The RWJF Reclaiming Futures Initiative

Laura Nissen, Jeffrey A. Butts, Daniel Merrigan, and M. Kate Kraft (2006). The RWJF Reclaiming Futures Initiative: Improving Substance Abuse Interventions for Justice-Involved Youth. Juvenile & Family Court Journal, 57(4), 39-51.

Juvenile justice systems in the United States do not always respond effectively to substance abuse problems among young offenders. In 2002, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched a 10-community demonstration project to address this problem. Reclaiming Futures (RF) relies on community partnerships to improve treatment quality, strengthen local leadership, expand inter-organizational collaboration, and create systems of shared performance management. The initial findings of a cross-site evaluation suggest that Reclaiming Futures is yielding important and positive change. Bi-annual surveys of key informants measure the quality and integration of juvenile justice and substance abuse treatment systems in each community. Of 13 indices measured by the surveys, 11 showed significant improvements between 2003 and 2005.