Author: Darin Poynter

Why Art? Blog X…by Joe Szafarowicz

Why Art? Blog X

Learning in Detention

Throughout this blog I have indicated how impressed we are with the dedication, attention to detail, cooperation and enthusiasm of the youth in the art classes. They give us their best effort every class with few exceptions. We are also impressed with the progress they make in the short time that they are with us. They are learning.

We have also noted that staff who work with the youth feel the same way. Judges, counselors, JDO staff, all have observed that learning is taking place in detention. That awareness is significant.

A recent article in the Juvenile Justice Center newsletter, written by Marty McIntyre, Public Relations and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Toledo, Ohio Juvenile Justice Center attests to the fact that professionals throughout the system recognize that learning is taking place and that art integration can play an important part in programming for youth in custody.

I would like to include Marty McIntyre’s article for the JJC newsletter because it is beautifully written and captures the essence of what the art program attempts to achieve in each and every art class in detention.       

JJC Newsletter

Jan. 12, 2015

Volume 12, Issue No. 1

Learning Is Certainly Happening Here

A new art gallery, featuring two dimensional and three dimensional youth artwork, opened at the Juvenile Justice Center on December 10. Invitees to the official gallery opening represented media, business, friends, and family.

What the art represented on the walls and in display cases spanned an equally broad spectrum of talent, training and tenacity. The gallery opening theme (Learning Is Certainly Happening Here) derived from a similar observation made by one of the American Correctional Association auditors during YTC’s recent audit in November.

Both the “Art Integrated Math” program taught at JDC and the “Discovery Art” program in use at YTC are under the direction of Joe Szafarowicz and Jan Revill, of ArtWorks. As both instructors explained, the art standards utilized at YTC and JDC are the same education standards used statewide. Each piece of artwork displayed represented a different lesson focus. In addition, there were always “non-art” lessons (some planned, some serendipitous) cultivated in each project—learning patience as the artist waited for a section of a water color to dry, or taking a chance with a new medium or technique because the art teacher earned their trust.

Two YTC artists, chosen to represent the youth, also addressed the gallery, sharing their journeys as young artists.

Thanks to the Court staff who welcomed guests and also provided further information to the media representatives in attendance. The gallery opening was covered in both The Blade and the Toledo Free Press.

NPJS Needs Your Help!!!


In September 2013, OJJDP re-awarded the National Center for Youth in Custody grant to the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS).


With that award, NPJS recommitted to developing quality products and resources for the youth in custody profession, resources that are vital to the field in its efforts to provide services to an increasingly difficult population of youth. The past twelve months have been a very productive period for NPJS/NCYC.

NPJS has developed the following quality Resources for the field:

1. The Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement is a new web-based resource designed to enhance the knowledge, experience and expertise of juvenile justice and adult corrections practitioners, researchers and academicians in guiding the development of operational policy, procedure and practice, training and staff development – all at a few key strokes away on a computer or mobile reading device. The link for the Desktop Guide is

2. The Journal of Applied Juvenile Justice Services, a refereed, multi-disciplinary on-line publication promotes the values of NPJS by exploring and explaining complex evidence-based principles that direct care practitioners and administrators must apply in daily practice. NPJS is currently accepting articles for review by the editorial board. The first articles will be available to the field shortly (Dec. 2014). The link for the journal is

NPJS supported valuable Research to guide future practice in the field:

NPJS has played a supporting role in two research projects that came to fruition during this year, and they will introduce a new day for juvenile detention and possible training opportunities.

1. “Think Before You Act” is a research publication by the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago that chronicles the reform efforts at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. This work is important because it is the first evidence-based research comparing the effects of two distinctly different approaches to running a juvenile detention center.

2. “The Relationship Between Perceived Effectiveness of Training and Organizational Commitment in Juvenile Facility Employees” was examined from a national perspective by Dr. Christopher R. Spriggs. This research indicated that changes in training models can significantly improve the organizational commitment of juvenile facility employees. Dr. Spriggs posits that committed employees in juvenile services will help bolster service delivery and assist in improving outcomes for youth. For more information, please contact Dr. Christopher R. Spriggs at

NPJS continues to lead the nation in the development of relevant training curricula and the delivery of quality professional development opportunities.

A. Webinars

NPJS/NCYC reached thousands of juvenile justice and support staff through the delivery of two webinar series:

1. Conditions of Confinement Series:
• Isolation Practices with Vulnerable Populations: Impact and Alternatives
• Reducing the Risk of Suicide with Vulnerable Populations
• Access to Healthcare for Vulnerable Populations

2. What Works: The Practitioner’s Response to Theory and Evidence Series:
• Trauma-Informed Care
• Cognitive Behavioral Approaches
• Positive Youth Development
• Screening and Assessment of Youth in Confinement*
*Live webinar conducted at the 20th National Symposium on Juvenile Services

B. Curriculum Development Project

It had been over ten years since the modules from the OJJDP funded NPJS Detention and Corrections Careworker Training Curricula and the National Training Curriculum for Educators of Youth in Confinement had been updated. NPJS/NCYC began year one of a three-year plan to update both the content and the training modalities of the careworker and educator modules, accomplishing seven updates.

The 7 modules that were updated, modernized and strengthened include:
• Youth with Mental Health Disorders in Custody
• Understanding Adolescent Development through Current Brain Research
• Addressing the Mixed-Ability Classroom in Confinement Settings
• Suicide Prevention Among Youth in Custody
• Using Positive Youth Development Strategies to Engage Youth
• Behavior Management: Shaping Youth Success through Coaching, Modeling & Teaching
• Engaging Youth in Learning

Each new training module includes a hard copy lesson plan for in-house trainers, pre-and post- training activities to enhance the transfer of learning, and on-line e-learning modules (available in December, 2014), as well as, an NPJSpeaks video component.

c. NPJSpeaks

Shot in the format of the popular TED Talks, NPJSpeaks are videotaped presentations of national experts presenting material in an engaging story-like manner. The use of the NPJSpeaks videos embedded in the training material allow all facilities to bring the expert “live” to the facility to enhance the training program. NPJSpeaks can be previewed on YouTube.

UNFORTUNATELY, effective September 30, 2014, OJJDP diverted support for the National Center for Youth in Custody to other priorities – OJJDP closed the NCYC.

Without your help, continued development of resources, research, professional development and technical assistance for the youth in custody field, such as those developed in the past year will not be possible.

We at NPJS/NCYC think that the accomplishments of this past year are important and that momentum is strong. Although we are saddened by the decision to close the NCYC, we are not deterred in our efforts to bring quality products and resources to help you do your jobs better, and we will continue to do so for as long as possible.

After conferring with several of our closest mentors, NPJS believes the following plan will put us in a situation where we can best serve the needs of facilities and staff. For those of you familiar with the Co-Op concept (as in Food Co-Ops, Day-Care Co-ops), this is the premise – a facility supported center for youth in custody, going forward referred to as the Institute of Applied Juvenile Justice Services (IAJJS).

The Institute of Applied Juvenile Justice Services will provide the following services:

1. Professional Development

• The IAJJS will conduct 10 webinars between January-December 2015.
• The IAJJS will continue to update the NPJS Detention and Corrections Careworker training curricula and the National Training Curriculum for Educators of Youth in Confinement. This commitment is based on the 3-year plan that was originally approved by OJJDP for the National Center for Youth in Custody. The Center will continue to produce videos to include in the NPJSpeaks series, a series of videotaped presentations made by national experts for use as enhancements to training. There are currently 6 NPJSpeaks that have been taped and will be available soon on the NPJS website.
• When necessary and to the extent possible, the IAJJS will work with curriculum developers to customize existing professional development training modules to meet the individual needs of organizations.

2. Technical Assistance

• The IAJJS will provide all members of the Co-op conference call/WebEx consulting with Center staff and designated experts.
• The IAJJS will broker partnerships with Co-op members and designated experts in order to facilitate problem-solving.
• The IAJJS, in partnership with the requesting facility, will develop and implement TA plans on a fee for service basis.
• The IAJJS will use business/corporate/foundation matching funds to supplement the cost of TA requests.
• Areas of interest for TA may include, but are not limited to PREA Audit Preparation, Conditions of Confinement, Facility and Program Assessment, Professional Development Assessment

3. Resources

• The IAJJS will develop and maintain an active website.
• The IAJJS will identify, collect and distribute model policies and procedures.
• The IAJJS will commit to updating the Desktop Guide, a new virtual resource available (9/14) through a partnership between NPJS and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), as needed.
• The IAJJS will house the NPJS Journal of Applied Juvenile Justice Services. Access to the journal may cost an additional fee per facility membership to support the development (honorarium for authors) of the journal.

Advisory Board

A seven (7) member Advisory Board will govern the activities of the IAJJS. Active juvenile detention/corrections, adult facility administrators and/or assistant administrators with an emphasis on a balance of representation from small to extra-large facilities are eligible to serve as an Advisory Board Member. Advisory Board Members will serve two (2) year terms.

Advisory Board Members serving the two years receive one free membership year in the Co-Op for their facility. The NPJS cannot offer a free membership year to board members representing public/private agencies/associations representing multiple facilities due to the restrictions this would place on the budget structure. NPJS would be willing to negotiate other incentives for those board members.

Facility Membership

Facilities pay an annual membership fee to support the staff and operations of the Center/Co-Op. The membership fee structure is based on the facility’s rated population capacity.

Annual Fee Goal Revenue

Small Facilities (25 or fewer beds) $500.00 25 $12,500
Medium Facilities (26-100 beds) $1,000.00 25 $25,000
Large Facilities (101-200 beds) $2,500.00 15 $37,500
Extra-Large Facilities (more than 200 beds)
$5,000.00 3 $15,000
Public/Private Agencies/Associations
representing multiple facilities $10,000.00 3 $30,000

*Our goal is to get to $100,000.00 each year.

Business/Corporate/Foundation/Individual Match Campaign

NPJS will approach businesses, corporations, foundations, and individuals to initiate a match campaign to raise additional funding for the Facility Supported Institute of Applied Juvenile Justice Services Co-Op. Targeted businesses and corporations would include minority business owners (representing the majority population of youth in facilities) and businesses that provide services to juvenile justice facilities – such as Bob Barker, food suppliers and architectural firms that are building new facilities, etc. These businesses benefit from facilities staying open.

*The goal for funds to support the Center is $100,000.00 annually.

Help Grow the Co-Op

Please feel free to share this information with other facility directors. As with any Co-Op, the more members there are, the more services can be made available to the field.

NPJS is looking for individual champions in each state who will further membership in the Co-op in their state. Individuals willing to work with NPJS staff to bolster state membership can earn a discount on the individual facility membership.