Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $425,000)
Interface Children & Family Services (Interface) has designed the proposed project to provide prevention and early intervention services to girls confined in the Ventura County Juvenile Detention Facility. The juvenile justice system has typically overlooked the unique needs of girls, which retriggers the trauma that prompted choices that led to their incarceration, including family dysfunction, negative thought patterns, substance abuse, sexual exploitation and/or human trafficking. In response, gender-based, trauma-informed, culturally sensitive services will be provided to 180 at-risk girls in Ventura County, an ethnically, economically, and geographically diverse community which borders Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties in Southern California.
The project goal is to reduce recidivism through the reduction of risk factors (anger management, mindful management of addiction, avoidance of future exploitation) and the promotion of protective factors (e.g., positive peer group, positive/resilient temperament, problem-solving skills) proven effective for girls involved in the juvenile justice system. Interface, the project’s lead agency, built the collaborate in response to interviews with current staff and residents of the juvenile facility. The unique suite of service responds to the deep needs expressed to be heard, to have choices, to conquer addiction and family trauma, to quiet their mind and have fun with positive adult women.
The program model offers an integrated set of services and a suite of evidence-based practices targeting the specific criminogenic factors most related to recidivism for girls, including The Change Companies® Interactive Journaling®, Motivational Interviewing, and Case Management in-custody and through follow-up services in the continuity after release. A co-located case manager will provide intensive guidance for participants while in custody and post-release. The girls will receive services for up to two years, including linkage to similar services in their community to offer continuity of care and family support.