Florida’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Is Largest in the Nation; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Smart Justice Reforms are Gaining Popularity for Juveniles in Jacksonville (Jacksonville.com)
Growing frustration and dissatisfaction over how juvenile delinquents are treated in Jacksonville, Florida has inspired a new coalition of activist groups to press for reform.
- Study Recommends Extending Illinois Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Include 17-year-olds Charged with Felony Offenses (ModelsforChange.net)
After examining the impact of a 2010 state law that places 17-year-olds in juvenile courts for misdemeanor charges but in adult criminal court for felony charges, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission has issued a report recommending an end to the practice in the interest of fairness and public safety.
- New National Standards For Legal Defense Could Help Juveniles (JJIE.org)
It happens too often in court systems around the country. A teenager is charged with a crime. His family can’t afford a lawyer, but the court won’t assign him one until he can prove a lack of funds.
- Florida’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Is Largest in the Nation (Colorlines.com)
It used to be that getting in a schoolyard fight meant a trip to the principal’s office—detention, maybe. But in Florida, more than any other state, that schoolyard fight can lead to the student’s arrest and even felony charges. Last year 12,000 students were arrested 13,870 times in Florida public schools, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Feds to Audit Solitary Confinement Policy; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Feds to Audit Solitary Confinement Policy (JJIE.org)
The Federal Bureau of Prisons will hire an independent auditor to review the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons, according to a statement released by the bureau. The move could impact thousands of juveniles in adult facilities who are frequently isolated from adult inmates, sometimes on the pretext of protecting their personal safety.
- Thousands of Student Arrests Alarm Florida Justice Leaders (Orlando Sentinel)
Thousands of Florida students are arrested in school each year and taken to jail for behavior that once warranted a trip to the principal's office — a trend that troubles juvenile-justice and civil-rights leaders who say children are being traumatized for noncriminal acts.
- Report Calls for Increased Funding for Juvenile Justice Efforts (NOLA.com)
To sustain and ramp up changes to Louisiana's juvenile justice system there needs to be adequate funding at both the state and local levels, experts recommended in a report released Thursday. At a day-long conference in Baton Rouge, two members of the Louisiana Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission underscored this concern, saying a lack of money could hinder future progress across the state.
Teen Narrowly Escapes Death after Smoking Synthetic Marijuana; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Juvenile Justice Should be a Focus for Georgia (AlbanyHerald.com)
In her final State of the Judiciary address before the General Assembly today, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein is expected to focus on an issue that needs serious thought — juvenile justice.
- [AUDIO] When Crime Pays: Prison Can Teach Some To Be Better Criminals (NPR.org)
In popular lore — movies, books and blogs — criminals who go to prison don't come out reformed. They come out worse. Scientists who have attempted to empirically analyze this theory have reached mixed conclusions, with analyses suggesting that activities like drug addiction or gangs are what determines whether the correctional system actually gets criminals to correct their ways.
- Mapping Juvenile Justice (TheCrimeReport.org)
A new mapping project demonstrates overlaps between New York City communities with the highest percentage of youth, the lowest household incomes, rates of foster care placement and adults without high school diplomas.
- GA Police Chief to Serve on Juvenile Justice Board (CBSAtlanta.com)
The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has announced Elaine Snow, chief of the City of Rome Police Department, has been named vice chair of the agency's board. Snow is filling a board position that was left vacant by Avery Niles after Gov. Nathan Deal named him as Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner.
- Gov. Dayton appoints the first Minnesota Somali Woman to Serve on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (TCDailyPlanet.net)
Saciido Shaie has long had a dream that her thoughts and actions would one day become a reason for Minnesota youth to excel in education and life. That’s why she’s spent many years of leadership and advocacy in building a better place for Twin Cities’ young minorities. Minnesota took a note of her passion in activism, and so did Governor Mark Dayton. He appointed her last June as the first Somali woman to serve on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee for Minneapolis.
- Suffer the Children (The Economist)
On March 29th 2012 Georgia’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted on a criminal-justice reform bill that read like a left-leaning criminologist’s fantasy. It revised sentencing laws to keep non-violent drug and property offenders out of prison, directing them instead toward alternatives—drug courts, day-reporting centres, mental-health courts—designed to treat and rehabilitate rather than punish. Now Georgia is looking to do something similar for juveniles.
Urban Teaching and Juvenile Justice; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Urban Teaching and Juvenile Justice OR Why I Have 8 Probation Officers’ Numbers in my Phone (Philly Teacher Man Blog)
"When I started teaching, I had no interest or background in the juvenile justice system. The fact that it might one day be incredibly relevant to my work in education was not even on my radar, but here I sit nearly 5 years later with no fewer than 8 probation officers in my cell phone."
- Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Prepares for Transformation (JJIE.org)
Georgia’s DJJ boss tells state lawmakers that his department must be transformed to handle the burdens a class of inmates that’s older and more violent, and high employee turnover and low morale, just as the governor pushes a large package of reforms.
- Florida Tightening Juvenile Justice Monitoring (Bradenton.com)
State officials on Friday announced plans for quality improvements and tighter monitoring of juvenile justice residential and detention facilities following the arrest last month of a staff member accused of battering a 15-year-old girl in the Florida Panhandle.
- Senator Proposes Moving Toughest Juvenile Offenders to Adult Prisons (Statesman.com)
In a move that would change decades of state policy, the chairman of the Senate’s criminal justice committee suggested Monday that 17- and 18-year-olds who commit violent crimes should do their time in a new system of youth prisons rather than in Texas’ juvenile lockups.
Department of Juvenile Justice Strengthens Oversight; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Department of Juvenile Justice Strengthens Oversight (PNJ.com)
In the wake of allegations of abuse by staffers at a girls’ lockup in Milton, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is tightening its oversight of private residential facilities — adding interviews with youths and a partnership with the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation to its monitoring procedures.
- Nebraska Chief Justice: Guardianship, Juvenile Probation Initiatives Show Success (Omaha.com)
Tighter court oversight of guardians and conservators in recent months has exposed cases of theft and misuse of funds, Nebraska's top judge said Thursday. Chief Justice Michael Heavican said changes to state law made in 2011 are providing more protection for vulnerable adults in Nebraska.
- Georgia Governor: $5 Million for New Juvenile Diversions (JJIE.org)
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is asking the state legislature to spend $5 million dollars to set up community diversion programs for low-risk youth offenders, on the model of other states. The appropriation would “create an incentive funding program” to encourage communities to treat appropriate youth at home, Deal told lawmakers at his annual State of the State address on Jan. 17.
- Florida Tightening Juvenile Justice Monitoring (WCTV.tv)
Florida is tightening monitoring and improving the quality of juvenile justice residential and detention facilities. Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters announced the new efforts on Friday. They come nearly a month after a privately owned facility for girls in the Florida Panhandle agreed to end its contract following the arrest of a staff member who was accused of battering a 15-year-old inmate.
- Study: Minority Youth in Wash. Arrested, Referred to Juvenile Court More Often than Whites (TheRepublic.com)
Minority youth are arrested and in the Washington state's court system more often than their white counterparts, a recent study commissioned by the state Supreme Court shows. But researchers said counties aren't keeping complete data on ethnicity and the gap between minority and while youth is larger.
- Palm Beach County School, Justice Officials Warn Students Juvenile Crimes can Follow, Hinder Them as Adults (The Palm Beach Post)
Sometimes, Sonya Saucedo gets mad. It happens: She’s 13 years old. But Saucedo said she worries sometimes about where that anger and frustration will lead her. “I’ve gotten in trouble at school a few times,” the Pahokee Middle School student said. “I once screamed at everyone in class and threw books.” So on Thursday morning, Saucedo tentatively approached the microphone at a school assembly to ask one question: How hard is it to get your life back after you’ve committed a crime?
Juvenile-Justice Corrections Program Trains Dogs, Youths; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- DJJ Study: Fewer kids Getting Booked at School (The Orlando Sentinel)
A new Florida study says the number of students arrested at schools was cut in half over the last eight years, which ”correlates” with a decline in juvenile delinquency. The Department of Juvenile Justice report says school arrests fell from from more than 24,189 in the 2004-05 school year to 12,520 last year, a drop of 48 percent. School delinquency arrests fell 36 percent during the same period.
- Juvenile Defendants can Meet Victims, Settle Charges Outside Court (Courier-Journal.com)
The suspect was caught on camera and admitted he caused about $1,800 worth of damage vandalizing a Louisville business. Instead of handling the 16-year-old defendant’s case in juvenile court, local officials asked the business owner, Keith Bush, if he would take part in a “restorative justice” pilot program designed to repair the harm caused by a crime and find ways to keep offenders from re-offending — instead of seeking only retribution.
- Juvenile-Justice Corrections Program Trains Dogs, Youths (Statesman.com)
“This is a program where the girls can learn life skills through training these dogs,” said Mike Griffiths, executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. “It’s a small program that pays big dividends — for the girls and the dogs.” The dividends include allowing the dogs to be trained to erase their bad habits, or to at least teach them how to manage their problems and keep their actions in check, so they might be adopted into new homes, he said.
- Putting a Developmental Approach Into Practice (JJIE.org)
Having developmental competence means understanding that children and adolescents’ perceptions and behaviors are influenced by biological and psychological factors related to their developmental stage. For adults working with young people, taking a developmental approach could lead to better outcomes for kids.
- Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice? (The New York Times)
At 2:15 in the afternoon on March 28, 2010, Conor McBride, a tall, sandy-haired 19-year-old wearing jeans, a T-shirt and New Balance sneakers, walked into the Tallahassee Police Department and approached the desk in the main lobby. Gina Maddox, the officer on duty, noticed that he looked upset and asked him how she could help. “You need to arrest me,” McBride answered. “I just shot my fiancée in the head.” When Maddox, taken aback, didn’t respond right away, McBride added, “This is not a joke.”
- Looking Back and Casting Forward: An Emerging Shift for Juvenile Justice in America (Chicago-Bureau.org)
The close of 2012 focused so narrowly on terrible events and startling numbers – the Newtown massacre, for example, or Chicago’s sharp rise in homicides – some major criminal justice developments were nearly squeezed out of the national conversation.
Juvenile Injustice; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Juvenile Injustice (Honolulu Weekly)
A recent study finds that native Hawaiian youth are twice as likely to end up in the juvenile justice system (JJS) as any other ethnic group. And with youth employment at lower rates in 2011 than at any time during the prior decade, the problem may get worse.
- Local Law Enforcement Officials See Drop in Juvenile Crime (Boston.com)
From prosecutors to police officers on the street to the state Department of Youth Services, there is consensus that juvenile crime has declined in this region as well as the rest of the Massachusetts. Overall, juvenile crime is down 37 percent in Massachusetts from 2009 to 2011, according to a recent report by Citizens for Juvenile Justice, a research and advocacy group in Boston.
- Juvenile Court Reform in Tennessee (The New York Times)
The juvenile justice system in the United States is supposed to focus on rehabilitation for young offenders. But for generations, it has largely been a purgatory, failing to protect them or give them the help and counseling they need to become law-abiding adults. Children who end up in juvenile courts often do not get due process protections like written complaints presenting the charges against them, adequate notice about legal proceedings or meaningful assistance of counsel.
- Meetings to be Held on Overrepresentation of Minority Youth in Kansas Criminal Justice System (DodgeGlobe.com)
The state of Kansas is undertaking a statewide assessment on the extent to which minority youth are over-represented in the juvenile justice system. A series of public meetings will be held so that members of the public can hear the results of the study and to provide feedback to public officials involved in the juvenile justice system in Kansas.
- Durbin Chairs First Hearing on School to Prison Pipeline (DailyHerald.com)
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin Wednesday chaired the first federal hearing looking at the relationship between schools and the criminal justice system. The hearing follows a recent change in Illinois law prompted by an attack on an Elgin teacher and subsequent Daily Herald investigation.
- Juvenile Justice: State Sees Decrease in Incarcerated Youth (Amarillo.com)
How times have changed for the Texas juvenile justice system. Five years ago, the number of youths locked up in state-run detention centers was about 4,700. Since then, the number has steadily dropped, and now it is less than 1,500 — more than a two-thirds reduction.
Back on Track after Being Behind Bars; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- A Flash Mob for Juvenile Justice Reform, Family Engagement and More (NJJN.org)
Update from Youth Justice Leadership Institute Alumna, Rukia Lumumba: "To provide more visibility to the raise the age issue, I coordinated a flash mob in Times Square for YJAM (Youth Justice Awareness Month) in collaboration with my agency (the Center for Community Alternatives) and the Correctional Association of New York. Approximately 15 advocates and youth participated in the flash mob, which was viewed by hundreds of people in Times Square."
- Letter: Juvenile Justice Sees Progress (TheAdvocate.com)
Some good news about Louisiana’s success on the juvenile justice reform front was announced last week in the results of a nationwide study. While the news did not make headlines in state media, it is certainly noteworthy and indicative of the state’s reform progress. The study examined implementation of proven programs for juvenile offenders and indicated Louisiana as one of the five top states in adopting programs proven to be most effective in dealing with delinquent or violent youth and their families.
- Back on Track after Being Behind Bars (FindYouthInfo.gov)
Returning to society after being incarcerated isn’t easy. Yet a group of formerly incarcerated youth that recently met with U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier are refusing to let their past lives determine their future. They’re overcoming challenges and building better lives for themselves through grit and resilience.
The Crime Report's Person of the Year; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- The Crime Report's Person of the Year (TheCrimeReport.org)
A New York University law professor who persuaded the Supreme Court to extend its ban on mandatory sentences of life without parole (LWOP) for juveniles to young people convicted of murder—and thereby dramatically transformed the landscape of juvenile justice—is The Crime Report’s choice for Criminal Justice Person of the Year in 2012.
- Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform Recommendations Would Lock Up Fewer to Save Millions (AJC.com)
Georgia should save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year by diverting some juveniles away from detention facilities and into community-based programs, according to a group tasked with reviewing the state’s criminal justice system. The state’s Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians recommends reversing some of the harsher policies of the 1990s on how Georgia punishes its youngest offenders.
- Discussing Juvenile Justice with "Pure Politics" In Kentucky (RightOnCrime.com)
Last month, Right On Crime’s Jeanette Moll traveled to Kentucky to present research on juvenile justice to stakeholders involved in reforming several aspects of the state juvenile system — including how it handles status offenders. A task force in Kentucky is studying the issue, and it is looking for lessons from Texas’s experience.
- Department of Justice Enters into Agreement to Reform the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee (Justice.gov)
The Department of Justice announced that it has entered into a comprehensive memorandum of agreement with the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn., to resolve findings of serious and systemic failures in the juvenile court that violate children’s due process and equal protection rights.
- Improving Juvenile Justice (MiamiHerald.com)
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice officials and staff are traveling around the state to educate stakeholders and citizens on the reach of its new “Roadmap to System Excellence” plan. What the plan does is sets Florida on a new path in this endlessly fraught area of juvenile delinquency and its prevention. As president/CEO of the Florida Network, I stand with DJJ secretary Wansley Walters and this bold plan.
- Harsher Discipline Often Dispensed to Minority, Disabled Students (NationalJournal.com)
Students of color and those with disabilities receive harsher punishment in schools, punishments that are often a precursor to their entry into the juvenile justice system, The Washington Post reports. Each year, more than 3 million children are expelled or suspended from schools, according to Civil Rights Data Collection figures released last spring by the Education Department. During analysis of 72,000 schools in the 2009-10 academic year, at least 240,000 students were referred to law enforcement.
Court Inundated With Non-Dangerous Kids Arrested Because They ‘Make Adults Mad’ and More; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- State Turns Attention to Juvenile Justice Reforms (AJC.com)
A special state council in Atlanta will recommend repairs for a juvenile justice system that spends $91,000 a year for each bed in its state detention centers. Council members point to the enormous expense of incarcerating young offenders in a state “youth development campus,” or YDC, while producing poor results, as evidence that the system isn’t working.
- Juvenile Judge: My Court Was Inundated With Non-Dangerous Kids Arrested Because They ‘Make Adults Mad’ (ThinkProgress.org)
The United States is not just the number one jailer in the world. It also incarcerates juveniles at a rate that eclipses every other country. Evidence has long been building that schools use the correctional system as a misplaced mechanism for discipline, with children being sent to detention facilities for offenses as minor as wearing the wrong color socks to school.
- Arrests, Juvenile Detention, and High School Dropouts in Chicago (ChicagoMag.com)
Descriptively, our data reveal that of the Chicago public school students who steered clear of the juvenile justice system, 64 percent went on to graduate high school. In contrast, a mere 26 percent of arrested students graduated high school. Of those young adults without a criminal record who graduated high school or obtained a GED, 35 percent enrolled in a 4-year college. Yet for arrestees, 16 percent subsequently enrolled in a 4-year college.
- York Co. South Carolina Juvenile Justice Kids Collecting Food for Hungry (HeraldOnline.com)
For the first time this year, DJJ is collecting nonperishable canned goods to distribute to four York County, South Carolina charities for the holidays. The drive, which started Nov. 1, ends Friday. Aiming to become part of a “community of givers,” DJJ teamed up with the county solicitor’s office, Coca Cola and Best Buy to find a “creative” way to bolster donations that are common this time of year, said Amahl Bennett, DJJ director.
- Governor Wants To Merge Juvenile Justice & Corrections (KCUR.org)
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback wants to merge the state's Juvenile Justice Authority with the Department of Corrections. The governor says he’ll propose an executive reorganization order in the coming legislative session to merge the two agencies.
- New Ga. Juvenile Justice Chief Focuses on Problems (SFGate.com)
When five young men slipped out of a juvenile detention center a month and a half ago in Augusta, stealing a car and leading police on a chase, it was just the latest in a string of setbacks for officials trying to turn around Georgia's system for young criminals.
- Strengthening Florida's Juvenile Justice System (TBO.com)
There is a lot to like about the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice's new "Roadmap to System Excellence," the topic of town hall meetings last week in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Members of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, who deliver services across Florida, ranging from prevention through reentry and everything in between, know that with every well-intentioned plan, the devil is often in the details.