News from the National Executive Director, May 2017

by Evan Elkin

Reclaiming Futures National Executive Director Evan ElkinSince the release of the OJJDP-funded national evaluation of Reclaiming Futures, we have made a significant effort to study the findings in order to understand which elements of our approach may be producing better outcomes for young people and which elements need improvement. One thing that stands out when you look at the Reclaiming Futures evaluation report  is that both the Reclaiming Futures cohort of sites and the comparison cohort – which was a very well-funded group of Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts – were very similar in that both consistently used evidence-based treatment practices.   

When Reclaiming Futures launched more than 15 years ago, it was considered innovative and forward-thinking that one of our key principles of practice was to support and cajole the local jurisdictions to adopt and sustain evidence-based treatment approaches. Now juvenile justice and other youth-serving systems widely accept the importance of evidence-based treatment approaches as a standard of practice in the field. In spite of the consensus around using evidence-based practices, the expansion of  treatment-focused diversion programs, and alternatives to incarceration, significant racial and ethnic disparities in youth outcomes continue to plague our system.

In this month’s Reclaiming Futures newsletter we reflect on the critical question of whether the evidence-based practices that we have adopted as a point of faith, in fact have the same level of effectiveness for all the youth we serve in the juvenile justice system, particularly youth of color. An important finding in the Reclaiming Futures national evaluation suggests that youth outcomes are significantly improved in settings where evidence-based practices are delivered in a manner sensitive to culture and gender. It is critically important then that we address the question of whether evidence-based treatment practices, including the research validated screening and assessment tools we have come to rely on in juvenile justice settings, are adequately responsive to the needs of youth of color.

For insights into this important discussion we draw your attention to a recent blog post by Reclaiming Futures’ own Bridget Murphy and to an important new report by the W. Haywood Burns Institute looking at the effectiveness of evidence-based practices with youth of color.

Evan Elkin

About

Evan Elkin is the executive director of Reclaiming Futures.

 

Collaboration in Action: Reclaiming Futures Teams Up with Pathways Transition Training Partnership to Host a Joint Webinar

by Bridget Murphy

Collaboration. A word we use a lot at Reclaiming Futures. Why? Because based on our fifteen years of working in jurisdictions across the country, collaboration can be an impactful catalyst for change. While the National Office puts collaboration into action regularly it was recently visibly demonstrated.

As you may know, Reclaiming Futures is part of the Regional Research InsCapturetitute (RRI) at Portland State University. We are affiliated with such efforts as the National Wraparound Initiative, The Center to Advance Racial Equity, and Pathways Transition Training Partnership (PTTP). A few months ago, Evan Elkin, Christa Myers and I began conversations with Drs. Eileen Brennan and Pauline Jivanjee of PTTP to develop a joint webinar. Both groups understand the importance of collaboration between stakeholders in juvenile justice settings to improve the health and wellness of young people with substance use and/or mental health concerns. However, our focus for the webinar did not become immediately clear. We spent time examining our commonalities to decide the best topic for diverse fields and individuals (e.g., juvenile justice; behavioral health; community members). We decided to emphasize our respective work in the area of evidence-based practices.

To begin, here is a little about PTTP. PTTP was “developed to enhance the skills of service providers working with young people with serious mental health conditions and to provide information and tools for young people and their family members, service providers, researchers, and policy makers involved in developing and implementing effective transition-focused interventions, policies, and research.” One of the ways PTTP achieves this is by offering training and technical assistance is through free online training modules that address relevant topics such as engaging with youth and families, cultural responsiveness and intergenerational relationships, resiliency and developmental considerations.

During the planning, we discussed the importance of highlighting the PTTP training and technical assistance focusing on evidence-based practices and Reclaiming Futures approach and model including sharing our history, core assumptions, implementation approaches and recent evaluation findings. We also agreed that it was critical to make sure lived experience was heard. Hernan Carvente of the Vera Institute of Justice shared his experiences in the juvenile justice system and his recommendations for policy, program, and research.

On November 1, 2016, 529 individuals joined this webinar with almost half representing juvenile justice (49%). We were very pleased with the number of people who attended. We thank the numerous groups who promoted this webinar through their lists and social media. The sizable attendance rate is a recognition that evidence-based practices are of interest to various fields and communities. This calls for continued training and technical assistance.

If you missed it and have an hour, please check it out here. It will be well worth your time and may even prompt your interest in participating in the PTTP online training modules or (re)connecting with Reclaiming Futures about our current efforts.

Bridget Murphy

About

Ms. Bridget Murphy understands behavioral health issues from personal, familial, and professional education and experiences. She joined the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office (NPO) as the Program and Policy Analyst and supports Reclaiming Futures sites by translating research into practice through training and technical assistance. She has more than two decades experience in the behavioral health field. Ms. Murphy has worked as a provider, project director/principal investigator, evaluator, consultant, and federal contractor. She has a particular interest in improving access to and quality of behavioral health services and its workforce through evidence-based practices, participant protections, peer and family recovery supports, integrated care, and participatory evaluation methods. Ms. Murphy has a master’s degree in education.

 

News from the National Executive Director, October 2016

by Evan Elkin

Reclaiming Futures National Executive Director Evan ElkinIn this month’s Reclaiming Futures newsletter, we reflect on President Obama’s proclamation
which, for the second year in a row, makes October National Youth Justice Awareness Month. President Obama’s focus on juvenile justice has been impressive, but it is important that the field does not become complacent as we contemplate what the future holds for juvenile justice reform.

These past several years have seen something of a perfect storm for those involved in improving youth justice policy and practice; we cannot assume this will continue into the next administration. At Reclaiming Futures we are cognizant of the fact that we’ve been operating in a very favorable political climate, driven by a president who advocates for reform in the strongest terms; we have had policy makers like OJJDP Administrator Robert Listenbee, who puts scientific evidence first, and has been a voice for humanism and equity for the field; and more than ever before, the research evidence – both from adolescent brain science and the program evaluation literature – supports the view that our juvenile justice systems must stop over relying on the detention and incarceration of adolescents, in favor of community-based alternatives that reflect what we know about adolescent development and that address the treatment needs of youth.

As the field prepares for the next chapter in the juvenile justice reform story, we draw your attention to an important new report co-authored by Annie E. Casey Foundation President Patrick McCarthy, Harvard University’s Vincent Schiraldi and Miriam Shark that reminds us all of the work still to be done and makes a strong case for continuing to invest in community alternatives for young people who touch the justice system.

Click here to read the report. 

Evan Elkin

About

Evan Elkin is the executive director of Reclaiming Futures.

 

News from the National Executive Director, February 2016

by Evan Elkin

Maria Hernandez, a Santa Cruz Reclaiming Futures participant, with her mom.

It took decades and a mountain of research evidence showing that incarcerating adolescents does little to prevent recidivism before policymakers took notice and began supporting measures to reduce incarceration and invest in community-based alternatives that prioritize treatment and support for youth and their families. Increasingly, over the past 15 years, we have seen the field come together around the common goal of creating a system for justice-involved youth that is more therapeutic, less punitive, less reliant on detention and incarceration, and more thoroughly grounded in research evidence and best practice. The catalyst for this paradigm shift has been a series of significant strategic investments by federal agencies and by major foundations like Annie E. Casey with its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, the MacArthur Foundation and its Models for Change, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) investment in Reclaiming Futures. These investments have all paid off in different ways to drive the field forward.

This month we are pleased to learn that investments in Reclaiming Futures made by RWJF, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) are now showing significant returns. A new report from the recent federally funded multi-site evaluation of Reclaiming Futures conducted by the University of Arizona shows evidence that implementing Reclaiming Futures in a treatment court setting reduces recidivism and produces significant cost savings. The report looked closely at five of our sites around the country and demonstrated that these sites saved more than $11 million in just one year, largely due to reductions in crime among youth participating in Reclaiming Futures programming.

As the field moves beyond the question of whether or not to invest in court diversion and alternatives to incarceration, the question becomes how best to implement and sustain strategies proven to reduce recidivism and improve both public health and public safety; Reclaiming Futures offers a compelling blueprint.

Evan Elkin

About

Evan Elkin is the executive director of Reclaiming Futures.

 

National Mentoring Month: A Question From the Field

by Reclaiming Futures Staff
Tricia Lucido

Featured guest is Tricia Lucido, Project Director for Reclaiming Futures in Dayton, Ohio at the Montgomery County Juvenile Court.

The following Q&A originally appeared in the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) January newsletter and is reprinted here with permission.

Q: How can our juvenile drug court (JDC) maintain and sustain a mentoring program?

A: Mentoring programs can enhance the success and effectiveness of JDCs. Maintaining and sustaining a mentoring program requires cooperation among JDCs, community, and stakeholders. JDCs must have access to a full range of funding, staffing, and community resources required to sustain a mentoring program over the long term.

The longevity of any JDC program relies upon funding and community support. Courts that have been successful have leveraged cross-system resources and opportunities to obtain more funding from all available state and community resources. Community support increases the adaptability and sustainability of mentoring programs by providing mentors, funders, collaborators, and communication agents. It also increases opportunities for contact between youth and positive environments, provides activities for mentors and youth to engage in, and provides youth a feeling of belonging.

Another important programmatic component is having a strong mission statement, clear goals, and a shared vision. Reducing substance use and increasing community safety and family functioning are examples of common goals of the JDC. Incorporating the mentoring goals into the JDC is essential to increase team cohesion, family support, and overall program effectiveness. Important mission-driven goals include having a high level of communication among the JDC team, mentors and mentor program team; careful matching of mentors with JDC youth; effective training for mentors that includes training in mentoring program rules and guidelines; commitment to the mentor relationship (typically a year or longer); and access to support from the program staff, community, and other organizations.

The longevity of any mentoring program relies upon effective recruitment of new mentors and maintaining active mentors. Including adequate recruitment and screening practices and carefully matching mentors and mentees will enhance program success. Ongoing recruitment strategies should employ various strategies (e.g., community organizations and clubs, the faith-based community, local employers, universities, volunteer fairs, and on-line databases). Staff should conduct in-person interviews and background checks and gather information regarding interests, availability, and demographic characteristics for matching purposes. Including mentors in JDC case planning, treatment plans, and court hearings can help enhance collaboration and commitment.

Please visit the Montgomery County Juvenile Court website for additional information on their Natural Helpers mentoring program or click here to view a sample information packet from Natural Helpers including their brochure, publication list, sample interview questions, and file inventory forms for their mentoring program. For information about the Natural Helpers mentoring program, please contact Tricia Lucido at tlucido@mcjcohio.org.

NCJFCJ encourages JDCs to implement mentoring programs in their courts. For more information about implementing mentor programs or assistance, please contact Elo Chaparro at echaparro@ncjfcj.org.

Tricia Lucido is the Project Director for Reclaiming Futures in Dayton, Ohio at the Montgomery County Juvenile Court. She promotes the Reclaiming Futures project and seeks funding for additional evidence-based treatment options to better serve families in her community. Tricia joined the Reclaiming Futures project in October of 2015. Her professional experience includes working with youth who have addiction challenges. She has been involved with the Montgomery County Juvenile Drug Court for over ten years. Tricia is a licensed Ohio Chemical Dependency Counselor and is a member of the National Association for Drug Court Professionals. She regularly speaks on treatment collaborations and mentoring and has presented for national addiction conferences. Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice/Legal Studies from Georgia College and State University and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Cincinnati. She has a passion for working with youth and their families. When not at work, Tricia enjoys working on DIY projects with her husband of eighteen years and their two sons.

About Reclaiming Futures Staff

 

New Report, Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works

by Kate Knappett

medicine-385947_1920A new report, “Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works,” calls attention to the rising rate of teen overdose fatalities in the United States, the role of prescription painkillers, as well as research-based solutions for prevention and treatment. The report, supported by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, was authored and produced by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, non-partisan organization with a focus on public health policy and community prevention and treatment strategies. 

Significant Increase in Teen Overdose Fatalities

TFAH finds that youth drug overdose fatalities, among 12 to 25 year-olds, more than doubled in 35 states over the past ten years, particularly among young men and boys. Fatality rates for youth overdose more than doubled in 18 states, more than tripled in 12 states, and more than quadrupled in five states (Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming). Analyses reveals that, while no state had a youth overdose death rate over 6.1 per 100,000 before 2001, 33 states were above 6.1 per 100,000 deaths by the year 2013.

Rising Prescription Drug Misuse and Heroin Use

The significant national increase in substance overdose fatalities in 18 to 25 year-olds is predominantly connected to prescription painkiller misuse and addiction, which has also contributed to the increasing use of heroin in this population, according to TFAH researchers, who report:

  • Teens increasingly turn to heroin as an inexpensive, easy to access alternative to prescription painkillers
  • Use of heroin among 18 to 25 year-olds has more than doubled over the past decade
  • 45 percent of heroin users are also addicted to prescription painkillers

Prevention and Treatment Strategies: What Really Works

Upon scoring states on how well they currently limit access, support improved well-being, and how they support improved counseling, early intervention and treatment and recovery support (i.e. SBIRT) — TFAH finds that 24 states lack effective policies and programs to prevent and reduce substance misuse in youth; and Minnesota and New Jersey were the only states to score 10 out of 10 on key indicators, developed in consultation with substance misuse prevention experts. Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wyoming tied for the lowest scores, receiving 3, out of 10 possible. 

Emphasizing the need for a full-continuum-of-care, Reducing Teen Substance Misuse provides research-based suggestions for how states may prevent and reduce substance misuse; the report includes these recommendations:

  • Prevention First: States should have a network of experts and resources in support of evidence-based approaches and programs, implemented in collaboration with the local community.
  • Strategic Investment: States should strategically invest in evidence-based programs known to effectively reduce risk of substance misuse and other problems specifically experienced by teens and young adults.
  • Multisector Collaboration: Communities should collaborate with schools to collect data on community needs and select programs to match those needs, and improve accountability. 
  • Evidence-Based and Sustained School-Based Programs: Ineffective programs should be abandoned and, efforts should be renewed for evidence-based and sustained school-based programs. 
  • Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT): Academic and healthcare professionals should incorporate SBIRT as routine practice, for a positive impact on youth.
  • Increase Funding Support: States should increase funding support for sustainable treatment and recovery for teens with mental health and substance use issues.

These recommendations also align with the Reclaiming Futures approach and model, and we encourage members of our sites and national community to share this report, and to contribute to a dialogue of how these recommendations may be applied nationally at a local and state level.

See the full report here.

Kate Knappett

About Kate Knappett

Kate Knappett is a member of the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office.

 

Teen Drug Overdose Death Rate Doubles Over Last Decade; News Roundup

by Kate Knappett

Every week Reclaiming Futures rounds up the latest news on juvenile justice reform, adolescent substance use treatment, and teen mental health. 

Teen Drug Overdose Death Rate Doubles Over Last Decade (Psychiatry Advisor)
Trust For America’s Health released a new report with findings that the American drug overdose mortality rate has more than doubled over the last ten years, and especially among young men between the ages of 12 to 25 years old. Prescription drugs were found to be responsible for many of the overdoses, and were also found to be connected to heroin addictions in young people.

Holiday Homophobia Hurts (The Huffington Post)
Advocate and author, Derrick De Lise, highlights the experiences LGBTQIA+ adults and youth continue to undergo around the holidays, and ways to respond to family and the community. De Lise also encourages LGBTQIA+ adults to speak up for the sake of youth in their families who may be questioning their own sexuality, but haven’t come out yet.

Focus on community programs leads to drop in juvenile lockups (The Columbus Dispatch)
In a new study conducted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the state of Ohio was was identified as a national leader in diverting justice-involved youth to “lower-cost community programs, instead of prison.”

NY Children Get Involved in Action for Tamir Rice (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
One year has passed since 12 year old Tamir Rice was killed by Cleveland Police, and while there were demonstrations around the country this past week, a march in Manhattan caught national attention for being a “children’s march,” with participants’ ages ranging from two to seventeen years old.

Native One-Stop Portal Makes Finding Benefits Easier (Indian Country Today)
In September Benefits.gov released its launch of Native One Stop, with a goal of improving the lives of Native American youth. American Indians and Alaska Natives may quickly and easily access Federal resources and programs. A pre-screening questionnaire is used to provide a personalization of information and resources to online visitors.

L.A. Unified sees success in counseling rather than arresting truants and kids who fight (Los Angeles Times)
While campus police around the country are generally considered part of the school-to-prison pipeline problem, L.A. Unified officers are doing things differently by collaborating with community organizations for major reforms that favor counseling over arrests.

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. We encourage you to browse, and to post!

Kate Knappett

About Kate Knappett

Kate Knappett is a member of the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office.

 

November is Native American Heritage Month

by Kate Knappett

first-nation-908605 (2)President Obama has proclaimed November as “Native American Heritage Month.” This is a time to celebrate the many significant historic and contemporary contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives, a population of 5.4 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the juvenile justice field, this month is not only a time to celebrate Native American heritage, but also an opportunity to make visible the unique youth justice challenges faced by Native American communities, and to highlight steps for collaboratively working with tribal communities to improve conditions for Native American youth and their families.

Though 1990 was the first year “Native American Indian Heritage Month” was recognized as a national legal holiday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the pursuit of a holiday to celebrate heritage began in the early 20th century when Dr. Arthur C. Parker – a Seneca Indian and director of the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Rochester, New York – promoted a day to celebrate “First Americans.” In May 1916, the first “American Indian Day” was declared by the state of New York, and many states observed a version of this day for years before official national recognition in 1990 for the month of November.

While in 2013 Native Americans made up only about two percent of the United States population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) finds that states such as Alaska, Oklahoma, and New Mexico have considerable Native populations, ranging from 10.7 to 19.5 percent of their total state populations. NCAI also significantly reports that 32 percent of Native Americans are under age 18, compared to only 24 percent for the total U.S. population.

For Native American Heritage month, The Oklahoman interviewed its American Indian readers on “how they keep their culture strong in their homes and communities,” and found an emphasis on educating the high percentage of youth about their history and heritage, but also on concerns specifically facing Native American youth and their families – which includes poverty, high suicide rates, teen pregnancy, dropping out of high school, substance use, and high rates of incarceration by way of the school-to-prison pipeline.

Arizona Public Media wrote earlier this year, based on a series of recent reports, that the U.S. juvenile justice system is failing Native American Youth. One report in June called for reform, stating their finding that more than any other racial or ethnic group, states are far more likely to incarcerate Native youth for minor crimes; and the Indian Law & Order Commission finds there to be disproportionately high numbers of Native youth in juvenile detention facilities.

In October of this year, a report was released by the U.S. Department of Education finding that Native American youth are disciplined at a much higher rate than students of other ethnicities, and especially Native American girls. The report also highlighted a high rate of bullying and a need to improve overall school climate in order to create a healthier, safer, and more accepting learning environment for Native American students and keep them out of the school-to-prison pipeline. One solution to these issues that is now pursued, in light of this report, is the implementation of American Indian Studies and Native American studies programs at the K-12 level.

Indian Country Today and Noodle recommended best practices when working with Native American students, which include:

  • Promote the significance of Native American Heritage Month and this month’s presidential proclamation to Native and non-Native youth
  • Advocate for positive school discipline, which may include cultural responsiveness training for educators
  • Discourage bullying and foster cultural awareness, understanding and appreciation
  • Accurately teach Native American history and experience to Native and non-Native students; recognize the diversity of tribal nations
  • Evaluate school mascots and imagery which may cause stress, anxiety, confusion and embarrassment
  • Appropriately identify students with disabilities (Native Americans have one of the highest rates of disability in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Justice)

For behavioral health professionals, the National American Indian and Alaska Native ATTC recommends the acknowledgement of spirituality. While spirituality is known to aid in recovery from substance use by Native Americans, not a lot of published research on Native substance use treatment assesses spirituality in relation to treatment (Greenfield, Hallgreen, Venner et al, as cited in Thompson, 2015).  White Bison, Inc., which created the Wellbriety Movement, is an example of one organization to offer culturally-based healing and recovery treatment with Native Americans in mind.

While Aljazeera America reports “mixed educational success,” from President Obama’s recent initiatives – like the Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) Initiative which aims to improve the lives of Native American youth – a rise in Native American studies programs, and new resources like Native One Stop, implemented to improve the lives of Native youth, provide sustained hope for the visibility, recognition and celebration of Native American youth and their communities on all months of the year.

Kate Knappett

About Kate Knappett

Kate Knappett is a member of the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office.

 

Welcoming NW Ohio: Our New Rural Community Collaborative Site

by Kate Knappett

The National Program Office (NPO) is very pleased to announce Reclaiming Futures’ new rural community collaborative site in NW Ohio. The NW Ohio Reclaiming Futures (NORF) Initiative is a collaboration between Defiance, Henry, and Williams Counties, as well as their regionally shared service providers and community stakeholders. As a new example of a Reclaiming Futures rural community collaborative site (the site model also exists in Kentucky and North Carolina), NW Ohio provides an important example of a site tapping into an innovative state justice reinvestment fund in order to join the Reclaiming Futures initiative.

NW Ohio is Reclaiming Futures’ fifth site in the state of Ohio. Evan Elkin, Executive Director of Reclaiming Futures, credits the growing presence of Reclaiming Futures in Ohio to the neighborly and supportive tendencies of Ohioans, which creates a grassroots sharing of information. “They share with their communities and around the state – and word of the positive outcomes the existing sites are seeing is getting around,” explains Elkin.

Defiance, Henry, and Williams Counties of NW Ohio provide an excellent example of Ohio’s collaborative and supportive nature, and how this quality of working together and sharing resources particularly benefits rural communities. The three counties joined together to propose the NORF Initiative upon recognizing a need in their communities for more consistency and specifically:

  • Early identification of low-risk justice-involved youth in need of services
  • Standardized and consistent initial screening
  • Streamlined coordination of services that flow from service agencies
  • Prioritization of treatment service by local agencies for youth identified as appropriate for intervention and/or diversion

“Because we’re all small counties, we work closely together – even our families [we work with] are connected throughout the region. We think using a regional approach will be important for us,” says Williams County’s Judge Steven Bird of the new NORF Initiative. Judge Bird regularly collaborates with Judge Denise McColley of Henry County and Judge Jeffrey Strausbaugh of Defiance County, who join him on the initiative.

Defiance, Henry, and Williams Counties have an extensive history of collaborating and regionally sharing resources. The counties find this to be the most efficient and effective way to serve their rural communities which, when combined, represent a population of approximately 100,000 people, with nearly 30% being under the age of 18.

“It’s significant that three counties have come together and pooled their resources and their motivation, and have figured out the logistics of overcoming the rural challenge,” says Executive Director Evan Elkin, who also notes, “This site was funded by accessing justice reinvestment funds,” in reference to Reclaim Ohio, a unique fund consisting of surplus dollars generated when jurisdictions divert youth from juvenile placement into community alternatives.

“Ohio has momentum, and it’s impressive that the NW Ohio group took the initiative to procure these funds on their own,” says Elkin. “This is a funding method that should be used more often around the country to fund community-based public health and justice reform initiatives like Reclaiming Futures,” he adds.

The Defiance, Henry and Williams Counties say they look forward to exemplifying a model of a rural community collaborative, and they aim to utilize the Reclaiming Futures model and SBIRT approach to improve consistency of access to screening, intervention and treatment, as well as to better the outcomes for justice-involved youth in their counties.

“Small counties often see the value of best practices, but don’t necessarily have the resources to implement them,” explains Judge Bird. “Reclaiming Futures is important because of its holistic approach to treating kids. We need to do the best we can for every child who comes before us…to me, that’s the real promise of Reclaiming Futures: If we can make it work regionally it’s a good model for other small counties,” he says.

Reclaiming Futures is committed to supporting rural communities, and very happy to have NW Ohio join our sites. We at the NPO look forward to their first formal inclusion in the Reclaiming Futures Fellowship Meetings this week in New Orleans.

Kate Knappett

About Kate Knappett

Kate Knappett is a member of the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office.

 

Red Ribbon Week

by Tricia Lucido

red ribbon weekDuring the week of October 23, 2015, Red Ribbon Week was in full swing at Montgomery County Juvenile Court. This time of the year is another opportunity to focus our efforts on tobacco, alcohol and drug violence prevention. Red Ribbon Week was created in memory of DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena, who passed away 30 years ago. Red Ribbon Week has since become the nation’s largest and longest running prevention campaign.

With the support of Judge Kuntz and Judge Capizzi, our Juvenile Drug Court and Reclaiming Futures came together to host a variety of activities at the Montgomery County Probation Services Building. Kyla Woods, Tashina Sampson and Brittini Long worked side by side with Drug Court youth to decorate the Probation Services lobby with Red Ribbon decor to cheerfully welcome all guests.  A large classroom size board was also decorated with information to give youth examples of how to respond to peer pressure and remain drug and alcohol free. A parent forum was also conducted to provide education and awareness for the parents to support their children in remaining drug and alcohol free.

Red ribbons with the slogan “I’m Drug Free! 24/7 – 365” were donated by the Drug Free Action Alliance and were worn by Court staff throughout the week. The Red Ribbon Week celebration culminated with our Court staff participating in a “red out,” where everyone in the Court was encouraged to wear something red. It was a successful week that sent the message to youth and families served by Montgomery County Juvenile Court that we stand united in helping the youth of our community lead drug free lives!

Tricia Lucido

About Tricia Lucido

Tricia Lucido is the Project Director for Reclaiming Futures in Dayton, Ohio at the Montgomery County Juvenile Court. She promotes the Reclaiming Futures project and seeks funding for additional evidence-based treatment options to better serve families in her community. Tricia joined the Reclaiming Futures project in October of 2015. Her professional experience includes working with youth who have addiction challenges. She has been involved with the Montgomery County Juvenile Drug Court for over ten years. Tricia is a licensed Ohio Chemical Dependency Counselor and is a member of the National Association for Drug Court Professionals. She regularly speaks on treatment collaborations and mentoring and has presented for national addiction conferences. Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice/Legal Studies from Georgia College and State University and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Cincinnati. She has a passion for working with youth and their families. When not at work, Tricia enjoys working on DIY projects with her husband of eighteen years and their two sons.