Text: H.R.6361 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/29/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6361

To amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 to establish a demonstration grant program for nonprofit organizations to partner with juvenile justice agencies to monitor juvenile facilities and provide youth in the facilities and their families with increased positive engagement in the system.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 29, 2010

Mrs. McCarthy of New York introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


A BILL

To amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 to establish a demonstration grant program for nonprofit organizations to partner with juvenile justice agencies to monitor juvenile facilities and provide youth in the facilities and their families with increased positive engagement in the system.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Family Justice Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) According to the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, the successful rehabilitation of youth in the juvenile justice system, and their sustained reintegration into the community rely upon the mutual support of juvenile justice systems and families in the accomplishment of their goals.

(2) Involving families benefits the youth, the family, the juvenile justice system, and the community.

(3) Valid information and consistent communication between families and juvenile justice facilities reduces confusion, frustration, and disappointment.

(4) Training of juvenile justice personnel on the importance of involving families can help the former better understand the family perspective and the potential opportunities for families to be educated about the system, its processes and protocols.

(5) Families working together with juvenile justice systems can improve outcomes for justice-involved youth with mental health issues.

SEC. 3. Amendments.

(a) Establishment of Demonstration Grant Program.—Title II of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5611 et seq.) is amended—

(1) by redesignating part (F) as part (G), and

(2) by inserting after part (E) the following:

“PART FEstablishing Increased Family Engagement and Independent Monitoring Programs

“SEC. 271. Grant program.

“(a) Purposes.—The purposes of this section are the following:

“(1) To strengthen the relationships between—

“(A) individuals who are employed by juvenile justice or adult criminal justice agencies, including individuals employed at juvenile detention or corrections facilities or adult jails or prisons; and

“(B) individuals who are not employed in the agencies or facilities, but are involved with the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice system, particularly youth held in juvenile detention or corrections facilities or adult jails or prisons and their families.

“(2) To create a process through which administrators and staff at such facilities engage in a dialogue with individuals the facilities incarcerate, including youth in juvenile detention or corrections facilities or adult jails or prisons and families of these youth, as well as other community-based stakeholders, to collect feedback and input about the facilities’ policies, procedures, and practices.

“(3) To ensure that the feedback and input from youth in these facilities, their families, and community-based stakeholders are integrated into the facilities’ policies, procedures, and practices.

“(4) To allow families of youth incarcerated in a facility and community-based stakeholders access to the facility and the youth in order to conduct an initial assessment of the facility, to assess which policies and practices help families support youth’s rehabilitation prior to, during, and after their stay in a facility, and as well as to monitor the facility’s progress towards recommendations made by a panel described in subsection (b)(1).

“(b) Grants authorized.—

“(1) FAMILY ENGAGEMENT DEMONSTRATION GRANTS.—The Administrator may make grants in each fiscal year to local or statewide nonprofit organizations proven to be family oriented and based in best practices to establish panels to monitor juvenile detention and corrections facilities in which youth are held and provide youth in those facilities and their family members with the ability to assist in the development of policies, procedures, and practices in these facilities to improve outcomes for youth and better prepare families to support youth’s rehabilitation and transition back into the community.

“(2) GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION.—Grants shall be made with preference given to those organizations that have a demonstrable track record of working with families of incarcerated youth and incorporating family input into their decisionmaking processes. In making grants under this section, the Administrator shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that a grant is made to one nonprofit organization in each State.

“(c) Applications.—

“(1) SUBMISSIONS.—Each local or statewide nonprofit organization that desires a grant under this section shall submit an application, in partnership with State or local juvenile justice and criminal justice agencies, courts, or juvenile detention or corrections facilities or adult jails or prisons, to the Administrator in such manner, and accompanied by such information, as the Administrator may require.

“(2) CONTENTS.—Each application submitted under paragraph (1) shall, at a minimum, include the following:

“(A) A description of the organization’s experience working with youth involved in the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice system and their families.

“(B) A description of the organization’s approach to family engagement in the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice system, including the organization’s use of parent advocates.

“(C) A list of the juvenile detention or correctional facilities or adult jails and prisons holding youth that the panel will monitor.

“(D) A description of the State or local partner with which the monitoring panel will work and which has the authority to make the changes in the facilities listed under subparagraph (C).

“(E) Assurances that the organization will create a monitoring panel that shall include—

“(i) two representatives from each of—

“(I) family members of youth currently incarcerated or incarcerated within the last 2 years in the particular monitored facility;

“(II) youth currently incarcerated or incarcerated within the last 2 years in the particular monitored facility or a youth advocate who is in regular contact with the facility; and

“(III) nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to youth involved in the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice systems or their families; and

“(ii) one representative from each of—

“(I) a public defender’s office or court-appointed private attorney representing youth in one of the jurisdictions served by a facility that the panel will monitor;

“(II) the State Attorney General’s office or a prosecutor’s office in one of the jurisdictions served by a facility that the panel will monitor;

“(III) a representative from the State Advisory Group (SAG) or a JJDPA State staff representative;

“(IV) the family liaison for mental health services or a State or local children’s mental health provider;

“(V) the Governor’s office;

“(VI) a State or local child welfare agency; and

“(VII) the family liaison for special education or a State or local education agency representative.

“(F) Assurances that administrators of the State or local juvenile justice and criminal justice agencies, courts, juvenile detention or corrections facilities, or adult jails or prisons with which the nonprofit is partnering will create a facility implementation team that will include two individuals employed by each facility being monitored who have the authority to make changes recommended by the panel.

“(G) Assurances that the applicant, as part of its application, has consulted, or will within 30 days of being notified of an award will consult, with the State Advisory Group (SAG) or the JJDPA State staff to discuss how the activities of the monitoring panel can support and strengthen the State’s JJDPA compliance monitoring activities.

“(d) Uses of funds.—Grants received under this section shall be used to ensure meaningful input from youth in juvenile detention and corrections facilities and adult jails and prisons, their families, and community-based stakeholders by providing funds—

“(1) to allow the monitoring panel to conduct an initial assessment and continued monitoring of the facility to determine how the facility collects, analyzes, and integrates the input from youth in the facility, their families, and other community-based stakeholders into the facility’s policies, practices, and procedures, including by—

“(A) conducting confidential interviews with youth and staff in the facility for the purpose of evaluating the facility for the purposes above; and

“(B) making unannounced visits to the facility to observe and assess conditions of confinement;

“(2) to allow the monitoring panel to make recommendations to the facility implementation team on how to integrate input from youth, their families, and community-based stakeholders into the facility’s policies, procedures, and practices, including—

“(A) creating more access to the facility for outside groups, including—

“(i) allowing additional community-based organizations that work with youth or individuals to conduct visits to the facility;

“(ii) providing office space in the facility for entities that act in the interest of youth in the facility, including community-based advocacy groups, guardians ad litem, and public defender offices; or

“(iii) assigning a court-appointed attorney to be available in the facilities on a regular basis for youth to speak with about their grievances with the facility;

“(B) creating a support group for families of youth in the facility;

“(C) improving communications between facility administrators and staff and families, and encouraging dialogue between these individuals and staff in the facility (such as officers, medical professionals, and educators) by—

“(i) providing regular updates on individual youth’s status and progress while in the facility;

“(ii) integrating family input into the process of making decisions regarding youth, such as medical, mental health, or educational decisions;

“(iii) creating a youth and family liaison position or point of contact for youth and their families to help advocate for the youth and their families;

“(iv) providing an orientation for youth and families to the facility, the programs, and the formal grievance system of the facility that includes information on how youth and families can express problems, questions, or comments; and

“(v) ensuring that youth and their families receive information on the research on the consequences of juvenile justice system involvement, including the long-term effects of this involvement and how it can affect a child later in life;

“(D) improving visitation and contact policies with youth in the facilities, including—

“(i) reducing restrictions on who can visit, including allowing visitation from individuals outside the youth’s immediate family that provide positive support to the youth, such as siblings, godparents, a parent’s unmarried partner, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, mentors, teachers, coaches, and pastors;

“(ii) modifying or extending visitation time to include additional hours or days of the week to facilitate visitation with youth; and

“(iii) reducing transportation barriers for individuals to visit the facility, particularly if the facility is not located near public transit or near the communities from which the youth in the facility are referred; and

“(E) ensuring that quality and effective after care plans are established that reduce recidivism and help youth successfully reintegrate into their communities; and

“(3) to provide funds to the facility to implement the recommendations of the monitoring panel, only to be available to the facility after—

“(A) the monitoring panel has presented a publicly available written report with its recommendations to the facility;

“(B) the monitoring panel and the facility implementation team meet to discuss the recommendations and the facility implementation team have a meaningful opportunity to provide input into the recommendations; and

“(C) the monitoring panel and the facility implementation team agree by a vote on which recommendations to fund, in order for any funds to be spent by the facility to implement a recommendation, the use of those funds must be supported by the votes of two-thirds of individuals on the monitoring panel and the facility implementation team, and by the vote of at least one individual as follows:

“(i) A representative from the facility implementation team.

“(ii) A representative from the monitoring panel.

“(iii) A representative from the monitoring panel who is a youth or family member.

“(e) Funds for evaluation.—The Administrator shall reserve 10 percent of the amount made available to carry out this section for the purpose of evaluating such demonstrations conducted under this section and issuing a report describing the approaches and aspects of the demonstrations that the Administrator determines to be most effective and appropriate for fulfilling the purposes of juvenile justice detention and corrections facilities and adult jails and prisons, integrating input from youth in the facilities and their families in the facility’s polices, procedures, and practices, taking into account the demographics of the various localities to be served.”.

(b) Authorization of appropriations.—Section 299 of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5671) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a)—

(A) in the heading by striking “Parts C and E” and inserting “Parts C, E, and F”, and

(B) in paragraph (2) by striking “parts C and E” and inserting “parts C, E, and F”,

(2) by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e), and

(3) by inserting after subsection (c) the following:

“(d) Authorization of appropriations for part F.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out part F such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.”.