Juvenile Justice Programs
Juvenile Community Diversion
What is a Juvenile Hearing Board (JHB)?
Juvenile Hearing Boards are an innovative model for community diversion. Based in restorative justice, JHBs are community, police, mental health professionals and schools working together to link youth to services, counseling and positive alternatives. RICJ provides best practices training and support to build JHB success, especially in our urban core. Over time JHBs can decrease racial disparities in justice for youth of color, and build their success.
There are active Juvenile Hearing Boards in 30 of RI’s 39 cities and towns. JHBs hear about 400 cases per year across the state RICJ began working with JHBs in 2009 and in recent years, FCCP/Family Care Community Partnership agencies have collaborated with JHBs to provide mental health services. JHB outcomes are positive with low re-arrest rates for youth. JHB objectives are:
Reduce the number/percentage of juvenile cases referred to Family Court and ultimately reduce the number of system-involved youth in RI.
Reduce the likelihood that youth will re-offend.
Improve competencies of youth offenders in areas such as school performance and behavior, family and peer relationships, anger management and other life skills.
Increase awareness of issues relating to youth and families within the community.
The JHB Process
7 Typical Steps in a JHB Hearing
The 7 Typical Steps in a JHB Hearing
For more information, check out this Providence JHB One-Page Flyer PDF
"Rhode Island RED" Project
In 2008, with support from the Rhode Island Justice Commission (now part of the RI Department of Public Safety), RICJ established a project addressing issues of Disproportionate Minority Contact in Rhode Island, called the Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED) project. The RED Advisory Group first convened in 2008 to examine and recommend solutions for RI's juvenile justice system. Members represent law enforcement, courts, education, community, and juveniles.
Programs Developed by the Advisory Group
Cultural competency curriculum adaptable to the needs of all professionals working with juveniles
Assisting municipalities to establish Juvenile Hearing Boards
Surveying school administrators on School Resource Officer (SRO) best practices
Revising and updating the Justice Commissions Juvenile Hearing Board Handbook
Working with RI Police Training Academy on training in Effective Interactions with Youth
Conducting Police-Youth dialogues
Increasing inter-agency coordination for service provision
Collaborating with public schools to plan youth-run restorative practices as part of school discipline
Civil Rights Roundtable
The RI Civil Rights Roundtable bring civil rights groups together for the purpose of joint advocacy. The program was co-founded by our organization and the Providence NAACP in 1998.
40 groups and individuals interested in civil rights in Rhode Island are part of the Roundtable's listserve, events and meetings. RICJ organizes monthly meetings facilitated by Toby, that provide an opportunity to share information, support each other and work together on legislation, education and advocacy initiatives. The Roundtable hosts an annual event on Dr. King's day, to present upcoming legislative agendas to inspire the community to action.
The Civil Rights Roundtable is currently working toward the development of legislation that would provide for annual training in de-escalation and cultural competence for police. For more information, please contact Dr. Toby Ayers.