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NCJ Number: 204567 Find in a Library
Title: Systems Change & Shrinking Budgets: Improving a Juvenile Justice System Despite Declining Resources
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:66  Issue:1  Dated:February 2004  Pages:40-43
Author(s): Cheryl Stephani
Date Published: February 2004
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes how Washington State's Department of Social and Health Services Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) undertook the development and implementation of an integrated holistic treatment approach across the entire juvenile justice system in the face of limited and shrinking resources.
Abstract: The management team convened a work group of clinicians, residential and community staff, managers, and university professionals to develop an integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment model for use in residential programs. The parameters set for the model were that it must be family focused and use evidence-based programs that had reduced recidivism for juveniles. The model should also identify and prioritize youth treatment needs, provide a consistent framework for planning and skill-building across the entire continuum of care, increase youth competence in targeted areas, and reduce recidivism. The model's development and implementation became the core of the agency's 6-year strategic plan. Beginning from a program that used dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), which was developed and piloted for aggressive youths with significant mental health issues, the team spent a year constructing a skill-based residential CBT/DBT treatment model that met established criteria. Using existing resources, clinical consultation was obtained to ensure adherence to the model. A family-focused aftercare parole program based on the successful outcomes of functional family therapy was added to the integrated model and adopted as the reintegration approach for parole counselors. Lessons learned from this retooling project in the face of diminished resources are that there is never a "right" time to begin a system change; capitalize on work that has been previously done; collect the data; communicate and then follow through; listen to feedback and support the new direction; and continue to prioritize budgets in support of the systemwide change. 3 figures
Main Term(s): Juvenile correctional reform
Index Term(s): Change management; Cognitive therapy; Cutback management; Juvenile treatment methods; Washington
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