Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $115,336)
Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) is the Juvenile Corrections System for Ohio. DYS is statutorily mandated to confine felony offenders, ages 10 to 21, who have been adjudicated and committed by one of Ohio’s 88 county juvenile courts. We operate three facilities that house over 400 youth in total. The resources provided by this grant will directly impact ANY youth in Ohio mandated to DYS.
An extremely limited number of resources exist to fulfill juvenile Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standard 115.333, Resident Education. The standard requires materials to be provided to youth who are incarcerated in an age-appropriate fashion that explains an agency’s zero-tolerance toward sexual abuse and harassment in confinement. In reviewing available materials for purchase, most are focused on adult inmates and do not use language centered towards youth or understanding the different developmental levels that youth enter facilities at.
DYS proposes creating deliverables such as a youth-centered intake education video, pamphlets, and handouts. Additionally, create an ongoing youth curriculum that explains sexual abuse and harassment, what zero tolerance means, how youth can report and respond to these incidents, and what resources are available to them. This will support the activity of methods to report sexual abuse when it occurs in juvenile confinement facilities. It will enhance the education of what PREA is and what youth rights are.
The proposal outlines several objectives, including:
Objective 1: Engage with community partners to ensure engagement and willingness
Objective 2: Solicit and hire a media company with youth/child experience – Timeline TBD
Objective 3: Community partners, DYS, media company work to create a draft curriculum
Objective 4: Upon approval of draft curriculum, team works towards creating mixed media platforms to best engage youth (i.e., intake videos, pamphlets, handouts, games, materials)
Objective 5: Team test pilots intake curriculum at an intake facility and other ongoing curriculum at a non-intake facility
Objective 6: Review test pilot sites' feedback, engagement, comprehension levels from youth/staff
Objective 7: Make final changes to curriculum before large scale rollout
DYS will work with community providers who specialize in working with survivors of sexual abuse and harassment, underserved communities, specifically communities of color, and other providers to ensure all characteristics are considered when creating content. These community providers could include Rape Crisis Centers, LGBTQI Advocacy Centers, state/local universities, and communities of color advocates.