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					                    IMPACT OF CRIME CURRICULUM
    ADDRESSING THE HARM CAUSED TO VICTIMS AND THE COMMUNITY

                     DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE
                              RESIDENTIAL SERVICES


In moving toward a more balanced and restorative system of justice, the
Residential Services branch of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
developed a curriculum for staff to teach impact of crime classes to youth
committed to residential programs.

Development of the Curriculum

The Department began development of its Impact of Crime: Addressing the Harm to
Victims and the Community Curriculum in 2001, using a California Youth Authority
curriculum as its foundation and making modifications to reflect recommendations for
Florida’s youth that emerged from a two-phase pilot project. During the first phase,
participating youth at four residential commitment programs demonstrated increases in
knowledge about the impact of crime, and findings resulted in substantive revisions to
the Curriculum. The second phase of the pilot project was implemented at five
additional program sites in 2002, resulting in further revisions to the Curriculum by
2003.

Goals

The primary goals of the DJJ Impact of Crime Curriculum are:

    To assist committed youth in accepting responsibility for the harm they have caused
     by their criminal actions, reducing the risk of future criminal activity;

    To educate committed youth on the impact of crime on victims, their families and
     their communities, increasing youths’ awareness, empathy, and accountability for
     their actions;

    To provide a safe and healthy forum for crime victims to share their experiences
     with youth in a manner that is restorative; and

    To provide direction for committed youth in developing methods to restore their
     victims, families and communities both inside and outside residential commitment
     facilities.




                                                                     updated 12/05/06
A Different Perspective

Impact of Crime classes are important because they provide an opportunity for juvenile
delinquents to begin to step outside their world to see crime from a totally different
perspective. Most committed youth say that they have never thought about their
crimes or how they affect their victims. One of the most important aspects of the
classes is the use of victim speakers to bring faces to the crimes. This interaction
provides an opportunity for youth to see and hear first-hand the devastating effects
that crime has on its victims, their families and their communities. For many juvenile
delinquents, these experiences are enlightening and afford them the opportunity to take
personal responsibility for their actions. This is the first step to effective rehabilitation.
When asked what he thought of the Impact of Crime Curriculum, a youth who
participated in Impact of Crime classes while committed to one of Florida’s residential
programs wrote:

 “I learned the fact that by my committing the crimes which I did, I was
affecting not only the person I was taking the items from but also the
victim’s family. The list of people I affected just kept going on and on,
having a “ripple effect”. Before I took the Victim Awareness Program
(Impact of Crime Curriculum classes), I didn’t look at the victims’ side of the
situation at all--I only looked at the fact that I was gaining something out of
the whole deal and who cares what happens to the victim? ……Through the
victims’ stories, I was able to fully understand the effects my crimes were
having on people. ………In conclusion, the program had many positive
effects on me and I will do much better in my life as a result.”

In summary, Impact of Crime classes are designed so that juvenile delinquents will:

   Accept responsibility for past criminal actions;
   Understand the impact of crime on victims;
   Develop reasonable strategies to address the harm they caused;
   Learn how to resolve conflict peacefully; and
   Contribute to their communities in a way that will deter future victimization.

Composition of the Curriculum

The Impact of Crime Curriculum introduces youth to restorative justice concepts, helps
them to become more accountable by recognizing and decreasing irresponsible
thinking, teaches them how crime impacts victims and communities, and engages youth
in peaceful conflict resolution strategies. The Curriculum also teaches youth about the
dynamics of various types of crimes, ranging from property crimes to more serious



                                                                          updated 12/05/06
crimes such as domestic violence and sexual battery. The Curriculum is comprised of a
Facilitator’s Guide and a Student Workbook. Both have twelve chapters as follows:

   Victim Impact and Restorative Justice
   Property Crimes
   Hate/Bias Crimes
   Impaired Driving, Drugs and Alcohol
   Assault and Battery
   Robbery, Gangs and Violent Crimes
   Child Abuse
   Sexual Assault
   Domestic Violence
   Crimes Against the Elderly
   Homicide
   Healing the Wounds (Wrap-up & Group Restoration Project)

Each chapter of the Curriculum’s Facilitator’s Guide is comprised of the same elements
and includes learning objectives, definitions of terms and concepts key to understanding
the content of the chapter, chapter content information that is comprised of overview
information and discussion points, facilitator’s notes that are intended to make the
Curriculum easier for staff to use, student exercises (including answers), a chapter
true/false quiz (including answers), and suggestions about other resources that might
assist the facilitator in delivering the Curriculum. Each Student Workbook chapter
includes learning objectives, definitions of key terms and concepts, student exercises,
and the true/false chapter quiz.

Implementation of the Curriculum

In 2003, the Department required state-operated programs and encouraged privately
operated programs to implement the Impact of Crime Curriculum. Also in 2003, the
Justice Research Center, Inc. assessed implementation of the Curriculum in six
residential programs. The treatment group was comprised of 72 youth (63 completers),
and although the evaluation report was never published, some preliminary findings
included the following:

   The Curriculum was effective in increasing participants’ knowledge of the impact of
    crime on victims and the community;
   It was successful at reducing youths’ anti-social thinking; and



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   Overall, programs following the Curriculum’s Implementation Guidelines
    demonstrated significantly more positive outcomes. The Guidelines address aspects
    of implementation such as staff facilitator qualifications, overview training for other
    program staff, consistency and integrity of Curriculum delivery, and appropriate use
    of victim speakers.

By 2004, departmental policy required all state and privately operated residential
commitment programs to teach impact of crime classes to youth, and over 85% of the
programs were using the DJJ Impact of Crime Curriculum to teach impact of crime
classes during FY 2005-2006.

Staff Training

Departmental policy requires that residential staff designated to deliver the Impact of
Crime Curriculum to youth be specifically trained it its implementation. Therefore, the
Department began conducting regional Impact of Crime Curriculum Facilitator Trainings
(24 hours of instruction and practice) in 2003. In 2004, the Department recognized the
need to build Impact of Crime trainer capacity within DJJ and provider agencies
statewide. Therefore, Training-for-Trainers (48 hours) was developed and delivered in
2004 and 2005. The intent is that each person trained as an Impact of Crime Trainer
participates as a member of a regional Impact of Crime Training Team and commits to
co-train at least once annually. As a result, each regional training team has the
capacity to deliver periodic Impact of Crime Facilitator Trainings, enabling residential
programs to maintain a sufficient number of staff specifically trained to effectively
deliver the Impact of Crime Curriculum to youth.

To Obtain More Information

For more information about the Impact of Crime Curriculum or future training events,
contact the following:

Pamela Brantley, Statewide Residential Restorative Justice Coordinator
(850) 921-4102 or SunCom 291-4102
pamela.brantley@djj.state.fl.us
Gleycia Green & Linda M. Williams, North Region’s Restorative Justice Coordinators
Gleycia (NE): (904) 858-6901 or SunCom 870-6901; gleycia.green2@djj.state.fl.us
Linda (NW): (850) 595-8263 or Suncom 695-8263; lmwilliams@djj.state.fl.us
Melissa Walker, Central Region’s Restorative Justice Coordinator
(863) 990-8673 or (850) 413-9481
melissa.walker@djj.state.fl.us
Tessie Wingate, South Region’s Restorative Justice Coordinator
(561) 616-1569 or SunCom 256-1569
tessie.wingate@djj.state.fl.us


                                                                       updated 12/05/06

				
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