In recent decades, youth mentoring has experienced tremendous growth throughout the United States. Available estimates place the current number of youth mentoring programs at more than 5,000 nationwide, with approximately 3 million children and adolescents receiving services (DuBois, Portillo, Rhodes, Silverthorn, & Valentine, 2011; Miller, Barnes, Miller, & McKinnon, 2013; Stewart & Openshaw, 2014; Tolan, Henry, Schoeny, Lovegrove, & Nichols, 2014). Political and public support have contributed to approximately 1 in 3 adults reporting they have participated in some form of mentoring, and around $100 million per year in federal funds are dedicated to youth mentoring programs and research (Stewart & Openshaw, 2014; Tolan et al., 2014). Overall, youth mentoring is perhaps the most widely implemented and financially supported prevention and intervention strategy for at-risk youth in America.
Gay & Straight Alliances (GSA) are school sanctioned student organizations that incorporate heterosexual students, homosexual students and adult participation. These organizations potentially ease the hardships that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender) youth encounter, change negative perceptions surrounding homosexuality, and support these youths in their pursuit of positive outcomes. Research consistently suggests that social connectedness and positive support are at the root of drug abuse among LGBT youth (Hatzenbuehler, Jun, Corliss, & Austin, 2015; Heck et al., 2014; Kecojevic et al., 2012; Bird, Kuhns, & Garofalo, 2012). In the absence of social support and positive relationships, LGBT youth seek coping mechanisms such as illicit and prescription drugs as a way of alleviating this stress. However, schools with a GSA have reported better personal and health outcomes among their LGBT populations. More specifically, the incidence of illicit drug use and prescription drug misuse among gay adolescents is lower among these schools. Gay & Straight Alliances (GSA) seek to offer positive reinforcement to gay youth, reduce strain and make students less likely to seek coping mechanisms such as illicit drug use and prescription drug misuse.
Boston pioneered a focused deterrence strategy in the 1990s, to reduce high rates of youth and gang violence. Initially, Boston’s “Operation Ceasefire” working group conducted problem analysis. This research revealed approximately 60% of Boston homicides were gang related, and that both the perpetrators and victims of violence were highly criminal—i.e., they possessed criminal records and were typically known (often by-name) by the Boston Police Department (BPD). Accordingly, the intervention aimed to “communicate incentives and disincentives directly to known high risk chronic offenders” (Corsaro & Engel, 2015). To accomplish this, BPD conducted “call in” sessions with chronic offenders—often those who were out on parole—to make them aware that violence would not be tolerated (Kennedy et al., 2001). The BPD message was simple: if you commit violence, then every legal lever possible will be pulled to ensure that you will be held accountable. Further, not only will violence not be tolerated, but if one person in the group commits violence, then “heat” from the BPD will be brought on to the entire group (Kennedy, 2011).
Dogs have great therapeutic power. It is easy to think of anecdotal evidence of this being true. In day-to-day life, dog owners are able to decompress after a long day at work or are simply able to feel unconditional love from them. Dogs are able to provide services for disabled individuals. Dogs can become certified specifically to help individuals cope with loss or depression. Dogs can even predict ill health and help individuals recover from ill health (Sachs-Ericsson, Hansen, and Fitzgerald; Wells, 2007). In consideration of all the benefits of having a dog in one’s life, the question one must ask is: can prisoners benefit from dogs as well?
This paper examines dog-training programs in the prison setting with regard to their ability to achieve their goals and objectives related to recidivism. Dog-training programs (DTPs) are the most common type of prison-based animal program, with 290 facilities across all 50 states having implemented them (Cooke and Farrington, 2016). The goals and objectives of DTPs vary slightly from program-to-program; however, the main focuses are recidivism and behavior in prison. DTPs teach prisoners to be dog trainers as a means of providing a source of rehabilitation to combat recidivism. Through this examination, the author concludes that DTPs are successful in that they achieve desired results. Criminological theories as well as limitations of evaluations performed on these programs that explain this success are discussed.
The Evidence-Based Professionals Society is set to launch what it calls the Evidence-Based Professionals Networking Group (EBPNG). The goal is to create local communities of professionals who are committed to the evidence-based movement,and afford them a vehicle to meet periodically, network and share matters of interest to them and their local areas.
An EBPNG community may be established by any professionals who desire such a community in their local area. Evidence-Based Professionals Networking Groups;
are communities of local professionals in major metro areas engaged or interested in evidence-based practices
provide forum for these local professionals to network and interact with one another, and
provide forums for local professionals to share ideas and solve problems local to them
EBPNG's are now forming across the country. Professionals interested in starting a networking group in their area should send email to [email protected], or call 678-720-2772.
Chief Keene To Present at Evidence-Based "Pathways" for Case Management, Coordination & Supervision
About John Keene
Chief Keene was appointed Chief Probation Officer of San Mateo County Probation Department, California in June of 2013, bringing more than 20 years of law enforcement experience to his role. Prior to his appointment he served as Deputy Chief Probation Officer in Alameda County, California.
Chief Keene earned his Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center, and his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
He is committed to Public Protection, Victim Restoration, and Offender Rehabilitation. He believes that the development, implementation and sustainability of Evidenced Based Programming is the future of Community Corrections.
At "Pathways" in San Diego, Chief Keene will present, and lead a discussion on;
Case Study of an Evidence-Based Organization & its Professionals: The San Mateo County Probation Department
Uncommon success is achieved when an organization or individual adopts and implements a proven approach or strategy. This presentation is a study of the San Mateo County Probation Department, a certified evidence-based organization, steps it took, and how it is working steadily to move its entire staff toward becoming evidence-based professionals.
Chief Keene will review their experience, processes they are undergoing, lessons learned, the immediate and longer-term benefits, and what they would do differently.
The San Mateo County Probation Department has the vision to be a proactive and innovative agency which facilitates positive changes in offenders' behaviors that reduce recidivism and foster a law-abiding lifestyle.
Its mission is to enhance community safety, reduce crime, and assist the victims of crime through offender accountability and rehabilitation.
Organizations with the aim to become evidence-based themselves will benefit tremendously from their example as well as others at this year's "PATHWAYS" event in beautiful San Diego.