Blog: News

[Photos] Changing Confinement Culture in Olathe, Kansas; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • [Photos] Changing Confinement Culture in Olathe, Kansas (JJIE.org)
    Last month, Richard Ross, the creator of Juvenile In Justice, visited and photographed two juvenile detention facilities in Olathe, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City. This week the photos are featured on Bokeh, JJIE’s multimedia site.
  • Trial Run for Revised Juvenile Justice System (The New York Times)
    In Travis County, juvenile justice officials have decided that they can do a better job than the state in dealing with the most troubled local offenders, considering Texas’ history of scandal and violence in youth lockups.
  • Summer Jobs May Reduce Teen Violence, Study Says (JJIE.org)
    Summer jobs may help reduce violence, according to a recent study that found that low-income Boston teens who held down summer jobs were less likely to engage in violence than teens without jobs. The study, conducted by researchers at Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, surveyed more than 400 young people who obtained employment last summer through a State Street Foundation youth violence prevention program.
  • JUVENILE JUSTICE: Families Want Changes (WhoTV.com)
    Some Iowa families say the state`s juvenile justice system is broken and they`re suffering because of it. They`re sharing their stories as the state Supreme Court considers making changes. Members of the group Iowa Family Rights met at the Capitol Tuesday claiming parents and grandparents are being denied fair treatment.

Washington One of Nation's 'Comeback States' on Juvenile Justice; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Accouncement: Website Launch
    New website launches for Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT), providing help for adolescents and families.
  • Washington One of Nation's 'Comeback States' on Juvenile Justice (King5.com)
    Washington’s juvenile detention population dropped 40% between 2001 and 2010, according to a new report released Tuesday by the National Juvenile Justice Network. The analysis puts Washington among nine “comeback states” on the issue of juvenile justice.
  • Ted Cox has Faith in the Youth he Serves (Shreveporttimes.com)
    Retired Army Reserve Col. Ted Cox arm wrestles an inmate at the Caddo Parish Juvenile Justice Complex, where he is the administrator. He regularly counsels the youth there.
  • Zero Tolerance and Juvenile Justice: A View from the Bench (Alaska Justice Forum)
    "The factors that lead youth into juvenile crime are many and varied. Drugs, alcohol, and interpersonal violence are often cited as major contributors. However, in my estimation, one of the principal factors that may often precipitate a plunge into the juvenile justice system is the failure to maintain and succeed in school."

'Supper Club' Brings Stable Connection; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • For Juvenile Detainees, 'Supper Club' Brings Stable Connection (The Baltimore Sun)
    The one-year-old Supper Club program is designed around a time-tested principle — that sharing regular meals with caring grown-ups provides young people with a sense of stability and connection. It's an experience that teens inside these walls may be only passingly familiar with.
  • [OPINION] Juvenile Justice System Broken, Needs Oversight (JournalStandard.com)
    "No child should ever be subject to mistreatment, and this report will hopefully incentivize our policymakers to ensure that incarceration is truly the last resort, used only for the safety of the child and the public."
  • Forum Focuses on Juvenile Justice (RegisterStar.com)
    For the second straight month, the Time and Space Limited theater in Hudson hosted a meeting on juvenile justice in conjunction with the newly formed Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center. At Wednesday’s event, TSL co-Director Linda Mussman welcomed moderator and sociologist Richard Smith, and a panel of local legal experts to discuss issues facing Hudson youth in the juvenile justice system.
  • OP-ED: Families: Solutions to the Crisis in Juvenile Justice (JJIE.org)
    "In 2006, the mother of a teenage daughter involved in the juvenile justice system in Hawaii contacted a small, non-profit in Lake Charles, La., more than 4,000 miles away. The mother was seeking support from someone who could understand her plight in navigating the juvenile justice system and possibly help her find the treatment and services her daughter desperately needed."

Past Traumatic Experiences Common Among Detained Juveniles; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Efforts Sought to Rehabilitate Troubled Youth (Tribune-Democrat.com)
    While there have been drastic changes in the juvenile justice system in the wake of the “Kids for Cash” scandal, some advocates believe Pennsylvania has so far failed to widely embrace efforts to fully focus on rehabilitating troubled young people. One of the more innovative efforts in Pennsylvania involves the use of youth courts, in which young people themselves mete out justice for their peers.
  • Bad Food, a Bible, and a Blanket: 24 Hours in Juvenile Solitary Confinement (Wired.com)
    As a photographer, how far would you go to get in the heads of your subjects? For Richard Ross, it meant 24 hours in solitary confinement at a juvenile detention center. Over six years, Ross has photographed hundreds of detention centers and interviewed more than a 1,000 children for a project called Juvenile-in-Justice that aims to educate people about the juvenile justice system. He’s as familiar as any outsider with the subject, but he decided it wasn’t enough.
  • Past Traumatic Experiences Common Among Detained Juveniles (JJIE.org)
    Most young people placed in detention have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, according to a new report from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). “PTSD, Trauma and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth,” released Tuesday, included findings culled from the Northwestern Juvenile Project, which assessed more than 1,800 young detainees in Chicago between 1995 and 1998.
  • Nebraska Gov. Heineman Signs Juvenile Justice Reform Bill, Focusing on Youth Rehabilitation (TheRepublic.com)
    Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has signed a juvenile justice reform bill into law. The measure by Sen. Brad Ashford, of Omaha, is designed to shift the state's focus toward rehabilitation for youths who break the law. Heineman approved the legislation on Wednesday during a news conference.
  • Gov. Heineman Signs Juvenile Justice Reform into Law (Omaha.com)
    The state embarked on a new approach in dealing with troubled juveniles Wednesday. Gov. Dave Heineman signed into law a major reform bill that shifts the focus from incarceration to treatment for youthful offenders and puts state probation officers in charge of that rehabilitation work instead of state social workers.

Celebrating Success in Hardin County, Ohio

Reclaiming Futures Hardin County recently hosted our first annual Run for Recovery 5k Run/Walk & Kids Dash. The event was held in order to involve the community in the services offered from both Hardin Community School and Reclaiming Futures, while encouraging our youth to live a healthier lifestyle. The name Run for Recovery was chosen in order to incorporate Hardin County youth in all aspects of recovery, including education, along with recovery from drugs, alcohol, crime, and mental health problems.
The race was held Saturday May 25th, 2013 at Hardin Community School/Lifeworks Center. Roughly 160 runners/walkers and youth took place in the 5k and kids dash. Each participant received a goody bag filled with local offerings and a Run for Recovery 5k t-shirt.
Businesses, organizations and individuals from the community astounded us with their overwhelming support months leading up to the race! Nearly 40 separate entities showed their support with monetary donation, door prize donations, post-race refreshment, prizes for the kid’s dash, participants’ goodie bag contributions, and sponsorships for kid’s entry fees, not to mention the countless volunteers who helped with race preparation.
Race morning was no different! Our team was greeted race morning with over 20 volunteers to help us organize. Volunteers from the Sheriff’s Office, Kenton Police Department, mentors, Hardin Community Schools’ 4-H chapter, and Hardin County Vietnam vets were on site to assist our team. Throughout the race, public bystanders lined the streets to watch as the race participants passed by their homes and offices. A huge hit for the crowd was seeing Hardin County Juvenile Court’s K9, Cory, complete the 5k with her handler Sheriff Deputy Rushing.

Justice Reform Paying Off Sooner than Expected; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • [AUDIO] Juvenile Justice System Overhaul Signed into Law (NebraskaRadioNetwork.com)
    Nebraska will shift how it treats juvenile offenders under a bill signed into law by the governor. Gov. Dave Heineman has signed LB 561e, juvenile justice reform approved by the legislature. Heineman, during a news conference in his Capitol office, called the bill complex. Still, he has hopes for a simple outcome.
  • Dramatic Reform of Juvenile Justice Takes Shape in Legislature (NorthPlatteBulletin.com)
    Juvenile criminals would be rehabilitated at home, with help from probation officers, under a bill advancing in the state Legislature.
    Lawmakers advanced LB 651, aiming to overhaul Nebraska’s juvenile justice system. The bill would transfer responsibility for the state’s roughly 3,000 juvenile offenders from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Office of Probation Administration.
  • Nebraska Governor Vetoes $200K in Golf Tournament Funding (SFGate.com)
    Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman used a line-item veto Tuesday to strike $200,000 from a budget bill that was approved to promote the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament in Omaha. The Republican governor said the budget item was unjustified, given the state's other spending priorities on education and reforms to the state's juvenile justice services.
  • Justice Reform Paying Off Sooner than Expected (Ledger-Enquirer.com)
    When Gov. Nathan Deal prompted the Georgia General Assembly to undertake sentencing reform for the adult criminal justice system (to be followed the next year by juvenile justice reform), he acknowledged that he didn't expect to see any substantial changes for a few years. In terms of the state prison population, that's certainly the case so far. In fact, the state inmate count actually rose slightly from the end of 2010 through last year.
  • Massachusetts House Votes to Move 17-Year-Olds into Juvenile Justice System (WickedLocal.com)
    The House unanimously passed legislation Wednesday that would move 17-year-old offenders into the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts, ending the practice of routinely incarcerating 17-year-olds in adult corrections facilities.

CJJ Executive Director To Resign This Summer

On Thursday, Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) Executive Director Nancy Gannon Hornberger announced that she will be resigning from the position this August.
Hornberger has been a member of the CJJ for nearly a decade and a half. Prior to serving as the organization’s executive director, Hornberger also served as CJJ’s deputy executive director.
Her career in youth development, delinquency prevention and public policy stretches back a quarter century, having received commendation for her efforts from President Bill Clinton in 1996. As an advocate, she fought a four year battle for the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which was ultimately authorized by Congress in 2002. Additionally, she has served as a part of numerous juvenile justice and youth-centric organizations, including the ACT 4 Juvenile Justice initiative, Youth ALIVE! and the Montgomery County, Commission on Juvenile Justice in Maryland.
As executive director of CJJ, she has also collaborated with a who’s who list of juvenile justice and youth-advocacy groups and efforts, including the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change program and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI.)
Later this year, Hornberger will take over as CEO for Social Advocates for Youth San Diego (SAY San Diego,) a nonprofit that provides, among other community services, delinquency prevention, juvenile diversions and extended afterschool programming.
“Over the 14 years, I have been fortunate to be a part of the rich fabric of [CJJ,]” Hornberger stated in an official announcement. “As I depart, I am certain of CJJ’s esteemed position in the national field of juvenile justice.”

Improving Mental Health Starts with Early Childhood Relationships; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Offenders in the US Deported for Life (Al Jazeera English)
    The Campaign for Youth Justice reports that 250,000 youth under the age of 18 are processed in adult criminal courts in the US each year. Once in adult court, minors are subject to the same punishments as adults, even if they are as young as 10 years old. In the past decade, the US Supreme Court has imposed limits on the types of punishments that can be imposed on juvenile offenders.
  • Texas Lawmakers Consider Bill Restricting Solitary Confinement of Youths (TheRepublic.com)
    Texas lawmakers considered a proposal Tuesday night that would restrict the use of solitary confinement in juvenile detention centers. In a hearing before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte presented a bill to limit the practice to four hours except in cases of six specific types of major rule violations including assault and attempted escape.
  • Department of Juvenile Justice Expanding Civil Citation Process (WearTV.com)
    Juveniles in Escambia County, Florida who commit a first time misdemeanor might be given a second chance. The Juvenile Civil Citation Expansion program will help give some a chance to keep a clean record. Juveniles with a first time misdemeanor could be given a citation and community service.

Vera Releases New Guide for Evidence-Based Practice

The Vera Institute of Justice recently released a handbook to help a wide range of social service practitioners, in juvenile justice and beyond. The new document, "Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Based Practice," breaks the process into three steps and offers an easy-to-follow methodology to measuring performance.
Vera offers guidance in determining who qualifies as evidence-based, which can be helpful for funding. Vera's announcement continues:

Demonstrating that a program accomplishes its stated goals is increasingly important for social service organizations—funders and clients want to see the evidence of successful outcomes. Although a full-scale evaluation can be a costly and overwhelming goal, adopting the information-gathering and self-reflective approaches that lead up to an evaluation can in themselves strengthen an agency’s focus and procedural fidelity.
Vera has worked with juvenile justice system service providers in many settings as they build and monitor their programs. It produced this handbook on the basis of experience in the field, and in collaboration with the Institute for Public Health and Justice at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
While the guide grew out of requests from juvenile justice service providers for a roadmap toward becoming an evidence-based practice, its recommendations have applications beyond juvenile justice. “We believe the systematic approach to collecting information on goals, treatment methods, and outcomes can benefit other social service providers seeking to measure the efficacy of their interventions,” said Annie Salsich, director of Vera’s Center on Youth Justice.

Addiction Recovery: Getting Clean At 22; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Justice Reforms Approved (PalmBeachPost.com)
    The Dream Defenders, a youth group focused on juvenile justice issues, called this week for protection from arrests at school for minor incidents. The group also called for an end to pepper spray and solitary confinement in jails run by Florida counties and to stop putting teens in the juvenile justice system for misdemeanor first offenses.
  • Juvenile Detention Alternatives Gain Ground in States, DC (JJIE.org)
    “There is reason to think that we may, and I emphasize may, have reached a turning point in this era,” said Bart Lubow, director of the juvenile justice strategy group at The Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore. He made the comments Wednesday at an AECF-organized three-day conference of some 800 professionals from juvenile justice and child welfare fields in Atlanta.
  • Proposal Would Keep 17-Year-Old Felons in Juvenile Court (SJ-R.com)
    Youths under the age of 18 charged with non-violent felonies will be handled at the juvenile court level, rather than being tried as adults, under a proposal passed by the Illinois House Tuesday.
  • Your System, Your Choices: Teaching Youth the Juvenile Justice System (StrategiesForYouth.org)
    Dr. Miner-Romanoff found that “100% had no idea” about the juvenile justice system and the potential for harsh sentencing before their arrest and incarceration. This, she says, indicates that for these young people severe sentencing did not act as a deterrent.
  • Opinion: Reduce Teen Recidivism; Treat Kids Like Kids (SJ-R.com)
    "Back in 2008, The State Journal-Register used this space to urge Illinois lawmakers to approve a bill that would allow 17-year-olds accused of minor crimes to be tried in juvenile court instead of adult court."

Kind Love vs. Tough Love – What’s A Parent To Do? News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Rehabilitated Life, Reformed Juvenile System (CitizensVoice.com)
    A series of reforms spurred by a state panel that investigated the kids-for-cash case has transformed the handling of juvenile cases under the leadership of Ciavarella's successor, Juvenile Court Judge David W. Lupas.
  • Report Suggest Changes for Juvenile Justice Health Services (TimesDispatch.com)
    A recent review of medical services provided to youths by the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice found care adequate but makes numerous recommendations. Among other things, the American Correctional Association suggests that the juvenile centers adhere to regular sick call times, establish effective infectious-disease control plans and require less administrative work for nurses.
  • [Slideshow] Juvenile Justice Center Groundbreaking (Macon.com)
    Bibb County, Georgia Commission Chairman Sam Hart speaks at the groundbreaking for Bibb County's new Juvenile Justice Center on Friday morning.
     

Juvenile Justice Overhaul Coming; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Georgia House Passes Juvenile Justice Reform Bill (RightOnCrime.com)
    Advocates say the changes could save taxpayers $88 million over five years by diverting the less dangerous juveniles into community-based programs instead of locking them up at a cost to taxpayers of $247 a day or $90,000 a year for each detained juvenile.
  • Juvenile Justice Overhaul Coming (Walb.com)
    The Georgia state Senate unanimously approved a bill Wednesday aimed at reducing the number of repeat offenders. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Wendy Willard of Sandy Springs, and was based on recommendations from the Governor.
  • A Partnership for Sensible Juvenile Justice Reform in California (JJIE.org)
    California’s youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF), continues to grapple over long-standing difficulties with rehabilitative programming, youth safety, aging facilities and high operational cost. With these challenges, policymakers and juvenile justice stakeholders increasingly recognize the need for substantial reform.
  • Pioneering Educator Retires After 40 Years; Reformed Education in Juvenile Justice (TCDailyPlanet.net)
    It is said that a society (or a person) shall be judged by what it (or he or she) has done for the least of its citizens. If in fact that is the case, then Larry Lucio shall be looked upon with much favor. The veteran educator, with more than 40 years of shaping young minds to his credit, has dedicated his career – and in many ways, his life – to serving students who were previously given little chance to succeed.
  • Getting Tough on Juvenile Justice (TheSocietyPages.org)
    Within the last thirty years the presence of adolescent offenders tried in criminal court has become increasingly commonplace. Scholars critical of this growing phenomenon have documented that the number of youth transferred to adult (criminal) court has gradually risen since the mid-1970s.
  • Robert Listenbee Jr. Assumes Leadership of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Justice.gov)
    Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary announced that Robert L. Listenbee Jr. has assumed the role as administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). A highly respected public defender and juvenile justice system reformer, Listenbee began as OJJDP administrator Monday. Melodee Hanes, who has served as acting administrator since January 2012, will become OJJDP’s principal deputy administrator.

Much Ado About Sizzurp; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Age-Old Issue Persists about Justice (NWHerald.com)
    Illinois treats a 17-year-old who shoplifts an iPhone as an adult criminal: held with adults in jail, tried in adult criminal court, sent to adult prison if incarcerated, and issued an employment-crushing permanent criminal record, according to a recent report by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.
  • Overhauling Juvenile Justice (RockdaleNews.com)
    Georgia is on the brink of the most sweeping overhaul of the juvenile justice law in three decades and Rockdale is on the leading edge of those trends. “It’s going to be a new world,” said Rockdale Juvenile Court Judge William Schneider.
  • School Policies Must Adjust for Juvenile Justice System to Improve (EdWeek.org)
    Changes in school policies will go a long way to dealing with some of the problems with the juvenile justice system, new recommendations for Congress and President Barack Obama say. In particular, the National Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Coalition says schools rely too heavily on law enforcement to handle behavior problems students, resulting in arrests for behavior that doesn't threaten the safety of other students or staff. The arrests can trigger a chain of contact with the juvenile justice system with a lifetime of repercussions.
  • Addressing Girls' Health Needs at Juvenile Detention Centers (Los Angeles Times)
    L.A. County health and probation officials are trying to better identify and treat problems of girls in custody that often go undiagnosed and untreated.

Senate Committee Approves Changes in Juvenile Justice System; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Advocates for Juvenile Justice Reform Rally at Hearing for Bel Air Teenager Accused of Killing Father (DaggerPress.com)
    Friday’s demonstration came ahead of a motions hearing in Robert Richardson’s case, and was the latest organized by a group which seeks to have his case—and Richardson himself—moved back into the juvenile criminal justice system.
  • The Crucial Role of Prosecutors in Juvenile Justice (JJIE.org)
    The role and responsibilities of the juvenile prosecutor are plentiful and extend well beyond the courtroom. In fact, in cases involving juveniles, much of the work can and should be done outside the courtroom. Working collaboratively with other youth-serving agencies in their communities, prosecutors often play a leadership role in these efforts.
  • Senate Committee Approves Changes in Juvenile Justice System (AJC.com)
    The Senate Judiciary Committee approved proposed changes to the juvenile justice system Wednesday after making some adjustments to address concerns of judges. House Bill 242, which has passed the House, is designed to send fewer juveniles to state facilities for committing felonies and to divert kids who are not dangerous — especially so-called status offenders such as truants, runaways and the unruly — into less expensive community-based programs.

Affordable Care Act Expands Mental Health and Substance Abuse Benefits for 62 Million Americans

According to an issue brief released Feb. 20 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Affordable Care Act will extend mental health and substance use disorder benefits to 32 million and federal parity protections to an additional 30 million Americans.
The HHS report explains that to do so, the Affordable Care Act will build upon the existing federal parity law, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Applying to group health plans and insurers, this law requires that when provided, coverage for mental health and substance use conditions be comparable to that for medical and surgical care. However, gaps in coverage currently leave millions either without such benefits or without parity protections.
In surveying coverage before the Affordable Care Act, the report finds:

  • One-third of those currently covered in the individual market have no coverage for substance use disorder services, and nearly 20% have no coverage for mental health services. Even when individual market plans provide these benefits, the federal parity law does not apply to these plans.
  • More common than in the individual market, about 95% of those with small group market coverage have substance abuse and mental health benefits. Again, the federal parity law does not apply.
  • 47.5 million Americans lack health insurance coverage altogether, and 25% of uninsured adults have a mental health condition or substance use disorder or both.

With Synthetic Pot, You Don't Know Where it's Been; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Legislator Wants to Change the Culture of Juvenile Justice System (NebraskaRadioNetwork.com)
    A leading state legislator says the state juvenile justice system must move from a culture of incarceration to a culture of treatment. Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, says his committee will spend a couple of days hearing legislation that aims at nothing short of the transformation of how Nebraska deals with juvenile offenders.
  • In Kentucky, Juvenile Offenders’ Names Could be Shared After Adjudication (JJIE.org)
    On Monday, members of the Kentucky House passed a bill that would allow victims in juvenile court trials to discuss a case once a verdict is rendered, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. House Bill 115 swept through the House with unanimous approval earlier this week, garnering a 93-0 vote in Kentucky’s lower legislative body.
  • [VIDEO] Nation Honors Center on Front Lines of Juvenile Justice (Northwestern.edu)
    The Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) at the Northwestern University School of Law has received a $750,000 award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in recognition of the Center's exemplary advocacy for children caught up in the harsh realities of Illinois’ juvenile and criminal justice systems.
  • Inquirer Editorial: Juvenile Justice that Leans Toward Mercy (Philly.com)
    The Luzerne County cash-for-kids scandal revealed the potential for tragedy when locking up juvenile defendants becomes routine. Thousands of young people were harmed by the scheme hatched by two disgraced judges, who took millions of dollars in kickbacks to place young offenders in for-profit detention centers.

"If Not Now, When?" Survey Finds Scant Police Training in Juvenile Justice

A recent survey of the state of training about juveniles in police academies reveals deficits in quantity and quality, with most state police academies devoting less than 1% of total curriculum time to teaching about juvenile justice. The nationwide survey conducted by Strategies for Youth (SFY) reports that the limited training that does exist emphasizes legal issues rather than skills and best practices for working with youth.
This is problematic, considering the growing body of research establishing the developmental and psychological differences between youth and adults. At the same time, police presence in the lives of youth has increased in recent years, with officers deployed in public schools and responding to disputes involving juveniles. A wealth of scientific information has informed best practice and effective strategies for interactions with youth, but goes neglected in police training at this juncture.
Highlights of the survey’s results include:

  • Only 9 states provide new officers any training on adolescent mental health issues, and only 2 training on adolescent development and psychology.
  • Only 8 states provide information on the federally required obligation to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in their juvenile justice curriculum.
  • 5 states require no juvenile justice training in the academy at all.
  • 40 states’ juvenile justice curricula focus primarily on the juvenile code and legal issues and provide no communication or psychological skills for officers working with youth.

Of the 2.1 million juvenile arrests each year, only 12% are for serious or violent felonies. According to SFY this number shows the consequences of this training gap, as lacking other strategies, police quickly resort to arrests in youth interactions. Beyond being costly, arrests negatively impact youth, their communities, and officers alike. Said SFY Executive Director Lisa Thurau in a press release,

“There’s a big disconnect in the American juvenile justice system. While reformers and system stakeholders are working to reduce reliance on the arrest, detention and incarceration of juveniles, police are being ignored as an integral part of these efforts. We’ve got to share this information with them and make them partners in reform.”

Florida’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Is Largest in the Nation; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

Feds to Audit Solitary Confinement Policy; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Feds to Audit Solitary Confinement Policy (JJIE.org)
    The Federal Bureau of Prisons will hire an independent auditor to review the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons, according to a statement released by the bureau. The move could impact thousands of juveniles in adult facilities who are frequently isolated from adult inmates, sometimes on the pretext of protecting their personal safety.
  • Thousands of Student Arrests Alarm Florida Justice Leaders (Orlando Sentinel)
    Thousands of Florida students are arrested in school each year and taken to jail for behavior that once warranted a trip to the principal's office — a trend that troubles juvenile-justice and civil-rights leaders who say children are being traumatized for noncriminal acts.
  • Report Calls for Increased Funding for Juvenile Justice Efforts (NOLA.com)
    To sustain and ramp up changes to Louisiana's juvenile justice system there needs to be adequate funding at both the state and local levels, experts recommended in a report released Thursday. At a day-long conference in Baton Rouge, two members of the Louisiana Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission underscored this concern, saying a lack of money could hinder future progress across the state.

Teen Narrowly Escapes Death after Smoking Synthetic Marijuana; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Justice Should be a Focus for Georgia (AlbanyHerald.com)
    In her final State of the Judiciary address before the General Assembly today, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein is expected to focus on an issue that needs serious thought — juvenile justice.
  • [AUDIO] When Crime Pays: Prison Can Teach Some To Be Better Criminals (NPR.org)
    In popular lore — movies, books and blogs — criminals who go to prison don't come out reformed. They come out worse. Scientists who have attempted to empirically analyze this theory have reached mixed conclusions, with analyses suggesting that activities like drug addiction or gangs are what determines whether the correctional system actually gets criminals to correct their ways.
  • Mapping Juvenile Justice (TheCrimeReport.org)
    A new mapping project demonstrates overlaps between New York City communities with the highest percentage of youth, the lowest household incomes, rates of foster care placement and adults without high school diplomas.
  • GA Police Chief to Serve on Juvenile Justice Board (CBSAtlanta.com)
    The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has announced Elaine Snow, chief of the City of Rome Police Department, has been named vice chair of the agency's board. Snow is filling a board position that was left vacant by Avery Niles after Gov. Nathan Deal named him as Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner.
  • Gov. Dayton appoints the first Minnesota Somali Woman to Serve on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (TCDailyPlanet.net)
    Saciido Shaie has long had a dream that her thoughts and actions would one day become a reason for Minnesota youth to excel in education and life. That’s why she’s spent many years of leadership and advocacy in building a better place for Twin Cities’ young minorities. Minnesota took a note of her passion in activism, and so did Governor Mark Dayton. He appointed her last June as the first Somali woman to serve on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee for Minneapolis.
  • Suffer the Children (The Economist)
    On March 29th 2012 Georgia’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted on a criminal-justice reform bill that read like a left-leaning criminologist’s fantasy. It revised sentencing laws to keep non-violent drug and property offenders out of prison, directing them instead toward alternatives—drug courts, day-reporting centres, mental-health courts—designed to treat and rehabilitate rather than punish. Now Georgia is looking to do something similar for juveniles.

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