One of only 16 sites identified nationwide
BATON ROUGE, LA – AMIkids Baton Rouge, a nonprofit serving at-risk youth and their families for more than 30 years, was recently chosen by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to participate in the “Reimagining Juvenile Justice” (RJJ) curriculum.
RJJ is designed for professionals working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system and their families and aims to develop the capacity of professionals to support, divert and redirect youth to appropriate and fair justice options, including those requiring a high degree of cross-system collaboration and coordination. The training is based on research on adolescent development that shows youth thrive in a positive environment with the support of caring adults. RJJ equips agencies and organizations to take the concepts, curriculum and instructional approach back to their home jurisdictions.
“We are pleased that AMIkids is partnering with local juvenile justice system stakeholders to bring the Reimagining Juvenile Justice curriculum and training to East Baton Rouge Parish,” said David E. Brown, a senior associate at the Foundation.
AMIkids Baton Rouge, in partnership with local law enforcement, district attorney’s office, mayor’s office, local foundations and others, plan to utilize the RJJ training model to support the launch of the Breaking Barriers program.
Breaking Barriers is a bridge building program meant to foster healthy communication, mutual trust, and understanding between youth involved in the justice system and the community. As part of the program, youth-led community forums will be coordinated, allowing youth and community leaders to engage in meaningful conversations around topics identified by youth as important to them. As a result of these community forums with key stakeholders, AMIkids intends to develop a toolkit that lays out how to establish these community partnerships to work towards transforming local juvenile justice system, practices, and policies by providing youth, families, providers, and community leaders the space for these important conversations.
“We are honored to take part in the Annie E. Casey Foundation Reimaging Juvenile Justice curriculum,” says Mike Thornton, President & CEO, AMIkids Inc. “This initiative will help us in launching the Breaking Barriers program, with the hope of building a bridge between the youth and our community partners to create positive change for the juvenile justice system.”
The RJJ curriculum training will take place as a series of online sessions through the end of this year, upon which AMIkids Baton Rouge trainers will then implement the curriculum in the community through September 2021.
About AMIkids Inc.:
AMIkids is a national nonprofit organization that serves at-risk youth with 44 local programs in nine states throughout the country. Since 1969, AMIkids has empowered more than 140,000 boys and girls from across the nation, helping to transform their lives and guide them towards a bright future. For more information, visit: AMIkids.org.