JACKSONVILLE, Florida, May 21, 2010 – Trustees of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund awarded $500,000 to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Oakland, California, to support the organization’s Center for Girls and Young Women, based in Jacksonville.
The award — which was among 19 grants, valued at more than $2.5 million, made by the trustees during their May meeting — continues the Fund’s long support for programs and initiatives that both create a healthy juvenile justice system in Florida and provide prevention and intervention services to keep young people out of the system.
The Center for Girls and Young Women was established in 2008, with support from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, to bring national scope to the work around gender-specific programming for juveniles. This work has long been a focus for NCCD, and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund has supported extensive research and advocacy around the needs of girls in Florida’s juvenile justice system.
Since opening, demand for the Center’s services has become evident.
Center staff developed and published the Girls Matters curriculum and presented it at nine national conferences. Staff provided training to 14 agencies and 29 residential programs in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
With a team of state and national experts, staff is spearheading the reform effort to restructure the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice awarded the Center its first direct service program, Justice for All Girls Services (JAGS) at the SW FL Regional Detention Center. This demonstration program will provide a model for service delivery.
The Center was invited to provide testimony at the first ever Congressional Hearing on Girls in Juvenile Justice. This has opened the door to work with Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to develop national legislation to address these issues.
“Jurisdictions across the country are struggling with how to handle the influx of girls in the system and how to get them out of their systems,” said Alexander Busanksy, incoming president and CEO of NCCD. “The Center has established pragmatic and practical solutions that are lacking in other states and jurisdictions. The substantial work that has been done in Florida can be brought to states like New York, Ohio, Maryland and others that are seeking remedies on how to effectively address the disparate treatment of girls.”
The current grant will enable the Center to continue advocacy, research and training, with the goal of addressing the disparate treatment and allocation of funding for girls in juvenile justice; the response to girls; the lack of gender-responsive resource and training tools that are available for staff working with girls; and the void in gender-responsive research and evaluation.
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund makes grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The Fund has assets of more than $265 million and has awarded $291 million in grants since 1977.
Sherry Magill, president
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