The Burlington County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Planning Board (BCJDP) is a county-wide juvenile delinquency prevention planning and implementation effort funded by the NJ Office of the Attorney General. With WRI facilitation and technical assistance, BCJDP brings together 180 stakeholders from 65 organizations representing diverse sectors including education, law enforcement, social services, faith-based institutions, and youth-serving organizations in order to reduce juvenile delinquency and prevent those already involved in the juvenile system from becoming involved in the adult criminal justice system.
The Burlington County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Planning Board partners with WRI to staff and provide technical assistance to municipal juvenile delinquency prevention efforts in select cities—including Burlington City, Pemberton Township and Willingboro—as part of the State’s juvenile delinquency prevention efforts. WRI, as technical assistance facilitators, collects, analyzes, maps and presents census, education, child welfare, and crime data in order to engage in dialogue around research findings about the needs of the community. WRI works directly with a cross section of partners to identify strategies to meet the identified needs by exploring evidence based best practices, local, county and state resources and opportunities to impact policy and practice.
The end goal of each municipality and county is to prevent youth from participating in activities which lead to involvement in the juvenile justice system and to support youth through innovative strategies for positive youth development. WRI supports these efforts by assisting in the implementation of identified solutions, the tracking of results, and the evaluation of outcomes.
The initiative has yielded positive results for youth in Burlington County
1. Decreased juvenile arrests by 35.7% in the target municipalities since 2015
2. Increased the use of Stationhouse Adjustment (SHA) — a first-time juvenile diversion effort to hold youth accountable, while preventing a formal complaint filed with the court, and thus keeping youth out of the juvenile justice system — by 900%.
3. Trained 255 Pemberton Township School District staff members in Trauma Informed Care. And established communication between the Police Department and School District to identify youth who have experienced trauma.