Complex Trauma Among Youth; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Complex Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Impact and Implications (
    Youth who have experienced complex trauma—repeated and various forms of victimization, life-threatening accidents or disasters, and interpersonal losses at an early age or for prolonged periods—have difficulties forming attachments with caregivers and self-regulating emotions.
  • Family Seeks Change in Law to Protect Students (
    The government has a duty to protect prisoners from harm. It also has a duty to protect people who have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. Yet that same duty doesn’t apply to the government when it comes to protecting students in school, according to case law.
  • Grant to Help Men Leaving Juvenile Justice System (The Boston Herald)
    The U.S. Labor Department is giving Massachusetts an $11.7 million grant for a project to increase employment and reduce repeat crimes for men leaving the state's juvenile justice system. The grant will first go to serve 535 men ages 16-22 in Chelsea and Springfield who are leaving the juvenile justice system. It will provide education and pre-vocational training to help them get jobs.
  • When Young Offenders–and Their Teacher–Say Goodbye (Kids in the System Blog)
    Last month, due to a lack of funding, the juvenile lock-up where I taught a weekly “life skills” workshop was shuttered. According to my very rough calculation, in the year that I worked there I had about 400 young men of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds pass through my group. Of those, about half came and went frequently, often gone for a couple of months to less than a week, and then re-offended to find themselves right back where they started.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

  • Teen's Efforts Spur Sessions on Mental Health, Suicide Prevention (
    Between the rigors of high school and rehearsals for show choir, jazz choir and drama, Maria Lind managed to find time for philanthropy, too. The Valley High School junior is selling hundreds of bracelets to support two simple ideas: Rescue is possible. Hope is real.
  • Puberty Blues: The Very Real Issue of Youth Mental Health (
    The onset of mental illness can occur as young as 14, so it stands to reason that the emotional wellbeing of youth is a very real and very relevant concern in today’s society. Some of the problems young people face are longstanding; drug and alcohol abuse, family trauma, peer pressure and suicide, while others such as homelessness, cyber-bullying and self-harm have also emerged, perhaps now more than ever presenting even greater challenges.
  • Troubled Youths Need More from State (
    With all of Illinois’ financial problems, it’s understandable that taxpayers might have little enthusiasm for reforms in its prison system. But when you’re talking about juvenile detention centers, most reasonable people would agree the state needs to do better.
  • Study Finds 1 in 3 Bipolar Teens Become Substance Abusers (
    As published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, researchers found that approximately one in three teens with bipolar disorder developed substance abuse. The new study also identified several risk factors that predicted who among these teens was most likely to develop substance abuse.

juvenile-justice-system_David-BackesDavid Backes writes the Friday news roundup for Reclaiming Futures and contributes articles about juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment to He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Santa Clara University. David works as an account executive for Prichard Communications.

Updated: February 08 2018