In a new private-public partnership, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are jointly providing $2 million to support innovative and effective reforms in treatment and services for youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

“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.”

OJJDP and the MacArthur Foundation each will provide a total of $1 million over two years to four organizations to support juvenile justice reform in four target areas. These organizations will in turn offer states and local governments training and technical assistance 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 systems. The targeted reforms include:

  • Mental Health Screening and Risk/Needs Assessment: The National Youth Screening and Assessment Project at the University of Massachusetts Medical School will provide technical assistance on the use of evidence-based tools for case planning to reduce out-of-home placements and recidivism. Contact Laura Guy at
  • Mental Health Training for Juvenile Justice: The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research, Inc. will provide comprehensive adolescent development and mental health training for juvenile correctional and detention staff to improve their ability to respond to youth with mental health needs. Contact Kathy Skowyra at
  • Disproportionate Minority Contact Reduction: The Center for Children’s Law and Policy will provide technical assistance on evidence-based strategies to measurably reduce racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system. Contact Tiana Davis at
  • Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare System Integration: The Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps will provide technical assistance on implementing effective practices to reduce recidivism and out-of-home placement and to improve correctional alternatives for youth in the juvenile justice system, with a history of maltreatment. Contact John Tuell at or Janet Wiig at

The partnership will build upon the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative that seeks to create successful and replicable models of juvenile justice systems reform.

OJJDP and MacArthur selected these four organizations because they helped develop, field test and evaluate effective best practice models included in the Models for Change initiative. The MacArthur Foundation has invested more than $100 million in promising juvenile justice reforms since 2004.

“Through our historic commitment to juvenile justice reform, MacArthur has identified and piloted effective models in key states.  We are excited to collaborate with OJJDP now to support and spread these successful best practices for reform more broadly,” said Laurie Garduque, MacArthur’s Director of Juvenile Justice.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides national leadership, coordination and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families. Additional information on OJJDP is available at

About the MacArthur Foundation
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world.  In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology affects children and society.  More information is at

About Models for Change
Models for Change is a national initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to accelerate reform of juvenile justice systems across the country.  Focused on efforts in select states, the initiative aims to create replicable reform models that effectively hold young people accountable for their actions, provide for their rehabilitation, protect them from harm, increase their life chances and manage the risk they pose to themselves and to public safety.  More information is available at

The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at

For more on this article, view the entire Press Release.

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.

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