As the number of federal disaster declarations increases, so does the challenge of protecting more than 60,000 youth in residential and correctional facilities from disaster-related injury and trauma.
In June 2014, AIR trained representatives from six juvenile justice systems in disaster planning on topics such as preparing to shelter in place or evacuate; basic emergency care; providing mental health services and medical care; considering special populations; evaluating staff needs; and lessons learned during and after Hurricane Katrina.
Existing disaster plans tend to focus on how to continue operations rather than comprehensive emergency planning, response, and recovery. AIR’s approach looks at how to address the needs of children, youth, and families during and after disasters and is part of a larger effort to support the six systems in developing plans guided by principles and recommendations in Emergency Planning for Juvenile Justice Residential Facilitates Guide.
This work is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention through the State Training and Technical Assistance Center. AIR trainers included Simon Gonsoulin and Marketa Walters, who led Louisiana’s juvenile justice and child welfare systems during and after Hurricane Katrina, as well as Stephanie Lampron and Okori Christopher.