The Crime Report's Person of the Year; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • The Crime Report's Person of the Year (
    A New York University law professor who persuaded the Supreme Court to extend its ban on mandatory sentences of life without parole (LWOP) for juveniles to young people convicted of murder—and thereby dramatically transformed the landscape of juvenile justice—is The Crime Report’s choice for Criminal Justice Person of the Year in 2012.
  • Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform Recommendations Would Lock Up Fewer to Save Millions (
    Georgia should save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year by diverting some juveniles away from detention facilities and into community-based programs, according to a group tasked with reviewing the state’s criminal justice system. The state’s Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians recommends reversing some of the harsher policies of the 1990s on how Georgia punishes its youngest offenders.
  • Discussing Juvenile Justice with "Pure Politics" In Kentucky (
    Last month, Right On Crime’s Jeanette Moll traveled to Kentucky to present research on juvenile justice to stakeholders involved in reforming several aspects of the state juvenile system — including how it handles status offenders. A task force in Kentucky is studying the issue, and it is looking for lessons from Texas’s experience.
  • Department of Justice Enters into Agreement to Reform the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee (
    The Department of Justice announced that it has entered into a comprehensive memorandum of agreement with the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn., to resolve findings of serious and systemic failures in the juvenile court that violate children’s due process and equal protection rights.
  • Improving Juvenile Justice (
    Florida Department of Juvenile Justice officials and staff are traveling around the state to educate stakeholders and citizens on the reach of its new “Roadmap to System Excellence” plan. What the plan does is sets Florida on a new path in this endlessly fraught area of juvenile delinquency and its prevention. As president/CEO of the Florida Network, I stand with DJJ secretary Wansley Walters and this bold plan.
  • Harsher Discipline Often Dispensed to Minority, Disabled Students (
    Students of color and those with disabilities receive harsher punishment in schools, punishments that are often a precursor to their entry into the juvenile justice system, The Washington Post reports. Each year, more than 3 million children are expelled or suspended from schools, according to Civil Rights Data Collection figures released last spring by the Education Department. During analysis of 72,000 schools in the 2009-10 academic year, at least 240,000 students were referred to law enforcement.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Report: Mental Health Care at Juvenile Center Lacking (
    Medical care for severe mental illness at a Kewanee juvenile detention center in Springfield, Illinois is so inadequate, the state should find another place for residents needing care "to prevent the violation of their constitutional right to treatment," a report released Thursday says.
  • Survey: Almost One-Fourth of 12th Graders Have Smoked Marijuana in Past Month (
    Almost one-quarter of the nation’s high school seniors say they have smoked marijuana in the past month, and just over 36 percent admit to using the drug in the past year, according to the 2012 Monitoring the Future Survey. Researchers at the University of Michigan who conducted the annual survey found 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoked marijuana daily.

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