Mark Your Calendars: Faces & Voices of Recovery Awards on June 26
We're excited to announce the Faces & Voices of Recovery event, America Honors Recovery, recognizing the impact that individuals can have on recovery.
Faces & Voices of Recovery will honor leaders in the addiction recovery movement, highlighting the extraordinary contributions of the country's most influential recovery community leaders and organizations at America Honors Recovery. The event, sponsored with Caron Treatment Centers, honors the exceptional energy, commitment, dedication and creativity of these individuals and organizations in advocating for the rights of people and their families in or seeking recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
WHAT: AMERICA HONORS RECOVERY AWARDS PROGRAM AND RECEPTION
WHERE: Carnegie Institute for Science, 1530 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
WHEN: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
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Family Visitation is More than Just a Nice Perk
After years of research, Vera’s Family Justice Program has implemented new programs which will contribute to easier access for family members seeking out their incarcerated loved ones. Considering youth school performance and behavior are both directly affected by family visitation, the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) partnered with the Vera’s Family Justice Program on the Families as Partners project to promote support from the family members of incarcerated juveniles.
Through research gathered February 2010 through March 2013, the Families as Partners project discovered incarcerated adults and juveniles with a strong tie to loved ones progress better in prison and pose less of a threat once they are released. This family relationship and contact is described as critical to the accomplishments of youth in juvenile justice facilities.
Despite the lasting benefits family visitation has on incarcerated juveniles and the community, families often face obstacles when visiting their loved ones. Thus, the research gathered sought to support staff-to-family encouragement on emotional and material support, scheduled visits and overall involvement in treatment and reentry plans.
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Fewer Memphis Juveniles are Being Transferred to Adult Court; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Fewer Memphis Juveniles are Being Transferred to Adult Court (The Commercial Appeal)
More juveniles charged with crimes are being given a chance to turn their lives around, dodging transfer to adult court where prison is a common outcome, according to court statistics.
- Treat all 17-Year-Old Offenders as Juveniles, Illinois Senate Decides (Quad-City Times)
The Illinois Senate Tuesday approved legislation that would send all 17-year-olds charged with a crime in Illinois first to juvenile courts.
- Natrona County Launches Juvenile Justice Data Collection Pilot Program (Megan Cassidy)
A program that organizes information on juvenile offenses in Natrona County may grow and help law enforcement efforts across Wyoming. Rep. Keith Gingery said problems the state has addressing juvenile justice issues are compounded because of a lack of uniform data. Few legislators believe law enforcement agencies in Wyoming target minorities when arresting juveniles, for example, but there has been no statewide data to consider.
- Troubled Teens Art Featured at Austin Auction (KVUE.com)
Those who oversee the program called Project Bridge say it's a way to help the kids realize they can be successful after they leave juvenile detention. “It opens their eyes to future possibilities, of things that might be on their horizon that they've never considered,” said Travis County 98th District Court Judge Rhonda Hurley.
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Road Map for Change: A Report on the 2013 Leadership Institute
The 2013 Leadership Institute, a working conference for Reclaiming Futures leadership teams helping communities break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime, was held in Ashville, N.C., May 7-9, 2013.
Interactive workshops, plenary sessions and fellowship discussions provided opportunities to share and learn proven approaches and best practices for communities adopting, implementing and sustaining the Reclaiming Futures approach as the standard of care in communities across the nation.
Here is a sample of the topics that were addressed:
- One Family at a Time by Michael Clark, Center for Strength-Based Strategies
- Rest Stop: Self-Care and Leadership Survival by Laura Nissen, Special Advisor, Reclaiming Futures National Program Office, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University
- One Faith Community at a Time by Michael Dublin, Consultant, Faith Works Together Coordinator
- Evaluating the Impact of Adding the Reclaiming Futures Approach to Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts by Michael Dennis, Director, GAIN Coordinating Center, Chestnut Health Systems
- How to Manage Yourself and Others Through the Stress of Change by Kathleen Doyle-White, Founder and President, Pathfinders Coaching
We'd like to hear from you. If you attended the Leadership Institute, What new skills, perspectives or strategies will you use? What insights will reinforce the efforts of your local Reclaiming Futures team?
It’s not too late to share ideas, photos and resources from the 2013 Reclaiming Futures Leadership Institute. Please use the following hashtag via Twitter: #RFutures13
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Children and the Prison Boom: Finding Solutions
The era of skyrocketing US incarceration rates since the 1970s has been dubbed the "Prison Boom," and rightfully so. Future of Children authors Christopher Wildeman and Bruce Western report a fivefold rise, from about 100 to 500 prisoners for every 100,000 people. A major concern for policymakers and children's advocates is that many of those incarcerated are parents. Among African American children who grew up during the Prison Boom, one in four had a parent (most often a father) incarcerated at some point during childhood.
As the New York Times wrote recently, families and children with an incarcerated father can face considerable hardship, apart from the challenges associated with the father's criminality. While identifying a causal relationship between incarceration and various child and family outcomes is difficult, quality research continues to develop in this area. Recent studies find a link to child behavioral problems and school readiness, as well as housing insecurity and homelessness.
There is much discussion about ways to reduce the prison population, from increasing the number of police on the streets, to drug-treatment or faith-based programs. Based on the best research available, the Future of Children's policy recommendations focus on drug offenders and parole violators. Solutions include intensive community supervision, drug treatment when necessary, and more effective responses to parole violation. The White House highlights one program recommended by Wildeman and Western. Project HOPE in Hawaii significantly reduced drug use and other offenses by administering swift, certain, but very short jail stays to probation violators.
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Courage and a Plan: Guest Post from the Justice Policy Institute
Since 2003, Washington D.C. has seen a 43 percent decline in children placed in foster care. Though some progress has been made we are still seeing greater numbers of families struggling to access the resources they need to stay together when compared to the rest of the country. Our nation’s capital has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country with nearly 50 percent of youth in Ward 8 and 40 percent of youth in Ward 7 living below the federal poverty line. In 2011, Ward 8 had the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
These same wards are predominantly African-American and have the highest rates of children entering the child welfare system, of which 99 percent are youth of color (93 percent African-American and 6 percent Latino) according to research in Fostering Change, the latest report put out by the Justice Policy Institute. Fostering Change shows how family and neighborhood poverty are two of the strongest predictors of child maltreatment, and that the conditions poverty creates can ultimately lead to a child being removed from their home.
When considered in a broader socioeconomic context, poverty becomes more than the absence of income and or earning potential—that is, a lack of work opportunities, quality or not, to support oneself and her or his dependents. It is also dealing with the collateral effects of not being able to take care of basic needs such as buying food, medical care, school supplies and adequate clothing or paying for transportation, utilities and rent. These are just some of the conditions that can lead to children being maltreated. JPI’s report found that abused and neglected children are 59 percent more likely to be arrested, 28 percent more likely to be arrested as adults, and 30 percent more likely to commit a violent crime. In 2011, half of youth under the supervision of the District’s juvenile justice agency, Department of Youth and Rehabilitative Services (DYRS), were from Wards 7 and 8.
You see, in the end, these children grow up. For all people currently incarcerated in the United States 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men report a history of abuse as children. So, when we think about the needs of children in poverty, equal thought must be extended to that child’s family on whom she ultimately depends.
How many hardships would be mitigated and lives spared the trauma of family separation and or justice system involvement if they had access to quality jobs, mental health services and for the child, an uninterrupted education? Fostering Change cites parental incarceration, substance abuse and inadequate housing as some of the leading causes for youth involvement in the child welfare system. Nationally, 80 percent of children entering foster care are a result of at least one parent experiencing a substance abuse disorder. In 2010, 1 in 6 District youth entering foster care had an incarcerated parent. Think if substance abuse were treated like a public health issue rather than a criminal one? Or if instead of building exorbitantly priced condos, there were parallel investments made in maintaining and increasing the availability of affordable housing that kept pace with the need, as articulated by the city’s poverty levels?
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JJIE Launches New Resource Hub
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) launched the all inclusive Juvenile Justice Resource Hub with the help of the National Juvenile Justice Network and the MacArthur Foundation. The Hub is an expansive source of information on modern juvenile justice issues and reform trends.
The Hub includes research, guides, toolkits and advice from experts on issues like health, education, family finances, after school and youth development and child welfare. The site includes tools to communicate, fundraise, evaluate and advocate as well.
In the future, the Hub will also offer a number of new features and those interested can sign up to receive updates. Updates will include:
- Courses to decrease youth interaction with the juvenile justice system and cost-effective ways to revamp the outcomes for them while establishing safe communities.
- Research and solutions on the barriers youth in the juvenile justice system are facing regarding rights to a qualified attorney to exercise their constitutional right to counsel.
- Aftercare, which focuses on how to help incarcerated youth transition safely and successfully back into the community.
- Youth of color have a high presence in the juvenile justice system; the hub will be reviewing model policies and strategies for reform shortly.
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Analysis of Georgia's Juvenile Justice Reform; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Broken Families, Parents Without Skills, Kids in Juvenile Justice
Clayton County, Georgia, Juvenile Court Chief Judge Steven Teske said, “We are having a lot of low risk kids who have very high needs because of family dysfunction...(that) don’t belong here. We’re making them worse, resulting in a 65 percent recidivism rate when they get out.”
- Judge Among Backers of Plan to Raise Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction
Massachusetts considerers proposals to give the juvenile court jurisdiction over 18-year-olds. Lawmakers, a judge, and a sheriff testified before the Committee on Children and Families Tuesday in support of legislation to treat 17-year-olds as young offenders.
- One Case Makes the Case for Community Based Services
Opinion: We cannot miss the opportunity to recognize what good policy means to real people -- the police, probation and detention officers, social workers and therapists. Most importantly, we should seize this opportunity to explain how juvenile policy affects a real kid in a real family.
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Mental Health Awareness Month: Pathways to Wellness
Have you noticed the signs of Mental Health Awareness Month? Have you seen green ribbons on your colleagues' lapels in honor of this national celebration?
If you haven't already, please look for media attention, events and advocacy for screening, prevention, and treatment. Please observe the following key messages, about wellness from Mental Health America:
- Wellness is essential to living a full and productive life.
- Wellness involves a set of skills and strategies that prevent the onset or shorten the duration of illness and promote recovery and well-being.
- Wellness is more than an absence of disease. It involves complete general, mental and social well-being. And mental health is an essential component of overall health and well-being.
- Just as we check our blood pressure and get cancer screenings, it's a good idea to take periodic reading of our emotional well-being.
- Using strategies that promote resiliency and strengthen mental health and prevent mental health and substance use conditions lead to improved general health and a healthier society: greater academic achievement by our children, a more productive economy, and families that stay together.
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