Girls Incarcerated Longer for Less Serious Offenses, Texas Study Shows; News Roundup

Every week Reclaiming Futures rounds up the latest news on juvenile justice reform, adolescent substance use treatment, and teen mental health. 

Girls Incarcerated Longer for Less Serious Offenses, Texas Study Shows (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
"The Influence of Gender and Traumatic Experiences on Length of Time Served in Juvenile Justice Settings," a new study from The University of Texas in Austin, finds that girls in the Texas juvenile justice system serve longer sentences than boys do, and for less serious offences. In the Texas study, girls were also more likely than boys to have experienced trauma and mental health issues prior to incarceration.

Most vulnerable CPS students suspended most often (Chicago Reporter)
Researchers find that the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school students who are most likely to be disciplined and suspended also very likely have a history of abuse and neglect. The rate of out-of-school suspensions in the 2013-2014 school year was higher for these students than for students with other risk factors. Additionally, the newly released report provides a "wide-ranging look at the causes for racial disparities in CPS suspension rates, as black males continue to be the most at risk for suspension."

Isolated: An exhibition about solitary confinement (Juvenile in Justice)
Photographer Richard Ross spent the last ten years documenting the United States juvenile justice system, and with Isolated Ross critiques the practice of solitary confinement. Ross' Isolated exhibit is showing at Santa Barbara City College from September 25th until December 4th.

How the Pope Could Help Prison Reform (Huffington Post)
During his visit to the United States this past week, Pope Francis was "vocal and compelling" when discussing mass incarceration and abuse suffered by prisoners and incarcerated youth.

When Schooling Meets Policing (The Atlantic)
The presence and role of law-enforcement in schools has caused concern due to the form of discipline a law-enforcement officer may take, as opposed to principals and school staff. Law-enforcement traditionally has little to do with education, and the growing relationship between policing and schools is urging on school discipline reform.

Weed is legal in Washington – but a felony for minors? (Crosscut)
While possession of marijuana will not lead to a felony conviction for adults in Washington State, Asotin County prosecutor Ben Nichols recently charged three teenagers with a Class C felony for being in possession.  The charges were almost immediately reduced to a misdemeanor, leading to discussion on how current regulations in Washington State could be modified to reduce confusion on the issue.

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Updated: September 23 2020