Pin It

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.

How will States Handle Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole? News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • [OPINION] In Juvenile Justice, Kids Need Protection from False Confessions (The Christian Science Monitor)
    A third of false confessions come from youths under 18. Youths are more easily intimidated and less adept at understanding the ramifications of their statements than adults. They should not be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • How will States Handle Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole? (USA Today)
    Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life sentences for offenders under 18 are cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore unconstitutional. In the wake of that decision, a federal court this month ruled that Hill and more than 300 other Michigan juvenile lifers are entitled to a parole hearing.
  • Bryan Stevenson Optimistic About Juvenile Justice Trends, But Work Remains (JJIE.org)
    The man who took the fight against life without parole sentences for juveniles to the U.S. Supreme Court said he is optimistic about juvenile justice trends, but said there is much work to do in a few areas, most especially around housing youth in adult lockups. Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., also said the number of states that try juveniles as adults is a problem.

Juvenile Court Awarded $975,000 in Montgomery County, Ohio
by SUSAN RICHARDSON

Congratulations to Reclaiming Futures Montgomery County!

Under the leadership of Honorable Anthony Capizzi, this Juvenile Drug Court was recently awarded $975,000 from the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The three-year Drug Court Expansion grant supports Montgomery County's efforts to unite juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community to reclaim youth. Through this grant, Ohio will be able to serve an additional 45 families per year and 135 over the grant's three-year span.

Together, they are improving drug and alcohol treatment and connecting teens to positive activities and caring adults.

There is statewide interest in Ohio to expand the Reclaiming Futures model beyond the four current sites. If you know community leaders interested in breaking the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime, or philanthropies investing in juvenile justice reform, we'd like to hear from you. 

For more information about bringing Reclaiming Futures to your community, please call Susan Richardson at 503-725-8914 or email susan.richardson@pdx.edu.

Map at right illustrates current (blue) and potential (orange and green) Reclaiming Futures communities in Ohio. 


The Adolescent Brain and Substance Abuse: Looking the Elephant In the Eye; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Initiative Aims to Improve Hawaii's Juvenile Justice System (HawaiiNewsNow.com)
    The goal of a new initiative launched today is to improve Hawaii's troubled juvenile justice system by reducing crime while cutting costs. Roughly 5,000 youth are currently incarcerated in Hawaii. According to experts, about 80% of them have a substance abuse problem.
  • $3.2mil Grant for Program to Encourage Kids to Stay in School (BeatriceDailySun.com)
    Kids with emotional and behavioral disorders are more likely to miss school, fail classes and drop out than any other group of students with disabilities. With support from a $3.2 million grant, University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers are evaluating a unique new program that uses parent-to-parent support to encourage families to get the help they need to keep kids in school.
  • Campaign to get Dropouts to Return to School (KEPRTV.com)
    Getting our most at-risk teens back in school. It was the goal of Kennewick, Washington School District this morning. School officials knocked on the doors of dozens of high school dropouts. Asking them to return to school. Last year, two students graduated from CBC High School Academy as a result of the outreach.

We Need Mentors: Lucas County, Ohio, in the News
by SUSAN RICHARDSON

Have you ever wondered how you could make a difference in the lives of young people in your community?

Less than one year into a $1.3 million grant, Lucas County Reclaiming Futures Project Director LaTonya Harris breaks it down for Leading Edge guest host Rob Wiercinski in Toledo, Ohio.

Watch this video to learn how they are decreasing recidivism and increasing drug court graduation rates. They will make even greater strides with more mentors to provide positive activities for teens:


MacArthur Pledges New $15 million to Juvenile Justice Reform; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • The Sting of Juvenile Detention (JJIE.org)
    When young people held in San Diego County’s juvenile hall are disciplined with pepper spray, guards at the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility ask afterwards if they want a shower. The best response, says former youth offender Ian Arellano, is “no.” Water reactivates the sting—which then washes down your body, he explains. Instead of affecting just your arms or face, suddenly every pore burns.
  • Providing Teddy Bears for Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center (KIIITV.com)
    It may not sound like a big deal -- the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center, dangerously close to running out of teddy bears -- but it turns out, it is. "A lot of these kids that come in here are sad and confused, and traumatized," Chesney said. "And sometimes just the smallest gestures, like a stuffed animal, will help break the ice and allow them to talk more freely and feel more comfortable in talking to me."
  • MacArthur Pledges New $15 million to Juvenile Justice Reform (JJIE.org)
    The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced it will increase its juvenile justice reform funding by some $15 million, a major part of which will be used to establish the new Models for Change Resource Center Partnership. “Right now there are no go-to places to get the kind of information, resources, toolkits, [and] access to colleagues who have ‘been there done that,’” for would-be juvenile justice reform advocates, said Laurie Garduque, director of justice reform for the MacArthur Foundation.
  • Fixing Juvie Justice (KPBS.org)
    Young people in the United States are entering the youth justice system in shocking numbers, and many seem to come out worse than when they went in. The staggering costs and recidivism — more than half of incarcerated kids are likely to recommit crimes after being released — have led people to wonder if there is a better way to deal with youth offenders and whether exposure to the system itself could in fact be perpetuating a life of crime.

Report from the Field: Hardin County, Ohio
by SUSAN RICHARDSON

Despite the fact that synthetic marijuana use is soaring around areas like Hardin County, Ohio, we continue to successfully break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime using our proven six-step model. At a recent site visit, we found that Reclaiming Futures Hardin County has: 

  • Strong, committed teamwork that uses a holistic, seamless, coordinated system of support for teens
  • Effective, solid partnership with Ohio Northern University – good evaluation and site analysis with the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) data, and impressive internship development
  • Cohesion: Probation, Behavioral Health Services and Recovery School all under one roof
  • Superb GAIN rates, particularly upon follow up
  • Many Evidence-Based Treatment options
  • Well-implemented service coordination, with many positive pro-social activities (fishing, scrapbooking, archery, 4-H club, and community service opportunities) 
  • Great local partnerships, for example, teen financial literacy training with the local credit union 
  • Strong sustainability strategy
  • Good representation at Juvenile Treatment Court staffing/team meeting, with input from many partners around the table
  • Good communication with parents, evident by their attendance at the Juvenile Treatment Court hearing and positive interactions during family updates and high school graduation celebration at court
  • Excellent feedback from youth and parents during interviews after court
  • Wonderful community activities and exceptional fundraising events

Kudos to the Reclaiming Futures team in Hardin County, Ohio!


Across the Country, Neighborhoods Gather, Celebrate National Night Out; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Jails Being Reworked (WVMetroNews.com)
    West Virginia's juvenile justice system is being reorganized. “The changes we’re making are positive changes for the division,” said state Director of Juvenile Services Stephanie Bond. On Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Bond talked about the plan that will mean changes at most of West Virginia’s eleven juvenile facilities.
  • Separate Funding for Adult, Juvenile Drug Courts Sought (ClarionLedger.com)
    Youth Court judges want the Legislature to provide separate funding for juvenile and family drug courts. “The adult felony-level drugs courts can operate on funds generated by their fees and assessments on their adult participants,” said Rankin County Youth Court Judge Tom Broome, a member of the state Drug Court Advisory Committee. “The juvenile courts cannot operate under this model.”
  • Across the Country, Neighborhoods Gather, Celebrate National Night Out (JJIE.org)
    In theory, National Night Out sounds a little strange — encourage thousands of residents, in cities nationwide to throw block parties and barbecues that will be attended by city law enforcement. In practice, National Night Out is a city-sanctioned, nationwide, one-night event to encourage residents to get to know their neighbors and reclaim their streets, all in an effort to deter crime. In urban hubs across the country, this message resonates particularly strongly, where some communities have historically had complex and sometimes strained relationships with the police.
  • St. Louis Judge to be Honored forWork in Juvenile Justice (Fox2Now.com)
    St. Louis Judge Jimmie Edwards, is to be honored for his work in juvenile justice on November 21, later this year in Washington, D.C. Judge Edwards will be the 2013 recipient of the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, from Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts.
  • OP-ED: Wise Spending Leads to Effective Solutions (JJIE.org)
    "A recent conversation with a group of friends reminded me that discussions about money are complicated and can move easily from discussion to heated argument. I said that more public funds should be dedicated to research about positive outcomes for kids in the juvenile justice system and that the research would lead to development of additional evidence-based programs and practices."

Young People in Recovery: Messaging and Media Training Webinars
by SUSAN RICHARDSON

We all know how much influence the media wields; let's use that power for the greater good!

Thanks to Faces and Voices of Recovery, young people and their family members can learn how to communicate more effectively with the media, as well as friends and family, about the reality of recovery. 

In two 90-minute webinars, trainers Justin Luke Riley, of Young People in Recovery, and Pat Taylor, of Faces and Voices of Recovery, use communications tools like human interest and media stories to reach policymakers, educate the public and recruit new members to the recovery movement.

I encourage you to take advantage of the free online training tools and watch the online webinars  to create your own strong messages and make a difference in your community.  

 

  

 


Massachusetts Senate Votes UNANIMOUSLY to Pass Raise the Age Bill; News Roundup
by DAVID BACKES

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Massachusetts Senate Votes UNANIMOUSLY to Pass Raise the Age Bill (CFJJ News)
    "We wanted to share the exciting news that the Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously today (40-0) in favor of legislation to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include seventeen year olds! We are tremendously grateful to all of you for all of your calls, emails, letters, and support over the entire campaign."
  • Calls For Juvenile Justice Reform Grow In Florida (WJCT.org)
    The calls for juvenile justice reform in Florida are growing, as advocates turn to research to prove that more robust juvenile diversion programs for first-time offenders can prevent kids from dropping out of school.
  • Renewed Push to Raise Age of Being Tried as Adult (NYTimes.com)
    Democratic state lawmakers, community leaders and rights advocates on Thursday renewed a push to raise to 18 the age at which a defendant can be tried as an adult in New York.
  • More Flexibility in Juvenile Court (News-Gazette.com)
    Juvenile courts in Illinois now will be trusted with handling the cases of some minors previously tried as adults. It's a good thing that the cases against most 17-year-olds arrested for misdemeanors and felonies will be resolved in juvenile court beginning Jan. 1.