Residents Business Visitors Government Office of the Mayor Search Email Updates Contact Us
DJJ Logo
Welcome To The Department Of Juvenile Justice
. Navigation



DJJ's Programmatic Initiatives

Innovations in State and Local Government Award

Innovations in State and Local Government Award

In 1986, the Ford Foundation and Harvard's John F. Kennedy School awarded Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) its "Innovations in State and Local Government Award" for case management for children in detention.

As Spofford became orderly and safe under the new Agency, focus shifted to the underlying problems of the juveniles in detention. Second Commissioner, Ellen Schall, who had a history as a youth advocate, broadened the Agency's focus beyond simple detention. Her administration adopted a mission statement that made clear DJJ's commitment to helping its residents: "While we recognize that the law casts us in several roles ....our work in delinquency prevention guides all of our responsibilities."

More important, this dedication was reflected in a series of initiatives that transformed the detention experience. Foremost among these was the creation of case management. Under this system, each resident is assigned a Case Manager with whom he or she meets regularly. Based upon meetings and consultations with staff, the Case Manager counsels the resident; helps him or her maintain contact with with family; and coordinates health, mental health, educational, and social services according to the resident's needs.

In addition, the Agency instituted a Behavior Management Program (BMP) that clearly defined positive and negative behavior for the residents, many of whom came from poorly- structured homes. Administered by Juvenile Counselors (the Agency's core direct service staff), the program helps residents understand what is expected of them, and offers an opportunity to reward success as well as the consequences of negative behavior. Through BMP, residents can gain privileges such as later bedtimes and extra phone calls, or lose them due to poor behavior.

The Agency also worked to help residents avoid trouble when released. All too often released residents would find trouble again and return to DJJ's custody. Through the Aftercare program, DJJ helped youth returning to their communities find the right placements in school, address problems at home, and join counseling programs meet their individual needs. This approach was been reinforced at DJJ under the leadership of Commissioner Fred Patrick. The Agency has stressed staff and resident accountability, merged Aftercare with the Reduce Children's Violence Program, and expanded the two, while instituting a series of management indicators to help ensure that detention is safe and efficient.

Related Links
NYC Family Court
NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention
DJJ Home | Home Page | Contact Us | FAQs | Privacy Statement | Site Map |