Juvenile Reentry Task Force Benefits from Youth Perspective

For the last several months, Steve Miller, President of the InSight Youth Leadership Board, has been an active member of the Iowa Juvenile Reentry Task Force, offering the perspective of a young adult to this important policy discussion.  The Task Force, convened by the Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning in the Iowa Department of Human Rights, has met regularly since January 2015 to explore barriers and make recommendations to improve young people’s transition from a juvenile justice facility to their home communities and adulthood. 

Young people re-entering their communities from a court-ordered placement in a juvenile justice facility face a number of obstacles to make that transition successfully and avoid recidivism and potential incarceration as an adult.  The Iowa Juvenile Reentry Task Force has been working to identify and make recommendations to address those barriers.  
“Having the opportunity to be on the Task Force has been a great experience.  As a group, we have been able to have an impact on policies that will help youth aging out of the Juvenile Justice system have a better experience.  As this work continues, I hope that I can still help and advocate for the needs of these young people,” shared Miller.

Among the recommendations the Juvenile Reentry Task has made to reduce recidivism and improve the transition for youth are:

The Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning has submitted a grant application to the federal government based on the Task Force recommendations.  If successful, Iowa could receive funding of more than a million dollars to implement these strategies.  A decision on the application is expected in September. 

Steve Miller
Steve Miller (left) and Mark Woodward (right)