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Economics Alone Supports Juvenile Justice Reform; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • [OP-ED] Economics Alone Supports Juvenile Justice Reform (TheNewsStar.com)
    "Locking up a juvenile is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $100,000 a year, while treating one at a community-based center is estimated by the Juvenile Justice Project to cost about $5,000."
  • Talking Juvenile Justice: A Webinar with Photographer Richard Ross (JJIE.org)
    On Monday, November 18th JJIE hosted a webinar with Richard Ross -- a photographer, researcher and professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. Ross has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Fulbright, and the Center for Cultural Innovation.
  • Racial Disparities in Juvenile Justice System Addressed (TheMiddletownPress.com)
    To illustrate the stark racial disparities in Connecticut’s juvenile justice system, think about this: While non-white kids make up 57 percent of the patients at Riverview Hospital, a youth psychiatric facility, non-white kids at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, a secure facility for delinquents, make up 86 percent of the kids serving there. It’s a reality that child advocates, city officials and roughly 100 residents gathered to discuss Wednesday.
  • [OP-ED] Spotlight on Solano: Youth Thrive Through County Innovation (JJIE.org)
    Today, juvenile justice reform and innovation is underway in California and nationwide. The Missouri and Washington models of juvenile justice programming are renowned, as they should be. They present a much-needed road map for other jurisdictions strategizing for systemic change. However, California may not need to look so far away to find the answers. With 58 counties, California is a hotbed of innovation, and Solano County is forging the way.

[Video] What is Juvenile Indigent Defense? News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • [Video] What is Juvenile Indigent Defense? (JJIE.org)
    On November 11th, JJIE rolled out the next section of our juvenile justice resource hub on juvenile indigent defense. To kick start the launch, JJIE led a compelling and informative live group video chat with key players in the Juvenile Indigent Defense reform movement—exploring youth’s rights and access to quality council and defense when they find themselves in court.
  • Proposed Reforms to Juvenile Representation Stir Concerns in Colorado (The Denver Post)
    Criminal justice experts are questioning whether proposed reforms requiring youth offenders to have attorneys are really necessary — or if the system can even afford it. Legislation on juvenile representation — including one provision requiring juveniles to have legal counsel at detention hearings — will be proposed in January when state lawmakers convene.
  • Criminal Case Puts Focus on Bullying Laws (JJIE.org)
    Once considered a teenage rite of passage, bullying is now the subject of hundreds of state laws and a rallying cry for pundits, parents and celebrities.
  • Inside Heads and Cells of Juvenile Offenders: New Philly Art Exhibit Showcases and Helps Youth (Philly.com)
    What was originally conceived as a locally-staged art exhibition highlighting the need for reforms to the nation's juvenile justice system has snowballed into something much more. At nonprofit arts organization and studio space InLiquid, housed inside Kensington's Crane Arts building, hundreds of youths will this month receive the opportunity to have their juvenile records expunged, while hundreds more will be provided with resources about diversionary programming that could potentially save them from having to face the issue, in the first place.

Study: Many Convicted Juveniles Say They Falsely Admitted Crime; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Study: Many Convicted Juveniles Say They Falsely Admitted Crime (JJIE.org)
    More than a third of juveniles convicted of serious crimes said in a recent study they had falsely admitted to a crime they did not commit. The study, which appeared in the journal “Law and Human Behavior,” focused on 193 males aged 14 to 17 incarcerated in a California juvenile justice facility.
  • Our Views: Give More Teens Second Chances in Juvenile Court (GazetteXtra.com)
    Wisconsin should give 17-year-old nonviolent first-time offenders a break. Instead of sending them to adult court and risking higher levels of recidivism, the state should keep these low-level offenders in the juvenile justice system, where they can get the help they might need.
  • South Florida Squeezes School-to-Prison Pipeline (JJIE.org)
    South Florida’s Broward County School Board voted unanimously to sign new rules, written by many hands, which are meant to drive down arrests and their unintended consequences in the state’s second most populous school district. The Nov. 5 Memorandum of Understanding approved by the school board has its signatories promise “appropriate responses and use of resources when responding to school-based misbehavior.”
  • Debate Over Role Of Government In Juvenile Justice System (WCTV.tv)
    More than 58,000 delinquents were arrested between 2011 and 2012, according to Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice. Because of those staggering numbers, The James Madison Institute hosted a debate at the Challenger Learning Center tonight.

What Role Does Race Play in Juvenile Justice? News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Justice Reform Pays, in Dollars and Sense (Ledger-Enquirer)
    One eye-popping number: The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice says the state can save more than $90,000 for every child -- every child -- that doesn't have to be placed in a juvenile detention center. So said political, law enforcement and judicial officials in a town-hall panel discussion at the Augusta Library Headquarters.
  • New Coalition to Focus on Juvenile Justice in Jacksonville (Jacksonville.com)
    More than two dozen Northeast Florida elected officials, churches, advocacy groups and policy organizations are joining forces to put a stop to the criminalization of first-time juvenile offenders accused of committing misdemeanors.
  • Georgia Closing Juvenile Prison With Nation’s Highest Rate of Sexual Victimization (JJIE.org)
    A Georgia youth prison, recently found by a federal study to have the highest rate in the nation of sexual victimization of incarcerated youth, will close at the end of the year, the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced Monday.
  • What Role Does Race Play in Juvenile Justice? Youth Forum Tackles Subject (Middletown-CT.Patch.com)
    The Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew and young people will explore solutions to racial disparity to promote equality for Connecticut young people in the system.

OP-ED: Girls in the System Need More of Our Support; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • In ‘Vernon’s World,’ a Young Photographer Documents the Life of a Homeless Teenager (JJIE.org)
    Unaccustomed to the cold, hard floor in his spot next to the door of the public bathrooms in Trenton, Missouri, Sam Wilson, 22, slept badly. In a stall next to him, Vernon Foster, 18, didn’t have the same trouble. By the time Foster woke, Wilson had been in a state somewhere between sleep and wakefulness for hours, apologizing to the morning walkers as they filtered through the bathroom, surprised to see two young boys asleep on the floor.
  • Mandatory Sentencing 17 year-olds in Adult Court - Is There a Better Alternative for Wisconsin's Youth and Taxpayers? (MacIver Institute)
    In the United States, there is a wide consensus that children differ from adults. The very fact that each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. have institutions designed to render judgment on cases and administer justice outside of the adult criminal court speaks to this critical distinction.
  • OP-ED: Girls in the System Need More of Our Support (JJIE.org)
    "I just returned from the Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders Conference in Portland, Maine, where Piper Kerman, author of the memoir 'Orange Is the New Black,' -- the inspiration for the wildly successful Netflix series of the same name -- gave the keynote address to the 400 or so attendees all with some connection to the offender population."
  • Florida's Juvenile Justice Department Seeking Reform Suggestions (WJHG.com)
    Gulf County residents sat quietly as Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters talked about a major change, focusing more on prevention programs. "These problems that allow people to become violent and so disregard authority and commit crimes and know that they're committing crimes, these things don't happen in a day," said Secretary Wansley Walters of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Nearly Half of U.S. States Enact Juvenile Justice Reforms; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Nearly Half of U.S. States Enact Juvenile Justice Reforms (JJIE.org)
    Nearly half of U.S. states have made great strides in the past eight years toward reducing the prosecution of juveniles in the adult criminal justice system or preventing youths from being placed in adult jails and prisons, a report released Thursday found.
  • ‘Raise the Age’ Advocates Tout New Report on Juvenile Justice (NewsObserver.com)
    The NC Insider is reporting that advocates for raising the age at which North Carolinians are tried in adult courts are touting a new national study that notes that 48 other states have enacted legislation to prevent older teenagers from being prosecuted in adult courts.
  • When Babysitting Joins Forces With Zero Tolerance (JJIE.org)
    Sometimes on a Friday night, when there’s nothing better to do and the streets are quiet, indigenous kids in this town 100km (some 60 miles) north-east of Perth, Western Australia, might hang out at the local police station. They’re often not there by choice, but they don’t really mind sticking around either.
  • Florida Struggles To Craft Juvenile Sentencing Policy (Miami.CBSLocal.com)
    As state legislators have tried and failed to craft a juvenile-sentencing law that conforms to landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings, a national advocacy group is calling Florida a “clear outlier” among states for its hard-line approach to trying juveniles as adults.

Complex Trauma Among Youth; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Complex Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Impact and Implications (Corrections.com)
    Youth who have experienced complex trauma—repeated and various forms of victimization, life-threatening accidents or disasters, and interpersonal losses at an early age or for prolonged periods—have difficulties forming attachments with caregivers and self-regulating emotions.
  • Family Seeks Change in Law to Protect Students (JJIE.org)
    The government has a duty to protect prisoners from harm. It also has a duty to protect people who have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. Yet that same duty doesn’t apply to the government when it comes to protecting students in school, according to case law.
  • Grant to Help Men Leaving Juvenile Justice System (The Boston Herald)
    The U.S. Labor Department is giving Massachusetts an $11.7 million grant for a project to increase employment and reduce repeat crimes for men leaving the state's juvenile justice system. The grant will first go to serve 535 men ages 16-22 in Chelsea and Springfield who are leaving the juvenile justice system. It will provide education and pre-vocational training to help them get jobs.
  • When Young Offenders–and Their Teacher–Say Goodbye (Kids in the System Blog)
    Last month, due to a lack of funding, the juvenile lock-up where I taught a weekly “life skills” workshop was shuttered. According to my very rough calculation, in the year that I worked there I had about 400 young men of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds pass through my group. Of those, about half came and went frequently, often gone for a couple of months to less than a week, and then re-offended to find themselves right back where they started.

Underage Suspects Are Apt to Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Commit. Here’s Why; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Underage Suspects Are Apt to Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Commit. Here’s Why. (Slate.com)
    Why so many false confessions? Juvenile suspects are generally more deferential to authority—at least in the context of a police interrogation—and less likely to understand the consequences of confessing to something they didn’t do.
  • [OPINION] Time to Affirm What We Mean by ‘Juvenile’ (The New York Times)
    Recent Supreme Court rulings on juvenile sentencing raise issues that go beyond what’s at stake in Miller v. Alabama. They also present an opportunity to affirm what we mean by “juvenile.” New York State may soon be the only state in the country that processes all youth as young as 16 in the criminal justice system, regardless of the severity of the offense.
  • Health and Incarceration: A Workshop Summary (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
    The health disparities that exist in our communities are concentrated in the population that cycles in and out of our jails and prisons. Justice-involved populations have very high rates of physical illness, mental illness, and substance use disorders. And their health problems have significant impacts on the communities from which they come and to which, in nearly all cases, they will return.
  • [OPINION] A Court Just for Juveniles in N.Y. (The New York Times)
    Teenagers prosecuted in adult courts or who do time in adult jails fare worse in life and can go on to commit more violent crimes than those who are handled by the juvenile justice system. Neuroscience research has found that these young offenders don’t weigh risks the way adults do, making them prone to rash judgments that can land them in trouble with the law.

Juvenile Life Without Parole: The Confusion Remains; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • OP-ED: Digging up the Past (JJIE.org & The Miami Herald)
    Sometimes, only by unearthing the skeletons of a tortured past can they be given a proper burial. That is what is happening in Marianna, in North Florida, literally and figuratively. A team of researchers, including anthropologists, archeologists, students and police detectives are searching, painstakingly, for the remains of young boys once confined to the Dozier School for Boys.
  • Wisconsin Considers Keeping Non-Violent Teen Offenders In Juvenile Court (Wisconsin Public Radio News)
    Wisconsin is moving slowly towards changing the age at which teenagers are automatically treated as adults when they commit a crime. A bill introduced Thursday would allow 17-year-olds who commit nonviolent crimes to be tried in juvenile court.
  • OP-ED: Juvenile Life Without Parole: The Confusion Remains (JJIE.org)
    "Last June, on the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Miller v. Alabama, I spoke to a long-time advocate for the elimination of juvenile life without parole. Like a lot of people, I was pleased with the ruling, and saw it as a victory not only for activists but for science-based research into the juvenile brain."

New Hope – Health Care for Justice-Involved Youth; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Years Later, Mother and Daughter Still Scarred By Teen Boot Camp Experiences (JJIE.org)
    Nicole’s story is one demonstrating both how far -- and how little -- mental health treatment in the nation’s juvenile justice systems have progressed. In a state fraught with Department of Youth Services troubles, she did not receive intensive treatment or rehabilitative services when she entered Alabama’s juvenile justice system.
  • A Court to Give Juveniles a Chance (Tampa Bay Times)
    "Plenty of kids who commit serious crimes deserve adult court and adult sanctions. Others — like juveniles who end up there because a co-defendant qualifies for adult court — might be salvageable. As Judge Stoddard put it: 'Some kids have burned all their bridges. Some kids haven't had the opportunity.'"
  • OP-ED: New Hope – Health Care for Justice-Involved Youth (JJIE.org)
    "We may not all become astronauts, actresses or the next NBA all-star, but the beliefs we have in ourselves during childhood are often reflections of the paths we take into adulthood. For this reason it is important for the health of a society to nurture, respect and enrich its youth."
  • Courts Split Over Ruling on Juvenile Life Sentences (The Wall Street Journal)
    Jeffrey Ragland, sentenced to life without parole in 1986 for his involvement in the killing of a fellow teen with a tire-iron blow to the head, could soon be a free man. That outcome is the result of a ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court last month that found the sentence handed down to Mr. Ragland, now 44 years old, unconstitutional.