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Jefferson Parish Children and Youth Planning Board

Added Jun 2, 2009

1546-B Gretna Blvd
Harvey, LA 70058

Phone (504) 364-3750, ext. 226

Fax (504) 364-3577
MVillio@jeffparish.net

The Jefferson Parish Children & Youth Planning Board (JPCYPB) recognizes that Louisiana has the
opportunity to develop a juvenile justice system that holds young offenders accountable for their actions, provides programs and services to enhance their competency, protects them from harm, increases their life chances and manages the risks they pose to themselves and public safety.

In an effort to develop more options for Louisiana’s youth and communities, the JPCYPB and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative have partnered to develop recommendations and to implement a plan to provide alternatives to formal processing, evidence-based practices and reduce disproportionate minority contact.

The ultimate goals for Models for Change in Jefferson Parish include increasing the number of young people who will be receiving evidence-based practices and decreasing the number of youth who exhibit negative outcomes.

Alternatives to Formal Processing
The vision of the Alternatives to Formal Processing Committee is to prevent Jefferson Parish youth from entering or more deeply penetrating the juvenile justice system by expanding and improving access to appropriate alternatives to formal processing across all critical decision points of the juvenile justice system, including pre-petition, pre-adjudication and dispositional stages.


Goals/Strategies

  • Utilize resources of the Children and Youth Planning Board to facilitate communication between local and state agencies regarding alternatives to formal processing strategies
  • Collaborate with parish agencies to ensure that the needs of youth who are or can be diverted through alternatives to formal processing are properly addressed through appropriate channels and processes
  • Utilize available data to identify current processes, gaps in current processes, policies and funding, and to provide direction for efforts to explore new ways to effectively divert youth into alternative services

Progress to Date

  • Representatives from the school system and the District Attorney’s office are active participants in the AFP committee and in the development of new alternatives.
  • A diversion program for youth who have been arrested for non-violent offenses at school has been
    developed by the District Attorney’s office.
  • After reviewing data from the past year, it was determined that 33 percent of all arrests were generated by school referrals. This fostered collaboration, between various JPCYPB agencies, led to the development of one new alternative and laid the groundwork for additional alternatives.
  • The Department of Juvenile Services is participating in a Probation Review and is currently in the
    information gathering phase.

Evidence-Based Practices
The vision of Jefferson Parish’s Evidence-Based Practices Committee is to ensure the provision of evidence-based practices for at-risk youth and families, including mental health treatment services. These practices will be supported by a broadened pool of trained providers and continuously evaluated for effectiveness.


Goals/Strategies:

  • Inventory and analyze existing providers and services, as well as gaps in services, through data
    collection
  • Review existing screening and assessment processes and development and/or expansion of processes to ensure that standardized, scientifically sound screening and assessment tools are utilized at appropriate points of juvenile justice processing, to emphasize early points of contact
  • Review evidence-based practices according to identified needs and expand the range of services along the continuum, including expansion of provider base and development of linkages to existing provider networks

Progress to Date

  • Based on initial survey results, access to Evidence-Based Therapeutic Services through the
    Department of Juvenile Services increased from 13% to 33%.
  • The EBP committee provided opportunities for a broad range of community providers to participate in and receive training on EBP utilization.
  • The JPCYPB is currently amending the post-adjudication / pre-disposition investigations to enable valid scoring of the recently adopted SAVRY by probation officers.
  • The JPCYPB revised the solicitation for professional service contract providers to specify qualifications for receiving contracts to include evidence-based and/or promising approaches that are culturally and gender competent.

Disproportionate Minority Contact
The vision of the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Committee is to ensure that minority youth receive fair treatment at each point of contact within the juvenile justice system, regardless of race or ethnicity, and that all interactions are handled in an unbiased manner.

Goals/Strategies:

  • Explore policies and procedures that currently affect DMC
  • Develop capacity to regularly collect and analyze DMC data, including socioeconomic data, at state and local levels
  • Use DMC data analyses and other research to identify, implement and monitor appropriate
    interventions to reduce disparate treatment and limit unnecessary penetration of youth of color into the juvenile justice system
  • Provide training and education to stakeholders and their representatives regarding the underlying
    causes of DMC
  • Inform the general public regarding legal rights, polices and procedures in the juvenile justice system and of available legal and social services

Progress to Date

  • Through data collection, identified the key decision points in the juvenile justice system that contributed to DMC
  • Updated data collection processes to collect racial and ethnic data according to federal guidelines. Collecting quarterly Burns Institute Level One DMC data
  • Analyses have shown a reduction in DMC as a result of our objective screening tool, the Detention
    Assessment Instrument, being used at the detention center
  • The DMC committee includes multi-agency and community representation that participates in data-driven discussions on DMC reduction

Site Leadership
For more information about Models for Change in Jefferson Parish, contact Roy L. Juncker, Jr., Director, Jefferson Parish Department of Juvenile Services at 504-364-3750 x225 or RJuncker@jeffparish.net.