Nearly Half of U.S. States Enact Juvenile Justice Reforms; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Nearly Half of U.S. States Enact Juvenile Justice Reforms (
    Nearly half of U.S. states have made great strides in the past eight years toward reducing the prosecution of juveniles in the adult criminal justice system or preventing youths from being placed in adult jails and prisons, a report released Thursday found.
  • ‘Raise the Age’ Advocates Tout New Report on Juvenile Justice (
    The NC Insider is reporting that advocates for raising the age at which North Carolinians are tried in adult courts are touting a new national study that notes that 48 other states have enacted legislation to prevent older teenagers from being prosecuted in adult courts.
  • When Babysitting Joins Forces With Zero Tolerance (
    Sometimes on a Friday night, when there’s nothing better to do and the streets are quiet, indigenous kids in this town 100km (some 60 miles) north-east of Perth, Western Australia, might hang out at the local police station. They’re often not there by choice, but they don’t really mind sticking around either.
  • Florida Struggles To Craft Juvenile Sentencing Policy (
    As state legislators have tried and failed to craft a juvenile-sentencing law that conforms to landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings, a national advocacy group is calling Florida a “clear outlier” among states for its hard-line approach to trying juveniles as adults.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

  • Research Could Reveal the Linkage Between Early Puberty and Adolescent Substance Abuse (The Daily Texan)
    Research revealed that adolescents who go through puberty at an earlier age may be more likely to experiment with substance abuse because of their desire to resemble older peers. Jessica Duncan Cance, assistant professor in the department of kinesiology and health education, was the lead author on the study and was responsible for developing the research questions, analyzing the data and writing up the findings.
  • Starting Young to Support Mental Health (
    Up to one in seven school children will suffer from a mental health problem and preparing teachers to identify, support and manage mental health issues in the school context is the focus of a new research project that will be showcased at an October forum of UniSA’s Healthy Kids Research and Innovation cluster.
  • Teens Are Still Developing Empathy Skills (The Wall Street Journal)
    The teen years are often fraught with door-slamming, eye-rolling and seeming insensitivity, even by kids who behaved kindly before. Some parents worry that they're doing something wrong, or that their children will never think of anyone but themselves. New research shows that biology, not parenting, is to blame.

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