Proud and Innovative Programs
Mississippi uses Byrne JAG to improve juvenile court data systems. The state will focus on integrating the case management data of court-ordered drug rehabilitation programs as an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders and the Youth Court Information Delivery System expansion of judicial resources for court personnel and to eliminate duplicate data.
The Mississippi Community Crime Prevention program will use Byrne JAG to address crime prevention at the local level by helping to build coalitions of the faith community, community-based organizations, parents, business, the elderly, youth, and law enforcement. This program is a joint effort by local law enforcement officials and citizen groups to take the initiative to ensure the safety of their communities.
Problem Solving Courts
With its Byrne JAG grant, Mississippi will develop a Family Drug Court Program. This statewide local initiative effectively and efficiently processes abuse and neglect cases for both parents and children. It provides parents with the skills they need to become effective parents, provide a safe and stable home environment and, ultimately, provide children with a better opportunity of becoming productive members of society.
Mississippi will use Byrne JAG to equip its crime laboratory with the necessary instruments and to hire an evidence technician/case coordinator. The analysis of methamphetamine clandestine laboratory evidence is more difficult than that in a typical drug case because drugs and precursors must be identified as well as the chemicals involved in the manufacturing process. This program will help the Gulf Coast Crime Laboratory.
Mississippi will use Byrne JAG funds to support its juvenile mentoring programs statewide. The mentoring program will recognize children’s special needs, screen youth who want to be involved in the program, and screen mentors to determine motivation and degree of commitment.
Alternatives to Juvenile Detention
Mississippi will use Byrne JAG for alternatives to juvenile detention programs statewide. This program will provide safe and adequate alternative placements for youth. Evidence-based programs most beneficial to each community will be used, and each child’s progress will be closely monitored during, and upon completion of, the program.
Mississippi will use Byrne JAG to assure mental health assessments for youth in detention centers. This statewide initiative will address the unmet needs of juveniles involved in various forms of detention who have mental health challenges that are not addressed by current system programs, resulting in repeat offenses.
Research and Evaluation
Mississippi will use Byrne JAG for Recovery Act evaluation. The state planning agency (SAA) will contract with entities to conduct a performance and outcome evaluation of all programs funded through the Recovery Act.
Mississippi will use Byrne JAG funds for a juvenile justice research consortium. The state will develop a pilot institute for juvenile justice research to support and develop recommendations by the state legislature that a centralized and comprehensive research entity be created as a strategy for changing the state’s juvenile justice system to better meet the needs of juveniles statewide.