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Contact: Diana Kees
Date: Dec. 10, 2012
Phone: (919) 436-3147 


Public-Private Partnership Expands Proven Drug/Alcohol Treatment Model in State Juvenile Courts 

RALEIGH – Additional funding from a public-private partnership will allow for the expansion of a national substance abuse treatment model in North Carolina's juvenile court system.

Reclaiming Futures is a national treatment model that screens and assesses each young person entering the juvenile justice system for drug and alcohol problems, develops a treatment plan coordinated by a service team, and connects teens with a positive youth development support system in their community. With an additional investment of nearly $900,000 from The Duke Endowment and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to fund six additional sites, Reclaiming Futures will serve North Carolina teens in 22 counties at 12 sites. 

Officials with the state Division of Juvenile Justice note the critical role that Reclaiming Futures plays in the improvement of juvenile justice practice statewide. “Reclaiming Futures is a core reform strategy for us to truly identify substance abuse issues and effectively treat youth coming into our system,” said Linda Hayes, DJJ director and chief deputy secretary for the Department of Public Safety. “The expansion supported by this great public-private partnership allows us to further emphasize the importance of applying data-driven, evidence-based practices through our statewide office.”

The Duke Endowment will support four of the new sites, including Barium Springs (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Swain, Macon, Jackson and Haywood counties); McDowell Department of Social Services;  Families Together/NC Mentor (Transylvania and Henderson counties); and CenterPoint Human Services (Rockingham, Stokes and Davie counties). The investment from The Duke Endowment will provide each site with a half-time project director to coordinate the work of their change teams over the next two years. CenterPoint and the Reidsville Area Foundation will provide matching funds for the Rockingham, Stokes and Davie site. 

“The Duke Endowment sees Reclaiming Futures as an effective way to help teens at a vulnerable time,” says Phil Redmond, associate director of the Endowment's Child Care program area. “This effort gives us a chance to collaborate with another major funder and work together to expand the community response around substance abuse.”

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust will support the expansion efforts of the current Crossroads site (Iredell, Yadkin and Surry counties) overseen by Partners Behavioral Health. Over the next two years, they will establish sites in Gaston County and Catawba County as well. 

“The Trust is excited to invest in the expansion of this important program for youth in North Carolina,” said Allen Smart, director of the Health Care Division at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. “Results from Reclaiming Futures shows that youth who receive early prevention and treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues are more likely to turn their lives around when there is a strong partnership between the juvenile justice system, substance abuse and mental health organizations, and community support systems. By identifying and investing in options for these kids early, we have a chance to help them break the cycle and make a long-term impact on their choices, their lives and their family's lives for years to come.”

Since the arrival of Reclaiming Futures in North Carolina four years ago, more than 12,300 teens have received appropriate screening for substance abuse and mental health problems upon entering the system in North Carolina. This helps judges understand the treatment needs of young people appearing in their courts. Research confirms that Reclaiming Futures sites significantly increase the percentage of youth successfully entering treatment (approximately 30 – 78 percent). Teens that are successful in treatment are far more likely to turn their lives around. 

Each of the sites will be provided with training, technical assistance and evaluation support through the national program office, based out of Portland State University, and the Reclaiming Futures State Office, housed in the N.C. Division of Juvenile Justice. The expansion, as well as the enhanced support North Carolina sites will receive, is a result of a $1.9 million public-private partnership that began in 2011 among the Division of Juvenile Justice, the Governor's Crime Commission, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and The Duke Endowment.

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Reclaiming Futures was established by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to offer a new approach to helping teenagers caught in the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime. It now operates in 35 communities in 17 states. Its funding partners include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the federal government's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, The Duke Endowment and the Governor's Crime Commission. The national office of Reclaiming Futures is housed in the Regional Research Institute of the School of Social Work at Portland State University. To learn more, visit www.reclaimingfutures.org

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina. The Health Care Division promotes wellness state-wide by investing in prevention and treatment. The Poor and Needy Division of the Trust responds to basic life needs and invests in solutions that improve the quality of life and health for financially needy residents of Forsyth County. Wells Fargo Bank N.A. serves as sole trustee. (www.kbr.org)

The Duke Endowment, located in Charlotte, seeks to fulfill the legacy of James B. Duke by improving lives and communities in the Carolinas through higher education, health care, rural churches and children's services. Since its inception, the Endowment has awarded $2.9 billion in grants.

The Governor's Crime Commission serves as the chief advisory body to the Governor and the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety on crime and justice issues and is chaired by Scott Thomas, District Attorney in Prosecutorial District 3B (Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties). The GCC sets program priorities, reviews applications and makes recommendations to the Governor for the state's criminal justice and juvenile justice federal block grants.