Influencing positive systemic change in youth's legal issues in the juvenile justice, education and child welfare systems within Indiana.
Compliance with the JJDP Act
The YLT served as Indiana's compliance monitor of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002 on behalf of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. The components of the Compliance Monitoring Program included:
Identifying all facilities subject to the mandates of the JJDP Act
Collecting, analyzing and verifying data regarding the secure holding of juveniles
Providing training and technical assistance to further compliance with the JJDP Act.
The YLT also has partnered with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to provide compliance monitoring of the JJDP Act in Arkansas.
1800 N. Meridian Street, Suite 410 Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
Phone: (317) 916-0786 Fax: (317) 916-5369
Education Advocacy Training
The Education Advocacy Project was a collaborative effort with the Indiana Supreme Court, Court Improvement Program & Indiana CASA/GAL, seeking to improve the educational outcomes of children placed out of the home. Through the Youth Law T.E.A.M. of Indiana's Education Advocacy Project, Indiana courts overseeing CHINS proceedings had an additional resource available to assist them in ensuring the educational needs of youth under their care were being met. This project provided CASA/GAL's tools to help children and families involved in the chid welfare system navigate the often complicated and complex education system. The Education Advocacy manuals, trainings, checklists, and other mateirals provided focused on those sometimes difficult and unique educational issues and challenges faced by students who are in foster care, group homes, relative care, and other situations where they may not have a natural parent helping them. Additionally, those same tools were made available to parents, families, and others as children transitioned to a permanency option and court supervision end.
Mental Health Screening, Assessment and Treatment Project
The Indiana Juvenile Mental Health Screening, Assessment and Treatment Pilot Project was a collaborative effort to institute routine screening, assessment and treatment for youth entering detention centers in Indiana. The concept for the pilot program was a result of the Indiana State Bar Association's (ISBA) Children, Mental Health and the Law Summit, held on August 27, 2004. The Summit resulted in a published report and recommendations that earned national recognition for its groundbreaking efforts. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) provided the initial start-up funds for the Pilot Project in 2006.
Important goals of the Indiana Juvenile Mental Health Screening, Assessment and Treatment Pilot Project were to show both the social and economic benefits of adequately and systematically addressing mental health needs at an early stage in the juvenile justice system by development of a model that could be replicated statewide. Pertinent data from the Pilot Site Counties was collected to both facilitate and report the achievement of this goal.
Indiana Juvenile Detention Association - Educators (IJDA-E)
In an effort to end isolation of teachers in detention facilities, standardize best practices for teaching, and offer quality resources to detention educators, the Indiana Juvenile Detention Association - Educator's Group (IJDA-E) began meeting in August 2005 with the support of the Youth Law T.E.A.M. of Indiana. Through monthly meetings, the IJDA-E developed the Indiana Detention Education Proposed Best Practice Standards. Seventeen of the twenty-three detention facilities throughout the state of Indiana are represented in the manual. This includes educators employed by the county as well as educators employed by the local school corporation. All detention educators were invited to contribute. The proposed standards address the administrative foundation necessary to standardize and improve education for juveniles in detention. The goal of successful transitioning of students from detention facilities back into the school environment has proven difficult in some instances. The use of best practices in the classroom; standardized curriculum; standardized practices for special education issues and program evaluation are important tools for student success both inside and outside of the facilities. With support, the IJDA-E believes the implementation of these proposed standards will bring detention educators one step closer to being able to consistently provide quality education to all of the students in detention facilities across the state.