Roundup: Juvenile Justice Reform Supported by The New York Times; Addiction Parity Law May be Thwarted; and More
- Juvenile justice reform seemed to be on the mind of The New York Times last week, at least judging by its article documenting the increasing burden placed on the juvenile justice system by growing numbers of mentally ill youth, which was closely followed by an editorial bluntly favoring juvenile detention reform. Meanwhile, Barbara Ehrenreich, in a long op-ed on the criminalization of poverty, condemned recent trends to criminalize and fine kids for truancy.
- The New York Times also covered a program in the Bronx where youth are tearing up asphalt to plant vegetables which could be a great pro-social activity for kids in the justice system.
- Remember when Congress passed the "parity" law last year, requiring that insurers pay for and allow access to mental health and addiction treatment at the same level they do other medical treatment? The battle's not over. Regulations defining how the law will be enacted still need to be published by the federal government. Advocates fear that if the regulations are not explicit enough, insurers will interpret the law so as to circumvent the spirit of the law.
- As expected, A. Thomas McClellan, former director of the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), has been formally named the deputy director at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), where he will be in charge of demand-reduction policy.
- Need a shot of inspiration? Check out the story of R. Dwayne Betts, incarcerated at age 16 for nine years for a carjacking, is now, at age 28, a published poet and advocate for the Campaign for Youth Justice. (There's also video of him reading his poetry.)
- Training: The National Association of Youth Courts is holding a training in youth courts in Baltimore August 24th and 25th.
- Online Courses: The Mid-Atlantic Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) is hosting "Advocacy for People with Addictions," a five-week online training, and "Introduction to Motivational Interviewing," which I believe is also five weeks long. Both cost $50 and begin September 7th. (On the registration page, click on the "Course ID" for more info.)
- Grant: Health & Human Services is offering $5 million for a demonstration project to address unhealthy behaviors in at-risk minority youth. Proposals must address two unhealthy behaviors from a list of six. The two that most relevant to Reclaiming Futures communities: violence ("homicides, fighting, weapon carrying") and substance abuse and mental health.