Alcohol and drug abuse among youth increases their risk of serious involvement in the juvenile justice system, as well as serious emotional and mental health problems. To address the need for youth-focused interventions, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2000 created Reclaiming Futures: Communities Helping Teens Overcome Drugs, Alcohol and Crime. The national program sought a new standard of care, a framework that incorporated systems and community change so that young people transitioned permanently from the juvenile justice and treatment systems.
To accomplish this, RWJF engaged key leaders, formal and informal, from multiple segments, including judges, treatment system leaders, community leaders, faith leaders and families.
The Reclaiming Futures model encompasses six elements:
- Initial screening for adolescent substance abuse.
- Initial assessment of problems and co-occurring issues.
- Service coordination for youth in the juvenile justice system.
- Initiation of treatment.
- Engagement of youth in the treatment process.
- Completion of treatment and a positive development trajectory for youth.
Over the past 10 years, the 29 Reclaiming Futures sites have tested and evolved this model to work with communities to reclaim young people who find themselves in trouble with drugs, alcohol and crime.
This article is part of a special issue of Children and Youth Services Review on the RWJF-funded Reclaiming Futures program.
- 1. Helping Substance-Involved Young People in Juvenile Justice Be Successful
- 2. The Development and Evolution of Reclaiming Futures at the Ten-Year Mark
- 3. Toward an Effective Treatment System for Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders
- 4. Community-Directed Engagement and Positive Youth Development
- 5. Reclaiming Futures Initiative from a Sicangu Lakota Tribal Perspective
- 6. Reclaiming Futures
- 7. Evaluating Systems Change in a Juvenile Justice Reform Initiative
- 8. Reclaiming Futures Considers an Anti-Oppressive Frame to Decrease Disparities
- 9. Exploring the Implementation of Justice-Based Alcohol and Drug Intervention Strategies with Juvenile Offenders
- 10. Reclaiming Futures and Juvenile Reentry
- 11. Family Involvement in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery