Blog: at risk

Can Social Networks Influence Delinquent Behavior Among Youth?

Do social networks influence delinquent youth behavior? A team of researchers at the Urban Institute, in partnership with Temple University, just released a report titled Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership: Using a Neighborhood Framework to Examine the Influence of Network Composition and Structure in a Latino Community. Caterina G. Roman and Carlena Orosco of Temple University, Meagan Cahill, Pamela Lachman, Samantha Lowry (with Megan Denver and Juan Pedroza) of the Urban Institute, and Christopher McCarty of the University of Florida authored the piece.
The report explores the nature of links which bind youth to groups and their associated social contexts. This study employed a social network framework in order to better understand patterns and relationships between youth in a predominantly Latino neighborhood in Maryland, which is home to a large proportion of high-risk minors. The authors conducted a three-part network survey with 147 youth, with the goal of surveying all youth between the ages of 14 and 21 living in the target neighborhood.

DOJ Launches Website to Improve Outcomes for At-Risk and Delinquent Girls

Good news from the Department of Justice: They've launched the National Girls Institute (NGI) website which will make it much easier for practictioners, analysts and families to access information on girls in the juvenile justice system. Founded in 2010, the NGI is a research-based training and resource clearinghouse designed to advance understanding of girls’ issues and improve program and system responses to girls in the juvenile justice system.
"We have a responsibility to educate professionals and the public about what programs work to keep girls safe and out of trouble," said OJJDP Acting Administrator Melodee Hanes in the DOJ's press release. "This website is an important step forward in our efforts to improve the lives of girls across the country."
The website's resources range from technical assistance and training materials to data and tool sets for practictioners as well as resources for parents and girls in the system.

New guide helps identify youth at risk and more -- news roundup

  • OJJDP launches DMC virtual resource center
    This online forum provides Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) coordinators, state advisory group members, and other juvenile justice professionals with tools to exchange ideas, share trainings and communicate about new practice standards.
  • Treatment Center alters schedule in response to adolescent sleep data
    Because sleep can affect a teen's mood and emotional self-control, Rosecrance Health Network, the largest adolescent treatment center in Illinois, restructured their program to reduce patients’ sleep deficit. Outcomes are encouraging.
  • Update: Illinois juvenile prisons 
    Conditions in Illinois juvenile prisons are improving, according to a report by the John Howard Association on Illinois, but problems of overcrowding, lack of education and inadequate staffing linger.
  • New guide helps identify youth at risk for alcohol-related problems
    The National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has released Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide. This free tool can help healthcare professionals identify youth at risk for alcohol-related problems, counsel or advise them, and connect them to external sources of treatment. It contains a risk assessment survey and links to motivational interviewing resources.