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Common Problems, Common Solutions: Looking Across Sectors at Strategies for Supporting Rural Youth and Families Tool-Kit

NCJ Number
Lisa Pilnik; Christine Humowitz
Date Published
March 2023
28 pages

This toolkit lays out efforts that build on youth, family, and community strengths of rural communities, that can be used to overcome the unique challenges of providing effective prevention services and juvenile justice services in a rural environment.


This document is a toolkit which provides an overview of barriers that rural communities confront as they work to prevent youth involvement in the juvenile justice system; it gives examples of innovative practices for serving justice-involved youth and their families; and it highlights the importance of leveraging community strengths as a way to overcome the challenges of effective prevention and juvenile justice services in a rural setting. The introduction discusses efforts that build on youth, family, and community strengths, including: local ethos that support helping neighbors; well-established working relationships; a sense of pride in the community, culture, and history; and a beautiful natural environment that can be a source of free and healthy activity opportunities. The main section breaks down the various rural challenges and their potential solutions, including: transportation across larger distances; racial and ethnic disparities; positive activities and preparation for good jobs; resource limitations; and training and professional development for special services. Finally, the appendix provides a short overview of the report, summarizing the document’s overall message and recommendations.