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Fewer Memphis Juveniles are Being Transferred to Adult Court; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Fewer Memphis Juveniles are Being Transferred to Adult Court (The Commercial Appeal)
    More juveniles charged with crimes are being given a chance to turn their lives around, dodging transfer to adult court where prison is a common outcome, according to court statistics.
  • Treat all 17-Year-Old Offenders as Juveniles, Illinois Senate Decides (Quad-City Times)
    The Illinois Senate Tuesday approved legislation that would send all 17-year-olds charged with a crime in Illinois first to juvenile courts.
  • Natrona County Launches Juvenile Justice Data Collection Pilot Program (Megan Cassidy)
    A program that organizes information on juvenile offenses in Natrona County may grow and help law enforcement efforts across Wyoming. Rep. Keith Gingery said problems the state has addressing juvenile justice issues are compounded because of a lack of uniform data. Few legislators believe law enforcement agencies in Wyoming target minorities when arresting juveniles, for example, but there has been no statewide data to consider.
  • Troubled Teens Art Featured at Austin Auction (
    Those who oversee the program called Project Bridge say it's a way to help the kids realize they can be successful after they leave juvenile detention. “It opens their eyes to future possibilities, of things that might be on their horizon that they've never considered,” said Travis County 98th District Court Judge Rhonda Hurley.

Road Map for Change: A Report on the 2013 Leadership Institute

The 2013 Leadership Institute, a working conference for Reclaiming Futures leadership teams helping communities break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime, was held in Ashville, N.C., May 7-9, 2013.

Interactive workshops, plenary sessions and fellowship discussions provided opportunities to share and learn proven approaches and best practices for communities adopting, implementing and sustaining the Reclaiming Futures approach as the standard of care in communities across the nation.

Here is a sample of the topics that were addressed:

  • One Family at a Time by Michael Clark, Center for Strength-Based Strategies
  • Rest Stop: Self-Care and Leadership Survival by Laura Nissen, Special Advisor, Reclaiming Futures National Program Office, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University
  • One Faith Community at a Time by Michael Dublin, Consultant, Faith Works Together Coordinator
  • Evaluating the Impact of Adding the Reclaiming Futures Approach to Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts by Michael Dennis, Director, GAIN Coordinating Center, Chestnut Health Systems
  • How to Manage Yourself and Others Through the Stress of Change by Kathleen Doyle-White, Founder and President, Pathfinders Coaching

We'd like to hear from you. If you attended the Leadership Institute, What new skills, perspectives or strategies will you use? What insights will reinforce the efforts of your local Reclaiming Futures team?

It’s not too late to share ideas, photos and resources from the 2013 Reclaiming Futures Leadership Institute. Please use the following hashtag via Twitter: #RFutures13

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.