Author(s): The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
- Moira De Nike, Ph.D.
- Randall Shelden, Ph.D.
- Daniel Macallair, MPA
- Renée Menart
Published: February 2019
“A new practical guide written for juvenile justice and social service practitioners by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) supports youth returning to the community from confinement or incarceration. The guide offers information about community-based approaches that meet youths’ needs in areas such as housing, health, education, and employment.
During confinement, a young person faces exposure to trauma as well as isolation from their support system, school, and community. This guide, made possible by generous support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, recognizes the high social costs of incarceration on youth and their families and emphasizes meaningful engagement with directly-impacted individuals during the reentry process.
Reentry supports, which should begin when a youth is committed to a correctional facility rather than when they are released, includes aftercare planning, family reunification, mentorship, and job preparation. Practitioners can utilize the supplementary PowerPoint presentation to share information about the reentry supports and model approaches discussed in this publication.
The report discusses:
- Meeting identified needs: Young people coming back into the community have immediate and long-term needs that fall along Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Community-based programs can provide critical reentry support for youth and their families to strengthen complementary areas of education, employment, housing, and socio-emotional skills.
- Providing coordinated care: Practitioners can minimize confusion for youth by ensuring that all service-providing agencies collaborate to provide comprehensive case planning and services. CJCJ’s Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU) serves as a program model.
- Using a strengths-based lens: Young people’s strengths and interests, as well as their needs, must guide community reentry services. Every young person, justice-involved or not, has something that can be built upon to motivate him or her toward larger aspirations and goals.”