Juvenile Justice Innovation and Impact Network Newsletter

A Policy & Research Publication

Volume 5. December 2022


Current Network Activities

Get to Know Our Intervention Development Team Interventions:

Social Network Theory and Motivational Interviewing

Entertainment Education

"Young people are going to learn about sex and our question has to be where do we want them to learn?"

-Tamara Kreinin

Director, Population and Reproductive Health at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

A Flurry of Festivities

As 2022 nears its end, the Juvenile Justice Innovation and Impact Network (JJIIN)'s intervention development teams have been putting the finishing touches on their innovative programs. In October, our Social Network Theory-Motivational Interviewing (SNT-MI) teams began feasibility testing their interventions in juvenile justice settings. Public Health Seattle King County (PHSKC) is gathering qualitative feedback from their feasibility test participants. Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) is currently conducting feasibility testing with youth. As of the beginning of December, our Entertainment Education (EE) teams are well underway; PCI Media completed film production in New Mexico, while the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies (IWES) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Global Arts and Health Center have the first rough cuts of their films undergoing review. In January 2023, the EE teams will begin preliminary effectiveness testing. With seven months remaining for the JJIIN project, our intervention development teams are diligently testing and fine tuning their programs.

On October 24-26, members of the JJIIN team attended the National Conference on Correctional Health Care, to present information about the SNT-MI and EE interventions our teams have created to health care providers in correctional settings. The session was well-attended by stakeholders interested in learning about innovative ways to improve sexual health outcomes for their youth populations. A summary of our presentation is included in this newsletter.

Get to Know Our Intervention Development Team Interventions:

Social Network Theory and Motivational Interviewing Interventions

Social Network Theory posits that by increasing a participant's awareness of their social network and its influence on risky sexual behaviors, they will have increased motivation to reduce their sexual risk-taking behavior and work to restructure their social environments.

RAND Intervention

CONNECT is a social network mapping tool intended to be used by counselors working with youth involved in the justice system. The mapping tool provides a visual picture of how people influence the participant's decision-making process regarding risky sexual behaviors. The counselor uses the tool along with Motivational Interviewing to guide a discussion with the participant about their friends, family, mentors, and romantic partners and highlights how the people they know may help them achieve their goals and potentially influence their substance use and sexual decision making. Counselors then encourage the youth to identify specific steps they might take to make changes to their social network to better help them reach their goals.

PHSKC Intervention

Stepping Stones is a program for sexually active youth involved in the juvenile justice system who would like to improve their relationship skills and sexual health.

The program consists of four 30-minute sessions where participants:

  1. Choose the skills they want to work on, by identifying their personal values.
  2. Create a social network map of people in their life and consider how those relationships can help or hinder them.
  3. Work on creating a plan to improve upon the skills they selected during session one.
  4. Revisit the plan to discuss any changes the participants may want to make by possibly identifying any additional support they may want or reflect on any changes in their circumstances.

THMS Intervention 

More2Me is a intervention designed to promote contraceptive use and reduce pregnancy and STIs among rural African American youth involved in the justice system.

The intervention aims to help youth identify SMART goals and understand how their relationships and sexual decision making can impact these goals and build skills to identify people and resources that may help them progress toward their goals.

More2Me is designed to be delivered by people who work with youth involved in the justice system, including probation and correctional officers and case workers. These program facilitators are trained to enhance their motivational interviewing skills to help them talk to youth about goal setting and sexual and reproductive health in affirming ways.

The program curriculum includes four sessions where youth will navigate through skill building exercises and discussion topics centered around identifying support networks that will reinforce their SMART goals.

  • Youth receive a resource booklet at the beginning of the program, and safe sex kits.

Entertainment Education Theory Interventions

Entertainment Education is based on the understanding that entertainment programs with an appealing storyline, relatable characters, and high production quality can generate an immersive experience that engages emotions, reduces resistance toward messaging, and promote changes in beliefs and attitudes. Viewers observe characters who model:

  • desirable behaviors that result in positive outcomes;
  • negative behaviors that result in negative outcomes;
  • and transitional behaviors that change from negative to desirable that result in positive outcomes.

By viewing such behaviors, viewers are more likely to have an increased perception of risk as well as increased self-efficacy and motivation to engage in the desired behaviors, which for JJIIN is safer sex practices.

IWES Intervention

The video intervention is designed to increase condom use among African American youth ages 15-19 involved with the juvenile justice system or at risk of justice involvement in New Orleans, LA.

The intervention portrays a transitional character currently attending an alternative school, experiencing poverty and childhood trauma as he navigates the complexities of a sexual relationship with an intimate partner.

The video is intended to be played in public schools, community based organizations, youth service providers, and justice system facilities.

  • Transmedia elements are included as supplemental material for the intervention, including a website and social media channels that can be used by participants to access information relating to the film's themes and provide further opportunities to interact with the characters.

UCLA Intervention

The intervention, Up to Us, encompasses three 10-minute videos to be delivered during three two hour workshops to youth involved in the justice system. During each workshop, facilitators will screen one of the films, lead a group discussion, and guide participants though theater exercises that reenforce the themes of the film.

The intervention will impart medically accurate information and encourage introspection on sexual and social behavior.

The intervention aims to:

  • increase communication around consent, decrease unplanned pregnancy, increase contraceptive use, and increase STI testing and prevention.

PCI Media Intervention

The intervention was designed for youth involved with the justice system in New Mexico. It consists of three 10-minute videos that can either be shown in a group setting or be accessed by an individual using a QR code.

  • The intervention also includes a digital leaflet containing sexual health resources youth may be able to access within their communities, as well as an optional facilitated discussion guide.
This publication is made possible by grant number 1 TP2H000070-01-11 from the HHS Office of Population Affairs. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Office of Population Affairs.

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