Confronting Bias in the Juvenile Justice System; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Black Girls Disproportionately Confined; Struggle for Dignity in Juvenile Court Schools (New Pittsburgh Courier)
    African American girls continue to be disproportionately over-represented among girls in confinement and court-ordered residential placements. They are also significantly over-represented among girls who experience exclusionary discipline, such as out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and other punishment.
  • Teen-Produced Video Highlights Campaign to ‘Raise the Age’ (
    Last summer, a group of teens enrolled in a program at the New York Center for Juvenile Justice decided to take on what they see as an unfair practice in a recently released video called “Because I’m 16.”
    “Because I’m 16, I can’t drive at night,” a teen says as the video begins. It lists other things you can’t do as a 16-year-old -- drink, smoke, buy a lottery ticket, see an R-rated movie.
  • Reforming the Juvenile Justice System Could Save Hawaii Millions (
    Hawaii is spending nearly $200,000 per bed per year to house juvenile offenders, most of whom got in trouble for non-violent low-level crimes. But the state could save millions of dollars a year by focusing only on the most serious offenders and putting the savings back into the community to help with mental health and substance abuse programs for young offenders, juvenile justice experts say.
  • Confronting Bias in the Juvenile Justice System (
    In the ABC News video, the white youth and the black youth both appear to be trying to do the same thing: steal a bike in broad daylight in a community park. But the two actors playing thieves, both filmed by hidden cameras at different times, get decidedly different reactions from passers-by.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

  • Five Most Effective Parenting Programs to Reduce Problem Behaviors in Teens (
    All parents want what's best for their children. But not every parent knows how to provide their child with the tools to be successful, or how to help them avoid the biggest adolescent behavior problems: substance use, delinquency, school dropout, pregnancy and violence.
  • 60 Percent of 12th Graders do not View Marijuana as Harmful (
    Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana late last year. Washington followed suit a month later. Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states while recreational marijuana is decriminalized in 17 states. The drug's status has not only evolved legally, but socially as well. A report released Tuesday from the National Institutes of Health finds that 60 percent of 12th grade students say marijuana is not harmful, up from the 56 percent who found it harmless last year.
  • More Teens Think Pot is Safe, Alcohol and Drug Use Down, Survey Finds (The Los Angeles Times)
    Fewer adolescents think smoking pot is risky than a decade ago, but the use of other drugs, including “bath salts,” Ecstasy and tobacco, dropped in the same period, according to an annual nationwide survey.

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