The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) have announced a private-public partnership that includes a $2 million commitment to support innovative reforms in treatment and services for youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.
Under the agreement, OJJDP and the foundation will each provide a total of $1 million over two years to four organizations working — the National Youth Screening and Assessment Project at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research, Inc.; the Center for Children's Law and Policy; and the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps — to reform the juvenile justice system. In turn, the organizations will offer states and local governments training and technical assistance designed to improve mental health services for youth, reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system, and better coordinate treatment and services for youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare system.
The partnership will build on the MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change initiative, which seeks to create successful and replicable models of juvenile justice systems reform. The four organizations were selected because they helped develop, field test, and evaluate effective best practice models included in the initiative.
"We need to do what's right for America's children," said Melodee Hanes, acting administrator of OJJDP. "This partnership supports state and community efforts to protect youth from harm, hold them accountable for their actions, provide for rehabilitation, and improve public safety. In this tight economy, creatively partnering with a private organization such as MacArthur maximizes reform, while stretching limited public dollars."