Keeping “High-Need” Youth in the Community

The Youth Advocate Programs Policy & Advocacy Center released Safely Home by Shaena M. Fazal.  Safely Home highlights research findings and programs from around the country that are taking a community-based approach to providing rehabilitative services to youth.  The paper argues that:

  1. “A lack of effective alternatives for high need youth contributes to youth incarceration,”
  2. “Virtually anything that can be done in an institution can be done better in the community,”
  3. “Systems can redirect institutional dollars toward less expensive community programs,”
  4. “Communities can’t climb out of poverty, neighborhood violence, and other risk factors through incarceration, especially of their youth,”
  5. “Community-based programs that provide the right amount of intensity can provide safe and effective alternatives to youth incarceration and residential placement.”

As several counties in Indiana are gearing up to develop and implement community-based alternatives to detention through the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, it is a shift in focus to consider nonresidential placement options for high-risk youth.  It may be helpful to consider the elements of effective community-based programs detailed in Safely Home, which includes:

  • “Accept all kids and adopt “no reject” policies
  • Be available, accessible, and flexible
  • Empower voice, choice, and ownership
  • Individualize services for each youth
  • Ensure family-focused services are provided
  • Take a strength-based approach
  • Provide culturally competent services
  • Engage youth in work
  • Prioritize safety and crisis planning
  • Provide unconditional caring (no-eject policies)
  • Create opportunities for civic engagement and giving back
  • Cultivate long-term connection to the community”

The post Keeping “High-Need” Youth in the Community was first posted on the Indiana Juvenile Justice Blog.

This entry was posted in Detention, Disposition, JDAI, Residential Treatment Facilities and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Keeping “High-Need” Youth in the Community

  1. CHERESA NAVARRETE says:

    THIS IS A WONDERFUL IDEA MY SOON WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENT DISORDER A FORM OF AUTISM HE HAS BEEN SEVERELY TRAMITIZED AND ABUSED IN 6 DIFF RESIDENTIAL FACILITYS FROM AGE 9-14 HE LOST 5 FAMILY MEMBERS TO DEAATH IN A 2 YR PERIOD AS WELL AS ME HIS MOTHER GOING PARALYZED THEN HAVING A BABY WITH MY TUBES TIED AND HE WAS A ONLY CHILD, SO MUCH FOR A LIL BOY TO HANDLE RIGHT THEN CPS TOOK MY 3 NIECES AND MY SON FROM ME CUZ OF MY DISABILITY AND NOW HE IS IN PRISON FOR A SERIOUS CHARGE 2 DAYS AFTER A MAN WAS FIRED FOR KICKING MY SON IN THE HEAD SLAMMING A DOOR ON HIS HEAD AS WELL HE WAS BEING RESTRAINED NOT CORRECTLY AND MY SON MIND SWITCH TO SURVIVAL MODE AND HE WENT OFF SEVERLY INJURING A WOMEN JUST LIKE HIS FATHER WHO IS IN PRISON FOR 8 YRS FOR SAME EXACT THING. ITS SAD CUZ I DNT THINK MY SON NEEDS PRISON HE NEEDS HELP HE NEEDS TO BE OUTSIDE AND ACTIVE NOT LOCKED UP WITH NO WINDOWS SURROUNDED BY KIDS WHO ARE BULLIES AND HAVE COMITTED WORSE CRIMES HE WILL FIGHT TO THE DEATH, GO CRAZY OR END UP U KNOW WAT I DNT LIKE TO THINK ABOUT THAT BUT IT HAPPENED TO MY FRIENDS SON MY SONS MENTAL ILLNESS NEEDS TO BE HELPED BEFORE HE CAN UNDERSTAND WHY HE IS IN PRISON OR WHY HE IS ALWAYS FIHGHTING HE IS SCARED OF THE WORLD MAKES WEAPONS AND HIDES THEM UNDER HIS PILLOWS EVEN WEN HE WAS HOME FOR A YEAR. I KNOW THE PLACEMENTS SCREWED HIM UP FOR LIFE AND NOW JUVINILE PRISON AT AGE 14 BUT MENTALLY 5 ITS LIKE LOCKING A KINDERGARDENER UP FOR DEFENDING HISELF PLEASE LET ME KNOW MORE ABOUT OTHER OPTIONS

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