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Project for addicted teens expands

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Following a five-year pilot program that provides services to teen addicts in the criminal justice system, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced plans to increase funding and expand the initiative to additional U.S. cities.

The foundation touted success of its Reclaiming Futures initiative, citing research by the Urban Institute and the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children that says the quality of juvenile justice and treatment services have improved.

The foundation awarded an additional $6.5 million to support the program’s 10 pilot sites over the next two years, and to fund the creation of new sites over the next four years.

The program’s model combines system reform, improved treatment and community engagement to help teens in the justice system gain freedom from drug and alcohol addiction.

Plans also are in the works to create a national resource center to collect data and case studies for other communities interested in finding ways to improve services for addicted youth in the justice system.

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