Blog: juvenile courts

Girls and Opioids: Vulnerabilities & Opportunities

In two separate blog posts in 2016, we discussed opioid use rates and substance use issues among adolescent girls involved with juvenile justice. In July 2017, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health (OWH) released a report on opioid use, misuse, and overdose in women. The report provides information on the gender-specific issues and gaps in knowledge regarding females with substance use concerns/disorders. The report discusses the differences among females and males regarding the progression of substance use, the biological, social, and cultural issues (e.g., pain; relationships; family/parenting; trauma, determinants of health), effective treatments and barriers to implementation, and areas for further research. As it relates to adolescent girls (ages 12-17 years old), the report indicates they are more likely to use and become dependent on non-medical uses of prescription drugs as compared to adolescent boys. Access to prescription drugs can come from a home medicine cabinet and may help relieve mental health or physical pain symptoms and/or be part of their peer culture.

2017 Report on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Questioning, Gender Nonconforming and Transgender (LGBQ/GNCT) Youth Involved with Juvenile Justice

Since joining Reclaiming Futures, I have listened to the open meetings of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ). Supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), FACJJ (pronounced FAC Jay) members are individuals appointed to State Advisory Groups. Created in 2002, FACJJ members are responsible for having knowledge of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and to encourage state compliance with the four core protections:

Obama intends to nominate ONDCP deputy director and more: news roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Obama announces intent to nominate new deputy director for ONDCP
    Join Together:
    President Obama this past week announced his intent to nominate Michael P. Botticelli as Deputy Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy.
  • Kanawha to institute juvenile drug court
    Charleston Daily Mail:
    West Virginia’s Kanawha County aims to curb drug abuse soon after it starts by instituting a juvenile drug court program.
  • Five questions with Mike Dansereau, formerly with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice
    Ledger Enquirer:
    In this interview, Mike Dansereau explains the differences between the adult and juvenile courts and what he would like to change in the juvenile system.
  • Iowa County sets aside $600k for juvenile justice system
    The Daily Iowan:
    Johnson County officials said they're worried minority youth are running into legal issues at a higher rate than their white peers. The county has set aside $600,000 for the Juvenile Justice and Youth Development Program and is now accepting applications for projects to use that money.
  • Richmond making fixes to juvenile detention center
    Richmond Times-Dispatch:
    Richmond officials say the city's juvenile detention center will be repaired and its staff fully retrained by April to fix the problems that led the state to put the troubled facility on probation for the second time in three years.
  • OP-ED:The true cost of high school dropouts
    New York Times:
    When the costs of investment to produce a new graduate are taken into account, there is a return of $1.45 to $3.55 for every dollar of investment, depending upon the educational intervention strategy. Under this estimate, each new graduate confers a net benefit to taxpayers of about $127,000 over the graduate’s lifetime.
  • Opinion: Police need better access to juvenile records
    Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
    Rep. John Richards and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett make a case for allowing police officers to access juvenile probation information when they encounter young suspects on the street.
  • The price of prisons: What incarceration costs taxpayers
    Vera Institute of Justice:
    The full report provides the taxpayer cost of incarcerating a sentenced adult offender to state prison in 40 states, presents the methodology, and concludes with recommendations about steps policy makers can take to safely rein in these costs.
  • Department of Juvenile Justice representatives address YDC upheaval
    The Augusta Chronicle:
    A representative from the Department of Juvenile Justice was in Augusta for the District Five Quarterly Breakfast meeting Saturday to speak about the changes and upheaval at the Augusta Youth Development Campus.
  • Youth Fair aims to keep kids out of trouble
    NWF Daily News:
    Local juvenile assistance organizations gathered at the mail to share information with teens and concerned parents on a variety of local programs at the Okaloosa County Juvenile Justice Council’s Youth Fair.
  • Editorial: Ensuring teen offenders can’t be rehabilitated
    Washington Post:
    The Washington Post Editorial Board takes a stance against two juvenile justice reform proposals championed by Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

  • The prescription drug epidemic: a federal judge’s perspective
    Join Together:
    Pills are the new drug of choice for kids. A recent survey revealed that young people 12 and older are abusing prescription drugs at greater rates than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine combined. Only marijuana abuse is more common. And, most troubling, every day approximately 7,000 young people abuse a prescription narcotic for the first time.

Schools to prison pipeline: today’s civil rights issue

It was against the law during slave days, to teach a slave to read or write — denial of education goes way back. Also, during reconstruction, and later, there were efforts by white lawmakers to have more punitive and longer sentences for crimes they thought black people were more likely to commit. Today, we face a whole spectrum beginning with racial profiling and ending with the large number of black men who have been executed or who await execution on death row.
Then, when looking at issues of public education, I realized the school system here in Atlanta and indeed all over the country was re-segregating and the process was closely connected with the large number of young black men going into the prison system.
Several groups began working to stop this “school to prison” pipeline and we continue today as the problem worsens. One of the worst elements of this tragedy is the connection to money — of course — and the vast sums being spent on building prisons and keeping them filled.
Under President George W. Bush, private prisons started flourishing, often in poor rural areas where people welcomed them, hoping it would improve the local economy. The number of beds for prisoners in each institution and the prison population determine the income the state pays to these private corporations. One can see the analogy of a system where people are traded on Wall Street instead of a slave block in Charleston.
With more than 2 million people in prison, the United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate. If you add those on probation and parole, the figure is 6.5 million, or one in every 32 adults. The majority of U.S. inmates are black males, but prison populations increasingly include Latinos, other minorities, and the poor in general.
[read more after the jump]

New OJJDP report provides latest data and trends in juvenile court cases

The National Center for Juvenile Justice has published a new report, "Juvenile Court Statistics 2008," developed with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
Drawing on data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive (the myriad data sets include age, gender, race, entry and detention rates, etc.), the report profiles more than 1.6 million delinquency cases that U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction handled in 2008. It also describes the trends in delinquency cases processed by juvenile courts between 1985 and 2008 and the status offense cases they handled between 1995 and 2008.
You can read and download the report (PDF file) here.