Justice Rhonda Wood and Connie Hickman Tanner were selected to present at the Models for Change 10th Annual Working Conference on the Arkansas Supreme Court Commission on Children, Youth and Families and its work on Juvenile Justice Reform. In September 2014, the Commission adopted the four principles outlined in the Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Outcomes for Youth. It summarized the latest research into the following four key principles:
Principle 1: Base supervision, service, and resource allocation decisions on the results of validated risk and needs assessments.
Principle 2: Adopt and effectively implement programs and services demonstrated to reduce recidivism and improve other youth outcomes, and use data to evaluate the results and direct system improvements.
Principle 3: Employ a coordinated approach across service systems to address youths’ needs.
Principle 4: Tailor system policies, programs, and supervision to reflect the distinct developmental needs of adolescents.
Justice Wood chairs the Juvenile Justice Committee, which is diligently working with various judicial leaders and stakeholders on a strategic plan to implement these principles. To further this work, the AOC has received a grant from the MacArthur Foundation to implement a risk and needs assessment to aid judges with delinquency disposition decision making, probation terms, and case planning. The AOC has also received a grant from the State Justice Institute to receive technical assistance from the Robert F. Kennedy Resource Center for Juvenile Justice.