Opiates: A National Discussion

by Bridget Murphy

On March 29, 2016 President Barack Obama communicated support for addressing the opiate and heroin crisis in the United States. Joined by physicians and individuals in recovery on a panel at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, GA, President Obama announced several private and public sector supports including access to treatment, medical coverage and physician training, enforcement to combat distribution, and a number of other services. At the same time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized “a rule to strengthen access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

These services and supports are specific to opiates and heroin and thisPAGE 2-COUNSELOR is good news for the juvenile justice and substance use disorders fields. Why….? Let me explain.

Although the majority of adolescents present to treatment for alcohol or cannabis problems and disorders, intervening early may prevent the onset of heroin and non-prescription use of pain relievers. Adolescent use of opiates has not significantly changed in recent years; however, for transitional aged youth it has. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that as compared to the 2009 rates, past year heroin use among 18 to 25 year olds has significantly increased (0.5 vs. 0.8). Additionally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a 14% increase in opioid overdoses in one year. Providing the necessary services and supports to adolescents and their families involved with the juvenile justice system, including education of heroin and opiate addiction, has the potential to change these significant increases in use and deaths.

Why else is this good news? If you listen to conversation about this issue – it has a very different tone and message. It elevates opiate and heroin addiction and recovery as a public health versus a criminal issue. Having a national discussion about addiction and recovery in which youth and families are not criminalized for substance use disorders, but rather, offered prevention, support, treatment, and recovery is an important shift and one that is likely to improve health and related outcomes.

It has been argued that shifting demographics and increased use and overdose rates among suburban white youth has been a catalyst for the policy and practices changes. While that is a valid observation, there are a number of factors influencing these changes including our better understanding of addiction,  increased identification of individuals in need through screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT), effective medications and behavioral treatments, increased availability and simplicity of Narcan to reverse overdose, improved community responses, and better training and practices for law enforcement. Yet, we must continue to be vigilant in reducing public health disparities in access to effective treatment and supports. We need to ensure and advocate for fair distribution of resources to all communities affected by heroin and opiates. And, we should use this opportunity to change the paradigm that criminalizes individuals struggling with substance use problems and disorders by increasing the availability of culturally and linguistically responsive evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery supports for youth and families.

Bridget Murphy


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.


Substance Use Disorder Treatment Alert!

by Bridget Murphy

Deadline Approaching: Review and comment by April 11, 2016

Have you seen the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) proposed changes to 42 CFR Part 2, Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records? If not, we recommend taking a look and commenting as an individual, agency/organizational, or community collaboration. Feel free to share praises and/or critiques about the proposed changes with SAMHSA.

Here are some key highlights:

  • Rewind time to more than four decades ago – 42 CFR Part 2 was conceptualized and approved to provide iPAGE2-COURTROOMndividuals seeking substance use disorder treatment with protections for privacy and confidentiality. It was acknowledged that stigma and fear of potential repercussions (familial, employment; criminal) prevented people from seeking treatment.
  • The last “substantive” update to 42 CFR Part 2 was in 1987 (approaching three decades ago).
  • There have been substantial changes in the way substance use disorder treatment is provided including a greater number of integrated health care centers (primary and behavioral health) and greater use of electronic health records. As such, modernizing 42 CFR Part 2 is necessary.
  • The proposed regulations will continue to apply to federally-assisted “programs“ which “holds itself out as providing, and provides substance use disorder diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment.”
  • It proposes if agencies and organizations that have “general designation” on consent form(s) they must provide patients a list of where their information has been shared.
  • Proposes agencies and organizations must have policies and procedures in place to sanitize paper and electronic records.

There are a number of other recommended changes. Naturally there are costs associated with these changes. SAMHSA estimates that it will cost the field approximately $74,217.979 in the first year. Costs include updating information technology systems; staff training; providing patients with a list of where information has been shared etc. SAMHSA acknowledges that these costs will decrease over time with a projected 10-year total (undiscounted) cost of $239,922,716.

With the adoption of the Affordable Care and Parity Acts, the field has needed the modernizing of 42 CFR Part 2: no question. Yet, some argue that these changes will hinder effective exchange of information between providers. Others argue for maintaining strong privacy protections. Even today, there are significant and potentially devastating effects for individuals who report any type of substance use, medication assisted therapy or treatment.

The Legal Action Center in New York “is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas” and has been providing advice and consultation on 42 CFR Part 2 for numerous years. We asked Legal Action Center to comment about these proposed changes and Karla Lopez, Staff Attorney, provided us with this comment:

“Legal Action Center believes SAMHSA struck an appropriate balance between maintaining the core confidentiality protections of 42 CFR Part 2 and modernizing the regulations to make it easier for patients to share their information if they choose to do so. The proposed changes create new mechanisms for patients to consent to share their information with their treating providers, including through health information exchanges and integrated care entities. Yet the proposed changes maintain the requirements that patients consent to most disclosures and that recipients of patient-identifying information are prohibiting from re-disclosing that information except as permitted by 42 CFR Part 2. This is critical in light of the stigma, discrimination, and criminal consequences that people with substance use disorders unfortunately continue to face.”

Reclaiming Futures staff do not interpret policy. We attempt to bring you the relevant information and encourage local jurisdictions to consider how these policy changes might impact local services, supports, and collaborations. If you have thoughts about these changes: be active – share them with SAMHSA here. The Legal Action Center has developed a template for providing comments on these proposed changes. Reclaiming Futures appreciates SAMHSAs efforts to modernize 42 CRF Part 2 while continuing to protect individual’s confidentiality and privacy.

Bridget Murphy


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, 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


Evan Elkin is the executive director of Reclaiming Futures.


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.


States Look Beyond Incarceration to Rearrest Rates; News Roundup

by Jenna Cerruti

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

States Look Beyond Incarceration to Rearrest Rates (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
The Council on State Governments reports that while juvenile arrest rates are down, rearrest rates are still high, sometimes reaching 80 percent in certain states. As a result, researchers and policymakers urge officials to look for ways to improve the lives of youth after they return to their communities, preventing further contact with the system.

Our Prisons in Black and White (The Marshall Project)
The racial disparity in incarceration for adults is shrinking, but for juveniles, it’s growing. Research confirms this and experts share their theories on why racial disparity is worsening in juvenile detention facilities.

Kids Who Face Criminal Charges Are More Likely To Die Young (Huffington Post)
A new 12-year study from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine reports that young offenders who are transferred to adult court are three times more likely to die early than someone of the same age in the general population.

The White House Focuses on Women and Girls of Color With a New $118 Million Initiative (The Nation)
The White House announced its involvement with a new initiative to support the lives of women and girls of color. According to the collaborative of funders, $100 million will go toward supporting job training programs and childcare access for low-income women. Additionally, academic and research institutions have pledged an additional $18 million toward research and data collection on women and girls of color.

Why Connecticut May Try 21-Year-Olds as Juveniles (Huffington Post)
In an address at a University of Connecticut School of Law symposium, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) urges raising the age of the juvenile justice system’s jurisdiction from 18 to 21. He has also proposed reforms aimed at young adults – up to age 25 – that would give some juvenile system protections, such as confidentiality and the opportunity to have their records expunged, to young adults who commit less-serious offenses.

Finally, Good News on the School to Prison Pipeline (New America Media)
David Muhammad, the National Justice Partner at Impact Justice, shares data and stories about the decline in California’s school suspension and expulsion rates. This means lower incarceration rates and bigger savings for the state. Despite this, Muhammad acknowledges that there is more work to be done, and calls for reinvesting youth incarceration spending into youth development, family support, and community revitalization

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!

Jenna Cerruti


Jenna Cerruti is an account manager at Prichard, a communications partner to Reclaiming Futures.


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.


How a trip to Germany opened a governor’s eyes on juvenile justice; 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. 

How a trip to Germany opened a governor’s eyes on juvenile justice (Fusion)
Last Friday Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy argued to raise the age of Connecticut’s juvenile justice system jurisdiction to 20 years old. Malloy’s speech is one of the most high-profile statements made so far in the U.S. on how youth have a higher capacity for rehabilitation than adults, and so should be treated differently.  He was inspired by a trip to Germany earlier this year – a country where anyone under 21 years old is treated as a juvenile rather than as an adult.

Juvenile Justice Advocates Wary of Lowering Voting Age to 16 (InsideSources)
While Democrat and D.C. Council Member Charles Allen sees lowering the voting age to 16 as a way to empower teens, youth justice advocates warn that this would actually be harmful for young people since it could potentially be used to lower the age of the criminal justice system jurisdiction; among other concerns.

Philadelphia No. 2 Cop to Expand School Diversion Program Via Major Fellowship (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
Philadelphia Police Department’s school diversion program offers alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenses. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel hopes Philadelphia’s example will inspire other cities around the country to participate in diversion programs: “You can really turn your juvenile justice system around…It’s really been one of the most profound things I’ve done in my career,” says Bethel.

Seattle could wipe out racism in its juvenile justice system — all thanks to these tireless activists (Raw Story)
As part of the No New Youth Jail Movement, Seattle activists fight for an end of the school-to-prison pipeline and racial inequities in King County, and argue for the discontinuation of “youth jails” all together.

Rural Community Organizations Address Human Trafficking (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
In order to more effectively address the high rate of human trafficking rural states, organizations such as Mountain Plain Youth Services / Youthworks  will collaborate with social services, local law enforcement, and members of their communities. The Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) new grant program will help rural communities develop services.

Addiction Among Teens Can Be Prevented (Youth Today)
Experts find that addiction is a “pediatric disease,” which almost always begins when a person is young. Prevention strategies such as Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) are recommended in order to detect early on in a person’s life, and intervene in addiction most effectively.

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.


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.