How will States Handle Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole? News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • [OPINION] In Juvenile Justice, Kids Need Protection from False Confessions (The Christian Science Monitor)
    A third of false confessions come from youths under 18. Youths are more easily intimidated and less adept at understanding the ramifications of their statements than adults. They should not be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • How will States Handle Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole? (USA Today)
    Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life sentences for offenders under 18 are cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore unconstitutional. In the wake of that decision, a federal court this month ruled that Hill and more than 300 other Michigan juvenile lifers are entitled to a parole hearing.
  • Bryan Stevenson Optimistic About Juvenile Justice Trends, But Work Remains (
    The man who took the fight against life without parole sentences for juveniles to the U.S. Supreme Court said he is optimistic about juvenile justice trends, but said there is much work to do in a few areas, most especially around housing youth in adult lockups. Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., also said the number of states that try juveniles as adults is a problem.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

  • Program Urges Parents, Peers to Steer Youths to Help (
    “You don’t have to know what’s wrong. You just have to know it’s not right.” That’s the message of a new Helena, Montana campaign aiming to better connect young people with community resources for mental health and wellness. The campaign kicked off Tuesday with around 70 community members standing on street corners downtown and elsewhere in Helena carrying signs bearing the message.
  • Perception of Marijuana as a 'Safe Drug' Is Scientifically Inaccurate, Finds Review of Teen Brain Studies (
    The nature of the teenage brain makes users of cannabis amongst this population particularly at risk of developing addictive behaviors and suffering other long-term negative effects, according to researchers at the University of Montreal and New York's Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  • Mental Health Act will Help Inside, Outside of School (
    There is an epidemic in our nation’s schools that can no longer be dismissed. Violence once contained to urban areas is finding its way into our rural towns. This epidemic is bullying. In 2010, 4.8 million students were affected by bullying. That is 1 in 7 students.
  • Healthy Kids: Recognizing Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
    As an adult, you probably know someone – or know someone who knows someone – who suffers from major depression or bipolar disorder. Recently, what had been considered an “adult only” concern has become more common in the pediatric population.

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