First Presenter's Institution

Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice

Second Presenter's Institution

Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 8 (Ballroom E)

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

The Office of Reentry Services and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice School System have as a primary focus to connect youth in long term placement with community programs and support post release. This focus on continuity of care has led to two major developments: 1) redesign of reentry planning to increase family engagement and youth ownership, and 2) seeking and building partnerships with school systems state-wide and community entities willing to receive, support and provide services to returning youth and their families.

Brief Program Description

Many youth experience barriers reentering their local school system once released from confinement. The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice's Office of Reentry Services and School System work collaboratively to remove these barriers by building partnerships with school systems state-wide. This presentation will provide participants a programmatic overview and framework used to reduce barriers.

Summary

Family engagement and youth ownership of a rigorous reentry planning process are the foundations of the reforms undertaken by the Office of Reentry Services. The new reentry planning process, referred to as the Youth - Centered Reentry Team or YCRT, was designed under the guidance of nationally known subject matter experts Dr. Mark Lipsey, Dr. David Altschuler and Dr. Shay Bilchik. Youth, family and staff were provided satisfaction surveys after the first 2 years of implementation, with all 3 groups giving high marks, especially the family. The addition of telephone and video conferencing to allow family to have easier access to the meetings.

Simultaneously work began on increasing and improving post release services through a Reentry Task Force that has an internal DJJ committee and a collective impact model driven set of outside entities interested in helping youth and families. The internal group set about setting up a Strategic Plan that would then drive department change to remove barriers to youth reentry. The external group was divided into subgroups that align with the evidence-based seven domains of aftercare so as to focus the work. External entities became members of one of the subgroups and began work to remove barriers and increase and improve supports for returning youth. Much of the content of the presentation at this conference will be about the many and varied partnerships and collaborations that have resulted from the work of the Reentry Task Force, which currently has over 60 organizations represented and over 120 members.

The Department of Juvenile Justice School System is the 181st school district in Georgia. Information in this presentation will provide participants with best practice for establishing a state-wide school system within a department of juvenile justice. It will also address the steps taken by both the DJJ School System and Office of Reentry Services to establish partnerships with public school systems to reduce barriers to reentry.

Evidence

The Office of Reentry Services uses evidence-based practices and principles in the design of the Reentry framework. National experts in juvenile justice practices, Dr. Mark Lipsey, Dr. David Altschuler, and Dr. Shay Bilchik have provided guidance throughout the development of the Reentry Strategic Framework and aspects of the reentry planning process and continuity of care efforts. In addition, the DJJ School System uses the established Georgia Standards of Excellence to deliver instruction in all schools across Georgia. Through this curriculum and accreditation from AdvancED/SACS, the chances for improving reentry back into public school are increased.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Zane Shelfer has been employed with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) School System since 1998 as a teacher, school counselor, and Director of Student Support Services. He is currently the Assistant Associate Superintendent of Student Support Services where he is responsible for supervision of the Adult Education (GED) program, the Connections Graduate Program, Student Information, the School Counseling program, and the Career, Technical, Agricultural Education program. Mr. Shelfer is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), National Certified School Counselor (NCSC), Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor (CPCS), and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Georgia. In addition to his work with the Department of Juvenile Justice, Mr. Shelfer worked for four years in community mental health assessing youth and adults for mental health services.

Mr. Shelfer attended the University of Georgia where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education. He also holds a Master of Education in Counseling and Guidance from Valdosta State University and a Specialist in Education from Georgia State University. In addition, Mr. Shelfer holds an Educational Leadership certification from Georgia State University.

For the past twenty years Cathy Smith Curry has been employed with two corrections agencies in the state of Georgia, The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice for five years and fifteen years with the Georgia Department of Corrections. In Ms. Smith-Curry’s current role, she serves as the Assistant Director, in the Office of Reentry Services with Georgia DJJ. She has worked to advance practices proven to be effective in improving outcomes for justice involved youth and reducing recidivism. These strategies and interventions have added value to the transition planning process which have enhanced parental engagement and increased staff participation in the reentry planning process. Previous assignments include oversight of the Leadership Development Unit within the Training Section of the Georgia Department of Corrections. In that position, she had the direct responsibility of overseeing all leadership training programs and initiatives including Basic Management Training, Advanced Management Training, Corrections Leadership Institute, Professional Management Program, Deputy Wardens of Care and Treatment Academy, Pre-Command (Wardens/Chiefs), Command College, Sergeants’ Academy, Employee Education Initiative, E-learning. Cathy was Customer Service Champion from 2008 – 2012. Cathy understands the critical role of customer service and maintaining a highly engaged workforce in achieving organizational success. She implemented a Continuous Improvement project which focused on improving employee engagement. As customer service champion she helped GDC win over 40 Governor’s Awards and Commendations since 2008 winning the Customer Service Agency of the Year Nomination (2011) and Cathy winning the Customer Service Champion of the Year Award (2009). Cathy also served as a member of the Governor’s Office of Customer Service (OCS) Planning Committee and was asked to serve along with OCS senior management as a consultant on the nomination reviewing committee. Cathy has several certifications as a trainer for Evidence Based Programs.

Cathy is involved in her community and serves as board chair for S.H.A.R.E. House of Douglas County, a non-profit organization providing crisis intervention and a continuum of care to address the causes and effects of family violence. She also serves on the Douglas County Development Authority Board of Directors.

Keyword Descriptors

Reentry, Education, Juvenile Justice, Transition

Presentation Year

2020

Start Date

3-11-2020 9:45 AM

End Date

3-11-2020 11:00 AM

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Mar 11th, 9:45 AM Mar 11th, 11:00 AM

Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice - Education and Reentry Collaborative Programming

Session 8 (Ballroom E)

Many youth experience barriers reentering their local school system once released from confinement. The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice's Office of Reentry Services and School System work collaboratively to remove these barriers by building partnerships with school systems state-wide. This presentation will provide participants a programmatic overview and framework used to reduce barriers.