Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $596,389)
ARKANSAS FY2022 PROJECT ABSTRACT
Many youths who encounter the juvenile justice system can be more effectively served close to home in their communities. The State of Arkansas has embarked on a planned course to transform the state’s juvenile justice system, build capacity and foster essential relationships to create a better future for the youth of the State. The aim is to ensure that youth are not inappropriately or unnecessarily held in costly secure confinement, and that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely on services that produce positive outcomes for youth, families, and the community. To that end, the State of Arkansas has identified several priorities to be undertaken, during the project and budget period, ranging from less reliance on residential care to better communication with stakeholders. During FFY 2021-2025, the State of Arkansas and the State Advisory Group will work to develop ways to promote the implementation of evidence based and effective programming while fostering initiatives that will further the Juvenile Justice Reform efforts in the State through system improvement, compliance monitoring and capacity building activities. This grant targets eligible local units of government (city, county and municipalities), community-based organizations, faith-based and grassroots entities throughout Arkansas. Current Title II funding is to be utilized statewide. To support state and local efforts to plan, establish, operate, coordinate and evaluate projects for the development of more effective education, training, research, prevention, diversion, treatment and rehabilitation programs around juvenile delinquency and programs to improve the juvenile justice system. The Department of Human Services Division of Youth Services has determined the following priorities for Title II funding: Alternatives to Detention, Delinquency Prevention, Disproportionate Minority Contact, School Programs, Job Training and Gender- Specific Services. The boards are tasked with executing the goals and objectives of Arkansas 3-Year Plan, as well as to provide the State Advisory Group with feedback regarding issues, outcomes, and obstacles encountered at a community-based level. Progress is measured through an evaluation process for each sub grant which includes quarterly reports, desk audits, and site visits.