260173 Promoting positive environments for high-risk youth by working at the nexus of justice, education, and health: Lessons from Oakland, CA

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Sonia Jain, DrPH , Health and Human Development Program, WestEd, Oakland, CA
David Yusem , Restorative Justice Program, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, CA
Alison Cohen , School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Henrissa Bassey, MPH , Health and Human Development Program, WestEd, Oakland, CA
Mansi Master, MPA , Health and Human Development Program, WestEd, Oakland, CA
Priya Jagannathan , Department of Human Services, City of Oakland, Oakland, CA
High-risk youth in juvenile justice systems are more likely to attain low levels of education, suffer from mental health issues, behavioral problems, chronic disease, earn lower wages, and re-enter into the criminal justice system. Similarly, within school environments, adolescents who commit an offense are often subjected to suspensions, expulsions, and arrests, which in turn make them more likely to drop out of school and continue to break the law. Boys of color are disproportionately affected by fragmented justice, education and health services and systems that, in addition to adverse life conditions since childhood, perpetuate the cycle of violence and problem behaviors into adulthood. Policymakers, programs, and systems across juvenile justice, education, and health are beginning to recognize the importance of holistically promoting youth well-being by intervening early to promote protective factors and taking a strengths-based approach. We discuss Oakland public schools who are applying restorative justice principles, which, unlike the traditional retributive justice model, are positive, less punitive, and recognize how schools and communities, in addition to individuals, are affected by offenses. These Oakland schools are applying restorative justice principles to promote a healthy school climate, re-integrate marginalized students, and prevent violence. Furthermore, Oakland's Juvenile Reentry Initiative, as part of a comprehensive system of care, provides the most at-risk youth with community-based preventative programming, comprehensive assessment, working to ensure successful transition to community and schools. We will share lessons learned for developing effective strength-based multi-disciplinary systems of care for high-risk youth to build resilience and positive trajectories.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. describe how practitioners in public health, education, and juvenile justice can work together to promote youth well-being and prevent violence. 2. identify opportunities to apply lessons from these examples to their own programs and research promoting healthy youth

Keywords: Health Disparities, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have published and presented on violence as a social determinant of health and serve as evaluator of juvenile justice and restorative justice programs in addition to programs that serve to link education, health, and justice, including those featured here. My research interests include resilience among urban youth.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.