By Benjamin Chambers, July 08 2010
Juvenile Justice Reform and Related News
- Right on the heels of a publication from the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges (NCJFCJ) called, "10 Things Every Juvenile Court Judge Should Know about Trauma and Delinquency," comes a brief from the Justice Policy Institute, which also makes the case for investing in "trauma-informed care" for kids in the justice system.
- The Sentencing Project has just launched a new page devoted to juvenile justice issues, including short summaries of recent news, research, and related resources. For example, check out the brief review of I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup, by David Chura. (Scroll down after following the link.)
- "What's the Matter with Kids Today?" The ABA Journal breaks down the emerging science on teen's developmental deficits, and how it's changing juvenile justice law. It also contains an in-depth examination of the recent Supreme Court case banning life without parole for juveniles who do not commit homicide. (Hat tip to Youth Today.)
- "Stopping the Rail to Jail" is a new, 30-minute "mini-documentary" about disparities in the juvenile justice system and the system's impact on kids. It also profiles several agencies working with the teens. The video was created by the Community Justice Network for Youth, which is part of the W. Haywood Burns Institute. (Hat tip to Policy for Results.)
- Want to improve the chances that teens in the child welfare system will find stable placements? The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare has a new resource covering this in depth, with a focus on evidence-based and promising practices.
- "Locked Up & Out" is a report from the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana documenting the experiences of LGBT youth in detention: "physical and sexual abuse, psychological abuse, excessive use of lockdown and isolation, confidentiality breaches and privacy violations ..." Even worse, one suspects that Louisiana isn't unusual in this regard. (Hat tip to W. Haywood Burns Institute on Facebook.)
Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Related News
- Penn State University researchers argue, based on a study of 24 college students, that people recovering from addiction must learn to deal with stressors in order to be successful. This may seem like something straight out of the Department of the Blindingly Obvious, but here's why it matters: it's not enough to ask addicts to avoid the people or things that stress them out (especially juveniles, who have little control over where they live or with whom): addicts also need to learn and practice coping skills. The principle also applies to non-drug-related criminal behavior. Conditions of probation routinely require teens to stop hanging out with their friends. That's a start, but if you can also give teens more skills for coping with negative feelings like anxiety and stress, they're more liikely to say "no" to drugs and crime.
- What a difference a friend makes ... That's the title of a new web site launched by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to encourage young adults to help their 18-25 year-old friends with mental health issues seek help. According to the site, "[t]he prevalence of serious mental health conditions in this age group is almost double that of the general population, yet young people have the lowest rate of help-seeking behaviors. This group has a high potential to minimize future disability if social acceptance is broadened and they receive the right support and services early on." My guess is that this will also appeal to older teens. (Hat tip to Paul Savery.)
- Looking for a way to help teens reduce their risk of relapse and increase their resilience? Try this four-week course on "Mindfulness in Addiction Treatment," funded by SAMHSA and co-sponsored by the Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England. Cost is $60.00; you must register by August 30, 2010; students are eligible to receive credit for up to 8 contact hours from the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). (Hat tip to Jutta Butler at SAMHSA.)
- We've all read stories about how teens are abusing prescription pain medication. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling for "urgent" action to address their misuse by adults and children, according to Join Together. CDC's director says that emergency room visits for abuse of prescription pain meds are "now as common as emergency-department visits for use of illicit drugs."
- Use of synthetic marijuana seems to be growing, according to an article in the Washington Post. The drug, also known as "spice" or "K2," is legal, but lawmakers and others have concerns about how it's made, and reports of adverse health effects like extreme paranoia, depression, and seizures. I linked to some coverage of "fake weed" earlier this year (see second bullet), but I still haven't seen any data on how commonly used it is among teens. Nevertheless, the Post does say that reports to poison control centers over K2 have shot up dramatically.
Topics: Adolescent Mental Health, Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment, Juvenile Justice Reform, No bio box, Public Policy, Research Updates
Updated: February 08 2018