Imprisoned Teens Found More Likely to Re-offend and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Illinois to Improve Conditions at Youth Prisons (St. Louis CBS Local)
    Illinois is promising to improve safety at its youth prisons and offer inmates better educational and mental health services. The Department of Juvenile Justice agreed to the improvements after the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois threatened to sue.
  • U.S. Families Fret at Juvenile Justice System in Crisis (The Raw Story)
    Relatives of jailed young Americans called Tuesday for reform of a juvenile justice system they say fails to help young people and is biased against youth of color. “More than two million children are arrested every year in the United States and the numbers continue to rise, despite the decreasing incidence of true criminal offenses,” according to the study released by the Justice for Families program at the research organization DataCenter.
  • Imprisoned Teens Found More Likely to Re-offend (
    A new report shows that children and teenagers locked up for breaking the law have become 6 percent more likely to commit another crime than they were in 2003. The figures come from a study conducted by the Pew Center on the States at the request of a commission appointed to propose an overhaul to the juvenile-justice system in Georgia.
  • GIVING BACK - Troubled Youths get Chance to Serve Community through DJJ Initiative (
    A group of local youths spent Friday morning working with officers at the Orangeburg County, SC Department of Juvenile Justice as part of Restoring Carolina Through Youth Service. The program is a statewide initiative that gives young people who have made poor choices an opportunity to give back through community service.
  • Juvenile Court Records can Follow Kids to College (The Morning Call)
    Juvenile court records could begin following youthful offenders to college after a state appeals court decision in the child pornography case of a Whitehall Township teen. The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a Lehigh County judge's decision to notify the boy's university that he had admitted looking at and trading child pornography over the Internet.
  • Michael Griffiths: The TT Interview (The Texas Tribune)
    Michael Griffiths never really retired after 15 years as head of juvenile services for the Dallas County Juvenile Department. He taught online courses at his alma mater, Sam Houston State University, and consulted on juvenile issues, and he even handed out programs at Texas Rangers games. On Monday, Griffiths will become the new executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Hawaii Youth Substance Abuse Treatment Grows (
    KIDS COUNT has released the third in a series of reports developed in collaboration by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the Hawaii Department of Health and the University of Hawaii’s Center on the Family. The report presents updated data on substance abuse treatment services utilization in Hawaii. State-level data presented in the report were collected from agencies that received funds from ADAD during the 2010 fiscal year.
  • More States Institute “Social Host” Laws to Cut Down on Underage Drinking (
    A growing number of states are instituting “social host” laws, which are designed to cut down on underage drinking, The Wall Street Journal reports. The laws impose criminal or civil penalties on hosts who permit underage drinking on their property. As of January, 28 states had adopted such laws, up from 18 in 2005. Hosts can be charged regardless of who supplies the alcohol, or whether anyone is hurt, the article notes.
  • Reader Letter | Promote Recovery for Disease of Addiction (
    September is National Addiction Treatment and Recovery Month. While crimes associated with drug trafficking and drug abuse attract media attention, too little ink and video is devoted to the personal tragedies of addiction and the real and compelling stories of recovery. The proclamation by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of September as National Recovery Month provides an opportunity to renew efforts to bring awareness to the problems of addiction and the success of treatment.
  • Emergency Rooms Learning to Deal with Teens, Young Adults on Designer Drugs (
    Emergency room doctors are learning the signs of designer drug use in teens and young adults as the substances continue to grow in popularity, The Miami Herald reports. Signs that someone has been using “bath salts,” or synthetic marijuana, known as “K2” or “Spice,” include a glassy look, or psychotic behavior, such as acting as if they are seeing things or hearing voices, according to Dr. Peter Antevy, an emergency room doctor at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.
  • Few Doctors Know how to Treat Addiction. A New Program Aims to Change That (The Washington Post)
    They are seen every day in doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics and hospital emergency rooms: men in their 50s with bleeding ulcers; young adults pulled from car crashes; middle-aged women fighting a losing battle against chronic pain. As dissimilar as they seem, many of these patients are also suffering from another illness — alcohol or drug abuse — that is at the root of the more obvious ailments that keep them cycling through the medical system.

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