• NYYJI NYYJI

    nyyji
  • NYYJI NYYJI

    nyyji
  • NYYJI NYYJI

    nyyji

Evidence-Based Practices: By Setting

Certain programs may prove more effective in certain settings, depending upon the goals of the program and the needs of those participating.  Programs can be implemented in a wide range of settings and are often carried out across settings in order to more effectively achieve programmatic goals.  As such, indexed here are programs by setting category.  The quality key found below is used to denote the degree of evidential support for each program.  Some programs are cross-listed with other settings, as they may be applied in several settings to more holistically assist those who participate.  To read more about the criteria of inclusion and ranking of each program listed on our website, please click here.

 

Quality Key

***     Some evidence, replicated in multiple contexts.

**     Some evidence, not replicated or mixed findings in replications.

*     Has elements of EBPs but has not been independently evaluated.

NR   Not yet rated by YJI staff.

 

Communities

NR Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

A data-driven program meant to keep youth in communities through collaboration with justice practitioners and community partners. This program aims to expedite the court process and find alternative residential settings for youth who pose minimal risk to the community, assessed through objective screening criteria. This program has an emphasis on reducing racial and ethnic disparities among youth in detention.

 

*** Big Brothers Big Sisters Community Base Mentoring

A community mentoring program that match younger at risk kids with an adult who can provide role modeling behavior for support navigating relationships with parents and peers. Aims to reduce negative behavior such as drug use and promote positive behavior such as school attendance. Evaluated age range: 10-16

 

*** Positive Action

A flexible program that addresses a combination of behaviors catered to the needs of the community (i.e. aggressive behavior, bullying, drug use, academics, character, etc.). Program logic is that positivity and negativity are “self-reinforced” through thoughts to actions to feelings back to thoughts. Evaluated age range: 0-18.

 

*** STAR/Midwestern Prevention Project (MPP)

A general drug prevention program that has been found effective at reducing cigarette usage. Coordinates a community/school/parent response to youth transition through adolescence, particularly middle school. Evaluated age range: 10-14.

 

** Juvenile Breaking the Cycle Program (JBTC) (Lane County Oregon)

A program for arrested youth considered to be high risk to reduce recidivism and drug use. Rearrests were reduced for program individuals though the drug use outcome had mixed findings. Program lasts 12 months and includes: judicial oversight, urinalysis testing, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and, as necessary, sanctions, incentives, and rewards (SIRs). Evaluated age range: 9-18.

 

*** Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach

A substance use recovery program that emphasizes prosocial contacts as a replacement to activities related to substance use. There are a variety of exercises that the participants can get involved in depending on their initial needs assessment upon starting the program. These exercises range from communication skills to relapse-prevention skills. Evaluated age range: 12-22.

 

** Community Family Court (CFC) (Jackson County Oregon)

A family drug court for parents with substance abuse problems. This program has a focus on returning children to their homes quickly and includes wraparound service for the family. Treatment lasts 12 months with frequent meetings and frequent drug tests. There is also a requirement for participation in outpatient group and individual treatment and goal setting, with progress toward that goal. The evaluation found that the children of program participants were returned home sooner than non-program individuals. Evaluated age range: 0-10.

 

** Operation Peacekeeper

A targeted gang prevention and reduction program based in Stockton, California that utilized Youth Outreach Workers (credible messengers) to mentor community youth and intervene before violence occurs. Primary outcome found in evaluation was reduced gun homicides. Evaluated age range: 10-18.

 

*** Operation Ceasefire (Boston Mass)

A “lever pulling” deterrence program to reduce gang-related gun violence. Built upon intensive investigative work from police officers to identify gang members who are then brought to a meeting. At the meeting, officers present their evidence of who the gang members are and threaten to arrest all known gang associates for all of the possible charges if any member of that gang is involved with a gun related crime. Evaluated age range: 0-24.

 

*** Adolescent Diversion Project (ADP)

A program that attempts to keep arrested youth in the community rather than in detention. The program aims to better the adolescent’s relationship to their parents and prosocial individuals as well as preventing the stigmatization of juvenile detention. It is a 12 week program with trained college students as caseworkers who provide direct assistance that lessens over time to transition to the adolescent using the skills learned independently but with assistance as needed prior to program completion.

 

** Career Academy

A general (and elective) program that connects students, teachers, and community partners to improve youth academic and labor force outcomes. This program exposes youth to the skills and expectations of their goal careers. Each Career Academy focuses on a different career “concentration” to provide more relevant and targeted advice. Evaluation age range: 13-19.

 

** Project BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement and Leadership Development)

A violence prevention program for justice involved youth to help them identify and overcome problems they face in their communities. This program focuses on improving self-esteem, communication skills, problem solving techniques and decision making. Implementation can take many forms, ranging from a lesson per day for a week to a 10 week program. Evaluated age range: 10- 17.

Detention / Placement

** Juvenile Breaking the Cycle Program (JBTC) (Lane County Oregon)

A program for arrested youth considered to be high risk to reduce recidivism and drug use. Rearrests were reduced for program individuals though the drug use outcome had mixed findings. Program lasts 12 months and includes: judicial oversight, urinalysis testing, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and, as necessary, sanctions, incentives, and rewards (SIRs). Evaluated age range: 9-18.

 

*** Project BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement and Leadership Development) 

A violence prevention program for justice involved youth to help them identify and overcome problems they face in their communities. This program focuses on improving self-esteem, communication skills, problem solving techniques and decision making. Implementation can take many forms, ranging from a lesson per day for a week to a 10 week program. Evaluated age range: 10- 17.

Homes

*** Guiding Good Choices (GGC)

A generalized program to nurture family competency, specifically parent to child interactions and reducing prevalence of childhood substance use. Five sessions are held, one per week, primarily for the parents though the child joins for a module on peer pressure. Evaluations were conducted in the short term (2-9 weeks) medium term (1 and 2 years) and long term (10 years). Age group in evaluations at time of program: 9-14.

 

** Family Matters

A generalized alcohol and other drug prevention program presented through a series of four mailed booklets with follow up phone calls. Primary participant in this program is the parent though the adolescent is involved at times in some activities. The evaluation follow up was 3 months and then 1 year. The age range represented in the evaluation: 12-14.

 

*** HOMEBUILDERS

A reunification and family preservation in-home program designed to keep youth at home or reduce the amount of time spent away in treatment facilities. This program includes crisis services, flexible hours from the caseworkers who also have small caseloads. The lessons of the program are individually tailored to build personal resources and improve skills and behaviors to prevent problem behavior relapse. Evaluated age range: 0-17. 12-14.

 

*** INSIGHTS in Children's Temperament

A general prevention program to help teachers and parents adapt to child’s temperament to provide individualized strategies for teaching and discipline. Program is a 10 session curriculum with sections for teachers and parents and sections for children. Evaluation age range: 4-7.

 

*** Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care – Adolescents (MTFC-A) 

A detention-alternative program for the birth and foster families of youth with serious antisocial behaviors, SED, and/or delinquency. The foster parents receive a 6-9 months of training prior to their participation. The birth family receives parenting training and support to prepare the family for the adolescent’s return. The treatment team is the third wing of this program and they coordinate the adolescent’s treatment plan and assess case progress. Evaluated age range: 12-17.

 

*** KEEP (Keeping foster and kinship parents supported and trained)

An adaptation of MTFC for the child welfare side of youth justice. The program teaches developmentally appropriate interventions for foster parents to engage in to manage and/or correct the child’s problem behavior. Parents are provided assignments to try at home each week of the program which spans 16 weeks. Evaluated age range: 5-12.

 

** Perry Preschool Project

A general program for disadvantaged children. The preschool’s model is a 30 week school year of classroom instruction and teacher home visits to engage parents in their child’s education. Curriculum focuses on school readiness and problem solving/creative play. At the end of the 27 year follow up evaluation, participants had greater literacy and high school graduations rates as well as higher earnings. Evaluated age range: 3-4.

Schools

** Teams-Games-Tournaments (TGT) Alcohol Prevention 

A general alcohol awareness program implemented in high schools. Knowledge is tested and reinforced through “game tournaments” at the end of each of the four weeks, with individual and group scores. Evaluated age range: 13-18.

 

*** STAR/Midwestern Prevention Project (MPP) 

A general drug prevention program that has been found effective at reducing cigarette usage. Coordinates a community/school/parent response to youth transition through adolescence, particularly middle school. Evaluated age range: 10-14.

 

** Better Futures Program

A program for foster youth with serious mental health problems to help them prepare for and transition into high education opportunities. Program occurs over a period of 10 months with a summer visit to a college, one-on-one peer coaching, and 5 mentored workshops that cover different parts of how to successfully apply to a postsecondary institution and provide a networking opportunity. Evaluated age range: 16-18.

 

*** Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

A general classroom based program to improve child emotional and social competencies while reducing inappropriate behaviors. Each grade level has a different number of lessons ranging from 36-52 that center around self-control, feelings and relationships, and social problem solving. Evaluated age range: 3-12.

 

*** Good Behavior Game (GBG)

A program for disruptive classes in schools, implemented by the teacher. Aims to reduce externalizing behaviors through team work and positive peer pressure to conform to classroom rules. Achieving team-wide good behavior is rewarded with a prize and teams that have not succeeded do not receive the prize. Evaluated age range: 6-10.

 

*** First Step to Success

An early intervention for children with antisocial behaviors and aggression. Program occurs over the course of 3 months with parent, child, and teacher involvement with help of a program coach. Positive behavior is taught with lists and guidelines and then rewarded with a point system toward a point goal. When the goal is achieved there is an activity with a class-wide benefit. Evaluated age range: 5-8.

 

*** Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum for Elementary School (2002 Edition)

A general prevention program to increase student emotional and social competence through reduced impulsivity and aggressive behaviors. There are 15-22 lessons per grade to teach empathy, impulse control and problem solving, and anger management. Evaluated age range: 5-12.

 

** Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities

A targeted high school program for urban youth who are at risk of academic failure. This program has five components: tutoring, mentoring, life skills training, college preparation, and small financial stipends. Program is intended to increase graduation rates, decrease student problem behaviors, and increase postsecondary education/training. Evaluation age range: 14-17.

 

*** INSIGHTS in Children's Temperament 

A general prevention program to help teachers and parents adapt to child’s temperament to provide individualized strategies for teaching and discipline. Program is a 10 session curriculum with sections for teachers and parents and sections for children. Evaluation age range: 4-7.

 

** Safe Dates

A general prevention program to inform middle and high school students about dating violence and how to prevent it. There are nine 50 minute modules, a short play, and a poster session. Also involves some limited parental involvement. Evaluated age range: 11-17.

 

*** Steps to Respect 

A general elementary anti-bullying program that aims to increase emotional and social competence to both prevent bullying and reduce the harmful impact of bullying should it occur. Program consists of a school-wide program guide, staff training, and classroom curricula of 11 lessons. Evaluated age range: 8-12.

 

*** School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (SWPBIS)

A general school wide program to reduce problem behavior and school suspensions/disciplinary actions as well as make the school safe and positive. Utilizes an outside coach and a team of administrators and teachers in the school to create a consistent, school wide set of responses for different behaviors, all teachers are trained, and students are explicitly taught behavioral expectations. Evaluated age range: 5-11.

 

** Perry Preschool Project 

A general program for disadvantaged children. The preschool’s model is a 30 week school year of classroom instruction and teacher home visits to engage parents in their child’s education. Curriculum focuses on school readiness and problem solving/creative play. At the end of the 27 year follow up evaluation, participants had greater literacy and high school graduations rates as well as higher earnings. Evaluated age range: 3-4.

 

** Career Academy

A general (and elective) program that connects students, teachers, and community partners to improve youth academic and labor force outcomes. This program exposes youth to the skills and expectations of their goal careers. Each Career Academy focuses on a different career “concentration” to provide more relevant and targeted advice. Evaluation age range: 13-19.

 

*** Success for All (SFA)

A general school-wide program to increase literacy by detecting problems in preschool through middle school, in primarily high poverty schools. The program places students of similar reading level in groups of 15-20 for reading and are regrouped as the year goes on to reflect progress being made. Evaluated age range: 5-12.

 

** Children's Zone Promise Academy Charter Middle School (Harlem NY) 

A geographically based lottery middle school program, intended to provide academic compensation for environmental risk factors. The program includes an extended school day with weekend homework help offered on Saturdays. There is a mandatory summer component which extends the school year. The program tries to bring students up to grade level in reading, writing, and mathematics. Evaluation age range: 11-14.

Skilled Training

*** Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)  

This targeted prevention program consisted of a series of pre- and postnatal nurse or paraprofessional home visits to low-income first time mothers to teach parenting skills and provide support through the first two years of the child’s life. The children’s outcomes were better under the nurse-visit condition. Early childhood milestones and environment were met/improved. The evaluation follow up occurred at 15 years post-program and found fewer cases of maltreatment by visited families compared to control families. This program effect was reduced if the mother experienced domestic violence. Children entered the program at birth.

 

** Healthy Families America (HFA) (HFNY)

A home visit program for expecting and new parents to prevent child abuse due to inappropriate disciplinary actions. Program lasts from enrollment (typically during pregnancy or at birth) and continues through the child’s first 3 months of life. The program provides support, services, and education to new parents toward the health of the child. Evaluated age range: 0-5 and 16-28.

 

*** Guiding Good Choices (GGC)

A generalized program to nurture family competency, specifically parent to child interactions and reducing prevalence of childhood substance use. Five sessions are held, one per week, primarily for the parents though the child joins for a module on peer pressure. Evaluations were conducted in the short term (2-9 weeks) medium term (1 and 2 years) and long term (10 years). Age group in evaluations at time of program: 9-14.

 

*** Positive Family Support (PFS, formerly known as Adolescent Transitions Program ATP)

A targeted prevention program, inclusion criteria is child risk of problem behaviors and drug use. Program aims to teach parents better family management skills including setting rules, making requests, and following through with consequences. There are three different tiers to this program, one is general and aimed at any/all parents. The next two are targeted, first for selected intervention, the second for indicated intervention. The evaluations occurred annually for four years and one evaluation took place 5.5 years after implementation. The age range of children in the evaluations: 11-17.

 

** Adults in the Making (AIM)

A targeted prevention and intervention program to increase family protective factors and reduce adolescent substance use. The program involves 6 weekly group meetings with youth and parents, together and separately. Parents learned effective skills to support their child’s emotional development. Adolescent participants learned goal setting and techniques to help them achieve their goals. Evaluated age range: 16-18.

 

*** Life-Skills Training

A general tobacco, drug, and alcohol resistance and prevention program for late elementary and middle school students. The program focuses on education youth on the effects of substances, modifying attitudes about use, coping skills, and improving social skills. The program has different implementation options depending on the school grade being treated. Evaluated age range: 11-18.

 

*** Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach

A substance use recovery program that emphasizes prosocial contacts as a replacement to activities related to substance use. There are a variety of exercises that the participants can get involved in depending on their initial needs assessment upon starting the program. These exercises range from communication skills to relapse-prevention skills. Evaluated age range: 12-22.

 

*** Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) 

A program for children who experienced traumatic life events (i.e. being a victim of physical and/or sexual assault, loss of a parent, experience of a natural disaster etc.) and their parents. This therapy aims to reduce child program behavior as well as improving their mental health and increase parenting skills. The program consists of 12-18 weekly sessions with the parents and children, together and separate. Evaluated age range: 3-14.

 

*** Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive Base Therapy (PSB CBT) 

A program for children and their parents to teach the children appropriate versus inappropriate sexual behaviors and teach the parents how to have conversations about sex with their children. Additionally the children are taught coping and self-control skills. Program takes place over 12-27 sessions of 1-1.5 hours each. Evaluated age range: 7-12.

 

** Better Futures Program

A program for foster youth with serious mental health problems to help them prepare for and transition into high education opportunities. Program occurs over a period of 10 months with a summer visit to a college, one-on-one peer coaching, and 5 mentored workshops that cover different parts of how to successfully apply to a postsecondary institution and provide a networking opportunity. Evaluated age range: 16-18.

 

*** The Incredible Years

A targeted prevention program for young children at high risk of, or diagnosed with ODD, CD, and/or ADHD. This program aims to increase the child’s self-control and social functioning through teaching parent interventions, modeling proper behavior, and providing individual or small group sessions. Age range of participants represented in evaluations: 2-8.

 

** Triple P- Positive Parenting Program

A five level program (ranging from generalized to highly targeted) to prevent child maltreatment and child behavioral problems through training parents in effective techniques. The levels of the program build upon each other as the need for intervention regarding child behavior grows. The evaluation followed up after 2 years. The age of the children at the time of the intervention represented in the evaluation: 0-12.

 

*** Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

A general classroom based program to improve child emotional and social competencies while reducing inappropriate behaviors. Each grade level has a different number of lessons ranging from 36-52 that center around self-control, feelings and relationships, and social problem solving. Evaluated age range: 3-12.

 

*** Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

A targeted prevention program for youth with oppositional/defiant disorders and their parents to replace maladaptive behaviors with positive interactions. Evaluated in Australia and the United States. First, the parents go to a training and then second, they are provided real-time guidance by program providers. This study has recently been adapted as an intervention program for abusive parents to eliminate abusive reactions to child behavior. The age range of the children in the evaluations: 3-12.

 

*** Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care – Adolescents (MTFC-A)

A detention-alternative program for the birth and foster families of youth with serious antisocial behaviors, SED, and/or delinquency. The foster parents receive a 6-9 months of training prior to their participation. The birth family receives parenting training and support to prepare the family for the adolescent’s return. The treatment team is the third wing of this program and they coordinate the adolescent’s treatment plan and assess case progress. Evaluated age range: 12-17.

 

*** KEEP (Keeping foster and kinship parents supported and trained) 

An adaptation of MTFC for the child welfare side of youth justice. The program teaches developmentally appropriate interventions for foster parents to engage in to manage and/or correct the child’s problem behavior. Parents are provided assignments to try at home each week of the program which spans 16 weeks. Evaluated age range: 5-12.

 

*** Aggression Replacement Training (ART) 

A program for chronically aggressive youth to teach prosocial behavior. It is a 10 week program with 3 weekly meetings in small groups with focuses on moral reasoning, anger control, and practice scenarios. Evaluated age range: 11-17.

 

*** First Step to Success

An early intervention for children with antisocial behaviors and aggression. Program occurs over the course of 3 months with parent, child, and teacher involvement with help of a program coach. Positive behavior is taught with lists and guidelines and then rewarded with a point system toward a point goal. When the goal is achieved there is an activity with a class-wide benefit. Evaluated age range: 5-8.

 

*** Adolescent Diversion Project (ADP)

A program that attempts to keep arrested youth in the community rather than in detention. The program aims to better the adolescent’s relationship to their parents and prosocial individuals as well as preventing the stigmatization of juvenile detention. It is a 12 week program with trained college students as caseworkers who provide direct assistance that lessens over time to transition to the adolescent using the skills learned independently but with assistance as needed prior to program completion.

 

*** Strong African American Families (SAAF)

A general prevention program for rural African American families with adolescent children to support transitions from childhood to teenage years. This program aims to instill protective factors for the youth and to give them skills to resist peer pressure and refrain from engaging in risky behaviors. This culturally sensitive program consists of 7 weekly sessions of two hours apiece where topics such as goal setting, racial socialization, and accepting parental influence are presented. Evaluations occurred in the short term (3 months) and the long term (~2.5 years and ~5.5 years). The age range receiving the program represented by the evaluations: 11-13.

 

NR Strengthening Families Program (SFP)

A targeted drug prevention program for children of parents who are in treatment for drug abuse. The goals of the program are to prevent youth drug use and to improve the parents’ parenting skills. The program consists of 14 weekly 2 hour meetings. The first hour the child and the parent receive separate “skill building” trainings and then apply them for the second hour in a supervised family activities. The age range represented in the evaluations: 3-16.

 

** Project BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement and Leadership Development)

A violence prevention program for justice involved youth to help them identify and overcome problems they face in their communities. This program focuses on improving self-esteem, communication skills, problem solving techniques and decision making. Implementation can take many forms, ranging from a lesson per day for a week to a 10 week program. Evaluated age range: 10- 17.

Therapy / Counseling

*** Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

An in-patient or out-patient therapy that focuses on specific targeted behaviors such as delinquency and drug use. The program typically has 8-12 sessions (can be up to 30 for more serious cases) with 5 phases: encouragement, motivation, relational assessment, behavior change, and generalization. Evaluated age range: 11-17.

 

*** Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)

A drug treatment program for adolescents, either in or out patient over the course of 4-6 months. The program utilizes therapists who help the adolescent and their family in various life domains such as problem solving and family functioning. They will also work on building protective factors (i.e., mental health improvements, improved peer relationships) and reduce risk factors (i.e., school failure, delinquent peers). Evaluated age range: 11-18.

 

*** Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

An at-home therapy to strengthen natural supports and remove barriers for parents to then assist the child in overcoming their serious clinical problems. There is no defined treatment length. The therapists work in teams with small caseloads to be flexible and provide support when the family needs it. Evaluated age range: 12-17.

 

*** Multisystemic Therapy (MST) – Substance Abuse

Same program style as MST, this evaluation focused on adolescents who specifically had substance abuse issues. Evaluated age range: 12-20.

 

** Community Family Court (CFC) (Jackson County Oregon) 

A family drug court for parents with substance abuse problems. This program has a focus on returning children to their homes quickly and includes wraparound service for the family. Treatment lasts 12 months with frequent meetings and frequent drug tests. There is also a requirement for participation in outpatient group and individual treatment and goal setting, with progress toward that goal. The evaluation found that the children of program participants were returned home sooner than non-program individuals. Evaluated age range: 0-10.

 

*** Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET)

Program teaches participants skills to manage trauma related guilt, shame, and other PTSD symptoms to regulate their emotions and reactions. The timeframe of treatment varies widely based upon individual needs. Utilizes “FREEDOM” an acronym of focus, recognize, emotions, evaluate, define, option, and make a contribution. Evaluated age range: 13-45. Only evaluations listed had exclusively female samples.

 

*** Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

A program for children who experienced traumatic life events (i.e. being a victim of physical and/or sexual assault, loss of a parent, experience of a natural disaster etc.) and their parents. This therapy aims to reduce child program behavior as well as improving their mental health and increase parenting skills. The program consists of 12-18 weekly sessions with the parents and children, together and separate. Evaluated age range: 3-14.

 

*** Prolonged Exposure Therapy

A therapy to reduce the functional impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on individuals in all stages of life. The therapy occurs once or twice a week for 8-15 weeks for 70-90 minutes per session where the therapist walks the client through ways to reduce anxiety and recount the traumatic memories. Evaluated age range: 15-70.

 

** Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive Base Therapy (PSB CBT)

A program for children and their parents to teach the children appropriate versus inappropriate sexual behaviors and teach the parents how to have conversations about sex with their children. Additionally the children are taught coping and self-control skills. Program takes place over 12-27 sessions of 1-1.5 hours each. Evaluated age range: 7-12.

 

*** Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)

A program for youth with clinical levels of PTSD symptoms. The program aims to reduce symptoms, build resilience, and increase parent and peer supports. There are 10 group sessions with some individual sessions between the group sessions. Evaluated age range: 10-15.

Tribal Communities

Native American communities are facing significant challenges regarding native youth in the justice system. Recent data from the National Institute for Justice indicates that Native American youth are not only overrepresented in both federal and state juvenile justice systems, but they receive harsher sentences than other youth. One challenge facing authorities is a bewildering jurisdictional patchwork of laws that make it difficult to navigate processes and outcomes for these youth. A second major challenge is that these youth face high rates of exposure to trauma with estimates ranging that between 73 to 85% of the youth in the system have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) through exposure to violence and substance abuse. Confinement of these youth in traditional facilities that does not account for these experiences or their unique culture only serves to further traumatize youth and induce negative outcomes. While there is no one set program that has proven effective for working with tribal youth, the Office of Justice Programs has funded tribal youth justice courts across the country and these programs incorporate many of the practices we know work in other settings:

  • Keeping youth in the community whenever possible*                                                        
    • Juvenile Detention Alternative InitiativeNR
  • Restorative Justice Practices
    • Circle Sentencing
    • Community Resolution Board
  • Treatment Courts/Drug Courts**
  • Mentoring***
  • Focus on the Community as a whole rather than just the youth**                               
    • CIRCLE program

In addition to programmatic challenges, it is often difficult for officials to understand the various federal, state and tribal laws the govern youth on reservations. Several efforts have been undertaken to reduce this confusion and ensure justice can be provided for youth both on and off the reservation. The Model Indian Juvenile Code is the primary guidance provided by the federal government (25 U.S.C. 2454). In addition many states are developing their own initiatives.

New York Federal-State–Tribal Courts Forum

The Federal‐State–Tribal Court Forum was founded in 2004 through the initiative of Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals. The Forum has been designated as a promising strategy to addressing many of the above noted problems by the United States Bureau of Justice Assistance in the Department of Justice.

The forum emerged with three main priorities:
1. To ensure accurate application of ICWA at the federal and state level;
2. To devise a means of achieving full faith and credit for judgments of tribal justice systems and federal and state courts; and

3. To provide judicial education and training, not only about relevant law but also about the cultures and justice systems of nations and tribes indigenous to what is now New York State.


A central goal of the forum is to enhance federal and state court judges’ understanding of native cultures and justice systems in order to increase sensitivity to and respect for tribal cultures and tribal courts. The primary approach to achieving this goal has been through meetings with tribal members and a formal “Listening Conference” that brought together state and federal judges and court officials in sessions with tribal judges, chiefs, clan mothers, peacemakers, and other representatives from the justice systems of New York’s Indian nations to exchange information and learn about respective concepts of justice.


The Forum works continuously to ensure Tribal Court orders are honored by state and county jurisdictions, is actively involved in improving child welfare on reservations and supports the operation of wellness courts that aim to utilize all resources in the community to help troubled individuals heal and to avoid placement of offenders outside of their community.


For more information on the forum, please visit New York Federal State Tribal Courts and Indian Nations Justice Forum


For more information on other state/tribal partnerships, please visit the Bureau of Justice Assistance Report.