Dates of Project: 1999 to 2013
Field of Work: Addressing the health needs of teenage substance abusers involved with the criminal justice system
Synopsis of the Work: Reclaiming Futures: Communities Helping Teens Overcome Drugs, Alcohol & Crime is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that helps juvenile justice systems work with alcohol and drug treatment providers and community members to help teens who are in trouble with the law and have drug and alcohol problems.
Under the program's first phase, multidisciplinary teams in 10 communities worked to enhance the availability and quality of substance abuse interventions for teenagers involved with the juvenile justice system. Since 2008 the program has focused on spreading the Reclaiming Futures model for identifying, assessing, and treating teenagers with substance abuse problems in the juvenile justice system.
Story Told: Growing up with parents who were using methamphetamine, Tiffiney Hendon of Portland, Ore., became a methamphetamine addict herself. After being arrested, a court counselor working with the Reclaiming Futures program offered Hendon the option of diverting her sentence from felony charges to substance abuse treatment. This sidebar tells the story that Hendon related at a 2006 Capitol Hill briefing about her struggle to rebuild her life and how Reclaiming Futures "really guided me and supported me and encouraged me."