Posted by Mike Dempsey
March 20, 2017

As you may know, CJCA and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) launched the Youth in Custody Practice Model (YICPM) initiative in 2016.  This initiative is designed to assist state and county juvenile correctional agencies and facility providers in implementing a

comprehensive and effective service delivery approach for youth in residential care.

I am writing today with the good news that the RFA for the second cohort of the YICPM has been released. For this round of the initiative, CJCA, CJJR and a team of experts will provide up to three participating sites with 18 months of training and technical assistance (TTA) to implement the YICPM. This TTA will be designed to align core, research-based principles with everyday practice, and achieve positive outcomes for youth, families, staff and communities. At the core of the program is the YICPM manuscript itself, a roadmap to juvenile correctional policy and practice available only to participating sites that is driven by research on “what works” in serving youth in custody, as well as professional standards and the field’s preeminent thinking on best practices.

The inaugural YICPM initiative has been an incredibly gratifying undertaking, as CJJR Director Shay Bilchik and I have been joined by a team of national experts (Kelly Dedel, Michael Umpierre, Michele Deitch and Jen Woolard) in creating what we believe is a significant contribution to the field. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Texas Juvenile Justice Department and StarrVista, a managed care agency that serves adjudicated youths in Wayne County, Michigan, are currently implementing the YICPM and the preliminary results are extremely promising, with all four sites providing positive feedback.  As David Reilly, Director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, put it recently:

“The YICPM came along at a critical juncture in the reform effort in Texas and provided us the vehicle we needed to re-focus ourselves on those practices shown to produce the best outcomes and to do so in a way that will institutionalize best practice.  As an agency, we could not have invested our time more wisely than to align our operations with this model.”

At the end of their 18-month training and technical assistance process, participating sites will have: developed a strategic action plan to implement the YICPM in up to three demonstration facilities; built a coalition of support for system improvements; taken measurable steps toward ensuring long-term sustainability of reform efforts (e.g., policy and practice development, training, staff performance evaluation, quality assurance, and outcome measurement); and established a mechanism to measure the effectiveness of the TTA in changing practices and achieving positive outcomes.

The YICPM provides agencies and facility providers with guidance on essential practices in four key areas: (1) case planning; (2) facility-based services; (3) transition/reentry; and (4) community-based services. The practices delineated in the YICPM stem from the view that services and approaches for post-dispositional youth and their families should be: research-based, developmentally appropriate, family-centered, individually focused and predicated on validated assessments, strength-based, trauma-informed, data-informed and outcome-driven, culturally responsive, and coordinated. Ultimately, the goals of the YICPM initiative are to assist agencies and partners to:

•   Promote safe, fair and healthy environments for youth, staff and families;
•   Prepare, equip, empower and support staff to provide effective services;
•   Increase positive youth and family experiences and outcomes; and
•   Enhance community safety.

I hope your agency will consider applying, either alone or in concert with your partner and/or provider organizations. Please note that prospective applicants are strongly encouraged but not required to participate in an informational call hosted by CJCA and CJJR on April 10, 2017.  Please see the link below to register for this meeting. The Abbreviated YICPM Guide will be provided to the informational webinar attendees (as well as any other teams intending to apply). 
YICPM 2017 Informational Call Meeting

Monday, April 10, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT

Please visit our website at http://cjca.net/index.php/initiatives/youth-in-custody-practice-model-yicpm for detailed information about the YICPM initiative, including the RFA. Note that applications are due by 11:59 p.m. (local time zone) on May 19, 2017. Feel free to direct questions to Shay or me -- or to Darlene Conroy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

With Warm Regards,

Mike Dempsey  
Executive Director, CJCA