Reclaiming Futures (RF)

Probation Services

Under the leadership of Judge Anthony Capizzi and Judge Helen Wallace, Reclaiming Futures incorporates a Change Team which consists of a juvenile court judge, a juvenile probation officer, an adolescent substance use and mental health treatment professional, a community member (a person not employed by a formal helping system), as well as a project director. One of the Change Team’s most integral members is the Natural Helper. Natural Helpers are trained volunteers who provide support and connect the youth and their families to opportunities for positive life changes. They work in partnership with the youth, family, and professionals.

Montgomery County Juvenile Court has created an integrated framework that is influenced after the model of Juvenile Treatment Courts: Strategies in Practice (BJA), the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Since implementing an integrated system of juvenile justice and behavioral health services, societal savings are generated in reductions in arrests, court cases, probation days, detention days, and days in treatment.

Reclaiming Futures model maps the path youth take through the juvenile justice system and the services they need along the way, and breaks it all down into six steps. These steps are: Initial Screening, Initial Assessment, Service Coordination, Initiation, Engagement, and Transition. Montgomery County integrates juvenile justice and behavioral health services by providing specialized training for staff to serve identified needs found in standardized screening and assessments. Standardized screenings and assessments assure better treatment because evidence-based practices are implemented to address and meet developmental and cultural needs.

Court-involved youth are referred to Reclaiming Futures Program by the Judiciary, probation officers, intervention specialist, and human services agencies. Mentees are court-involved youth who primarily receive behavioral health treatment or substance treatment using Motivation Enhancement Therapy / Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or Seven Challenges® Program (MET/ CBT). Reclaiming Futures builds pathways beyond treatment by connecting youth with pre-screened trained volunteers who are adults or peers that give the mentee access to education opportunities, life skills development, art, music and other pro-social activities.

Reclaiming Futures mentees generate a societal savings from fewer days of missed school or work, fewer days bothered by mental health problems, and fewer crimes committed within one-year of Reclaiming Futures participation. To maintain the highest level of service to court-involved youth, Reclaiming Futures reaches into the community seeking key volunteers who desire to donate their time and resources in service as Natural Helpers. Reclaiming Futures Natural Helpers serve as mentors to court-involved youth (mentee). Natural Helpers are valuable members of the Change Team.

To join the Change Team (individual, business, or organization) contact Reclaiming Futures Community Fellow. We encourage and invite all community members to get involved.


Bill Draugelis