This report—the 15th installment in a series devoted to revolutionizing detention programs and practices in America—gives rural areas an expanded toolkit for overcoming the unique challenges associated with juvenile detention reform.
challenges and opportunities
How rural communities and youths compare to their urban counterparts.
Hurdles to detention reform in rural settings.
How rural sites are tackling detention reform (and getting it right).
Tips for boosting detention reform efforts in rural areas.
With the deck seemingly stacked against them, rural communities have a few key cards up their sleeves. They’re creative, agile, resourceful and—contrary to their static and sleepy stereotypes—they’re willing to change the status quo.
1. Collaborate and conquer. Counties should work together—and pool resources—to expand their funding capacity, facilities and staff expertise;
2. Seek state-level support. State governments can stimulate reform by offering leadership, flexible funding and financial incentives to promote innovation, efficiency and the use of detention alternatives;
3. Adopt a 3-step strategy. First, ensure that you can monitor and supervise youths as needed. Next, utilize existing programs and facilities for children. Third, invest in solutions that speed up juvenile case processing.
10 counties in Oregon committed to JDAI reform—and with resounding success. Some of their many innovative solutions include: 1. Creating a family resource model, which placed youth in pre-screened family homes when shelter options were scarce; 2. Launching a Girls Circle to offer specialized counseling aimed at reducing rates of probation violations among girls; 3. Utilizing videoconferencing technologies to facilitate psychiatric consultations for youth in far-flung areas.