Reclaiming Futures and Juvenile Reentry

In 2000, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched Reclaiming Futures, a national program to change and improve the response to young people involved in the justice system with substance use problems. More than a decade before that, federally funded work began on reentry of juvenile offenders who were returning to the community from state correctional facilities. This led to the development of the Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) model. While re-entry and transition to the community are not a paramount concern of Reclaiming Futures, and not all sites include out-of-home placement for juvenile offenders, the Reclaiming Futures model is relevant to and compatible with the IAP model for reentry.

Reclaiming Futures incorporates some of the concepts of the overarching case management juvenile reentry model, particularly in the areas of continuity of care, evidence-based care, service coordination and positive youth development that engages family and community members.

Some lessons learned from a juvenile justice reentry model that may be helpful to Reclaiming Futures sites that do have a reentry component are:

  • Reentry is a continuum.
  • Consideration of reentry needs to be incorporated into the commitment decision.
  • Cognitive-behavior approaches involving family and community inform the continuity of care component.

This article is part of a special issue of Children and Youth Services Review on the RWJF-funded Reclaiming Futures program.