Functional Family Parole

A New Approach To Parole

Every young person leaving JRA residential care needs and receives a period of structured transition and services when they return to family and community. We call this service Functional Family Parole - FFP. Typically, youth and families receive between 5 and 6 months of services. Certain sex offenders are on parole for 24 to 36 months.

Begun in 2002, FFP is the core community component of JRA's cognitive\behavioral based Integrated Treatment Model. The importance of family involvement in the lives of these youngsters cannot be overstated. Family support is critical to preventing youth from re-offending. Using engagement and motivation skills drawn from Functional Family Therapy, JRA parole counselors help families move beyond blaming and negative expectations and reinforce positive changes made by youngsters.

Functional Family Parole Customer Comments

"You really care about us and we appreciate how you treat us with respect and understanding when family issues come up."

-Parent of youth on sex offender parole

"No matter what happens I know I can trust you to help me and my family. Thank you"

-Parent of youth upon discharge from FFP

"Thank you for including me in everything because when my son has had troubles in the past, I felt like no one wanted me to be involved but parole is very different."

-Parent of youth on sex offender parole

"She (Functional Family Parole counselor) has worked hard with us. If we did not succeed totally it was due to our shortcomings and a lot of history between my son and I...She is an excellent counselor and facilitator."

-From a parent in Kennewick, WA

"I really feel like the last session was crucial to our progress as a family. Both my husband and I felt so much better about our family issues after you left (the session) and our evening with our son was wonderful, I am really looking forward to continuing FFT when he comes back."

-From a parent in Yakima, WA

"Thank you for the graduation gift. That was cool and a nice surprise. I can't believe I actually did it. It feels awesome now. You guys have been really great to me and I appreciate it. Thanks again."

-FFP youth

"Thanks for keeping me clean and out of trouble. Keep it up!"

-Kelso FFP youth

"I haven't liked too many authority figures, but you're ok."

-Vancouver FFP youth

"This (FFP) has been very helpful for me, I am trying not to do the things that I have done in the past and being able to talk with someone about it helps me to think about it before it happens."

-Parent of Region 1 FFP youth

"After the FFP counselor leaves the home all of us stay sitting together and continue the talk for another hour about how we work as a family and how to provide good parenting to 4 or 5 teen boys. It's been really helpful."

-Parent of Region 3 FFP youth

For more information contact:
Bob Salsbury

Youth Accountability

JRA has high expectations. Parole contracts signed by each youth specify treatment and programming requirements, the days and times they will report to their counselors, geographic movement restrictions, and prohibited activities (e.g. drug alcohol use) and possessions (e.g. firearms). Youth who violate the conditions of their aftercare contracts are subject to a series of graduated sanctions including curfews; electronic home monitoring; and for repeated and serious violations, return to confinement for up to 30 days.

JRA's Aftercare Is Evidence-Based

JRA is committed to delivering services that really work to reduce recidivism. JRA parole services include Functional Family Therapy, Family Integrative Therapy, Aggression Replacement Training, Multi-disciplinary Case Management, and Mentoring.

  Any New Offense New Felony Offense New Violent Offense
JRA Mentor Pilot 45% 23% 3%
Comparison Group 54% 35% 8%


A July 2002 Washington State Institute for Public Policy study of 12-month recidivism by JRA youth mentored in a pilot program managed by our Seattle parole office showed that mentored youth were less likely than a matched comparison group to have any new offenses, new felony offenses, or new violent offenses. The 34% drop in new felony offenses is most encouraging. Other research shows that every dollar spent on mentoring will result in more than $7 of future savings. We have expanded youth mentoring to all of our parole service areas.

JRA Community Partnerships

Working together, JRA and its partners are committed to providing quality services to youth and their families that improve young lives, reduce recidivism, and make communities safer. JRA partners include Regional Support Networks (for mental health services), the University of Washington, the DSHS Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Children's Administration, juvenile courts, law enforcement agencies, schools, and private sector treatment providers.