Roundup: Calls for Juvenile Justice Reform to Stop New York Abuses; ADHD Drug Abuse Up 76%
- The so-called "Missouri Model" of juvenile justice reform received more coverage on CNN.
- Meanwhile, Louisiana, which has been attempting for several years to reform its own juvenile justice system by importing the Missouri Model, is seeing mixed results.
- The New York Times reported that four youth prisons in New York routinely broke kids' bones, "shattered" their teeth, and gave them concussions in attempts to discipline them.
Juvenile Justice Reform: Dispatches from Juvenile Hall
Heated discussions arise over the societal factors that lead to juvenile criminality and the ways that public institutions fail to curtail them. A team of experts with decades of collective hands-on experience presents a book that cuts through the hype and paranoia to offer real solutions. Dispatches from Juvenile Hall – Fixing a Failing System, cuts through the war between “soft on crime” and “tough on crime” to deliver an alternative that is “smart on crime” – a progressive approach, based on the latest findings that incorporate corrections responses, treatment, and family-focused interventions.
Roundup: Juvenile Justice System Teens in D.C. Mow Lawns for Elderly; Juvenile Court Privacy Disappearing; and More
When it comes to the juvenile justice system and adolescent substance abuse, there's always something cooking. Check out this week's bonanza of resources and new stories:
- Washington, D.C.'s juvenile justice agency is offering a free service to the elderly: lawns mowed by teens doing community service.
- Nicholas D. Kristof, writing in The New York Times, argued that it makes little sense -- financial or otherwise -- to prioritize prisons over health care.
The Juvenile Justice System: a Research Update
Adolescent substance abuse in the juvenile justice system is the subject of Laurie Chassin's excellent article in the Fall 2008 issue of The Future of Children.
But I urge you to check out the entire issue, whose theme is "juvenile justice." Edited by Laurence Steinberg (whose recent book, Rethinking Juvenile Justice, we gave away last March), the journal brings together research from a number of scholars connected with the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Teens in Your Juvenile Justice System Have Nothing to Do? They Can Help
One of the key parts of the Reclaiming Futures model is "beyond treatment": connecting kids in the juvenile justice system with a network of positive adults, services, and activities that will sustain them when they leave probation, incarceration, or treatment.
No problem, right? Well, as anyone who's ever wrestled with this problem knows, it's a huge problem. It can be hard for probation officers and treatment counselors to keep up with what's available. Then, too, there's the always-tricky issue of what services or activies are appropriate for which kids.
So here's an idea from Community YouthMapping (CYM): ask the kids to help you map the services; together, you can canvass neighborhoods in search of places to go and things to do. It's a great opportunity to harness their energy, given them skills, and model pro-social behavior, and you'll often find resources you wouldn't find otherwise.
Roundup: Juvenile Justice Reform Supported by The New York Times; Addiction Parity Law May be Thwarted; and More
- Juvenile justice reform seemed to be on the mind of The New York Times last week, at least judging by its article documenting the increasing burden placed on the juvenile justice system by growing numbers of mentally ill youth, which was closely followed by an editorial bluntly favoring juvenile detention reform. Meanwhile, Barbara Ehrenreich, in a long op-ed on the criminalization of poverty, condemned recent trends to criminalize and fine kids for truancy.
Catch Kids Doing Things Right!
“Positive Tickets are issued to youth by Police Officers for staying out of trouble or performing good deeds. The Positive Ticket is simply a coupon, voucher, token, or note, that has value for goods, services or some type of credit, acknowledgement or appreciation. The Positive Ticket is just the beginning of a multitude of proactive, intentional, positive activities that can transform communities and shift mindsets and attitudes.”
What Brain Science Tells Us about Kids in the Juvenile Justice System and Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment
I just finished watching, "Brain Science as a Means of Understanding Delinquency and Substance Abuse in Youth," a video you can watch online or download to your computer. It records two faculty lectures given at the University of Washington in 2006. The video's about 75 minutes long, but I assure you, it's worth watching.
Adolescent Substance Abuse Data and ADAM II
I'm a huge fan of the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program, now run by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The program tracks, as you might imagine from its name, drug use among arrestees. Because data is taken from multiple cities around the U.S. -- and variations from city to city can be quite large -- the data's used to track and predict drug use trends over time.
The program was axed in 2003 because of budget constraints, so I was pleased to learn today that ADAM was reinstated in 2007, this time as ADAM II.
Roundup: Detention Reform Celebrates 20 Years' Success; Prevention Cost-Benefit Tool from SAMHSA; and More
- After two decades of juvenile justice reform, the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Juvenile Detention Reform Initiative (JDAI) has released a report documenting its impressive progress. (I'll link to the report when I get hold of it.)