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Juvenile ReEntry System Effort (JReS)

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Juvenile ReEntry System Effort (JReS)

The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR), Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (CJJP), is overseeing the Juvenile Reentry Task Force (JRTF) in the development and implementation of the juvenile justice reentry system. Multiple state agency partners are assisting with institutionalization and/or development of policy, procedure, and structural elements of its Juvenile Reentry System (JReS).   The goal of JReS is the reduction of recidivism rates and to improve other youth outcomes through implementation of comprehensive system-wide reforms to juvenile reentry policies and processes which include: enhanced cross-system coordination, utilization of quality and effective programming, and prioritization of resources.  The ongoing effort was initiated and has been sustained with competitive 2nd Chance Act Funding from the federal Officer of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in 2015-16.   

Active partners in the JRES effort include:

  • State Court Administration (SCA)
  • Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
  • Iowa Aftercare Services Network (IASN)
  • Iowa Workforce Development (IWD)
  • Juvenile Court Services (JCS)
  • Department of Education (DE)
  • Iowa State University’s (ISU) Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE)
  • Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) state and local agencies
  • Boys' State Training School (STS)
  • Participating residential treatment programs  

CJJP was awarded a second 3-year (October 2019 – September 2022) federal grant from OJJDP that will expand and enhance JReS.  The effort included enhancements to the work in existing facilities and other out-of-home placement settings in varied jurisdictions throughout Iowa.  Training was conducted for placement facility staff and for the multiple regional state agency staff (IWD, SCA, IVRS, DHS, etc.) in proximity to the facilities. 

In 2022, a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) candidate intern with the Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (CJJP) developed and implemented an occupation-based life skills development curriculum aligned with the Occupational Participatory Justice Framework.  The purpose of this curriculum was to support youth (aged 14-17) in their readiness for reentry to their community upon release from out-of-home placement.  The topics covered in the curriculum included: community transportation, healthy relationships, housing, insurance/community safety, meal planning & preparation, medication management, money management, community resources, self-regulation, time management, and work readiness.  Juvenile Re-entry Occupational Therapy Life Skills Program Summary and Evaluation

Key state partners have provided specific policy relative to their respective agency's work with juvenile justice system youth.  Implementation and planning efforts have been conducted by local and state service providers and the treatment programs.  These efforts have supported the development of transitional/reentry transition timelines, depicted in schematics, that identify the key steps and activities that should occur though every step of a youth being placed in a group care facility and the transition back to a parental or community-based home.   

JReS Members:




Steve Michael, Co-Chair

Div. of Criminal & Juvenile Justice Planning

Des Moines

Gary Niles, Co-Chair

Chief JCO, Juvenile Court Services, 3rd Judicial District

Sioux City

Laura Abbott

Iowa Finance Authority

Des Moines

Terri Johanson

Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP)


Teresa Burke

Polk County Decategorization

Des Moines

Amy Carpenter

Child Advocacy Board/CASA

Sac City

Liz CraneLutheran Services of IowaWaverly

Larry Cranston

Boys' State Training School


Shirley Faircloth

Chief JCO, Juvenile Court Services, 2nd Judicial District


Patrick Garcia

Boys Town Iowa

Council Bluffs

Stephanie Hernandez

Family Resources


Shawn Hollenkamp

Woodward Academy


Jan Huff

Iowa Department of Health & Human Services

Des Moines

Mary Jackson

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Des Moines

Chad Jensen

Director, Juvenile Court Services

Des Moines

Steve Kremer

Juvenile Court Services, 3rd Judicial District


Ryan Meester

Boys' State Training School


Mike Mitchell

Four Oaks Family & Children's Services

Cedar Rapids

Eric Schilling

Young House Family ServicesBurlington

Christina Scott

Boys' State Training School


Richelle Seitz

Iowa Workforce Development

Des Moines

Nikki Thomson



Michelle Tilotta

Iowa Department of Health & Human Services

Des Moines

Kathy Vrieze

Juvenile Court Services, State Court Administration

Sioux City


Mack Shelley, Ph.D.

Iowa State University - RISE


Arlene de la Mora, Ph.D.

Iowa State University - RISE


Past Juvenile ReEntry Efforts

  • Juvenile Reentry - Reengagement Plus! 2016
  • 2015-2019 Juvenile Reentry Effort
  • COVID-19 Related Facility Survey--CJJP surveyed Iowa’s Chief Juvenile Court Officers (CJCO's) and a selection of group care facilities (Boys Town, Clarinda Academy, Family Resources, Forest Ridge, Four Oaks, Lutheran Services of Iowa-Bremwood, Woodward Academy, Youth Homes of Mid-America, Young House-Christamore), and the Boys' State Training School.  The survey sought generalized responses on "what's working" with reentry because of, or in spite of, COVID-19, including barriers Juvenile Court Services and facilities are facing. The survey results can be accessed here:  JReS COVID-19 Survey June 2020