The Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice, led by Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, provides consultation, technical assistance, and training to serve local, state, and national leaders, practitioners and youth-serving agencies to improve system performance and outcomes for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. The RFK National Resource Center focuses primarily on youth with prior or current involvement in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, known as dual status youth, the review and improvement of juvenile probation systems, and the use of a model framework to address the state and national laws and policies governing the exchange and sharing of data, information, and records for youth and families.
Many communities have achieved remarkable outcomes by conducting a Probation System Review. As part of Our Work, RFK National Resource Center supports jurisdictions undertaking a Probation System Review through the provision of on-site technical assistance, guided by a carefully tailored work-plan developed to address specific critical issues and achieve desired outcomes. We advance this work through our publications, including the Probation Review Guidebook and Probation Review Implementation: How Best Practices Meet Everyday Practices, and the formation of a Probation System Review Practice Network, made available on our Resources page.
A new resource, Dependency and Delinquency in SYNC, describes how courts can support community efforts to integrate and coordinate youth-serving system and improve outcomes for dual status youth, and demonstrates how these strategies have been successfully implemented in Newton County’s (Georgia) project: Serving Youth in Newton County (SYNC). This report was released as part of the National Center for State Courts’ Future Trends in State Courts 2014, and made available on our Resources page.
In a letter to the Editor of The New York Times, John Tuell, Executive Director of the RFK National Resource Center, responded to a recent column ,“Jane Didn’t Get the Help She Needed” (by Nicholas Kristof; column, June 29) that brought to light the tragic story of a 16-year-old transgender youth in Connecticut failed by the juvenile justice system. In his comments, Mr. Tuell reflects upon strides in juvenile justice reform in recent decades and responds to the author’s remarks regarding the ineffectiveness of programs for troubled teens, the overreliance on incarceration, and the underutilization of early interventions that reduce delinquency.
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