MacArthur Foundation Awards More Than $1.5 Million For Juvenile Justice Reform
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2003
Phone (312) 726-8000
Email: jhumke at macfound dot org
Chicago, IL - The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced three grants totaling more than $1.5 million in support of organizations working to address the mental health needs of young people involved in the juvenile justice system.
"Juvenile justice systems across the country are often overwhelmed with young offenders with mental health and substance abuse problems," said Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. "This is a dangerous trend and many corrections leaders are looking for help to address these issues. We are pleased to support organizations whose missions are to help state and local systems improve their practices and better meet the needs of these young people. Research has shown that helping them benefits society as well through increased public safety, lower adult crime, and reduced future costs."
The largest grant-$1.2 million over three years-was awarded to the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research, Inc., to promote awareness of the needs of youth with mental disorders involved in the juvenile justice system. The National Center disseminates research and best practices in the field to help influence practice and policy at the national, state, and county levels. The grant will be used by the Center to continue its collection and dissemination of research and other resources, its technical assistance efforts, and for an evaluation of its programs and services.
The Council for Juvenile Correctional Administrators, a national membership organization of state youth correctional chief executive officers, received a grant of $375,000 over three years to help provide leadership training for its members and to conduct a survey of the services and treatments used at juvenile correction agencies nationwide, which include profiles of the youth served and their needs. The training is intended to help administrators become effective leaders and to help them promote practices and policies that create better conditions for youthful offenders, with the provision of adequate mental health treatment as a priority. The Council serves as a clearinghouse of information for members seeking ideas for best practices and for lawmakers who want more information about juvenile justice issues.
A grant of $60,000 was awarded to the National Center for Juvenile Justice to develop an assessment tool to help set benchmarks for reform efforts in specific states. It would outline the characteristics, practices, and outcomes of an ideal juvenile justice system as a way of gauging the progress of efforts to promote improvement and reform. The Center for Juvenile Justice has 30 years of experience of research and analysis in the field of juvenile justice reform.
Grantmaking Strategy: Juvenile Justice Reform
At the national level, the MacArthur Foundation supports research, model programs, policy analysis, and public information efforts to promote a juvenile justice system accountable for both public safety and the rehabilitation of young offenders. The Foundation funds efforts that are grounded in an understanding of adolescent development and its implications for the juvenile justice system's treatment of young offenders, with a special focus on the need to identify and treat mental health problems.
In Chicago and the region, the Foundation supports practical and applied interventions that help reduce the rate of incarceration for young offenders, improve and expand community-based alternatives to incarceration, and educate both the public and professionals about the role of the courts in dealing appropriately with young offenders while at the same time protecting public safety.
In addition, the Foundation provides support for the Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. This interdisciplinary network, now in its sixth year, brings together leading scientists, researchers and practitioners to engage in research on the complex issues of adolescent development, juvenile crime and delinquency, and the treatment of young people within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
About the Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grant making institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. The Foundation makes grants through four programs and by making program-related investments. The Program on Human and Community Development operates primarily within the United States. Issues of interest to the program include community development; regional policy; affordable housing, with a particular emphasis on the preservation of rental housing; and system reform in education, juvenile justice, and mental health. The Program on Global Security and Sustainability focuses on international issues including peace and security, conservation and sustainable development, population and reproductive health, and human rights. The program also supports initiatives in Russia and Nigeria, particularly concerning the improvement of high education. The General Program supports public interest media, including public radio and the production of independent documentary film; and makes grants to arts and cultural institutions in the Chicago area. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards five-year, unrestricted fellowships to individuals across all ages and fields who show exceptional merit and promise of continued creative work. Program-Related Investments are loans and equity investments provided at below-market rates for projects that advance the philanthropic objectives of the Foundation, primarily those of the Program on Human and Community Development. With assets, as of January 1, 2005, of approximately $5 billion, the Foundation makes grants of approximately $180 million each year.