Blog: Juvenile Justice Reform

Department of Juvenile Justice Strengthens Oversight; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Department of Juvenile Justice Strengthens Oversight (
    In the wake of allegations of abuse by staffers at a girls’ lockup in Milton, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is tightening its oversight of private residential facilities — adding interviews with youths and a partnership with the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation to its monitoring procedures.
  • Nebraska Chief Justice: Guardianship, Juvenile Probation Initiatives Show Success (
    Tighter court oversight of guardians and conservators in recent months has exposed cases of theft and misuse of funds, Nebraska's top judge said Thursday. Chief Justice Michael Heavican said changes to state law made in 2011 are providing more protection for vulnerable adults in Nebraska.
  • Georgia Governor: $5 Million for New Juvenile Diversions (
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is asking the state legislature to spend $5 million dollars to set up community diversion programs for low-risk youth offenders, on the model of other states. The appropriation would “create an incentive funding program” to encourage communities to treat appropriate youth at home, Deal told lawmakers at his annual State of the State address on Jan. 17.
  • Florida Tightening Juvenile Justice Monitoring (
    Florida is tightening monitoring and improving the quality of juvenile justice residential and detention facilities. Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters announced the new efforts on Friday. They come nearly a month after a privately owned facility for girls in the Florida Panhandle agreed to end its contract following the arrest of a staff member who was accused of battering a 15-year-old inmate.
  • Study: Minority Youth in Wash. Arrested, Referred to Juvenile Court More Often than Whites (
    Minority youth are arrested and in the Washington state's court system more often than their white counterparts, a recent study commissioned by the state Supreme Court shows. But researchers said counties aren't keeping complete data on ethnicity and the gap between minority and while youth is larger.
  • Palm Beach County School, Justice Officials Warn Students Juvenile Crimes can Follow, Hinder Them as Adults (The Palm Beach Post)
    Sometimes, Sonya Saucedo gets mad. It happens: She’s 13 years old. But Saucedo said she worries sometimes about where that anger and frustration will lead her. “I’ve gotten in trouble at school a few times,” the Pahokee Middle School student said. “I once screamed at everyone in class and threw books.” So on Thursday morning, Saucedo tentatively approached the microphone at a school assembly to ask one question: How hard is it to get your life back after you’ve committed a crime?

[Video] Producing Positive Outcomes in Justice-Involved Youth in Illinois

How can we help justice-involved youth? In the video interview below, Michael Rohan (director of Juvenile Probation and Court Services) and Judge George Timberlake (chair of Illinois Juvenile Justice System) discuss alternatives to sentencing, the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of system-involved youth, coordinating care and trauma. 

Kansas Governor Signs Order to Move Juvenile Justice Agency to Department of Corrections

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback took the first step Friday to reorganize the state’s juvenile justice system, putting into motion his plan to move the management of more than 1,500 juvenile offenders under the auspices of the state department of corrections.
By signing an Executive Reorganization Order (ERO) on Friday, Jan. 18, Brownback sent to the Kansas Legislature his proposal to place the Juvenile Justice Authority (JJA) agency under the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC). The signing of the ERO gives the legislature 60 days to act on the issue. If neither legislative chamber rejects the ERO, the move will become official.
The Kansas JJA had been battered by criticism for some time, prompting Brownback to move aggressively. A post audit report released in 2012 brought to light inefficiencies and neglect in the agency.
But even before the post audit was made public, Brownback removed the commissioner of the JJA last March and began consolidating some of the administrative services of the two agencies.
“The post audit highlighted how the decades-old approach to a social-services focus failed to provide the safety and security that our juvenile offenders require and deserve,” Brownback said.
The JJA currently houses 328 juvenile offenders in two facilities – the Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility, and the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Topeka. The other juveniles under the supervision of the JJA are located in community placement.

Almost 50 Percent Fewer Youth Arrested in Florida Schools; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Courts making strides in protecting children, vulnerable adults (Lincoln Journal Star)
    Supreme Court Chief Justice Heavican thanked lawmakers for passing legislation last session to enhance the Nebraska Juvenile Service Delivery Project, which is designed to keep children involved in the juvenile justice system from becoming repeat offenders. The project aims to keep children from being jailed while they receive services or treatment.
  • Changes made in laws affecting youths (Midland Daily News)
    It’s been years in the making, but now some big changes have been made to laws pertaining to juveniles in court. “The predominant push is the idea that we need to have laws that are geared to juveniles,” Midland County Probate Judge Dorene S. Allen said. “Not use adult laws for juveniles.”
  • Almost 50 percent fewer youth arrested in Florida schools (Florida Department of Juvenile Justice)
    The number of youth arrested in Florida’s public schools declined 48 percent in the past eight years, from more than 24,000 to 12,520, according to a study released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. The decline corresponds with a downward trend in juvenile delinquency in all categories across the state.
  • Building their future: Youth offenders learn woodworking, life skills in lockup (Waco Tribune-Herald)
    In a small shop building at the state youth lockup in Mart, teenage boys who have gotten into trouble with the law are learning woodworking skills that officials hope can be put to good use for the community.
  • Best Of 2012: Juvenile Justice Desk (Youth Radio)
    In 2012, Youth Radio's Juvenile Justice Desk followed some major changes to youth sentencing in California and the nation.

Empowering Families to Help Teens Overcome Drugs, Alcohol, and Crime

After struggling for years to engage the community, a parent-led effort called Family Voices, part of the St. Clair County, Illinois, Youth Coalition, offers dinner, childcare, gas stipends and incentive cards to parents working to unite support systems.
Through the Family Leadership & Support Initiative Program, and exceptional leadership from Chris Hendrix, Kathy Coffee and Mary Pat DeJarnette, more than 30 actively involved parents attend monthly meetings to develop leadership skills and provide training for issues like children’s mental health, substance abuse, developmental disabilities and education.
The mission is twofold:
1)Empower families to advocate for themselves, and
2)Engage parents as partners in planning, implementing and evaluating community programs and services
St. Clair County Reclaiming Futures Treatment Fellow, Daron Copp, organizes and provides trainings about adolescent substance abuse treatment. He teaches about normal adolescent brain development and how substance use disrupts areas of the brain responsible for memory, concentration, planning and judgment.
Daron also reviews signs of adolescent substance abuse and gives parents an overview of the treatment system, so they understand assessment, treatment planning and interventions for adolescent substance abuse treatment.

A Community Approach to Juvenile Justice

This Fall, the Adler School Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) and its partner organizations with the Cook County Juvenile Justice Task Force published a concept paper (PDF download) outlining community-based, trauma-informed, restorative solutions to youth crime and conflict in Cook County, Illinois. The report provides guiding thoughts on how the juvenile justice system can better support young people while making communities safer. It also recommends alternatives to existing centralized juvenile detention approaches in Cook County.
The Adler School IPSSJ paper reports that the majority of juvenile justice dollars are spent in only a few zip codes. By using community approaches to juvenile justice, the Adler School argues that the county could get a much higher return on investment, along with lowering the risk currently posed by teen crime. Via the report:

...if the county does not reinvest these dollars in the communities of greatest need, it is asking residents of those areas to assume substantial additional risks to their safety without funding the types of programs and initiatives that could effectively manage those risks. This is a very real danger. As we all labor to design the best possible future for juvenile justice in Cook County, we would like your help keeping the above ideas and concerns at the forefront of the process. We know fundamental change will take years to responsibly develop; yet the time to begin the work is now.

[Video] The Importance of Trauma Informed Care in Juvenile Justice

"Over 75% of youth in the juvenile justice system have been exposed to some form of trauma," says Christa Collins of the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ). This can affect their ability to handle stress and to make decisions. 
In the video below, Christa explains what a trauma-informed approach to juvenile justice is and how it can decrease costs while improving safety.

Michigan Provides More Avenues for Rehabilitated Juveniles

Some juveniles who commit delinquent acts truly learn from their actions and are able to turn their lives around. For juveniles who have reached this level of rehabilitation, it is important that their past mistakes don’t stand in their way of living productive, law abiding lives.
Michigan recently enacted legislation that would allow rehabilitated youths convicted of three or fewer misdemeanors or certain felonies to seal their records after completing their sentence. Prior to this legislation, only first-time misdemeanants could seal their records in Michigan.
This measure is important to ensure that youths who have turned their behavior around and are set on the right path can go to college or find gainful employment without their record standing in their way. Sealing records can also incentivize good behavior and full adherence to rehabilitation, as juveniles know that if they make the right choices their past won’t unnecessarily hold them back.

Juvenile-Justice Corrections Program Trains Dogs, Youths; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • DJJ Study: Fewer kids Getting Booked at School (The Orlando Sentinel)
    A new Florida study says the number of students arrested at schools was cut in half over the last eight years, which ”correlates” with a decline in juvenile delinquency. The Department of Juvenile Justice report says school arrests fell from from more than 24,189 in the 2004-05 school year to 12,520 last year, a drop of 48 percent. School delinquency arrests fell 36 percent during the same period.
  • Juvenile Defendants can Meet Victims, Settle Charges Outside Court (
    The suspect was caught on camera and admitted he caused about $1,800 worth of damage vandalizing a Louisville business. Instead of handling the 16-year-old defendant’s case in juvenile court, local officials asked the business owner, Keith Bush, if he would take part in a “restorative justice” pilot program designed to repair the harm caused by a crime and find ways to keep offenders from re-offending — instead of seeking only retribution.
  • Juvenile-Justice Corrections Program Trains Dogs, Youths (
    “This is a program where the girls can learn life skills through training these dogs,” said Mike Griffiths, executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. “It’s a small program that pays big dividends — for the girls and the dogs.” The dividends include allowing the dogs to be trained to erase their bad habits, or to at least teach them how to manage their problems and keep their actions in check, so they might be adopted into new homes, he said.
  • Putting a Developmental Approach Into Practice (
    Having developmental competence means understanding that children and adolescents’ perceptions and behaviors are influenced by biological and psychological factors related to their developmental stage. For adults working with young people, taking a developmental approach could lead to better outcomes for kids.
  • Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice? (The New York Times)
    At 2:15 in the afternoon on March 28, 2010, Conor McBride, a tall, sandy-haired 19-year-old wearing jeans, a T-shirt and New Balance sneakers, walked into the Tallahassee Police Department and approached the desk in the main lobby. Gina Maddox, the officer on duty, noticed that he looked upset and asked him how she could help. “You need to arrest me,” McBride answered. “I just shot my fiancée in the head.” When Maddox, taken aback, didn’t respond right away, McBride added, “This is not a joke.”
  • Looking Back and Casting Forward: An Emerging Shift for Juvenile Justice in America (
    The close of 2012 focused so narrowly on terrible events and startling numbers – the Newtown massacre, for example, or Chicago’s sharp rise in homicides – some major criminal justice developments were nearly squeezed out of the national conversation.

Reclaiming Futures Judge South Coast Woman of the Year

Congratulations to Judicial Fellow Bettina Borders, recently recognized by The Standard-Times in Massachusetts as South Coast Woman of the Year for her contributions to the community as a judge and activist.
Judge Borders has been helping young people her whole life, and for the last few years, implementing the Reclaiming Futures model to help teens in trouble.
By working with the City of New Bedford, Bristol County Sheriff's Office, and Bristol County District Attorney Office, Judge Borders and her team are working with the community, treatment providers and social service agencies to provide better intervention, substance abuse treatment and mental health services to young people in need.
We are proud of Judge Borders and salute her committment to her community!

Educational Needs of System-Involved Youth

I am pleased to share with you the second edition of “Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems.” Due to the popularity of the first edition, CJJR is re-releasing this publication with updated material. The updates include references to guides that the National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk (NDTAC), which is housed at the American Institutes for Research, has developed to elaborate upon the principles this paper presents. Since the time this paper was originally released, two guides have been published:

These guides draw on both general research and on the experiences of the NDTAC authors to provide concrete strategies for adopting this paper’s principles and practices and achieving the type of comprehensive education system the authors describe. Both of these guides are described in the epilogue of this paper.

What’s Next for Nebraska’s Juvenile Justice System?

On Thursday, December 6, nearly 250 Nebraskans gathered in Lincoln for Voices for Children’s first ever Juvenile Justice Summit. For the past 25 years, Voices for Children has been working to improve Nebraska’s juvenile justice system, but we know we haven’t gotten where we need to go for children and youth.
The juvenile justice summit was an opportunity for a range of stakeholders to begin a broader conversation about how Nebraska’s system functions and what changes need to be made so that youth in the juvenile justice system are put on a path towards a bright future.With the generous support of the Woods Charitable Fund, Boys Town, Douglas County’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, the Platte Institute, and the Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association, participants heard from a number of national and local experts on juvenile justice reform.
So just where does Nebraska go from here? Experts shared some of their thoughts:

  1. Reducing Nebraska’s Reliance on Juvenile Incarceration: The United States is alone among developed nations in its frequent use of incarceration, which over time has proved to be costly, ineffective, and dangerous for youth. Nebraska currently incarcerates about 600 youth a year. Almost ¾ have never committed a violent offense. Bart Lubow of the Annie E. Casey Foundation recommended reducing the use of incarceration, which is better for youth and will free up resources for investment in other areas of the juvenile justice summit. [download his PPT presentation]
  2. Decreasing the Number of Filings in Adult Court: Nebraska is one of the few states in the nation that frequently processes nearly half of children and youth through adult court, where few rehabilitative opportunities are available. Dr. Anne Hobbs, director of the Juvenile Justice Institute, pointed out the links between adult court involvement and higher rates recidivism. [download her materials]
  3. Creating a System Consistent with the Needs of Children: Youth with involvement in Nebraska’s juvenile justice system shared their desire for more consistency, more contact and support from family and other significant adults in their lives, and more voice and choice in juvenile justice cases. Dr. Kayla Pope talked about the need to build trauma-informed juvenile justice systems acknowledging the mental health needs and histories of youth who come through its doors. [download her PPT presentation]
  4. Bolstering Community-Based Services: Many states rely on incarceration and detention because of a lack of community-based juvenile justice services. Betsy Clarke and Jim McCarter from Illinois shared the success of the Redeploy Illinois program in improving community safety, effectively serving youth, and saving state dollars. [download their PPT presentation] Jeanette Moll and Marc Levin presented a paper on Nebraska’s juvenile justice system that highlighted the need for greater County Aid dollars.

Child Sex Abuse in Female Adjudicated Youth

The last 15 years of my professional focus has been working with youth and families with an emphasis on child sex abuse prevention. While working as a Juvenile Officer in Jefferson County Oregon (2002-2006), I provided gender specific services for our department. My role was to assess, develop and implement gender specific services. Girls Circle(1) curriculum and training was the best practice service that our department implemented in 2003.
We had eight female youth signed up for the class and averaged about five attending weekly. Within about 2 class sessions, I started to hear the girls talking about various types of sexual assaults. Unfortunately, there wasn’t specific group content that addressed child sex abuse and rape. With approval, I adjusted the curriculum to include an art project that would allow the girls to outline each other and color in their body outline with colors representing emotions. This was a very eye opening activity for myself and our department. The common theme in their color representations was scribbled hearts and black stomachs. The girls talked about feeling empty, numb and hopeless about their future. That was affirmation that child sex abuse was important for us to address with the female juvenile clients.
This was what made me realize that so many of the females that came into our Department had experienced child sex abuse and many times additional sexual assaults into their teen years. OJJDP promotes publications that site anywhere from 70-90% of adjudicated female juvenile’s have been sexually abused. Unfortunately, the data on males is very limited but because of high profile cases, it appears that more resources are focusing on males.
Lessons learned:

  • Child sex abuse is very real for a large percent of adjudicated juveniles
  • Grooming creates very deep seeded issues
  • JJO’s need child sex abuse training and assessment tools
  • Juvenile Officer’s have opportunities to address this root cause issue
  • Adult’s need education and training to talk about child sex abuse
  • Positive youth development activities really do work (especially child sex abuse focused)
  • Teens are very protective of the kids in their lives (they don’t want what happened to them happen to other kids)
  • Teaching ourselves and teens how to protect themselves and others from predators works

Juvenile Injustice; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Injustice (Honolulu Weekly)
    A recent study finds that native Hawaiian youth are twice as likely to end up in the juvenile justice system (JJS) as any other ethnic group. And with youth employment at lower rates in 2011 than at any time during the prior decade, the problem may get worse.
  • Local Law Enforcement Officials See Drop in Juvenile Crime (
    From prosecutors to police officers on the street to the state Department of Youth Services, there is consensus that juvenile crime has declined in this region as well as the rest of the Massachusetts. Overall, juvenile crime is down 37 percent in Massachusetts from 2009 to 2011, according to a recent report by Citizens for Juvenile Justice, a research and advocacy group in Boston.
  • Juvenile Court Reform in Tennessee (The New York Times)
    The juvenile justice system in the United States is supposed to focus on rehabilitation for young offenders. But for generations, it has largely been a purgatory, failing to protect them or give them the help and counseling they need to become law-abiding adults. Children who end up in juvenile courts often do not get due process protections like written complaints presenting the charges against them, adequate notice about legal proceedings or meaningful assistance of counsel.
  • Meetings to be Held on Overrepresentation of Minority Youth in Kansas Criminal Justice System (
    The state of Kansas is undertaking a statewide assessment on the extent to which minority youth are over-represented in the juvenile justice system. A series of public meetings will be held so that members of the public can hear the results of the study and to provide feedback to public officials involved in the juvenile justice system in Kansas.
  • Durbin Chairs First Hearing on School to Prison Pipeline (
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin Wednesday chaired the first federal hearing looking at the relationship between schools and the criminal justice system. The hearing follows a recent change in Illinois law prompted by an attack on an Elgin teacher and subsequent Daily Herald investigation.
  • Juvenile Justice: State Sees Decrease in Incarcerated Youth (
    How times have changed for the Texas juvenile justice system. Five years ago, the number of youths locked up in state-run detention centers was about 4,700. Since then, the number has steadily dropped, and now it is less than 1,500 — more than a two-thirds reduction.

Thousands More Teens Now Diverted from New York Juvenile Court

Each year, more than 10,000 teens aged 15 and younger are arrested by police. They begin their journey into the criminal justice system with a visit to an intake officer at the Department of Probation. Increasingly, the trip stops there. In a remarkable turnaround, the probation department has become an off-ramp for thousands of teens each year, diverting them away from court and into short-term community programs.
The number of teens aged 15 and under whose cases have been “adjusted” and closed by the probation department increased 47 percent between 2009 and last year, and has more than doubled since 2006. In 2011, 4,564 teens under age 16 arrested in New York City—38 percent of the total—had their cases closed through adjustment, up from 3,107 two years earlier.
Today, the city funds nearly 30 community-based adjustment programs, serving just over 800 young people as of June. The terms of an adjustment can include restitution for victims and the completion of one of these special programs, which involve community service or other projects. Adjustment periods typically last 60 days, though they can be extended to four months with a judge’s approval. If a young person meets the terms, he or she walks away from the case with no need to go deeper into the justice system. And that’s exactly the point: Especially for low-level offenders, explains Deputy Commissioner of Probation Ana Bermudez, involvement with the justice system often does more harm than good. “There is significant research that youth outcomes actually deteriorate with court processing, particularly when you’re looking at low-risk youth,” she says. “You interfere with those supports that were making them low-risk in the first place.”

Back on Track after Being Behind Bars; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • A Flash Mob for Juvenile Justice Reform, Family Engagement and More (
    Update from Youth Justice Leadership Institute Alumna, Rukia Lumumba: "To provide more visibility to the raise the age issue, I coordinated a flash mob in Times Square for YJAM (Youth Justice Awareness Month) in collaboration with my agency (the Center for Community Alternatives) and the Correctional Association of New York. Approximately 15 advocates and youth participated in the flash mob, which was viewed by hundreds of people in Times Square."
  • Letter: Juvenile Justice Sees Progress (
    Some good news about Louisiana’s success on the juvenile justice reform front was announced last week in the results of a nationwide study. While the news did not make headlines in state media, it is certainly noteworthy and indicative of the state’s reform progress. The study examined implementation of proven programs for juvenile offenders and indicated Louisiana as one of the five top states in adopting programs proven to be most effective in dealing with delinquent or violent youth and their families.
  • Back on Track after Being Behind Bars (
    Returning to society after being incarcerated isn’t easy. Yet a group of formerly incarcerated youth that recently met with U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier are refusing to let their past lives determine their future. They’re overcoming challenges and building better lives for themselves through grit and resilience.

Top 11-15 Juvenile Justice Blog Posts | 2012

Continuing our countdown of the top blog posts from 2012, here's 15 - 11.
15. Bryan Stevenson at TED2012 on Injustice, Juvenile Justice System, Need for Reform
"How can a judge turn a child into an adult?" That's a question lawyer Bryan Stevenson has spent years asking. 
14. Rethinking Juvenile Justice: Promoting the Health and Well-Being of Crossover Youth
A recent report by the Conrad Hilton Foundation found “membership in the crossover group to be a strong and consistent predictor of less desirable [adult] outcomes,” including heavy use of public services, high likelihood of criminal justice involvement, lower educational attainment, and extremely high use of outpatient mental health treatment.
13. The Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Teen Crime
Consistent and substantial evidence exists that supports the relationship between substance abuse and criminal behaviors in youth.

Top 16-20 Juvenile Justice Blog Posts | 2012

Continuing our countdown of the top juvenile justice blog posts of 2012, here are numbers 16-20:
20. Lessons from Death Row Inmates: Reform the Juvenile Justice System
In looking for ways to reduce the number of death penalty cases, David R. Dow realized that a surprising number of death row inmates had similar biographies -- they started out as economically disadvantaged and otherwise troubled kids.
19. Youth Transfers to the Adult Corrections System More Likely to Reoffend
Juveniles transferred to adult corrections systems reoffend at a higher rate than those who stay in the juvenile justice system, according to a recent report from the National Institute of Corrections (NIC).
18. Beating the School-to-Prison Pipeline by Focusing on Truancy, Absenteeism
There is a strong correlation between missing school in the elementary years and winding up in jail, explains a Superior Court Judge.

Top 21-25 Juvenile Justice Blog Posts | 2012

This has been quite a year for our juvenile justice blog. Not only has readership more than doubled (thank you!) but we've partnered with a number of great organizations and journalists to provide you with more frequent analysis, research and ideas for reform.
As last year, our articles explaining why "Scared Straight" tactics do more harm than good, continue to be some of our most-read and shared posts. But this year, we also took a look at the effects of trauma on kids, raise-the-age efforts and the Supreme Court decision to ban life without the option of parole for juveniles. 
This week, we're doing a countdown of the top 25 stories from 2012.
25. Mentoring: Best Practices for High Risk Youth
Mentoring has been shown to reduce drug and alcohol use and help justice-involved teens get back on track. Jessica Jones share five best practices for a successful mentoring program.
24. Inside the Juvenile Justice System: A Look at How the System Works
While readers may be familiar with the criminal system through tv shows, the juvenile system is less well-known and understood. The County of San Diego explains the juvenile system.

The Crime Report's Person of the Year; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • The Crime Report's Person of the Year (
    A New York University law professor who persuaded the Supreme Court to extend its ban on mandatory sentences of life without parole (LWOP) for juveniles to young people convicted of murder—and thereby dramatically transformed the landscape of juvenile justice—is The Crime Report’s choice for Criminal Justice Person of the Year in 2012.
  • Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform Recommendations Would Lock Up Fewer to Save Millions (
    Georgia should save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year by diverting some juveniles away from detention facilities and into community-based programs, according to a group tasked with reviewing the state’s criminal justice system. The state’s Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians recommends reversing some of the harsher policies of the 1990s on how Georgia punishes its youngest offenders.
  • Discussing Juvenile Justice with "Pure Politics" In Kentucky (
    Last month, Right On Crime’s Jeanette Moll traveled to Kentucky to present research on juvenile justice to stakeholders involved in reforming several aspects of the state juvenile system — including how it handles status offenders. A task force in Kentucky is studying the issue, and it is looking for lessons from Texas’s experience.
  • Department of Justice Enters into Agreement to Reform the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee (
    The Department of Justice announced that it has entered into a comprehensive memorandum of agreement with the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn., to resolve findings of serious and systemic failures in the juvenile court that violate children’s due process and equal protection rights.
  • Improving Juvenile Justice (
    Florida Department of Juvenile Justice officials and staff are traveling around the state to educate stakeholders and citizens on the reach of its new “Roadmap to System Excellence” plan. What the plan does is sets Florida on a new path in this endlessly fraught area of juvenile delinquency and its prevention. As president/CEO of the Florida Network, I stand with DJJ secretary Wansley Walters and this bold plan.
  • Harsher Discipline Often Dispensed to Minority, Disabled Students (
    Students of color and those with disabilities receive harsher punishment in schools, punishments that are often a precursor to their entry into the juvenile justice system, The Washington Post reports. Each year, more than 3 million children are expelled or suspended from schools, according to Civil Rights Data Collection figures released last spring by the Education Department. During analysis of 72,000 schools in the 2009-10 academic year, at least 240,000 students were referred to law enforcement.