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Juvenile Justice System Improvement (SMART) Project

Juvenile Justice System Improvement (SMART) Project

Iowa is one of only three states to receive a 2-year federal planning grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for the purpose of developing a comprehensive, statewide plan to improve Iowa's juvenile justice system.  The grant provides an opportunity to partner with national experts from the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG), National Youth Screening and Assessment Partners (NYSAP), and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown (CJJR) to conduct an extensive assessment of Iowa’s juvenile justice system in order to identify strengths and areas for improvement.

The anticipated outcomes of this project are reduced recidivism, improved outcomes for youth, increased public safety, and reduced disproportionate minority contact through the development of a comprehensive plan which will standardize policies and practices and ensure the quality and effectiveness of services that youth receive.

The SMART Leadership Team is composed of juvenile justice stakeholders from all three branches of government.  This team, with guidance from national consultants and local practitioners, is tasked with reaching consensus on priorities for improvement, identifying necessary partners, and developing an ambitious but achievable plan for the future of Iowa's juvenile justice system.