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Juvenile Re-Entry

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Running head: Juvenile Reentry

Juvenile Reentry
Making an Effective Transition
Jodi Calvert
Capella University
PSF 5372 – History of the Juvenile Criminal Justice System

Abstract
This paper explores the transformation of the Juvenile Justice System over the past century and how it impacts today’s youth. Juvenile delinquency has become a well-known phenomenon as youth have taken experimentation and violence to a new level. More adolescents are being diagnosed with medical disorders while many find themselves not having the means to access the proper treatment. Family and moral standards are not as they were a century ago and the economic strain of today can make it difficult for children to develop the necessary skills to transition through their developmental stages. Chaos, confusion and loss of identity play a significant role in many of the adolescents that find themselves in contact with the Juvenile Justice System. New interventions for these adolescents are greatly needed to improve not only their own well being, but to create a prosperous community.

Juvenile Reentry
Juveniles are released from institutions across the country everyday, but many do not have the knowledge required to make permanent changes for themselves, their families, and their communities. The first Juvenile Court in the United States was established in Cook County, Illinois in 1899 and within 25 years all but two states had established separate juvenile justice systems. The Juvenile Court of Chicago became the model for the various state juvenile justice systems that followed it. “This doctrine was used to explain the state’s interest in distinguishing between adults and children in its dispensation of justice [since] children are not fully imbued with developmental or legal capacity, the parens patriae doctrine held that the government could provide protection and treatment for children whose parents were not providing adequate care was or supervision,” (Nuñez-Neto, 2007). Instead of focusing on punishments for their offenses, the juvenile courts would attempt to turn young delinquents into productive adults by focusing on rehabilitation of the offenders.
The Commonwealth v. Fisher (1905) case during the Progressive Era delivers the state’s position to look after the well-being of children with, “the belief that juvenile offenders should be protected and re-educated” (Beijerse and van Swaaningen, 2006). Today adolescents spend their time in juvenile justice detention facilities before returning back to the community, just as the delinquents were held in places as “The Refuge House” until they turn of legal age. Upon turning of age, many juveniles are released back to their community so they can be productive citizens, but many may not have the life skills needed to succeed.
Upon leaving the juvenile justice system, many juveniles are faced with the same problems they encountered before they entered the system such as substance abuse, violence, peer pressure, family issues, etc. This can be a very stressful time, especially since many juveniles come from poverty stricken environments. Poverty is more than just lack of money, work, or motivation; it is filled with struggle against harsh conditions, structural impediments, and limited opportunities as well as the continuation and evolution of cultural traditions. In the face of these conditions the emergence of new sub-cultural norms from trans-generational social history. (Dunlap, Golub, Johnson, 2006). It has also been associated with “overcrowded housing, poor physical and mental health, despair, post-traumatic stress disorder, family dissolution, teen pregnancy, school dropout, interpersonal violence, crime, and drug and alcohol abuse,” (Dunlap, et al., 2006).
Returning back to this type of environment could prove to be unhealthy for them as these juveniles may not have the necessary cognitive, social, and emotional skills to resist the temptations of negative influences. “Many incarcerated juveniles return to their communities with serious risk and need areas unaddressed, complicating their chances for successful reentry” (Bouffard & Bergseth, 2008). “Aftercare service for juveniles first appeared in the United States in the early nineteenth century, but it has become an integral part of correctional rehabilitation for the young offender,” (Juvenile Aftercare, 1967).
Juvenile’s aftercare services are critical, especially when physical and mental issues are present. According to Barr (2003), the Brad H. v. City of New York (1999), compliant described a system in which at least 25,000 jail inmates per year received psychiatric care in jail, yet virtually none received discharge planning on release. Many released inmates do not have the proper discharging plan to return back to the community, such as medications and the necessary resources to get this medicine once released. This may result to relapse, acting in a bizarre manner, auditory and visual hallucinations, diminished contact with reality, paranoia, isolation, running a higher risk of suicide and rearrest. An inmate on Rikers Island expresses his reaction to discharge plans without medication, “To be honest I’ll end up back in jail because I won’t be able to make the right decisions.” In the Wakefield v. Thompson (1999) case, a federal court of appeals had held that under the Eighth Amendment, the state must provide an outgoing prisoner who is receiving and continues to require medication with a supply sufficient to ensure that he has that medication available during the period of time reasonably necessary to permit him to consult a doctor and obtain a new supply. (Barr, 2003)
In 2002, approximately 1.6 million youth were involved in the juvenile justice system, with 60 percent of boys and nearly half of detained girls testing positive for drug use. (Volkow, 2006) According to other studies, “investigations of youth with juvenile justice system contact document high levels of mental health and co-occurring substance use problems,” (Wasserman et al., 2008) Adolescents substance abuse and psychological disorders have become more prevalent in today’s juvenile justice system, in fact research has documented that two-thirds or more of youth involved with juvenile justice have a diagnosable mental health disorder, yet appropriate treatment is frequently unavailable. (Walker, 2006)
A study by Abrantes, Hoffman, and Anton (2005), includes that the majority of adolescences committed to detention centers have manifested multiple problems with the females displaying significantly greater mental health problems and maltreatment histories. (p. 179) Another study done by Teplin et al., (2006) states, “nearly two-thirds of males and three-quarters of the females met diagnostic criteria for one or more psychiatric disorder” (p. 1). This same study reports that 47% of the females and 51% of males interviewed were found to have a substance use disorder (p.7) Several other studies conclude this is because many adolescents have, “demonstrated an external locus of control and poor cooperative abilities in social situations, low levels of ego development, cognitive complexity, self-certainty, extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, and high levels of neuroticism and depression,” (Beaumont & Zukanovic, 2005).
Adolescence is a time to make decisions on your own signally maturation and growth. (Vander Zanden, Crandell, & Crandell, 2007) Erik Erikson describes it as socially acceptable periods for individuals to explore occupational, ideological, and sexual values and to commit to a particular self-definition or identity. When adolescents are confronted with Erikson’s fifth stage of role confusion and do not successfully resolve this identity crisis is believed they experience "identity diffusion" in which they are confused and suffer from a sense of not knowing they are, therefore, they are unable to decide on an occupational and a social role. (Beaumont et al., 2005; Boree, n.d) Juveniles struggle everyday with their identity, some need to be tough on the exterior while being incarcerated, but may feel vulnerable inside. This is usually associated with low self-esteem and depression so they are more likely to express distress in the form of self destructive impulses and behaviors.
These impulses and behaviors can be critical if juveniles do not learn proper life skills before returning back to their community. “Juvenile justice administrators need to form collaborative relationships with education, child welfare, mental health, and substance abuse service systems to ensure that youth have adequate access to care after their release,” (Teplin et al., 2006). A good discharge plan for juveniles is critical and should consist of assistance in obtaining the necessary professional services such as health care, employment, training, and housing if needed. The plan must also ensure it matches the juvenile culturally and linguistically so that the juvenile, “understands what the plan is and what steps he or she will have to take to implement it,” (Barr, 2003) so future problems do not occur.
United States Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced "The Youth Reentry Improvement Act" (H.R. 5178) which would enhance public safety by improving the reintegration of youth offenders into the families and communities to which they are returning.
This legislation establishes a formula grant program to states to strengthen case and discharge planning…for youth and young adult offenders who are released. Reentry programs promote self-sufficiency by providing training in daily living and parenting skills, employment skills, financial management, substance abuse prevention, and other services. The bill would also require states to suspend rather than terminate Medicaid assistance for young adult offenders during confinement, and to restore medical assistance upon release. (Cobbs, 2008)
. According to the social learning theory, “crime is learned, and therefore that exposure to delinquent definitions (more precisely, the ratio of definitions favorable to law violation over definitions unfavorable is the key to explanation,” (Agnew, 1999). This process consists primarily of instrumental learning that occurs either directly through rewards and punishments for behavior, or vicariously by imitation or the observation of the behavior and the consequences that the behavior has for others. (Krohn, 1999). Therefore, children reared in disrupted ecologies experience a host of emotional and behavioral problems. The social structural variables in the theory include structural correlates (society, community, culture, social institutions, region), socio-demographic correlates (age, gender, race, SES, religion), and differential location in primary and secondary groups (family, peers, school, work, church, media).
This is why reentry programs are so important for juveniles to learn various coping behaviors that may be absent or are perceived in a negative outlook. “Coping behaviors include obtaining social resources (such as emotional and concrete support from others), drawing on psychological resources (such as self-esteem and feelings of personal efficacy), and engaging in specific responses (such as problem solving)” (Eamon, 2001). Depending on the program, immediate outcomes may include positive changes appearing in personal, social and academic areas (e.g., better school performance, more prosocial behavior, enhanced life satisfaction), and/or a reduction of negative outcomes in these same areas (less peer rejection, school failure, aggression, or drug use and violence) that may have direct and indirect effects on children.
In order to continue to provide effective programs in communities, Congress provides ample funding to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to develop programs that make a difference through field tests, evaluation, and results nationwide. (Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ), 2007) In 1974, Congress passed the first comprehensive piece of juvenile justice legislation, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).Through several amendments, the JJDPA has created a number of grant programs to coordinate the federal government-wide response to juvenile delinquency. The JJDPA’s, “focused the federal government’s efforts largely on preventing juvenile delinquency and on rehabilitating juvenile offenders,” (Nunez-Neto, 2007,).
Federal drug policy concentrated more on enforcement than prevention and treatment programs to reduce drug availability during President Regan’s first term in office. President Clinton allocated two-thirds of drug funding to enforcement and interdiction during his first term but proposed substantial increases for prevention and treatment in the 1995 budget in which only marginal increases were approved by Congress. Prevention and treatment programs were still less than enforcement and corrections during the first year of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, known as the Crime Bill in 1995. (Drugstrategies.com, n.d.) Federal and state partnership is valuable because it allows for decisions made by the citizens and practitioners regarding the various types of juvenile delinquency affecting their community and programs they believe would provide positive outcomes for their community often using the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). (FACJJ, 2007)
Communication needs to be increased among all community service agencies and juvenile justice personnel in order to develop effective reentry programs. Steinberg, Chung, & Little (2004) state that crucial ingredients of effective mental health services, such as individualized treatment, targeted assessments, targeted psychiatric treatment, family-based services, and adequate follow-up, are often missing within residential treatment facilities and almost entirely absent within detention and incarceration (Soler as cited in Steinberg et al.) “The justice system lacks the resources, coordination, and training to provide effective treatment” as many personnel are not trained in child development and psychology. (Steinberg et al., 2004) Although many facilities are faced with lack of funding regardless of increases in their budgets, the growth of juveniles needing intervention outweighs many facilities yearly budgets.
Today’s juvenile requires program developers to think “outside the box” with new and innovative intervention programs. Due to many dealings with the law, many families turn their backs leaving juveniles to fend for themselves on the street. Programs such as the Pioneer Human Services in Seattle, Washington has been operating since 1963 and provides an array of services including housing, employment, training, treatment, counseling, and re-entry services for individuals recovering from chemical dependencies; ex-offenders; the homeless and others. This non-profit organization earns 99% of its income through the sale of its products or services Juveniles receiving this type of program during their reentry may reduce recidivism as it has for Pioneer’s overall recidivism rates of 6.4% to the states 22.3%. (Chansanhai, 2007; Drugstrategies.com, n.d.)
A unique program known as Midnight Basketball began 1985 to help young people stay out of trouble during the summer months. The program meets three times a week from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. to build personal and social skills; attend workshops on health; Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and job skills while having fun. (Drugstrategies.com, n.d.) Midnight Basketball could be a great aftercare program for juvenile offenders who are transitioning back to their community in order to help them stay out of trouble. Project CHOICE in California has created weekly 30 minute sessions in various middle schools for adolescents to chat confidentially about tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. A study based on the Phoenix Academy treatment facility in Los Angeles, “fosters coping strategies or helps youth develop other internal resources on which they successfully draw even after they return to the environments that originally contributed to their psychological distress,” (Morral, McCaffrey, & Ridgeway, 2004) Support services by the Hartford Youth Project (HYP) included: “assistance with housing, medical care, mental health care and financial crises; legal counseling; vocational counseling; educational support; transportation; and childcare,” (Simmons et al., 2008)
A study done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that that “get tough” programs such as detention homes and boot camps, scare tactic programs such as Scared Straight program, and adult lecturing programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) are not only ineffective but may actually exacerbate existing problems among delinquent youth. (FACJJ, 2007) Community-based substance abuse treatment services have received less rigorous evaluations than have the more recent and novel approaches.
Results suggest that some traditional approaches appear to be associated with improvements in drug use, psychological, and perhaps crime related outcomes, but more study is required to ensure that the novel approaches are, in fact, superior to the effective traditional ones. (Morral et al., 2004) Yet another study by Trulson, Marquart, Mullings, & Caeti (2005) states serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders have exhausted all available programs and find the only option is institutionalization and coast through the juvenile justice system doing only enough so they an participate in various activities.
Research indicates that proper management of reentry needs such as job skills, addiction treatment, health care, and housing could reduce the crime rate and recidivism, and that the corresponding decrease in the offender population would result in considerable cost savings at all levels of government. Many traditional intervention approaches such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may have positive results, the fact remains many juveniles return to the justice system upon release. As juveniles develop so do their interests, implementing various intervention approaches may provide more beneficial and reduce recidivism rates.
An ideal intervention facility would include assisting in applying for public services such as medical, financial, housing, transportation, job training, legal, utility, childcare and other community services that may be offered. These facilities should also have available to them directories of alternative services if for reason they are denied by public assistance. Material with various meeting schedules for the local area and surrounding areas such as AA, NA, Gamblers Anonymous (GA), Dual-diagnosed Anonymous (DA), as well as community groups for violence, bereavement, etc. should be made available. Programs should include but not limited to: CBT, dialectic- behavioral therapy (DBT), individual and family counseling, group discussions, art therapy, and music therapy. Additional non-conventional and integrative treatment should be made available such a nutritional planning, various exercise programs, mindfulness training, acupuncture, and massage therapy. After school activities such as sports and homework help as well as teen groups should be included in facilities area the area. Intriguing programs such as Midnight Basketball, Project CHOICE and teen courts should be incorporated into the community. Transitional residential facilities for juveniles should include George Gazda’s model of life skills so juveniles learn Interpersonal Communication/Human Relations Skills (IC/HRS), Problem-Solving/Decision-Making Skills (PS/DMS), Physical Fitness/Health Maintenance Skills (PF/HMS) and Identity Development/Purpose in Life Skills (ID/PILS) (Kadish, Glaser, Calhoun, & Ginter, 2001). Mindfulness training will create awareness and discipline of one’s self and exercise to improve physical health and increase serotonin levels. While little research has been done on adolescents and the disruption of the serotonin (5-HT) system, findings from adult literature suggest that peripheral 5-HT is significantly lower among impulsive, aggressive, self injuring, substance use, depression, borderline, and antisocial populations. (Stoff & Mann; Heninger, as cited in Crowell, Beauchaine, McCauley, Smith, Vasilev, & Stevens, 2008) This same study found significant relations between adolescent’s peripheral 5-HT and expressions of positive affect both and the higher 5-HT was linked to more positive affective engagement.
These facilities should also include nutritional planning since, “persons with alcohol use disorder who improve their general nutrition probably have a better chance of maintaining sobriety than those who do not,” (Lake, 2007a). Numerous early studies show that individuals who receive regular acupuncture treatments also have an increase in brain levels of endogenous opioid peptides by stimulating various pressure points. (Lake, 2007b) Some limitations of this intervention facility are financial strain, especially with a weak economy; finding professional personnel that will volunteer their craft; accessing various materials on community affairs and continually revising current programs to keep them new and exciting can be time consuming; and keeping negative influences elsewhere. Including juveniles in construction of their discharge plan to incorporate healthy activities they enjoy may improve the chances of recidivism. Interventions can be developed according to the juvenile’s interests and developmental stage they are in just by being creative and supportive. A strong support system has to be administered and implemented so juveniles have a safe, healthy, positive network they can be surrounded in. Carefully identifying substance use and mental health problems of juveniles are critical in implementing an effective intervention while detained as well as upon release. (Abrantes, et al., 2005) If we are to improve public health and reduce the costs to both individuals and society, the substance abuse treatment field needs to develop effective models of monitoring the condition and providing early re-intervention. (Scott, Dennis, & Foss, 2005) Additional “longitudinal studies of juveniles in detention [centers and correctional facilities] would be helpful to identify the relative contributions and interactions of various factors of psychiatric disorders in prison[s]” (Fazel, Doll, and Langstrom, 2008) so appropriate inventions can be administered. After all, the youth of today are the future of tomorrow.

References
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...will address my findings for this article and what recommendation I believe should happen. Overview The Internet Article that I have chosen is from the Virginia's Department of Juvenile Justice. In this article, the Director of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Mr. Andrew Block has proposed a $66 million plan to the Virginia legislators in the hope of building two new detention facilities that will focus more on rehabilitation, counseling, and various services. Mr. Block told legislative budget writers Monday that the new facilities that he plans to build will probably pay for themselves. Shortly, Mr. Block also stated that his $200 million operating budget will spare new annual cut which will help return shift resources to rebuild prevention and treatment program that has had substantial cut over the last ten years. In spite of some pushback from the legislative committee the vice chairman of the committee, Mr. Steve Landes admitted the plans sounded doable. Into furthermore better his case Mr. Brock bought statistic that showed why the DJJ wants to focus more on rehabilitation instead of the “Old sprawling and expensive” way like Bon Air and Beaumont detention center. According to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the statistic stated 59 percent of the children the States locks up reports physical abuse, 58 percent parent criminal activity, 46 percent parent incarceration and 31 percent parent substance abuse (Daily......

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...FFLIC’s mission is to transform the oppressive juvenile justice system in Louisiana into one that provides a nurturing and rehabilitative environment. While interning with FFLIC, I met with the community organizer on a regular basis who has a child currently imprisoned. I listened to his personal experiences with Louisiana’s juvenile justice system and learned about the need for therapeutic environments, interactions, and opportunities for underrepresented prison populations. In order to help FFLIC advocate for policy change at a state level, my colleagues and I authored a white paper that outlined recommendations to reduce recidivism rates for juvenile offenders in Louisiana, such as offering more educational and vocational programs in prisons and implementing community-based alternatives to incarceration. Through my research, I discovered that community-based alternatives that embody therapeutic philosophies, through emphasizing skills training, counseling, and behavioral programs, can be more successful at reducing recidivism than incarceration. This experience prompted my desire to continue...

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