Juvenile Justice Reform: Finding Opportunities When Budgets are Slashed
But even wrenching cuts to staff and services can provide a chance to achieve lasting improvements to juvenile justice policies and programs.
Don't believe me? The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) has just provided us all with a road map that's concrete, helpful, and surprisingly inspiring. Titled, "The Real Costs and Benefits of Change: Finding Opportunities for Reform During Difficult Fiscal Times," it's a model of cool-headed resourcefulness.
OJJDP Fact Sheets on Juveniles in Court
- "Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2007";
- "Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2007";
- "Juvenile Delinquency Probation Caseload, 2007"; and
- "Person Offense Cases in Juvenile Court, 2007".
Check out John Kelly's post on this over at Youth Today, where he points out the stats that jumped out at him.
Talking About Teens on Drugs -- and More: Weekly Roundup
Teens on Drugs - How We Talk About it Matters
- Hat tip to Outreach for this piece on heroin use by teens in the suburbs from Robbie Woliver, the journalist who broke the story a year ago: "These kids just don't think it's a big deal one way or another -- there is no stigma any longer, nor is it a badge of honor. It doesn't make them 'cool.' It's just what everybody does. No big deal."
- Want to know what works when it comes to talking to the public about teens with drug and alcohol issues who are in trouble with the law? Check out the recommendations in Solutions Storytelling: Messaging to Mobilize Support for Children's Issues. (Hat tip to sparkaction.)
This is scary stuff, no doubt, but the coverage is troubling. Woliver wants everyone to wake up because suburban teens are using heroin -- teens who are not just "the lowest-life dregs of society in skid rows and downtrodden ghettos in the worst parts of urban areas," but who "have the same family values." Which makes me wonder what Woliver would think of the teens in the justice system, where substance abuse and addiction has been a common problem for years. Maybe what's needed isn't just alarm about middle-class white kids dying from heroin, tragic though that is. Maybe we need to start caring about all our kids.
Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment: Mutual Aid & Recovery from Addiction
When you work with adolescents in substance abuse treatment, one of your biggest challenges is what happens after they complete treatment. Connecting teens with positive people who can help them maintain sobriety can be quite difficult.
So it's great to see that Faces & Voices of Recovery has revamped and revitalized its Guide to Mutual Aid Resources, an online, one-stop resource of over 50 online and in-person mutual aid groups that are helping people find and sustain their recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. According to a press release, "the groups are organized into practical, user-friendly categories like, 'Youth-Focused' or 'Medication-Assisted.'"
Effective Practice in Juvenile Justice - and More: Roundup
Teens in Lockup - a Documentary and a Photo Project about Juveniles in the Justice System
- Click on the screen shot at right to check out four short clips from "Juvies," an award-winning documentary from 2004 focusing on youth in California's juvenile justice system who were tried as adults and received extremely harsh sentences (photo at right is of "Sandra). You might also be interested in the "syllabus" assembled by the filmmakers in response to frequent requests for additional classroom resources to supplement the film.
- Photographer Ara Oshagan, who shot the B-roll for "Juvies," recently produced a documentary photo project called, "Juvies: a Collaborative Portrait of Juvenile Offenders," featuring youth in Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall, along with text written by the youth. You can learn more about Oshagan and how his experiences awakened an interest in juvenile justice reform here.
How to Get Teens to Engage in Treatment, and More: Bonus Roundup
Last week, I received too many links and resources to put in last week's roundup of links related to the juvenile justice system and adolescent substance abuse treatment.
So here's a bonus roundup - there's something here for everyone!
Mentoring At-Risk Teens
- I posted about this separately, but don't forget to check out the grants available to support mentoring for children with incarcerated parents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB). Awards will also be made to states with high numbers of prisoners, and provisions for tribal entities in areas with high percentages of incarcerated Native Americans. Application deadline is July 30, 2010.
- Live in the Seattle area and want to work with teens in juvenile detention or in the psychiatric hospital? Pongo Teen Writing is looking for volunteers to work with them. We've featured writing from teens in the justice system and treatment from Pongo Teen Writing several times before.
Roundup: Why Coercive Punishment Doesn't Change Behavior - and More
- Ever wish you had a good guide to give parents of teens with alcohol and drug abuse issues about what treatment is, how to find the right treatment program, how to pay for it, and how to cope? Now you can link folks up with the Treatment Guide e-Book, a great guide from The Partnership for a Drug-Free America. A good supplement is the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment's (CSAT), "A Quick Guide to Finding Effective Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment" (via SAMHSA's Recovery Month).
- Now that teen heroin use has suburban parents all freaked out (or should), the media is finally discovering how big a barrier insurance (or lack of funds) can be to providing youth with addiction treatment they desperately need (via Portland Prevention).
- The annual National Youth Risk Behavior Survey administered by the Centers for Disease Control survey found that an alarming 1 in 5 high school students said they'd abused prescription drugs, i.e., taken them without a prescription. Nevertheless, alcohol (72%) and marijuana (37%) are still the favorites.
Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) Midwest Region Conference Open for Registration
The conference will include sessions on the impact of adolescent brain development research on policy and practice; the role of restorative justice in reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) reduction; media and stakeholder's perspectives on effective messaging, and more. (You can see a draft agenda here.)
Registration is now open through July 2nd -- a great bargain at $50!
Roundup: Proven Practices for Improving Education and Employment for Disadvantaged Young Men - and More
Juvenile Justice Reform News
- One of the two juvenile court judges involved in the Pennsylvania kids-for-cash scandal pleaded guilty on April 29th. (Missed the story? We linked to a story in The New York Times last year about the two judges who apparently accepted money to funnel kids into a private juvenile detention facility.)
- It doesn't really cover juvenile drug courts, but the Organization of American States (OAS), American University, and others have just published an overview of a survey of drug courts in 12 countries, giving an interesting (and positive) international picture of the intervention.
- Helping kids in trouble with the law be successful means helping them be successful in school and on the job. So you might be interested in this paper from The Urban Institute, "Improving Education and Employment for Disadvantaged Young Men: Proven and Promising Strategies." It reviews the "evidence base on programs and policies such as youth development for adolescents and young teens; programs seeking to improve educational attainment and employment for in-school youth; and programs that try to 'reconnect' those who are out of school and frequently out of work, including public employment programs." Next, it reviews promising and proven strategies for helping affected youth. (Hat tip to @isaac_outcomes.)
BJA Funds for Careers Training and Research on Improving Education for Teens in the Juvenile Justice System
The National Reentry Resource Center recently sent out the following announcement for not one but two grant opportunities through the Second Chance Act that apply to juveniles.