Morgan State Forum Illuminates Justice System's Racial Disparity and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Memphis Seeking Alternatives to Locking up Wayward Youths (The Commercial Appeal)
    National experts arrived in Memphis to help guide juvenile justice officials, law enforcement and community leaders Tuesday on reforming a system that has been cited for disparate treatment of black youths.
  • Departing Georgia Juvenile Boss: Crisis Passed (
    After serving for nearly one year, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Gale Buckner announces her departure, with a parting message for the agency, “the crisis stage is passed and we’re on to better opportunities.”
  • Mayor Highlights "Close To Home" Juvenile Justice Program (
    Juvenile offenders are now living within New York's five boroughs and attending schools here after years of serving time upstate. The Close to Home initiative transfers the majority of young offenders to the city's control from the state. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Brooklyn Thursday to highlight the program. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
  • Morgan State Forum Illuminates Justice System's Racial Disparity (The Baltimore Sun)
    Nearly every juvenile housed in Baltimore's adult prison in August — 41 of 42 — was black, an issue that brought more than 300 stakeholders together Wednesday at Morgan State University to discuss racial disparity in the criminal justice system.
  • New York to Try Again to ‘Raise the Age’ (
    New York state 16- and 17-year-olds go to adult court, a practice nearly unique to the state. But that may change, as the New York legislature is expected to take another look at proposals to raise the age of criminal responsibility.
  • Number Of Juveniles Behind Fences At South Carolina Department Of Juvenile Justice Drops Dramatically (
    The number of juveniles behind the razor wire at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has dropped to 95, down from 175 two years ago. DJJ Director Margaret Barber says there are a number of reasons why, including the fact that juvenile crime overall is down nationwide and in South Carolina.
  • Reforms Credited for Driving Juvenile Crime Down in North Carolina (
    In the last couple of decades, combating teen crime and gangs in North Carolina attracted the attention of legislators, policymakers and a governor. Now there’s evidence that their solutions are working. While overall violent crimes have declined by nearly 14 percent in the state since 2002, the number of teens under 16 charged with violent crimes has dropped by nearly 37 percent.
  • Georgia Judge: Schools--Not Courts--Should Handle Truancy (
    Truancy cases are increasingly referred to courts across the country rather than handled between schools and the parents. This process is expensive, ties up court resources from more pressing public safety priorities, and is ineffective in addressing chronic absenteeism.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Authoritative Mothers Influence Behavior of Teenagers’ Friends (
    Mothers with an authoritative parenting style can influence the friends of their teenagers, making it less likely they will get drunk, or smoke cigarettes or marijuana, suggests a new study.
  • Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School (
    When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall. The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Heroin Use Among Young in N.J. is Up, and in More Suburban Areas (
    With sprawling highways, one of the nation’s largest airports and three large ports, New Jersey has the infrastructure to support a successful heroin racket. Now, thanks to a surge in painkiller addictions and some clever new marketing by dealers, the state’s heroin economy is booming.
  • More Doctors Prescribing Stimulants to Struggling Students in Low-Income Schools (
    More doctors are prescribing stimulants for students who are struggling in low-income schools, The New York Times reports. Many of these children, who do not have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), receive the drugs to increase their academic performance.

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