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Performance-based Standards (PbS)

Since 2004 all Juvenile Justice facilities have participated in the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators’ Performance-based Standards (PbS) , and this year all the facilities graduated to “Level I” status in the PbS system.

PbS and the division continue to place a great deal of importance on collecting quality data, analyzing the results and embarking on structured improvement activities throughout the year as a method to evaluate and improve the way services are being delivered to delinquent kids and their families. During fiscal year 2007 national PbS consultant Tom Turos completed tours of the 12 Alaska facilities. He noted the consistent and caring nature with which Juvenile Justice facility employees screen youth for health and mental health problems, and the standard format with which we report incidents.

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The Bethel Youth Facility was honored in 2007 to be the recipient of the first annual Performance-based Standards Barbara Allen-Hagen Award for excellence in the operation of a juvenile detention facility. To be commended are Patricia Zulkosky (current superintendent, middle of photo) and Patricia Leeman (current deputy director of operations and former superintendent, left in photo) for their dedication toward the self-improvement efforts at making the Bethel facility a safe and caring environment for both youth and staff. This recognition is only possible because of the efforts of all Bethel staff, and it reminds us of the exceptional caliber and commitment of the people we work with every day.

Aggression Replacement Training

Aggression Replacement Training is a research-based model that the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has approved as a Best Practice model. The goal of Aggression Replacement Training is to improve social skill competence, anger control and moral reasoning. The program incorporates three specific interventions: skill-streaming, anger-control training, and training in moral reasoning. Skill streaming uses role playing to teach youth pro-social skills. Anger-control training has each youth bring to each session one or more descriptions of recent anger outbursts. Training in moral reasoning is designed to enhance youths’ sense of fairness and justice needs of the other participants.

The Aggression Replacement Training program has been evaluated in numerous studies. The Washington State study found that when the training is delivered competently, the program reduces felony recidivism and is cost-effective. In Washington the program showed a 24-percent reduction in crime and it generated $11.66 in benefits (avoided crime costs) for each $1 spent on the program. An additional benefit to having staff trained in this method is the broad application of the cognitive behavioral therapy model as staff work with youth outside of the Aggression Replacement Training group setting. Each high-risk juvenile prevented from adopting a life of crime could save the country between $1.7 million and $2.3 million dollars, according to University of Vanderbilt professor Mark Cohen.

Juvenile Justice has implemented Aggression Replacement Training in several locations around the state, with trained staff directly providing the curriculum to juveniles under probation supervision and residing in juvenile facilities. A goal for the coming year is to provide this proven, effective intervention to youth in schools and communities particularly those communities where criminal street gangs are a rising concern.

Aggression Replacement Training Facilitators

Aggression Replacement Training Facilitators; Pictured: Sam Blackwell, JJO Anchorage, Shea Hallett, JPO Fairbanks, Rob Seward (in back), Training Specialist Juneau, Christina Agloinga, JPO Nome, Rebekah Haussner, JJO Anchorage, Jeremy Abercrombie, JJO Anchorage.  

Pictured above: Sam Blackwell, JJO Anchorage, Shea Hallett, JPO Fairbanks, Rob Seward (in back), Training Specialist Juneau, Christina Agloinga, JPO Nome, Rebekah Haussner, JJO Anchorage, Jeremy Abercrombie, JJO Anchorage.

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