Following Jeff Butts’ plea for a larger focus on positive youth development approaches to working with juvenile offenders, we asked if anyone knew places or programs who employed a PYD approach. Here’s what came back:
*In April, Washington, D.C.’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) was named one of the 50 Innovations in American Government for 2008, an award given by Harvard University’s Kennedy School. The department was singled out for its “Positive Youth Development Approach model” at Oak Hill Academy, formerly a disastrous location where pretrial and committed youth ran amok that DYRS now uses only for its 90-day program for committed youth.
*Girls Circle was acknowledged as a “promising approach” by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The organization trains staffers at facilities to run a six-step group program for girl offenders. Sites with Girls Circle-trained employees can be found on this list.
*The Department of Youth Services in Massachusetts, which increased workforce development programs for juvenile offenders as part of the Massachusetts Youth Development Collaboration Project, one of nine state PYD projects funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Family and Youth Services Bureau.
*Cook County (Chicago) Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department, which couples its “Jump-Start” life skills program and “Street Dreams” job development program as its diversion model for delinquent dropouts between 16 and 18.