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By Terry Campbell, Professor, Purdue University Global
Published: 07/18/2016

Juvenile justice courthouse Our topic for July looks at juvenile programs and projects. I began this article like I do others, research the topics and identify articles related to these topics. As you know, one of the current areas that attracted national attention for juveniles is youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ). Recently I attended an online webinar titled “Listening Session on the Needs of LGBTQ”. This was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

This webinar (http:ytfg.org/2015/02/ojjdp-hosts-listening-session-on-the-needs-of-lgbtq-youth/) identified several common themes:
  • Detention facilities continue to see an increase in youth who identify as LGBTQ;
  • There must be ongoing training for all officers and staff working with LGBTQ offenders;
  • There are documented incidents in which officers, at times, did not know how to respond to the offenders’ needs;
  • At the same time, awareness and practices in the community and facilities are needed to meet the needs of youth identified as LGBTQ.
Mr. Robert L. Listenbee, OJJDP Administrator, recommends improved relationships between “law enforcement, correctional officers, judges, and others within the LGBTQ community”. His closing comments consisted of the following: “We ought to be able to provide training and supervision to ensure our children are treated properly. Let’s stay on task until we get what we need done. Let’s work together.” This was a very informative webinar and can still be accessed and reviewed.

While conducting some research related to juvenile programs and projects, I came across the following site http://www.ojjdp.gov/mpg/

Note: MPG is an acronym for Models Program Guides. This is a unique site because you are able to select and filter the information from the following menu. Available topics included the following:
  • Child Protection, Health, and Welfare +
  • Children Exposed to Violence and Victimization +
  • Delinquency Prevention +
  • Detention, Confinement, and Supervision +
  • Juvenile Justice System and JJDPA +
  • Juvenile and Family Courts +
  • Law Enforcement +
  • Offending by Juveniles +
  • Populations +
  • Schools +
* "+" indicates that the topic can be expanded

Users can also browse topics by age, protective factors and risk factors.

As you can see, there are many categories to select some without using the additional pull down menus. You have endless possibilities to search various components related to juvenile programs and projects.

When you utilize this site and search component you will find another site CrimeSOLUTIONS.gov. This is unique for the following reasons. Projects submitted previously are reviewed in the following area "Youth Programs at A Glance". The unique component then reflects the following number of programs and if they are determined to be effective, promising, or no effects.

Total Number of Programs: 269
Effective: 57
Promising: 160
No Effects 52
Total: 269

The program will appear with an evidence rating and date. Included will be a program summary, program description, target population, evaluation methodology, and other key areas. These will vary somewhat from program and report. This review is an excellent way to pre-screen some of the programs and overall views and results. In addition, we are able to see what is current throughout the United States. We can then determine what works, does not work, areas where improvements can be made. Whatever your area of interest related to juveniles may be available in one of the 269 various programs identified.

I selected other programs to further discuss and will provide an overview for each.
  1. Risk Detection/Executive Function (RD/EF) program.
    This particular program researched focused on females between the ages of 12-19. These females were victims of crime, exposure to violence, and child welfare system involvement. The program goal was to ‘reduce re-victimization in teen dating situations.’ Participants in the study learned various interventions to use in ‘risky’ relationships. There were weekly sessions over a twelve- week period and each session was 1.5 hours. The article contained additional information for this program. The program was rated promising with further explanation in the article.
  2. Sources of Strength program
    The program is a ‘school-based, suicide prevention program.’ This program is rated promising with further explanation in the article. One of the goals is to ‘reduce the likelihood that vulnerable high school students will become suicidal.’ School staff, community leaders, and student peer leaders are identified and receive orientation and training to assist students. Schools were selected for this program for the following; ‘schools serve as appropriate program settings for suicide prevention programs.’ Open lines of communication are a must as well as supportive adults for program effectiveness. In the article there is further discussion and examples for the evaluation methodology.
Hopefully I have peaked your interests in following up with the sites provided.
Thanks for reading and stay safe out there.
Best regards,

Terry Campbell is a criminal justice professor at Kaplan University, School of Public Safety and has more than 20 years of experience in corrections and policing. He has served in various roles, including prison warden and parole administrator, for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Terry may be reached at tcampbell@kaplan.edu.

Other articles by Campbell


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