"When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast in August of 2005, the juvenile justice systems in the impacted states were responsible for the welfare of approximately 16,000 youth under their supervision and custody. This report looks at what became of these youth--specifically, how jurisdictions responded to the monumental challenges posed by the storms, what lessons were learned, and how these lessons can be applied to improve the system's response to future catastrophes. The information on which this report is based comes directly from juvenile justice professionals who were on duty during and in the aftermath of the storms. Their stories were gathered during a series of nine focus groups conducted between mid-February and early March of 2006 as part of a 'hurricane impact assessment' designed and implemented by ICF Caliber under a contract with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The purpose of the assessment was to determine the impact of the storms on the lives of justice-involved youth by gathering an oral history of the chain of events leading up to and following the hurricanes, drawing on the perspectives of state and local professionals both in storm-impacted areas and in areas impacted by massive relocation. This report synthesizes the experiences and lessons learned gathered from focus group participants under five 'Key Findings.' Each finding is accompanied by recommendations to OJJDP regarding how to support jurisdictions and states impacted by the storms in their recovery from the past crisis, and how to help jurisdictions nationwide prepare effectively for future crises of similar magnitude."
United States. Department of Health and Human Services