentucky; Marquette, Michigan; the state of New Hampshire; the Sovereign Tribal Nation of Sicangu Lakota in Rosebud, South Dakota; Dayton, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington. 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.

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