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Brubaker, Cleary Receive Grant

Two Wilder School Criminal Justice faculty members have received a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to examine perceptions of safety and levels of engagement among staff and residents in state juvenile correctional centers under a new community treatment model.

Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D., associate professor, and Hayley Cleary, Ph.D., assistant professor, are collaborating with the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) on the project, “Resident and Staff Perceptions of Safety and Engagement with the Community Treatment Model."

Recently DJJ began implementing the community treatment model, which is a new approach to juvenile incarceration. Instead of a security-based approach, DJJ is now adopting a relationship-oriented approach to youth corrections that involves intensive therapeutic services. Brubaker and Cleary will help DJJ learn about staff and youth resident perceptions of the new model and their feelings of safety and fairness under the new model.

"I'm excited to be part of this project, which allows us to assess an important change in policy and practice and its impact on a vulnerable population. To me, this is exactly the kind of work we do in the Wilder School that makes a difference," Brubaker said.

Cleary agreed. “Juvenile justice in Virginia is undergoing a major transformation right now. We are excited to assist DJJ in learning more about how staff and youth residents are experiencing this change.”