How a trip to Germany opened a governor’s eyes on juvenile justice; News Roundup

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

How a trip to Germany opened a governor’s eyes on juvenile justice (Fusion)
Last Friday Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy argued to raise the age of Connecticut's juvenile justice system jurisdiction to 20 years old. Malloy's speech is one of the most high-profile statements made so far in the U.S. on how youth have a higher capacity for rehabilitation than adults, and so should be treated differently.  He was inspired by a trip to Germany earlier this year - a country where anyone under 21 years old is treated as a juvenile rather than as an adult.

Juvenile Justice Advocates Wary of Lowering Voting Age to 16 (InsideSources)
While Democrat and D.C. Council Member Charles Allen sees lowering the voting age to 16 as a way to empower teens, youth justice advocates warn that this would actually be harmful for young people since it could potentially be used to lower the age of the criminal justice system jurisdiction; among other concerns.

Philadelphia No. 2 Cop to Expand School Diversion Program Via Major Fellowship (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
Philadelphia Police Department's school diversion program offers alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenses. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel hopes Philadelphia's example will inspire other cities around the country to participate in diversion programs: “You can really turn your juvenile justice system around...It’s really been one of the most profound things I’ve done in my career," says Bethel.

Seattle could wipe out racism in its juvenile justice system — all thanks to these tireless activists (Raw Story)
As part of the No New Youth Jail Movement, Seattle activists fight for an end of the school-to-prison pipeline and racial inequities in King County, and argue for the discontinuation of "youth jails" all together.

Rural Community Organizations Address Human Trafficking (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
In order to more effectively address the high rate of human trafficking rural states, organizations such as Mountain Plain Youth Services / Youthworks  will collaborate with social services, local law enforcement, and members of their communities. The Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) new grant program will help rural communities develop services.

Addiction Among Teens Can Be Prevented (Youth Today)
Experts find that addiction is a "pediatric disease," which almost always begins when a person is young. Prevention strategies such as Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) are recommended in order to detect early on in a person's life, and intervene in addiction most effectively.

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Updated: September 23 2020