Reclaiming Futures Wishes You a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
On behalf of Reclaiming Futures, I'd like to thank our colleagues, friends and family for supporting young people in the the juvenile justice system. We appreciate your work on behalf of vulnerable people everywhere.
Supporting Systems Change in Reclaiming Futures Communities
Reclaiming Futures has helped communities break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime for more than 10 years. But how exactly does Reclaiming Futures accomplish systems change? We sat down with National Executive Director Susan Richardson to discuss the model and benefits of becoming a Reclaiming Futures site.
Lori Howell (LH): What makes Reclaiming Futures successful in a variety of communities across the country?
Susan J. Richardson (SJR): Reclaiming Futures offers powerful tools and resources to communities helping teens overcome drugs, alcohol and crime. We work to improve drug, alcohol and mental health treatment and connect teens to positive activities and caring adults.
LH: That sounds like quite a feat! How do you accomplish this?
SJR: Reclaiming Futures unites juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, teen mental health treatment and the community to reclaim youth.
LH: Please tell us about the Reclaiming Futures model.
SJR: The proven six-step Reclaiming Futures model unites juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community to reclaim youth. Together this leadership team works for change to improve drug, alcohol and mental health treatment for teens and connect them to positive activities and caring adults.
LH: Please tell me more about the leadership team and how it functions.
SJR: The Reclaiming Futures Change Teams are organized into five groups: Judicial, Juvenile Justice, Substance Abuse Treatment, Community, and Project Director Fellowships. This change team also represents their local community at national Reclaiming Futures meetings. In addition to regular conference calls, each Fellowship has an annual meeting with their colleagues. Both the calls and meetings provide opportunities for Fellows to discuss implementation issues, professional topics, and seek the advice and support of colleagues as they work to implement the Reclaiming Futures model at the local level.
Welcome Fellowship Program Manager, Christa Myers
I am pleased to introduce the newest member of the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office, Christa Myers.
Please see our conversation below to learn how you can help Christa achieve one of her goals in the first 90 days of work.
You'll also find out which famous animal she played at a youth conference. Please welcome Christa in the comments section below!
Susan J. Richardson (SJR)
Christa Myers (CM)
SJR) What brings you to Reclaiming Futures?
CM) I have been working as Project Director/Juvenile Drug Court Program Coordinator at a Reclaiming Futures site for 5.5 years. I was hired for that position with a youth development background, having worked for:
- Ohio State University Extension, Hocking County (4-H);
- National Crime Prevention Council, Youth Division;
- Sunday Creek Associates, Youth Entrepreneurial Project; and
- Hocking County Juvenile Court/Children's Service, Summer Program for Girls.
I look forward to working on a national level to bring my strengths and skills from my work in Hocking County to the National Program Office.
SJR) What are you most interested in learning?
CM) I am most interested in learning more about each of our 37 sites. I have thoroughly enjoyed my coaching role with Hardin and Lucas Counties, Ohio, and Forsyth County, N.C., because I get to know more about their local work and can celebrate their successes along with them. I look forward to experiencing this with all the sites in the national learning collaborative.
SJR) What do you hope to achieve in your first 90 days at Reclaiming Futures?
CM) I am terrible with name recall, so I hope I will be able to associate names with roles and locations in the first 90 days. But please forgive me if I make mistakes!
New Innovation and Intellectual Property Report
Have you ever wondered how a great idea grows into a successful model and then spreads across the country? It doesn't happen on its own. Reclaiming Futures receives support from many sources, including the Portland State University (PSU) office of Innovation and Intellectual Property.
Reclaiming Futures is one of 10 projects featured in a new report about expanding the reach and nuturing the success of PSU initiatives from the office of Innovation and Intellectual Property:
Since our opening in 2008, we have aided the success and external distribution of research projects from a wide range of PSU departments and disciplines, from engineering and chemistry to linguistics and environmental science. Our focus is on use and impact, and we use intellectual property as a tool to shape how PSU innovations are used and deployed in the wider community.
We are grateful for the support and continue to maximize our impact in communities working to break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime.
Please call 503-725-8914 to learn more about bringing Reclaiming Futures to your community.
Multnomah County, Oregon, Stays “Smart on Crime”
The Office of National Drug Policy Control promotes a “smart on crime” approach that emphasizes prevention and access to treatment over incarceration in order to break the cycle of substance abuse, crime and re-arrest—especially among youth.
How Soccer Saved My Life
In 2008, Gina Castaneda, a Santa Cruz County Juvenile Probation Officer, founded the Aztecas Soccer Program for Latino juvenile probationers who affiliate with both Norteño and Sureño gangs.
In this 2011 TEDxSantaCruz talk Gina shares her story, including how soccer saved her life and what she hopes to achieve through the Aztecas Soccer Program.
Webinar October 29: Deliver Scientific Facts About Drug Abuse to Teens
Do you need help talking to teens about the effects of drug abuse on the brain, body and behavior? If so, we have good news: you're invited to a free webinar on October 29.
Deliver the Scientific Facts About Drug Abuse to Teens During National Drug Facts Week, hosted by Reclaiming Futures, presented by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Sheri Grabus, Ph.D., Acting Press Officer, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
LaTonya Harris, Project Director, Reclaiming Futures Lucas County, Ohio
When: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST)
You'll learn how to shatter the myths about drugs and drug addiction, like:
- “Marijuana isn’t addictive”
- “Prescription drugs aren’t dangerous because we get them from doctors”
- “Using drugs that aren’t prescribed to you is legal and you can’t get in trouble from it”
- “Treatment doesn’t work”
Horse Therapy as Intervention Strategy for Young People
Winston Churchill once said, "There’s just something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." Horse therapy has indeed been proven effective in several different cases regarding mental health, addiction, physical therapy, and human development. Hardin County, Ohio is putting this idea to the test.
The H.A.Y. program will provide intervention strategies for the adjudicated youth who need a way to build self-confidence, leadership skills, and group interaction capabilities. The young people will have 12 weekly sessions to create a bond with their horse, as well as the people, of Serenity Stables.
“The horses do not care who you are, what trouble you have been in, or what problems you may have. Each youth will be able to establish a bond with an animal that is totally non-judgmental,” Judge Christopher, Hardin County Juvenile Court, explains.
This type of bond will serve to build confidence in the young people of Hardin County and help them develop a new, healthier mindset. Judge Christopher also believes the people of Serenity Stable, who have ample experience working with challenged youth, will serve to be positive role models for the participants.
Six Steps to Break the Cycle of Drugs, Alcohol and Crime
Nearly 1 in 5 youth (17%) at the door of the juvenile justice system meet criteria for substance abuse disorders; in detention, 39% do. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only 1 in 16 young people with substance abuse disorders get into treatment.
That's unfortunate, because while we need to hold teens accountable for their actions, simply locking them up does not work.
Effective adolescent substance abuse treatment can help teens stay out of trouble, make our communities safer, and save money.
The Reclaiming Futures model unites juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community to reclaim youth. Together, they work to improve drug and alcohol treatment and connect teens to positive activities and caring adults.
Please call 503-725-8911 to learn how to bring the six steps of the Reclaiming Futures to your community:
Free Drug Facts Webinar October 29; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Justice Department Pushes New Thinking on Kids and Crime (npr.org)
Robert L. Listenbee, administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, advocates for understanding adolescent brain development to stop what experts describe as a "school-to-prison pipeline."
- Bipartisan Support for Criminal Justice Reform (vera.org)
The current moment of government shutdown might seem the antithesis to bipartisanship. But one area in which bipartisanship is in evidence might offer some hope: criminal justice reform.
- Nearly Half of U.S. States Enact Juvenile Justice Reforms (jjie.org)
A new report from the Washington-based Campaign for Youth Justice finds that nearly half of U.S. states have made great strides in the past eight years toward reducing the prosecution of juveniles in the adult criminal justice system or preventing youths from being placed in adult jails and prisons.