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  • DSM 5 could mean 40% of college students are alcoholics and more: news roundup
    by LORI HOWELL

    Juvenile Justice Reform

    • How revision of the state budget could affect San Joaquin County (Record Net) Governor Jerry Brown's revision of the California state budget could mean the Division of Juvenile Justice would continue to operate, but its budget would be cut by $24.8 million. The governor is proposing to charge counties $24,000 per year for each person committed to a state juvenile justice center.
    • New Pennsylvania Bar Association chief focuses on youth (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr., the new chief of the Pennsylvania Bar Association will push three priorities, 1) training requirements for prosecutors and public defenders involved in juvenile cases; 2) civics education, so kids understand how government works and the availability of courts to resolve disputes instead of taking disputes into one's own hands; and 3) youth courts to help address the number of kids who get into the juvenile justice system.
    • Tackling gang violence (The Crime Report) Toledo, Ohio builds an approach similar to Boston during the late 1990s to tackle violence. The model was developed by David Kennedy, now the director of the Center on Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College in New York.
    • Youth recovery court starts in Winnebago County (WREX) Chief Justice Janet Holmgre describes a holistic approach to providing a comprehensive network of mental health services to help the youth that are involved get out of the juvenile justice system and hopefully stay out of the adult criminal justice system.
    • Portland church spearheads effort to keep youth out of justice system (The Portland Daily Sun) Restorative Justice Center in Portland, Maine has won endorsements from the law enforcement community including the Portland Police Department and the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office. "This gives us an additional tool as police officers that we didn't have," said Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck.
    • Calling in juvenile justice cavalry (Austin American Statesman)  Gov. Rick Perry moved Jay Kimbrough from his new position as assistant director for homeland security at the Department of Public Safety to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to bring some urgently needed safety and security to the agency's youth lockups.

    Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

    • DSM 5 could mean 40% of college students are alcoholics (TIME) Most college binge drinkers and drug users don’t develop lifelong problems. But new mental-health guidelines will label too many of them addicts and alcoholics. The DSM 5 will have just one diagnosis for addiction problems, though it will be characterized as mild, moderate or severe.
    • Breaking the inter-generational cycle of substance abuse (Join Together) Children raised in a household with one or more parents struggling with a substance use disorder often use compliance as a coping mechanism—a skill that often no longer serves them well in adulthood. Compliance is one key reason so many people with substance use disorders do well while in the criminal justice system, but relapse, often only days after they are released.

    Jobs, Grants, Events and Webinars

    • Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It's free to browse and post!

  • Internet addiction linked to drug abuse and more: new roundup
    by LORI HOWELL

    Juvenile Justice Reform

    Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment


  • Can restorative justice halt the school-to-prison pipeline?
    by EMILY LUHRS

    Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend a two-day conference entitled, “Exposing Structural Racism from Within: The Power of Restorative Justice,” sponsored by the Henderson Center for Social Justice at UC Berkeley. Conferences, especially those in an academic environment, usually tend to focus only on the problems, however this time I left with an overwhelmed, yet hopeful, mind. While there was plenty of theoretical discourse on how, and if, restorative justice as a model has the power to dismantle institutional and historical racism within the juvenile and criminal justice systems, there was also a refreshing amount of insight into the practical application of restorative justice, particularly in our schools.

    Why begin in the schools?

    A common thread throughout the conference was the focus on the school environment, as it is the entry point into the juvenile justice system, for many youth. Our nation’s crime rate has dropped to a rate as low as it was in the early 1970s and school violence rates have been dropping since the 1990’s. However, despite this “crime plunge,” a youth is now more at-risk of being arrested at school than on the street. Panelists stressed that due to over-policing in minority communities, which has resulted in strict zero tolerance laws at school and curfew laws in the streets, the “arrest, prosecute, incarcerate” pattern has been able to continue. Youth experiencing early challenges at school has a significant relationship to their risk for later involvement in the juvenile justice system, for example, 75% of youth in California prisons are high school drop outs. Representatives from Chicago and Denver shared their stories of integrating restorative justice practices in schools to halt the school-to-prison pipeline.  


  • Elections, Liquor and Riots -- A Juvenile Justice Adolescent Treatment News Roundup
    by LORI HOWELL