Leslie Taylor, Treatment Expediter
Reclaiming Futures Multnomah County
Multnomah County Department of Community Justice
Juvenile Services Division
1401 NE 68th Ave
Portland, OR 97213
In 2004, 2,727 teens in Multnomah County were in trouble with the law. Eighty-two percent of the 1,153 teens screened by juvenile justice that year were using substances at a level beyond “experimental” use. In fact, every year hundreds of young people in the Multnomah County juvenile justice system need help to overcome drugs and alcohol. Yet treatment isn’t available to many of those who need it. For instance, there are only half as many residential beds as needed.
Reclaiming Futures Multnomah County is improving alcohol and drug treatment services for approximately 500 teens in our juvenile justice system every year by:
- Reliably assessing young people for alcohol and drug treatment needs and consistently connecting them to treatment
- Routinely sharing information between probation officers and treatment counselors
- Tapping strong community partnerships to systematically connect kids to positive activities — school, employment, recreation, the arts, volunteering, and adult mentors
- Improving quality of services by providing additional training to staff
Reclaiming Futures Multnomah Embrace was one of 10 founding sites funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation between 2002 and 2007.
In 2006, Reclaiming Futures Multnomah Embrace worked with local mentoring agencies and Write Around Portland to produce a collection of stories from adults and youth about what it was like to be 15 – the average age of youth in the local juvenile justice system. The goal was to raise awareness of the need for caring adult mentors in the lives of youth caught in the cycle of drugs, alcohol, and crime.
- Download the anthology: When You Were 15