Blog: New Mexico

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Documentary Premieres Online Tonight

I visited the beautiful state of New Mexico last week and learned how their leadership is working to improve the future for young people.  While I was in Albuquerque, I heard about a new documentary about the need for adolescent substance abuse treatment, called "No Exceptions".
According to the film's producers, the film's intention is to "help parents, educators and middle and high schoolers understand the dangers of opioid (pain killer) abuse, how it can lead to heroin use, and how to prevent use before it starts." The program includes a 30-minute documentary, viewer guide and support for targeted audiences.
I'm looking forward to seeing the live-stream on KOB.com tonight at 6 pm (PDT) on KOB.com.
 

 

Teens in Juvenile Justice System Creating Hope and Opportunity through The Beat Within's Writing and Art Program

For the better part of the last two decades, The Beat Within has been committed to a mission of providing incarcerated youth with a forum where they can write (and draw) about the things that matter most to them, explore how they have lost connection with those things they value, and consider how they might re-connect to positive situations in their lives through the power of the written word.
This is a program that started small, in the Bay Area, with a commitment to provide detained kids between the ages of 11 to 18 with a safe space to share their ideas and experiences while promoting literacy, self-expression, some critical thinking skills, and healthy, supportive relationships with adults and their community.
That modest local effort has grown into a nationwide program that touches the lives of more than 5,000 youth in detention. Today, you can find weekly Beat workshops going on in 12 California county juvenile halls, from Alameda to San Diego. We are partnering with universities from U.C. Berkeley to the University of Hawaii. Meanwhile, the workshop model for The Beat is being replicated in Arizona, Texas, Alabama, New Mexico, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and, thanks to the JJIE, Georgia.

School Discipline: When Should Law Enforcement Step In?

This week, several schools and districts are grappling with the issue of when—if ever—it is appropriate for police officers to get involved with school discipline issues.
The Albuquerque school district, for example, is currently the defendant in a class action lawsuit over referring students to law enforcement for allegedly minor offenses. When a student was talking to her friend and refused to return to her seat, her teacher called the police.
In contrast, a Georgia six-year-old throwing a violent tantrum—which included destruction of property and assault, according to published reports—was arrested and taken away in a police cruiser. She was also put in handcuffs while in the cruiser, according to standard department policy, but to the outrage of many.