Re-entry is the process of preparing and planning for youth who have been in out-of-home placements to transition back to their home communities. Aftercare refers to the post-release services, supervision, and supports that help youth reintegrate safely and successfully.[/tab]
Depending on their pathway through the justice system, youth may be held in secure custody for various reasons. Here, we focus on youth who have been adjudicated delinquent and held long-term in a residential placement facility. Youth held in short-term detention facilities or transferred to the adult system and confined in adult jails or prisons face many of the same issues, but have distinct challenges as well, which we discuss below under “What Challenges Do Youth in Adult Facilities Face on Re-entry?” and “Re-entry After Short-Term Detention.”[/tab]
Continuing to provide services, support and supervision for youth leaving facilities is important both for public safety and to ensure on-going, positive youth development.
- Many youth enter custody with physical, mental health, and substance abuse problems, yet few receive high quality treatment or programming while in custody, which can exacerbate their problems.
- Being in an institutional environment can impede normal adolescent development by depriving youth of the experiences needed for positive growth, such as learning job-related expectations and essential pro-social skills for relationships in later life.
- Likely as a result of the above two points, re-arrest rates for youth returning home from confinement have generally been quite high; it’s not uncommon for 75 percent of returning youth to be rearrested within three years.
- Appropriate re-entry planning can help arrange the services many re-entering youth need, such as stable housing (particularly for some youth who are homeless when released), continued education, employment and/or vocational training, re-enrollment into health insurance coverage, and continued mental health and/or substance use treatment.
- Community-based supervision and aftercare services have been found to reduce recidivism as well as to increase the likelihood of youth attending school and going to work.
Youth face many collateral consequences, or significant hardships, as a result of contact with the juvenile justice system. These challenges make reintegration even more difficult. While they vary by state, below are some examples:
- A delinquency adjudication can hinder a child’s access to school; youth may be expelled for certain offenses and some jurisdictions have enacted laws creating barriers to re-enrollment for adjudicated youth.
- A youth’s ability to get a job or obtain a license required for certain professions may be hindered by a delinquency adjudication.
- A youth’s involvement in the juvenile justice system may affect his or her household’s eligibility for public housing, or cause his or her family to be evicted.
- A juvenile adjudication may disqualify a person from obtaining TANF benefits or food stamps.
- A juvenile adjudication may disqualify an individual from obtaining public benefits.
- Some juvenile adjudications, such as for drug trafficking, can trigger harsh immigration consequences, such as ineligibility for legal immigrant status and vulnerability to deportation.
- Juvenile justice involvement may affect a young person’s ability to enlist in the military.
- A youth’s driving license may be suspended as a result of a delinquency adjudication for certain offenses.
- A juvenile adjudication may affect an individual’s ability to become a foster parent or adopt a child.
Below, we expand on some of the collateral consequences and challenges mentioned above, and detail a few more.
Many youth enter the juvenile justice system with significant educational deficits. The academic achievement levels of adolescents that are adjudicated delinquent rarely exceed the elementary school level and some estimate that as many as 70 percent of youth in the justice system have learning disabilities. Yet “[e]ducation is essential to ensuring long-term re-entry success” for youth in the justice system.
Unfortunately, youth in the juvenile justice system face many barriers to their education while they are held in facilities and once they are released, which may be why the majority of youth – 66 percent – do not return to school after release from secure custody. These barriers include:
- substandard education while incarcerated;
- failure of many correctional educational facilities to use curricula aligned with state standards which can result in credits not transferring or being accepted by the home school district;
- significant delays in the transfer of youth’s educational records and credits from the correctional educational facility to their community school upon release; and
- barriers some schools and states have enacted to prevent youth from re-enrolling in school.
Committing youths to juvenile facilities interrupts their education, as discussed in the section immediately above, and can also have an adverse effect on their employability.
Job Readiness Training in Youth Facilities – Challenges
Employment is a strong predictor of decreased recidivism, with numerous studies finding that individuals who have a job are less likely to commit an offense. Employability is particularly important, since many youth are no longer minors when they are released. Unfortunately, youth often do not receive sufficient education and job training while in secure facilities to be job-ready upon release, due to problems such as the following:
- Many facilities do not offer career technical education. Even when provided, it may be insufficient to prepare youth to be gainfully employed if the programs are not in line with industry requirements for that vocation, such as OSHA-10 for construction trades.
- Many youth in the justice system lack “soft” work skills needed to secure and keep jobs, such as interviewing, problem-solving, and anger management, and this often is not provided in facilities.
- Juvenile justice-involved youth often need continued on-the-job training when they are out in the work force, but funds for such training have been significantly cut in recent years.
Employment Challenges for Reintegrating Youth
Even job-ready youth face challenges to employment when back in the community:
- State regulations may bar youth with records from positions in certain industries, and employers may extend this beyond what is strictly prohibited.
- Employers may be reluctant to hire youth with delinquency records for jobs in clients’ homes, such as cabling.
- Particularly in times of high unemployment, when employers have many applicants, they simply don’t want to take the additional risk of hiring youth who have been justice-involved.
- A number of other types of jobs may bar a person with a juvenile record from being hired, particularly jobs that require government-issued licenses, working with vulnerable populations, and positions involving financial responsibility.
- Additionally, some federal agencies, such as the Dept. of Education and the Dept. of Human Services, restrict individuals with adjudications for certain juvenile offenses from specific types of positions.
- Youth often are not connected with vocational training or resources to help them access employment upon release. Providing these services can be an effective way to help youth get long-term employment.
Many youth face challenges finding stable housing when released from out-of-home placements due to a variety of factors:
- Homeless youth are disproportionately likely to be involved in the juvenile justice system, often due to arrest for “quality-of-life offenses,” such as panhandling, loitering, and sleeping in public, as well as prostitution in exchange for food or shelter. Most will continue to have housing challenges upon release.
- Many youth become homeless when released from juvenile justice facilities because of severe conflicts with parents, parental abuse, homeless parents, or policies prohibiting individuals convicted of certain offenses from living in public housing.
- A disproportionate percentage of youth in the juvenile justice system have past or current involvement in the child welfare system. Youth who were previously in foster care can lose their foster care placements once released from confinement, leaving them with the challenge of finding stable housing.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Over half the youth involved in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health or substance use disorder; the prevalence of disorders (and co-occurring disorders) increases significantly the further youth penetrate the justice system. Additionally, youth in the juvenile justice system report higher rates of trauma exposure than youth in the general population, leaving them at risk for mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome. Youth with mental health and/or substance abuse issues confined in juvenile justice facilities can face some of the following challenges while incarcerated and when released:
- Youth may leave facilities in worse shape than they came into them. The mental health services available to youth in the juvenile justice system are often inadequate or simply unavailable.
The high percentage of confined youth with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders adds to the challenges of finding staff who can provide effective treatment.
- Confinement without appropriate treatment will likely cause a youth’s mental health to deteriorate, particularly if isolation is used to address their behavioral problems.
- Additionally, sometimes youth are overprescribed medications so that they will be easier to handle in facilities, with some youth given “three or four [psychotropic drugs] at a time, often for nonprescribed uses, like helping youths sleep.” Then they are often released without the medications, making it more difficult for them to continue to control their behavior.
- Even youth provided with good mental health treatment in juvenile facilities may have difficulty continuing it in the community, due to problems with health coverage. Many youth are eligible for Medicaid or other health insurance, yet have not been enrolled – or their Medicaid benefits were terminated when they were confined and reapplying can take 90 days or more.
- Gaps in services significantly increase a youth’s risk of reoffending.
Reconnecting with Families
Families may be the single most important factor determining whether a youth will successfully reintegrate. Yet families are too often seen as the problem – “the root cause and driving force” behind the youth’s problem behavior. As a result, the system is generally not designed to foster family involvement. Rather, the system often hampers family connections, making it difficult for families to plan for their child’s return home and support them as needed. In a national survey of youth and their families, Justice for Families found the following barriers to family involvement and reconnection with youth in facilities:
- youth prisons located in remote areas far from children’s homes and difficult, if not impossible, to reach by public transit;
- restrictive visitation rules on timing and duration of visits, and limiting visitors to “immediate family members,” thereby excluding those with alternative family arrangements;
- the youth’s visitation rights or phone privileges for calls home being taken away as a disciplinary measure;
- family member difficulty contacting staff at a facility to get information on their child;
- lack of post-release planning — only 32 percent of parents and families surveyed reported discussing release plans with juvenile justice system personnel prior to their child’s release; and
- many children return home with trauma due to the separation from their families and communities, and post-traumatic stress from violence they witnessed or endured.
Many more youth are held in short-term detention each year than are held in long-term secure care. In 2011, 93,207 youth were detained, while 7,067 youth were committed.
When is Detention Used?
Detention is used most often by courts to hold youth prior to adjudication, prior to disposition, after disposition while awaiting a placement, or as a consequence for violating a court order or technical violation of their probation. In some jurisdictions, detention may also be used as a disposition rather than confinement in a long-term juvenile correctional facility. Detention time periods can range from several hours to several months or even longer.
What Practices Can Detention Programs Engage in to Help Youth Reintegrate?
Even when youth are confined for short periods of time, the impact on them can be profound and, as with long-term confinement, reliance on detention should be greatly minimized as “[c]onfinement is disruptive to healthy adolescent development, reinforces poor peer associations, and isolates youth from their communities and from family and emotional supports.”
Because the impact on youth can be dramatic, detention programs, like long-term confinement programs, must focus on re-entry of youth from the time youth enter detention. Some of the practices detention facilities should engage in to support youth re-entry include the following:
- Maintaining a youth’s continuity in their educational program so that they don’t return to their community school behind their peers. As with youth in long-term confinement, detention centers also need to ensure efficient sharing of educational records between the detention center or the juvenile correctional center and the youth’s school in the community.
- Developing programs, such as in education, that are consistent between juvenile justice commitment facilities and schools in the community.
- As with long-term confinement facilities, detention facilities need to respectfully engage youth and their family members in the youth’s treatment, in strengthening the family, and in re-entry planning in a culturally appropriate way.
- Develop efficient mechanisms to gather and disseminate the information that would be useful to those involved in case planning for the youth.
- Collaborate with system partners to determine the appropriate level of community-based supervision and supports for the youth when they leave that will meet the needs of the youth and their family as well as the community.
- Conduct assessments of youths’ physical and mental health and substance use in order to identify any treatment needs while in the facility, and to make connections with community services and supports that can continue once the youth is released.
- Provide programs that improve pro-social behaviors and links to community supports.[/tab]
While youth tried as adults and sentenced to adult facilities face many of the same challenges discussed above for youth returning from juvenile facilities, youth returning from adult jails and prisons face additional challenges, which may be why these youth recidivate at higher rates than youth in the juvenile justice system. The challenges these youth face include the following:
Youth May Be in Worse Shape when Released Due to Lack of Developmentally Appropriate Treatment and Services while Incarcerated
There are few national standards on how youth should be “managed and handled” in the adult system. Thus, budget constraints may dictate that programming for the generally much smaller youth population in adult facilities be the same as that designed for the typical adult, even though studies have shown adult programming provided to youth rarely results in positive outcomes.
- In general, youth have less access to rehabilitation and family support in the adult system.
- Though it is legally required, jails have challenges providing appropriate educational services for youth, particularly those with special education needs. A Bureau of Justice Services survey found that 40 percent of jails provided no educational services to youth, only 11 percent provided special education services, and only 7 percent provided vocational training.
- This means that when they are released, youth will likely have deficits in education, job preparation, and other areas, making re-entry more difficult.
Lack of Developmentally Appropriate Services to Released Youth
Youth may end up on an adult supervision caseload even though their needs are quite different from those of an adult. Correctional programs are generally not structured for youth, and correctional officers are often not aware of the developmental differences between youth and adults. Additionally, most funding for aftercare for youth is tied to the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act and only flows to youth in the juvenile justice system. While some re-entry funding for youth in the adult system is available through the federal programs such as the Second Chance Act, youth must compete with millions of adult probationers and parolees for these funds.
More Significant Negative Collateral Consequences Flow from Adult Convictions
While youth may suffer many collateral consequences, or significant harms, as a result of a delinquency adjudication, juvenile court processes still provide more protections than criminal convictions.
- In most states, employers can deny jobs to those arrested for a crime even if they were never convicted, and to those with any type of criminal record regardless of how minor or old the conviction.
- In most states, some or all people with drug felony convictions are banned from federally funded public assistance and food stamps.
- In most states, criminal history information is publicly available on the internet, while juvenile adjudications are often accorded more confidentiality and states often provide more mechanisms to seal and expunge juvenile records.
- Individuals with criminal convictions have some level of restrictions on their right to vote in all but two states.
- Youth in the adult system are required to pay the same fees and fines as adult parolees and probationers, even though they are expected to be in school.
Thinking about re-entry needs to permeate the justice system’s approach to youth, rather than be an afterthought that begins when youth leave a facility. As the Federal Interagency Reentry Council stated, “juvenile reentry encompasses more than just aftercare for youth returning to the community from secure confinement, but is also a process that begins the moment youth come into contact with the juvenile justice system.” If this philosophy is followed, then re-entry thinking would guide placement decisions from diversion to detention and disposition, and would impact the care provided to incarcerated youth, leading to some of the following likely results:
- Placement decisions and interventions would be determined, in part, by the post-release expectations and plan for the youth.
- Since confined youth have worse recidivism rates and worse educational and employment outcomes when compared to other justice-involved youth who are not confined – and since youth in the community have more opportunity to practice pro-social ways of living than confined youth – incarceration would be used as last resort for only the highest-risk youth.
- For youth who needed to be institutionalized, the care provided would be humane and treatment-oriented, so that they leave in better – not worse – condition than when they entered.
- Community-based aftercare for those youth in facilities would be part of a “reintegrative corrections continuum” preceded by parallel services in the facility and careful planning for the aftercare to follow.
Below are some of the elements experts view as essential for the successful reintegration of youth:
- Concrete re-entry planning should begin when incarceration is either anticipated (at disposition) or as soon as it is initiated (secure care begins). The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice recommend that juvenile justice settings create individualized pre-release plans for youth immediately upon the youth’s entry into a facility.
- Re-entry planning should engage the youth, their family, and stakeholders who are critical to the youth’s success, such as individuals from the juvenile justice facility and probation department, the public school, the health care department, and providers.
- Discharge planning should focus on helping youth with any or all of the following issues as needed: locating resources to secure education, employment, and/or vocational training, public benefits, family reunification, stable housing, re-enrollment into health insurance coverage, assistance with resolving substance abuse issues, mastery of life skills, and learning how to create healthy, positive relationships.
- It is important to keep in mind that the skills youth need to do well in placement are not necessarily the same skills they need to thrive in the community. A re-entry plan should have elements that help the youth succeed while they are in the facility, as well as elements to help them navigate a positive return home.
Risk assessment tools are instruments developed to help to more objectively determine a youth’s risk level. Research suggests that youthful reoffending will be decreased if intervention, placement, and aftercare supervision decisions are guided by determinations of the youth’s level of risk for reoffending. Below is further description of what risk assessment tools are and when they should be used.
- What are Risk Assessment Tools?
Risk assessment tools are composed of factors on which youth are rated and generally include risk factors (both static risk factors and criminogenic need/dynamic risk factors), and protective factors. The most effective tools help system personnel understand what needs are driving the youth to delinquent behavior and to tailor services accordingly.
- When Should Risk Assessment Tools be Used?
- Risk assessments should be administered beginning at intake into the juvenile justice system. Prior to trial, experts recommend that juvenile probation officers use an objective validated detention risk assessment instrument to help determine who can be safely supervised in the community pending trial. The factors considered generally include the seriousness of the offense, a youth’s family relationships and ties to the community, stability in work or school, and any previous record of failure to appear in court.
- Most juvenile justice systems now use an objective risk assessment tool following a delinquency adjudication to help determine the appropriate placement for the youth. These tools can also guide intervention planning by focusing services and programming on factors tied most closely to reoffending.
- Periodic reassessments help agencies to track treatment progress, identify new challenges, and adjust supervision levels and intensity of services. Reassessments should be conducted at regular intervals at key decision points in the juvenile justice process, including youth entering the disposition phase and youth reentering the community, as well as when there are major life changes, such as the illness or death of a parent.
For further information on many aspects of risk assessments, see Evidence-Based Tools for Intervening with Youth in the Evidence-Based Practices section of the hub.
Using What Works and Discarding What Doesn’t
- Adopt and effectively implement programs and practices that have been demonstrated to improve youth outcomes, such as cognitive-behavioral interventions.
- Discontinue or avoid programs found to be ineffective and even damaging to youth. For example, research has found that Scared Straight programs, whose goal is to deter youthful offending by exposing youth to adult prisons, not only don’t work, but actually lead to an increase in offending.
- Collect data on the programs being used, to assess program quality and evaluate service outcomes.
Coordinating across Service Systems to Address Youth Needs
Aftercare services generally involve working across systems to help youth with issues such as school reenrollment, mental health and substance use care, and child welfare issues. Creating a formal, ongoing structure for collaboration across systems, rather than leaving collaboration up to individual stakeholders on a case-by-case basis, can greatly improve systems coordination and service delivery to youth.
Permanency Planning that Reflects the Developmental Needs of Adolescents
- This requires a shift from the more traditional adult-corrections type of mentality many probation departments employ to deal with youth, which tends to emphasize surveillance approaches such as frequent probation contacts, electronic monitoring, and urine testing. This type of approach results in “unacceptably high reincarceration rates for youth with no corresponding fiscal or safety benefit to the public.”
- Using a developmental approach requires probation departments to focus more sharply on interventions that promote long-term positive youth behavior, such as educational tutoring, job skills training, meaningful family engagement, and tailoring services and practices to individual youth in a way that takes into account gender, cultural identity, and their specific stage of development.
- Current knowledge about adolescent brain development indicates that key areas of the brain, affecting areas such as judgment and impulsivity, continue to develop into a youth’s early to mid-twenties. Accordingly, permanency planning that provides supports for a youth long after their juvenile justice system involvement has ended will help the youth succeed.
While juvenile justice personnel need to lead the aftercare planning effort, it will be stronger if other partners are engaged. Community partners can provide the support needed to further a youth’s progress once juvenile justice supervision has ended. It is recommended that a coalition of partners be formed to help promote youth reintegration. Partners that can help to support youthful re-entry include the following:
- family and other significant adult figures in the youth’s life such as godparents, mentors, teachers, or coaches;
- probation and court staff;
- public defenders;
- neighborhood centers;
- health and mental health providers;
- faith-based entities;
- community agencies and local service providers;
- housing agencies and non-profits;
- law enforcement;
- people harmed by crime.
It is recommended that these partners be engaged early in the incarceration period so that they can begin to build the positive connections with the youth that will help the young person to succeed when they are released.
While a variety of different program services and models are used in providing aftercare to youth, youth re-entry typically includes services geared to achieving a reduction in future offending, or recidivism. In addition to measuring recidivism, many of the following positive youth outcomes are helpful to evaluate as they are tied to healthy youth development and a reduction in subsequent offending:
- Successful youth reintegration into family and community systems of care;
- Educational progress and advancement;
- Mastery of life skills such as critical problem-solving skills and self-control;
- Development of positive, healthy relationships, particularly with family members;
- Housing stability;
- Connection to job training and/or stable employment;
- Management or resolution of mental health and substance abuse problems.[/tab]
Below are relevant federal initiatives. Several have ended; they are included here because much was learned from these programs, and they continue to influence aftercare models today.
Selected Current Initiatives
Below are some of the current federal initiatives that are focused on youthful re-entry.
- The United States Dept. of Labor awarded Face Forward grants in 2013 to help improve the long-term labor market prospects for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
- The grants were awarded to 28 community-based organizations to provide youth who have been involved with the juvenile justice system with support services, training, and skills development to help them in obtaining employment. This may include mentoring, education, and training leading to industry-recognized credentials as well as post-program support and follow-up services.
- Additionally, some grantees will collaborate with non-profit legal services providers to assist youth in expunging their juvenile records and/or to develop diversion programs.
Authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Job Corps offers comprehensive career development services to at-risk youth aged 16-24. Court-involved youth are eligible as long as they will not require any “face to face” court or institutional supervision or payment of court fines while in Job Corps.
- Job Corps provides a comprehensive mix of education and employability and vocational skills training to prepare youth for employment and/or entrance into vocational/technical schools, community colleges, military service, or other institutions for further education and training.
- Training is provided in a number of areas including: automotive and machine repair, construction, finance and business services, health care, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing, and renewable resources.
- Job Corps also offers the opportunity to earn a high school diploma or a GED and can help youth prepare for college through partnerships with local colleges.
- Job Corps is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Job Corps, under the leadership of the National Director. There are 125 Job Corps center campuses located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
- Passed in April 2008, the Second Chance Act provides resources to state and local governments and non-profit organizations to reduce recidivism by investing in re-entry services, strategies, and programs designed to improve outcomes for youth and adults.
- The types of re-entry services provided under the act vary considerably, but include services such as employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, housing assistance, family programming, mentoring, and support for people harmed by crime.
- Initially authorizing up to $165 million in federal grants, nearly 600 Second Chance Act grant awards have been made since 2009, with approximately 20 percent going to agencies and organizations serving youth in juvenile justice systems.
- From July 2009 to June 2013, more than 17,000 youth received services through Second Chance Act funding, with funds supporting substance use counseling, mental health services, housing services, and reforms to corrections and supervision practices.
- The Second Chance Act is currently up for reauthorization. On September, 18, 2014, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S. 1690) which would extend it for an additional four years.
- Second Chance juvenile re-entry model programs funded by OJJDP are currently being evaluated by the Urban Institute using a mixed methods evaluation strategy.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
The WIOA was signed into law on July 22, 2014 and goes into effect on July 1, 2015. It supersedes the Workforce Investment Act.
- The WIOA helps job seekers and workers to access employment, education, training, and support services and helps to match employers with skilled workers.
- The new legislation requires local workforce areas to spend at least 75% of funds on serving disconnected youth (ages 14-24). In previous years only 30% of funds were required to be spent on these youth.
- The WIOA also places greater emphasis on working with youth who are out of school and out of work, including juvenile justice system involved youth.
Below are some of the federal initiatives focused on youth re-entry that have come to an end but remain influential.
Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP)
- In the late 1980s, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Development (OJJDP) began supporting a long-term research and development project to design a juvenile aftercare model. The Intensive Aftercare Program Model (IAP) resulted from this work.
- The IAP model focused on “the identification, preparation, transition, and re-entry of ‘high-risk’ juvenile offenders from secure confinement back into the community in a gradual, highly structured, and closely monitored fashion.”
- This model was one of the first to acknowledge that effective aftercare planning must begin from the moment a young person enters a correctional facility.
- A central element of the IAP model was the “overarching case management process” which provided for substantial control over re-entering youth and enhanced service delivery to these youth based on assessment of risk and protective factors.
- OJJDP funded a four-state demonstration project using the IAP model. The four pilot projects were in Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, and Virginia.
- The IAP project extended over a 12 year period (the demonstration phase ended in June 2000).
- A 2005 evaluation by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) found few differences in recidivism between the treatment and control groups and inconclusive results as to the program’s effectiveness, due to implementation difficulties and the small sample sizes. However, the project played a major role in drawing attention to a variety of promising approaches in reintegrating high-risk youth back into communities.
Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI)
- The SVORI initiative was developed to respond to the complex issues facing serious and violent offenders during re-entry. SVORI goals included the following:
- Providing services to improve the quality of life and self-sufficiency of youth and adults returning home focusing on employment, housing, families, and community involvement.
- Addressing substance use and physical and mental health issues.
- Supervision and monitoring noncompliance to reduce reoffending.
- Multi-agency collaboration and case management strategies to effect systems change.
- This initiative provided $110 million in funding to state agencies in 2003 and 2004 to develop criminal and juvenile re-entry programs. Most programs received funding for three years.
- A study of SVORI outcomes found that SVORI participation was associated with 25 percent fewer re-arrests for boys over the 22 month follow-up period.
Workforce Investment Act
- This Act provided grants to serve youth returning from juvenile facilities, aged 16-24, in high-poverty, high-crime communities. It was superseded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
- The grants were to provide services such as workforce development, education and training, case management, mentoring, restorative justice, and community-wide violence reduction.
- The grant solicitation required education and training activities for youth to begin while they were still confined and further required that grantees form partnerships with local public school systems, apprenticeship programs, job training programs, and community and four-year colleges.
Youth Opportunity Grants
- The U.S. Department of Labor created 36 Youth Opportunity Centers in 2000 to serve youth in high-crime, low-income communities across the country.
- These programs connected youth to education support, workplace and career trainings, employment opportunities, youth development activities, and case management support.
- Though not developed exclusively for juvenile justice-involved youth, 62 percent of the communities involved had formal referral mechanisms with the juvenile justice system in place and were providing post-release services to many re-entering youth.
- More than 90,000 youth — predominately youth of color — were enrolled in the program by the end of 2005 when it was defunded, despite promising evaluation findings.
 Mears & Travis, 1.
 Elizabeth Seigle, Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber, Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014), 1, http://bit.ly/1r78rrD.
 Edward P. Mulvey, “Highlights from Pathways to Desistance Study: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders” (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, March 2011): 2, http://1.usa.gov/1zz5B3I.
 Pennsylvania Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network, Juvenile Defenders Association of Pennsylvania, and Models for Change, “Summary of Pennsylvania Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist” (Chicago, IL: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, May 2010), http://bit.ly/1rYfYqc; Federal Interagency Reentry Council, “Juvenile Reentry” (June 2014): 1, http://bit.ly/10SXYq0.
 Pennsylvania Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network, et al., “Summary of Pennsylvania Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist.”
 UNC Center for Civil Rights, “Juvenile Delinquency Adjudication, Collateral Consequences, and Expungement of Juvenile Records” (undated): 8, http://bit.ly/1E8LWoO; citing 42 U.S.C.A § 1437d(l)(6) (West 2010); 24 C.F.R. § 966.4(l)(5)(iii) (2010); 24 C.F.R. § 982.551(l) (2010); 24 C.F.R. § 982.552(c)(1)(i) (2010); 24 C.F.R. § 982.553(b) (2010).
 Colorado State Public Defender, “The Consequences of Adjudication: Sanctions Beyond the Sentence for Juveniles Under Colorado Law,” 21-6.
 The Juvenile Justice Center, “The Florida Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist,” 4.
 Pennsylvania Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network, et al., “Summary of Pennsylvania Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist.”
 Peter Leone and Lois Weinberg, “Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems” (Washington, DC: The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, May 2010), 10-11, http://bit.ly/1pKGPdJ. A survey of youth in state juvenile facilities found that almost half said they were behind in school, one quarter had failed at least one grade, 13 percent had recently dropped out, and 21 percent had left school without a diploma. See also, Southern Education Foundation, “Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice Systems into Effective Educational Systems” (Atlanta, GA: 2014), http://bit.ly/1F4jdW0.
 Ashley Nellis and Richard Hooks Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community” (Washington, DC: Youth Reentry Task Force of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, Fall 2009), 15, http://bit.ly/10T3E3l; citing P. Leone, “Understanding the Over Representation of Youths with Disabilities in the Juvenile Justice System,” D.C. Law Review 3 (1995): 389. Youth in the delinquency system also have higher rates of special education needs and school drop-out than other youth. See Leone and Weinberg, “Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs,” 13.
 James Moeser, et al., “Chapter Two: Equipping for Reentry Success: Partnerships, Coalition-Building and Independence-Building,” Desktop Guide to Reentry for Juvenile Confinement Facilities, edited by Gina Hendrix, James Moeser, and David W. Roush (East Lansing, MI: The National Partnership for Juvenile Services, July 2004), 19, http://bit.ly/1vNeCUc.
 Federal Interagency Reentry Council, 1.
 Juvenile Law Center, “Recommendations to Improve Correctional and Reentry Education for Young People” (July 30, 2014), 4, http://bit.ly/1zg4LWu; Federal Interagency Reentry Council, “Reentry Myth Buster: On Youth Access to Education upon Reentry (New York: Federal Interagency Reentry Council, 2012, http://bit.ly/1sxm157.
 U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, “Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings” (Washington, DC, Dec. 2014): 1, http://1.usa.gov/1w1kyEW.
 Juvenile Law Center, “Recommendations,” 5, n. 4.
 Candace Putter, “Learn to Earn: PACTT Helps Delinquent Youth Gain Academic and Job Skills” (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Models for Change Initiative, Dec. 2012), http://bit.ly/11cUfo3.
 Models for Change, “Innovation Brief – Learn to Earn,” 4.
 Models for Change, “Innovation Brief – Learn to Earn,” 4.
 “Models for Change, “Innovation Brief – Learn to Earn,” 4.
 Colorado State Public Defender, “The Consequences of Adjudication: Sanctions Beyond the Sentence for Juveniles Under Colorado Law,” 12-13.
 Colorado State Public Defender, “The Consequences of Adjudication: Sanctions Beyond the Sentence for Juveniles Under Colorado Law,” 13-18.
 G.A. Wasserman, L.S. McReynolds, C.S. Schwalbe, J.M. Keating, & S.A. Jones, “Psychiatric Disorder, Comorbidity, and Suicidal Behavior in Juvenile Justice Youth,” Criminal Justice and Behavior 37 no. 12 (2010): 1361-1376. See also Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change, “Co-Occurring Disorders among Youth in Juvenile Justice,” accessed February 13, 2015, http://bit.ly/1Am09zH.
 Carly B. Dierkhising, Susan J. Ko, Briana Woods-Jaeger. Ernestine C. Briggs, Robert Lee, and Robert S. Pynoos,”Trauma Histories among Justice-Involved Youth: Findings from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network,” European Journal of Psycho-Traumatology Vol. 4 (2013), http://bit.ly/1xi0mit; 92.5 percent of juvenile detainees found to have experienced at least one trauma with 11.2 percent of the sample meeting the criteria for PTSD. Karen M. Abram, Linda A. Teplin, Devon R. Charles, Sandra L. Longworth, Gary M. McClelland, and Mina K. Dulcan, “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Youth in Juvenile Detention,” Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004; 61(4):403-410, http://bit.ly/1FMAPbC.
 United States Department of Justice, “Department of Justice Activities under the Civil Rights Institutionalized Persons Act: Fiscal Year 2010” (Washington DC: United States Department of Justice, 2011), http://1.usa.gov/1oEn5aN.
 Ashley Nellis and Richard Hooks Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community” (Washington, DC: Youth Reentry Task Force of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, Fall 2009), 20-1, http://bit.ly/10T3E3l.
 If Medicaid benefits are suspended instead of terminated when a young person enters a juvenile facility, then the benefits can be immediately restored upon the youth’s release. Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track,” 20-1; citing C. Brown, “Jailing the Mentally Ill,” State Government News 44, no. 4 (April, 2001): 28, http://bit.ly/1GK1oMy.
 Nellis and Wayman, “Back on Track,” 21, citing “Creating New Options: Training for Corrections Administrators and Staff on Access to Federal Benefits for People with Mental Illness Leaving Jail or Prison” (Washington, D.C.: Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, 2007).
 Nellis and Wayman, “Back on Track,” 21-22.
 Elizabeth Seigle, Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber, Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014), 28, http://bit.ly/1r78rrD.
 Nellis and Wayman, “Back on Track,” 22.
 Moeser, et al., “Chapter Two,” Desktop Guide to Reentry for Juvenile Confinement Facilities, citing Altschuler, Armstrong, & MacKenzie, 1999; Andrews & Bonta, 1994; Lipsey, 1992; and Whitehead & Lab, 1989. Recent research has shown a correlation between family members regularly visiting youth in facilities and improved behavior of the youth and improved or higher GPAs. See Sandra Villalobos Agudelo, “The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth’s Behavior and School Performance” (Vera Institute of Justice, May 7, 2013): 3-4, http://bit.ly/1yPoRap.
 Scott MacDonald, Douglas E. Mitchell, and James Moeser, “Chapter 4: Defining Reentry for Short-Term Stays,” Desktop Guide to Reentry for Juvenile Confinement Facilities, edited by Gina Hendrix, James Moeser, and David W. Roush, 41-49, 42. East Lansing, MI: Center for Research and Professional Development, July 2004, http://bit.ly/1xSQ5Qp.
 MacDonald, et al., “Chapter 4: Defining Reentry for Short-Term Stays,” Desktop Guide to Reentry for Juvenile Confinement Facilities, 44.
 MacDonald, et al., “Chapter 4: Defining Reentry for Short-Term Stays,” Desktop Guide to Reentry for Juvenile Confinement Facilities, 43-5.
 Youth transferred from the juvenile to the adult court system are approximately 34 percent more likely to be re-arrested than youth retained in the juvenile court system. Jason Ziedenberg, “You’re an Adult Now: Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems” (Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, Dec. 2011): 5, http://bit.ly/1tG1Wdj.
 Ziedenberg, “You’re an Adult Now,”16. Note that the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) does set standards for how youth must be managed in order to reduce sexual abuse. PREA Youth Inmate Standard § 115.14 requires the following: no youth under 18 can be placed in a housing unit where contact will occur with adult inmates in a common space, shower area, or sleeping quarters; “sight and sound” separation between youth and adults must be maintained outside of housing units or direct staff supervison provided; and agencies must avoid placing youth in isolation to comply with these requirements and, absent exigent circumstances, must afford them daily large muscle exercise and legally required special ed services and access to other programs and work opportunities to the extent possible. However, as of this writing, only two states – New Jersey and New Hampshire – have certified PREA compliance. Gary Gately, “DOJ Faulted for Not Requiring PREA Audits,” Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, June 26, 2014, http://bit.ly/1xi2w1s.
 Ziedenberg, “You’re an Adult Now,” 17.
 Ziedenberg, “You’re an Adult Now,” 19.
 Ziedenberg, “You’re an Adult Now,” 12.
 Ziedenberg, “You’re an Adult Now,” 27.
 “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 23.
 Ziedenberg, “You’re an Adult Now,” 27.
 Ziedenberg, “You’re an Adult Now,” 24.
 “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 23; A majority of states have laws that state that juvenile records should not be treated as criminal convictions. Elizabeth Seigle, Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber, Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014), 10, http://bit.ly/1r78rrD
 Patricia M. Torbet, “Building Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Aftercare Model: Probation Case Management Essentials for Youth in Placement” (Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice, March 2008): 8, http://bit.ly/1xGZNDO.
 National Juvenile Justice Network, “The Real Costs and Benefits of Change” (Washington, DC: 2010); 11-12, available at http://bit.ly/10TTegO; Juvenile Law Center, “Recommendations to Improve Correctional and Reentry Education for Young People” (April 2013), 2, http://bit.ly/1su5BJQ; Patricia M. Torbet, “Building Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Aftercare Model: Probation Case Management Essentials for Youth in Placement” (Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice, March 2008): 12, http://bit.ly/1xGZNDO.
 “Recommendations to Improve Correctional and Reentry Education for Young People,” 2; U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, “Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings” (Washington, DC, Dec. 2014): 3, http://1.usa.gov/1w1kyEW.
 David M. Altschuler, Troy L. Armstrong, and Doris Layton Mackenzie, “Reintegration, Supervised Release, and Intensive Aftercare” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, July 1999), 11, http://1.usa.gov/1wMVjdQ.
 U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, “Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings” (Washington, DC, Dec. 2014): 21; See, also, David M. Altschuler, “Juvenile Reentry and Aftercare,” 16 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol’y 655, 2 (2010); Pennsylvania’s Joint Policy Statement on Aftercare states that planning should begin at disposition and continue while in placement. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, “Joint Policy Statement on Aftercare” (January 1, 2005), http://www.modelsforchange.net/publications/153; Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 37; Mears & Travis, “The Dimensions, Pathways, and Consequences of Youth Reentry,”13.
 Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 26.
 David Altschuler and Shay Bilchik, “Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice” (The Council of State Governments Justice Center, April 21, 2014), accessed Nov. 17, 2014, http://bit.ly/143edlo.
 Elizabeth Seigle, Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber, Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014), 44-47, http://bit.ly/1r78rrD; David Altschuler and Shay Bilchik, “Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice” (The Council of State Governments Justice Center, April 21, 2014), accessed Nov. 17, 2014, http://bit.ly/143edlo.
 Gina M. Vincent, Laura S. Guy, and Thomas Grisso, “Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation” (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Models for Change Initiative, Nov. 2012): 22, http://bit.ly/1q4Bpdk.
 Vincent, Guy, and Grisso, “Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation,” 31.
 David Steinhart, “Juvenile Detention Risk Assessment: A Practical Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform,” (Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2006), http://bit.ly/14maRH2; Central and Eastern Oregon Juvenile Justice Consortium, “A Risk Assessment Guide for Pre-Adjudicatory Detention Decisions and Community Custody Alternatives” (Bend, OR: January 2011), http://bit.ly/13LPmxf.
 David Altschuler and Shay Bilchik, “Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice” (The Council of State Governments Justice Center, April 21, 2014), accessed Dec. 4, 2014, http://bit.ly/143edlo.
 Vincent, Guy, and Grisso , “Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation,” 25.
 Seigle, et al., Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, 54. Re: cognitive behavioral interventions, see Altshuler & Bilchik, “Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice.”
 Anthony Petrosino, Carolyn Turpin-Petrosino, Meghan E. Hollis-Peel, Julia G. Lavenberg, “Scared Straight and Other Juvenile Awareness Programs for Preventing Juvenile Delinquency: A Systematic Review,” Campbell Systematic Reviews 5 (2013), DOI: 10.4073/csr.2013.5, at http://bit.ly/1ouzA1J.
 Seigle, et al., Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, 60.
 Seigle, et al., Core Principles, 62.
 “[T]he reality for Illinois youth is that once they are committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice, they are subject to a system of release decision-making, parole, and revocation that is functionally identical to the adult system and modeled on adult culpability and capability.” Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, “Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Youth Reentry Improvement Report” (Nov. 2011): 10, http://bit.ly/1DD9s0g.
 “Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Youth Reentry Improvement Report” (Nov. 2011): 10.
 Seigle, et al., Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, 68-9; Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 25.
 Altshuler & Bilchik, “Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice.”
 Moeser, et al., “Chapter Two: Equipping for Reentry Success: Partnerships, Coaltion-Building and Independence-Building,” Desktop Guide to Reentry for Juvenile Confinement Facilities,16-22; Mears & Travis, “The Dimensions, Pathways, and Consequences of Youth Reentry,” 14.
 Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 25-6; Seigle, et al., Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, 2.
 United States Dept. of Labor, News Release, “US Department of Labor Awards More than $26 Million in Grants to Help Juvenile Offenders Prepare to Enter the Workforce” (June 26, 2013), http://1.usa.gov/1KDujE6.
 U.S. Department of Labor, “About Job Corps,” accessed Feb. 18, 2015, http://www.jobcorps.gov/AboutJobCorps.aspx; U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Employment and Training for Court- Involved Youth” (Washington, D.C., Nov. 2000): 15-16, http://1.usa.gov/1G45AoM.
 Second Chance Act of 2007, 42 U.S.C. § 17501 (2008).
 “Second Chance Act,” The Council of State Governments Justice Center, accessed Nov. 18, 2014, http://bit.ly/1ASKdY7; The Council of State Governments Justice Center, “The Second Chance Act: Juvenile Reentry” (June 2014), http://bit.ly/1yDdYZd.
 Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 33.
 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, “The Second Chance Act: Juvenile Reentry.”
 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, “The Second Chance Act: Juvenile Reentry,” citing The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Fact Sheet on OJJDP Second Chance Act Grant Program Accomplishments,” accessed June 18, 2014, http://bit.ly/1DQU7b0.
 “Making the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act Work for Disconnected Youth: Don’t wait for them to come to us. Let’s go to them!,” Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., Nov. 28, 2014, http://bit.ly/19D792y.
 David M. Altschuler, Troy L. Armstrong, and Doris Layton MacKenzie, “Reintegration, Supervised Release, and Intensive Aftercare” (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, July 1999): 1, http://1.usa.gov/1wMVjdQ.
 Altschuler, et al., “Reintegration, Supervised Release, and Intensive Aftercare,” 9.
 William H. Barton, “Incorporating the Strengths Perspective into Intensive Juvenile Aftercare,” Western Criminology Review 7(2), 48-61: 51 (2006).
 Altschuler, et al., “Reintegration, Supervised Release, and Intensive Aftercare,” 9-10.
 Altschuler, et al., “Reintegration, Supervised Release, and Intensive Aftercare,” 8.
 Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 32, citing R.G. Wiebush, D. Wagner, B. McNulty, Y. Wang and T.N. Le, “Implementation and Outcome Evaluation of the Intensive Aftercare Program: Final Report” (Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2005).
 Altschuler & Armstrong, “Intensive Juvenile Aftercare Reference Guide,” iii.
Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,” 31.
 Pamela Lattimore, Kelle Barrick, Alexander Cowell, Debbie Dawes, Danielle Steffey, Stephen Tueller, and Christy A. Visher, “Prisoner Reentry Services: What Worked for SVORI Evaluation Participants?” (Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, February 2012): ES-5, ES-7, http://1.usa.gov/1BVode8.
 U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administation, “Notice of Availability of Funds and Solicitation for Grant Applications for Serving Juvenile Offenders in High-Poverty, High-Crime Communities” (Washington, DC: Feb. 12, 2011): 1, 3, 5, http://1.usa.gov/1wRkatV.
 Nellis & Wayman, “Back on Track: Supporting Youth Reentry from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community,”33.