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Analysis of Georgia's Juvenile Justice Reform; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Broken Families, Parents Without Skills, Kids in Juvenile Justice 
    Clayton County, Georgia, Juvenile Court Chief Judge Steven Teske said, “We are having a lot of low risk kids who have very high needs because of family dysfunction...(that) don’t belong here. We’re making them worse, resulting in a 65 percent recidivism rate when they get out.”
  • Judge Among Backers of Plan to Raise Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction 
    Massachusetts considerers proposals to give the juvenile court jurisdiction over 18-year-olds. Lawmakers, a judge, and a sheriff testified before the Committee on Children and Families Tuesday in support of legislation to treat 17-year-olds as young offenders.
  • One Case Makes the Case for Community Based Services 
    Opinion: We cannot miss the opportunity to recognize what good policy means to real people -- the police, probation and detention officers, social workers and therapists. Most importantly, we should seize this opportunity to explain how juvenile policy affects a real kid in a real family.

Natalie: Reclaiming Futures Helped Me!

Through Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County, and the Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR) mentors, Natalie gives up life on the streets to follow her dream of studying photography.  


Global Youth Justice Launches 250 Youth Justice Web Sites; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

Life in Recovery: New Survey Results

surveyFindings from the first nationwide survey of persons in recovery from addiction was recently released by Faces & Voices of Recovery. The report documents importance of investments in recovery by:

  • Quantifying the recovery experience over time - Less than three years; three to 10 years; and 10 years and more.
  • Outlining the costs of addiction.
  • Documenting the dramatic improvements in life, from visiting an emergency room to paying taxes.

The survey was developed, conducted, and analyzed in collaboration with Alexandre Laudet, Ph.D., Director of the Center for the Study of Addictions and Recovery at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.

Please take a moment to browse the survey results and recommendations. These documents are must-read material for those working in the field of substance abuse treatment. 

Guy: A Young Artist in Recovery Tells His Story

Have you considered lending your talent to young people in your community? If so, the story below, the first of three weekly videos from young people, should provide the nudge you need.

In this three-minute video, Guy, a well-known graffiti artist in Snohomish County, Washington, describes his transformation as a Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR) participant.

Through Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County, Henri Wilson and other generous adults are mentoring young artists in the county's juvenile justice system who have substance abuse issues. By engaging in calligraphy, painting and photography classes, teens are viewing life through a different lens.

Improving Mental Health Starts with Early Childhood Relationships; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Offenders in the US Deported for Life (Al Jazeera English)
    The Campaign for Youth Justice reports that 250,000 youth under the age of 18 are processed in adult criminal courts in the US each year. Once in adult court, minors are subject to the same punishments as adults, even if they are as young as 10 years old. In the past decade, the US Supreme Court has imposed limits on the types of punishments that can be imposed on juvenile offenders.
  • Texas Lawmakers Consider Bill Restricting Solitary Confinement of Youths (
    Texas lawmakers considered a proposal Tuesday night that would restrict the use of solitary confinement in juvenile detention centers. In a hearing before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte presented a bill to limit the practice to four hours except in cases of six specific types of major rule violations including assault and attempted escape.
  • Department of Juvenile Justice Expanding Civil Citation Process (
    Juveniles in Escambia County, Florida who commit a first time misdemeanor might be given a second chance. The Juvenile Civil Citation Expansion program will help give some a chance to keep a clean record. Juveniles with a first time misdemeanor could be given a citation and community service.

Welcome Reclaiming Futures Duval County, Florida

Last week I had the honor of visiting one of our new Reclaiming Futures sites, Duval County Reclaiming Futures, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Led by the Honorable Judge Henry E. Davis, treatment and court staff closely monitor teens to help them break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime.

The team is working to keep kids in school, in their homes and out of juvenile justice facilities by implementing the following practices:

  • Enhancing and improving access to substance abuse and mental health treatment services for Reclaiming Futures participants and their families.
  • Implementing a comprehensive system of care incorporating various community-based services for families involved in Reclaiming Futures.
  • Inspiring the Duval County community to become involved with youth and families in need.

One Week From Today: Reclaiming Futures Juvenile Justice Webinar

We're only one week out from our webinar about how the Reclaiming Futures model is uniting juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community for cost effective juvenile justice reform. 

Please register for a free webinar on Tuesday, April 30 at 10 a.m. (PDT)/1 p.m. (EDT)

What you'll learn:

  • Communities have a compelling need to break the cycle of drugs, alchohol and crime 
  • Reclaiming Futures is connecting young people to caring adults 
  • The six-step model is pointing to better outcomes for youth

About the presenters:

Susan Richardson is national executive director for Reclaiming Futures. Formerly, she was a senior program officer in the health care division of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina, where she led a three-year effort involving the state's juvenile justice and treatment leaders to adopt the Reclaiming Futures model by juvenile courts in six North Carolina counties. She received her B.S. in Public Health, Health Policy and Administration, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Margaret Soukup is the project director for Seattle-King County Reclaiming Futures, in Seattle, Wash., where she serves as Science to Service/Workforce Development Coordinator Project/Program Manager III, Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division (MHCADSD). Margaret has a master's degree in psychology from Antioch University Seattle and a bachelor's degree in applied science, social sciences from Washington State University. 

Addiction Recovery: Getting Clean At 22; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Justice Reforms Approved (
    The Dream Defenders, a youth group focused on juvenile justice issues, called this week for protection from arrests at school for minor incidents. The group also called for an end to pepper spray and solitary confinement in jails run by Florida counties and to stop putting teens in the juvenile justice system for misdemeanor first offenses.
  • Juvenile Detention Alternatives Gain Ground in States, DC (
    “There is reason to think that we may, and I emphasize may, have reached a turning point in this era,” said Bart Lubow, director of the juvenile justice strategy group at The Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore. He made the comments Wednesday at an AECF-organized three-day conference of some 800 professionals from juvenile justice and child welfare fields in Atlanta.
  • Proposal Would Keep 17-Year-Old Felons in Juvenile Court (
    Youths under the age of 18 charged with non-violent felonies will be handled at the juvenile court level, rather than being tried as adults, under a proposal passed by the Illinois House Tuesday.
  • Your System, Your Choices: Teaching Youth the Juvenile Justice System (
    Dr. Miner-Romanoff found that “100% had no idea” about the juvenile justice system and the potential for harsh sentencing before their arrest and incarceration. This, she says, indicates that for these young people severe sentencing did not act as a deterrent.
  • Opinion: Reduce Teen Recidivism; Treat Kids Like Kids (
    "Back in 2008, The State Journal-Register used this space to urge Illinois lawmakers to approve a bill that would allow 17-year-olds accused of minor crimes to be tried in juvenile court instead of adult court."

[VIDEO] Mentoring Works - Following Olivia in Seattle

Reclaiming Futures helps communities develop networks of caring adults that connect justice involved youth to a wide range of activities where they learn social skills, job skills and new behaviors that help them stay drug-free and crime-free long after they complete treatment and probation.

Are you trying to recruit mentors in your community?

Please take a moment to share Olivia's story of gratitude for her Reclaiming Futures King County mentor, Hazel Cameron. We thank Hazel, of the 4C Coalition Mentoring Program, who helped Olivia break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime.