Office of Children and Family Services

Bridges to Health

Supervision and Treatment Services for Juveniles Program (STSJP)

Recommendation for Successful STSJP Plans

1. Statutory Requirements

Executive Law §529-b sets forth statutory requirements for participation in STSJP. A municipality that wishes to use its STSJP allocation to provide programs and services to prevent the detention and placement of youth must first submit an STSJP annual plan, as prescribed in Executive Law §529-b, for OCFS approval. The plan must detail how supervision and treatment services will be provided. Executive Law section 529-b provides guidelines for the use of STSJP funding and for requirements associated with the development of STSJP plans.

The types of services that a municipality may fund with STSJP funds include, but are not limited to, programs that:

  1. provide or facilitate support to the target populations for mental health disorders, substance abuse problems, or learning disabilities that contribute to such youth being at risk for detention, residential placement, or return to detention or residential placement;
  2. provide temporary respite care;
  3. provide family therapy or support or explore alternate housing options for youth who are at risk for detention or placement due to the absence of an available home;
  4. provide post-release support within the youth's community; or
  5. reduce arrest rates or recidivism.

The chief executive officer of a municipality that wishes to participate in STSJP must designate a lead agency for the purposes of planning and administering services provided under the program.

Executive Law section 529-b also requires that participating municipalities engage in a collaborative effort in the community to support the successful planning and administration of STSJP-funded programs. The STSJP plan that a municipality submits must be developed in cooperation with the local departments responsible for probation, law enforcement, detention, diversion, and social services, as well as with courts, service providers, schools, families and youth development programs. OCFS is especially concerned that there be ongoing and strong collaboration between the Department of Probation, Department of Social Services, youth bureau and any other agency that may be designated as a lead agency.

A municipality submitting claims for reimbursement must certify that STSJP funds were not used to supplant other state or local funds. However, in accordance with Executive Law §529-b(ii)(d), a municipality may seek STSJP reimbursement for services that were provided under a contract that was in existence on September 30, 2010, to provide services that were funded through Community Optional Preventive Services, alternatives to detention, alternatives to residential placement, preventive, independent living, or after care services.

Two or more municipalities may submit a joint application to establish and operate services under STSJP. Agreements must include provisions for the proportionate cost for each municipality, manner of employment of personnel, and designation of the fiscal officer from one municipality to be responsible for the moneys made available for this program. Each municipality will make its own claims, but may agree to appoint a single disbursing municipality.

A municipality may transfer funds from its detention block grant to increase the total funds available to it for STSJP in order to enhance its STSJP program.

2. OCFS Recommendations

OCFS encourages municipalities to target their use of STSJP funds toward system reforms and programs that effectively serve youth who are at a high risk of detention or residential placement.

OCFS recommends that there be a standing committee of STSJP stakeholders to engage in planning for STSJP. The following group must be part of the planning process, and OCFS strongly urges inclusion of families and youth in all aspects of STSJP plan development as part of each local planning body for STSJP. Municipalities must specifically document their collaborations in their STSJP plans.

When developing an STSJP plan, each municipality should rely on data to support the development of a continuum of detention and residential placement alternatives with various programs and degrees of supervision. The system should operate on the principle of using the least restrictive alternative possible, be culturally competent, and be accessible to the youth served. OCFS submits data to each municipality prior to the submission of the STSJP plan.

3. STSJP Plan Revision - Continuum of Service Domains

During 2017, OCFS will support municipalities as they expand the STSJP continuum of services to align program categories with key decision points in the youth justice system. This continuum is an outcome-based approach to assigning services to youth and families. These domains will assist in planning of services and help measure their impact. When developing STSJP plans, OCFS encourages municipalities to consider programs that would best meet the needs of the youth involved in their juvenile justice system. Below is a brief summary of the five domains previously explained in an OCFS webinar. OCFS will revise the current STSJP plan application to provide municipalities with the ability to designate desired programs within the domains listed below, and will provide training opportunities and technical support to enable municipalities to appropriately complete their 2017-2018 STSJP plans.

  • Prevention: Programs serve youth with no juvenile justice involvement, but have characteristics that place them at risk for juvenile justice contact. These programs utilize prosocial activities that engage at risk youth in order to prevent juvenile delinquency. Example: Boys and Girls Club, YMCA/YWCA, Mentoring or other youth development activities.
  • Early Intervention: Programs utilize prosocial activities in a targeted strategy to engage youth at risk of or alleged to be a juvenile delinquent or a person in need of supervision in order to prevent further penetration into the juvenile justice system. A youth who is on juvenile delinquent intake or persons in need of supervision diversion would be a good candidate for this service type.
  • Alternatives to Detention (ATD): Programs are intended to reduce the reliance on secure and non-secure detention placement for youth charged as a person in need of supervision or with delinquency. They are pre-dispositional programs that increase supervision in the community to help ensure that youth come back to court and remain crime free until the disposition of their case. The program service period is limited to the court case processing time frames.
    Examples: specialized community supervision, temporary respite care and electronic monitoring programs.
  • Alternatives to Placement (ATP): Programs serve adjudicated youth who would otherwise be placed in a residential facility, but can be maintained in the community. Programs should target and address criminogenic risk and needs identified. Example: to provide or facilitate support to youth for mental health disorders, substance abuse programs, temporary respite care, or learning disabilities that contribute to detention or placement.
  • Aftercare/Reentry Programming: Programs that prepare and support youth returning from out of home placement for reentry into the community and programs that reduce length of stay for residential placement. Example: to provide or facilitate support to youth for mental health disorders, substance abuse programs, temporary respite care, or learning disabilities that contribute to detention or placement.

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