Blog: News

Urban Teaching and Juvenile Justice; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Urban Teaching and Juvenile Justice OR Why I Have 8 Probation Officers’ Numbers in my Phone (Philly Teacher Man Blog)
    "When I started teaching, I had no interest or background in the juvenile justice system. The fact that it might one day be incredibly relevant to my work in education was not even on my radar, but here I sit nearly 5 years later with no fewer than 8 probation officers in my cell phone."
  • Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Prepares for Transformation (JJIE.org)
    Georgia’s DJJ boss tells state lawmakers that his department must be transformed to handle the burdens a class of inmates that’s older and more violent, and high employee turnover and low morale, just as the governor pushes a large package of reforms.
  • Florida Tightening Juvenile Justice Monitoring (Bradenton.com)
    State officials on Friday announced plans for quality improvements and tighter monitoring of juvenile justice residential and detention facilities following the arrest last month of a staff member accused of battering a 15-year-old girl in the Florida Panhandle.
  • Senator Proposes Moving Toughest Juvenile Offenders to Adult Prisons (Statesman.com)
    In a move that would change decades of state policy, the chairman of the Senate’s criminal justice committee suggested Monday that 17- and 18-year-olds who commit violent crimes should do their time in a new system of youth prisons rather than in Texas’ juvenile lockups.

Department of Juvenile Justice Strengthens Oversight; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Department of Juvenile Justice Strengthens Oversight (PNJ.com)
    In the wake of allegations of abuse by staffers at a girls’ lockup in Milton, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is tightening its oversight of private residential facilities — adding interviews with youths and a partnership with the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation to its monitoring procedures.
  • Nebraska Chief Justice: Guardianship, Juvenile Probation Initiatives Show Success (Omaha.com)
    Tighter court oversight of guardians and conservators in recent months has exposed cases of theft and misuse of funds, Nebraska's top judge said Thursday. Chief Justice Michael Heavican said changes to state law made in 2011 are providing more protection for vulnerable adults in Nebraska.
  • Georgia Governor: $5 Million for New Juvenile Diversions (JJIE.org)
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is asking the state legislature to spend $5 million dollars to set up community diversion programs for low-risk youth offenders, on the model of other states. The appropriation would “create an incentive funding program” to encourage communities to treat appropriate youth at home, Deal told lawmakers at his annual State of the State address on Jan. 17.
  • Florida Tightening Juvenile Justice Monitoring (WCTV.tv)
    Florida is tightening monitoring and improving the quality of juvenile justice residential and detention facilities. Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters announced the new efforts on Friday. They come nearly a month after a privately owned facility for girls in the Florida Panhandle agreed to end its contract following the arrest of a staff member who was accused of battering a 15-year-old inmate.
  • Study: Minority Youth in Wash. Arrested, Referred to Juvenile Court More Often than Whites (TheRepublic.com)
    Minority youth are arrested and in the Washington state's court system more often than their white counterparts, a recent study commissioned by the state Supreme Court shows. But researchers said counties aren't keeping complete data on ethnicity and the gap between minority and while youth is larger.
  • Palm Beach County School, Justice Officials Warn Students Juvenile Crimes can Follow, Hinder Them as Adults (The Palm Beach Post)
    Sometimes, Sonya Saucedo gets mad. It happens: She’s 13 years old. But Saucedo said she worries sometimes about where that anger and frustration will lead her. “I’ve gotten in trouble at school a few times,” the Pahokee Middle School student said. “I once screamed at everyone in class and threw books.” So on Thursday morning, Saucedo tentatively approached the microphone at a school assembly to ask one question: How hard is it to get your life back after you’ve committed a crime?

Juvenile-Justice Corrections Program Trains Dogs, Youths; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • DJJ Study: Fewer kids Getting Booked at School (The Orlando Sentinel)
    A new Florida study says the number of students arrested at schools was cut in half over the last eight years, which ”correlates” with a decline in juvenile delinquency. The Department of Juvenile Justice report says school arrests fell from from more than 24,189 in the 2004-05 school year to 12,520 last year, a drop of 48 percent. School delinquency arrests fell 36 percent during the same period.
  • Juvenile Defendants can Meet Victims, Settle Charges Outside Court (Courier-Journal.com)
    The suspect was caught on camera and admitted he caused about $1,800 worth of damage vandalizing a Louisville business. Instead of handling the 16-year-old defendant’s case in juvenile court, local officials asked the business owner, Keith Bush, if he would take part in a “restorative justice” pilot program designed to repair the harm caused by a crime and find ways to keep offenders from re-offending — instead of seeking only retribution.
  • Juvenile-Justice Corrections Program Trains Dogs, Youths (Statesman.com)
    “This is a program where the girls can learn life skills through training these dogs,” said Mike Griffiths, executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. “It’s a small program that pays big dividends — for the girls and the dogs.” The dividends include allowing the dogs to be trained to erase their bad habits, or to at least teach them how to manage their problems and keep their actions in check, so they might be adopted into new homes, he said.
  • Putting a Developmental Approach Into Practice (JJIE.org)
    Having developmental competence means understanding that children and adolescents’ perceptions and behaviors are influenced by biological and psychological factors related to their developmental stage. For adults working with young people, taking a developmental approach could lead to better outcomes for kids.
  • Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice? (The New York Times)
    At 2:15 in the afternoon on March 28, 2010, Conor McBride, a tall, sandy-haired 19-year-old wearing jeans, a T-shirt and New Balance sneakers, walked into the Tallahassee Police Department and approached the desk in the main lobby. Gina Maddox, the officer on duty, noticed that he looked upset and asked him how she could help. “You need to arrest me,” McBride answered. “I just shot my fiancée in the head.” When Maddox, taken aback, didn’t respond right away, McBride added, “This is not a joke.”
  • Looking Back and Casting Forward: An Emerging Shift for Juvenile Justice in America (Chicago-Bureau.org)
    The close of 2012 focused so narrowly on terrible events and startling numbers – the Newtown massacre, for example, or Chicago’s sharp rise in homicides – some major criminal justice developments were nearly squeezed out of the national conversation.

Juvenile Injustice; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Injustice (Honolulu Weekly)
    A recent study finds that native Hawaiian youth are twice as likely to end up in the juvenile justice system (JJS) as any other ethnic group. And with youth employment at lower rates in 2011 than at any time during the prior decade, the problem may get worse.
  • Local Law Enforcement Officials See Drop in Juvenile Crime (Boston.com)
    From prosecutors to police officers on the street to the state Department of Youth Services, there is consensus that juvenile crime has declined in this region as well as the rest of the Massachusetts. Overall, juvenile crime is down 37 percent in Massachusetts from 2009 to 2011, according to a recent report by Citizens for Juvenile Justice, a research and advocacy group in Boston.
  • Juvenile Court Reform in Tennessee (The New York Times)
    The juvenile justice system in the United States is supposed to focus on rehabilitation for young offenders. But for generations, it has largely been a purgatory, failing to protect them or give them the help and counseling they need to become law-abiding adults. Children who end up in juvenile courts often do not get due process protections like written complaints presenting the charges against them, adequate notice about legal proceedings or meaningful assistance of counsel.
  • Meetings to be Held on Overrepresentation of Minority Youth in Kansas Criminal Justice System (DodgeGlobe.com)
    The state of Kansas is undertaking a statewide assessment on the extent to which minority youth are over-represented in the juvenile justice system. A series of public meetings will be held so that members of the public can hear the results of the study and to provide feedback to public officials involved in the juvenile justice system in Kansas.
  • Durbin Chairs First Hearing on School to Prison Pipeline (DailyHerald.com)
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin Wednesday chaired the first federal hearing looking at the relationship between schools and the criminal justice system. The hearing follows a recent change in Illinois law prompted by an attack on an Elgin teacher and subsequent Daily Herald investigation.
  • Juvenile Justice: State Sees Decrease in Incarcerated Youth (Amarillo.com)
    How times have changed for the Texas juvenile justice system. Five years ago, the number of youths locked up in state-run detention centers was about 4,700. Since then, the number has steadily dropped, and now it is less than 1,500 — more than a two-thirds reduction.

Back on Track after Being Behind Bars; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • A Flash Mob for Juvenile Justice Reform, Family Engagement and More (NJJN.org)
    Update from Youth Justice Leadership Institute Alumna, Rukia Lumumba: "To provide more visibility to the raise the age issue, I coordinated a flash mob in Times Square for YJAM (Youth Justice Awareness Month) in collaboration with my agency (the Center for Community Alternatives) and the Correctional Association of New York. Approximately 15 advocates and youth participated in the flash mob, which was viewed by hundreds of people in Times Square."
  • Letter: Juvenile Justice Sees Progress (TheAdvocate.com)
    Some good news about Louisiana’s success on the juvenile justice reform front was announced last week in the results of a nationwide study. While the news did not make headlines in state media, it is certainly noteworthy and indicative of the state’s reform progress. The study examined implementation of proven programs for juvenile offenders and indicated Louisiana as one of the five top states in adopting programs proven to be most effective in dealing with delinquent or violent youth and their families.
  • Back on Track after Being Behind Bars (FindYouthInfo.gov)
    Returning to society after being incarcerated isn’t easy. Yet a group of formerly incarcerated youth that recently met with U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier are refusing to let their past lives determine their future. They’re overcoming challenges and building better lives for themselves through grit and resilience.

The Crime Report's Person of the Year; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • The Crime Report's Person of the Year (TheCrimeReport.org)
    A New York University law professor who persuaded the Supreme Court to extend its ban on mandatory sentences of life without parole (LWOP) for juveniles to young people convicted of murder—and thereby dramatically transformed the landscape of juvenile justice—is The Crime Report’s choice for Criminal Justice Person of the Year in 2012.
  • Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform Recommendations Would Lock Up Fewer to Save Millions (AJC.com)
    Georgia should save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year by diverting some juveniles away from detention facilities and into community-based programs, according to a group tasked with reviewing the state’s criminal justice system. The state’s Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians recommends reversing some of the harsher policies of the 1990s on how Georgia punishes its youngest offenders.
  • Discussing Juvenile Justice with "Pure Politics" In Kentucky (RightOnCrime.com)
    Last month, Right On Crime’s Jeanette Moll traveled to Kentucky to present research on juvenile justice to stakeholders involved in reforming several aspects of the state juvenile system — including how it handles status offenders. A task force in Kentucky is studying the issue, and it is looking for lessons from Texas’s experience.
  • Department of Justice Enters into Agreement to Reform the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee (Justice.gov)
    The Department of Justice announced that it has entered into a comprehensive memorandum of agreement with the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn., to resolve findings of serious and systemic failures in the juvenile court that violate children’s due process and equal protection rights.
  • Improving Juvenile Justice (MiamiHerald.com)
    Florida Department of Juvenile Justice officials and staff are traveling around the state to educate stakeholders and citizens on the reach of its new “Roadmap to System Excellence” plan. What the plan does is sets Florida on a new path in this endlessly fraught area of juvenile delinquency and its prevention. As president/CEO of the Florida Network, I stand with DJJ secretary Wansley Walters and this bold plan.
  • Harsher Discipline Often Dispensed to Minority, Disabled Students (NationalJournal.com)
    Students of color and those with disabilities receive harsher punishment in schools, punishments that are often a precursor to their entry into the juvenile justice system, The Washington Post reports. Each year, more than 3 million children are expelled or suspended from schools, according to Civil Rights Data Collection figures released last spring by the Education Department. During analysis of 72,000 schools in the 2009-10 academic year, at least 240,000 students were referred to law enforcement.

Court Inundated With Non-Dangerous Kids Arrested Because They ‘Make Adults Mad’ and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • State Turns Attention to Juvenile Justice Reforms (AJC.com)
    A special state council in Atlanta will recommend repairs for a juvenile justice system that spends $91,000 a year for each bed in its state detention centers. Council members point to the enormous expense of incarcerating young offenders in a state “youth development campus,” or YDC, while producing poor results, as evidence that the system isn’t working.
  • Juvenile Judge: My Court Was Inundated With Non-Dangerous Kids Arrested Because They ‘Make Adults Mad’ (ThinkProgress.org)
    The United States is not just the number one jailer in the world. It also incarcerates juveniles at a rate that eclipses every other country. Evidence has long been building that schools use the correctional system as a misplaced mechanism for discipline, with children being sent to detention facilities for offenses as minor as wearing the wrong color socks to school.
  • Arrests, Juvenile Detention, and High School Dropouts in Chicago (ChicagoMag.com)
    Descriptively, our data reveal that of the Chicago public school students who steered clear of the juvenile justice system, 64 percent went on to graduate high school. In contrast, a mere 26 percent of arrested students graduated high school. Of those young adults without a criminal record who graduated high school or obtained a GED, 35 percent enrolled in a 4-year college. Yet for arrestees, 16 percent subsequently enrolled in a 4-year college.
  • York Co. South Carolina Juvenile Justice Kids Collecting Food for Hungry (HeraldOnline.com)
    For the first time this year, DJJ is collecting nonperishable canned goods to distribute to four York County, South Carolina charities for the holidays. The drive, which started Nov. 1, ends Friday. Aiming to become part of a “community of givers,” DJJ teamed up with the county solicitor’s office, Coca Cola and Best Buy to find a “creative” way to bolster donations that are common this time of year, said Amahl Bennett, DJJ director.
  • Governor Wants To Merge Juvenile Justice & Corrections (KCUR.org)
    Kansas Governor Sam Brownback wants to merge the state's Juvenile Justice Authority with the Department of Corrections. The governor says he’ll propose an executive reorganization order in the coming legislative session to merge the two agencies.
  • New Ga. Juvenile Justice Chief Focuses on Problems (SFGate.com)
    When five young men slipped out of a juvenile detention center a month and a half ago in Augusta, stealing a car and leading police on a chase, it was just the latest in a string of setbacks for officials trying to turn around Georgia's system for young criminals.
  • Strengthening Florida's Juvenile Justice System (TBO.com)
    There is a lot to like about the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice's new "Roadmap to System Excellence," the topic of town hall meetings last week in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Members of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, who deliver services across Florida, ranging from prevention through reentry and everything in between, know that with every well-intentioned plan, the devil is often in the details.

Healing Words: Creative Writing Programs as Therapy for Kids in Detention and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • A Handful of States Lead the Way on Juvenile Crime Prevention (TheCrimeReport.org)
    States are "surprisingly slow" in adopting proven methods to deal with violent or delinquent youth and their families, a national juvenile justice conference was told today. Failure to use the programs has been shown to result in higher crime rates and higher costs.
  • Healing Words: Creative Writing Programs as Therapy for Kids in Detention (JJIE.org)
    Many programs incorporating elements of creative writing have been set up across the nation’s juvenile halls and treatment facilities, with the National Endowment for the Arts recognizing creative writing workshops like Massachusetts’ Actors’ Shakespeare Project and the Los Angeles-based InsideOUT Writers.
  • St. Clair County Gives Child Court Cases Special Treatment (BND.com)
    Court cases involving children will be handled by a new team at the St. Clair County, Illinois, State's Attorney's Office. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly created the Children's Justice Division, headed by assistant state's attorney and new mother Anna Young.
  • Foundation Strives to Create Legacy for Juvenile Justice Reform (JJIE.org)
    The nonprofit MacArthur Foundation has spent more than $100 million since 2004 on developing blueprints for reform within the juvenile justice systems of 16 states. Earlier this week, its reform initiative, Models for Change, brought together nearly 400 judges, advocates, probation officers and other juvenile justice professionals for two days of workshops in Washington, D.C.

The Shocking Details of a Mississippi School-to-Prison Pipeline and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Viewpoint: Localizing Juvenile Justice Spurs National Reforms (American City & County)
    Across the country, jurisdictions are moving away from centralized juvenile justice systems and toward smaller, local programs. Local systems are less expensive and are proving to be highly effective.
  • New Report: Minors in ‘Solitary’ Hallucinate, Harm Themselves (JJIE.org)
    A new report on solitary confinement of minors includes harrowing descriptions of the psychological and physical impact ‘solitary’ has on young people, as well as surprising revelations about why some authorities resort to isolating juveniles.
  • Juvenile Courts were Created to Get Kids on Track (DesMoinesRegister.com)
    Experts believe teenage brains are not fully developed. Society knows they should not be judged and punished in the same way as adults. So like other states, Iowa created a juvenile justice system to ensure that young offenders are given the help to get their lives moving in the right direction.
  • Opinion: Juvenile Justice (Tallahassee.com)
    The state Department of Juvenile Justice’s new Roadmap to System Excellence is indeed an exercise in common sense. The Roadmap, which was discussed Thursday in Tallahassee in the first of a series of town hall meetings to hear from citizens and stakeholders, has the lofty goal of making Florida a leader in juvenile justice.
  • Avery D. Niles Sworn In As New Georgia Department Of Juvenile Justice Commissioner (WJBF.com)
    Avery D. Niles, of Clermont, Georgia was sworn in Friday as the new Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
  • States Mull Ohio-Style Juvenile Justice Reform (JJIE.org)
    Georgia has room to make its juvenile justice system more regular, cheaper and better, according to preliminary suggestions from a blue-ribbon panel charged with drafting an overhaul. States including Texas and Ohio have gone down the same path, which, say experts, is not completely smooth.
  • The Shocking Details of a Mississippi School-to-Prison Pipeline (COLORLINES.com)
    Cedrico Green can’t exactly remember how many times he went back and forth to juvenile. When asked to venture a guess he says, “Maybe 30.” He was put on probation by a youth court judge for getting into a fight when he was in eighth grade. Thereafter, any of Green’s school-based infractions, from being a few minutes late for class to breaking the school dress code by wearing the wrong color socks, counted as violations of his probation and led to his immediate suspension and incarceration in the local juvenile detention center.
  • First Court of Appeals Hears Case Challenging Transfer of Juvenile to Adult Court (ChildrenAndTheLawBlog.com)
    Children in Texas can be tried in adult criminal court under a waiver statute that permits the transfer of a juvenile to adult court after a hearing is conducted by a juvenile judge. On October 31, 2012 the First Court of Appeals in Houston heard a case challenging the transfer of a child, C.M. The decision of the Court is pending.
  • EDITORIAL: Juvenile Injustice (The New York Times)
    Step by step, the Supreme Court has been trying to reshape the way the American criminal justice system deals with those under the age of 18. In Miller v. Alabama this June, it ruled that a mandatory life sentence without parole for a juvenile is cruel and unusual punishment, even when the crime is homicide.
  • Marijuana Decriminalization Law Brings Down Juvenile Arrests in California (PublicIntegrity.org)
    Marijuana — it’s one of the primary reasons why California experienced a stunning 20 percent drop in juvenile arrests in just one year, between 2010 and 2011, according to provocative new research.
  • For the Newly-Elected Judge, a Different View of Juvenile Court (YouthToday.org)
    Dozens of lawyers won their first elections as judges this month, and they will soon experience the sensation of viewing the courtroom from the other side of the bench and hearing the words “your honor” directed at them.

Elementary-Schoolers' Arrests Alarm Justice Officials and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • [Video] Fresno Local Conservation Corps Re-Entry Program Highlighted by Local News (The Corps Network)
    Earlier this week several staff members from the Fresno Local Conservation Corps joined KSEE24 local news to talk about their re-entry program for formerly incarcerated youth.
  • New Push to Help Juvenile Offenders (WCTV.TV)
    The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is pushing a proposed plan it says will help keep youthful offenders out of jail and revamp the juvenile justice system.
  • Juvenile Justice: Mass. Formulating New Sentencing Policies (WBUR.org)
    In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder was unconstitutional. The court declared life without parole for juveniles was “cruel and unusual punishment,” thereby in violation of the 8th Amendment.
  • Elementary-Schoolers' Arrests Alarm Justice Officials (Orlando Sentinel)
    Circuit Judge Alicia Latimore, one of three judges who handles juvenile-delinquency cases in Orange, was so concerned about the kids' arrests that she visited Cherokee's campus this fall. The arrests at Cherokee outnumber the arrests of students at Orange's 121 other public elementary schools combined.

Rethinking Prison Terms For Juveniles and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Success in Juvenile Justice Diversions May Influence Treatment of Adult Offenders in Florida (JJIE.org)
    In October, officials in one Florida community announced that its local police force would now have the ability to issue civil citations in lieu of formal arrests for certain crimes. The Leon County, Fla., measure targeting a largely adult-offender base takes many cues from the state’s juvenile justice system, which has seen vast improvements to juvenile crime rates due to lock-up alternatives.
  • Rethinking Prison Terms For Juveniles (Courant.com)
    Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and new developments in psychology and brain science are prompting Connecticut to reconsider prison sentences for juveniles. The courts allow for a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders, but juveniles in Connecticut can still receive mandatory sentences of life without parole in adult court.
  • Juvenile Justice Reform Priority for State Lawmakers (NBC26.tv)
    Now that the election is over, lawmakers say they have a lot of unfinished business to get back to. Georgia goes back to legislative session in January, but Representative Wayne Howard said the planning starts now. Howard acknowledges that there wasn’t enough funding for juvenile justice reform last year, but that they hope to fit it in the budget this year.
  • I-Team: Shackles Coming Off Juveniles in Court (8NewsNow.com)
    For the first time since anyone can remember, juveniles accused of a crime in Clark County, Nevada, are not wearing shackles in court. For years, children have appeared with chains at their hands, waist and feet, a policy that applied to all of those accused, regardless of risk.

Experts Say Mental Health Effects of Hurricane Sandy Could be Powerful and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Court Reform Details Emerging (MemphisDailyNews.com)
    Shelby County, Tennessee, Juvenile Court Chief Administrative Officer Larry Scroggs describes the court as being “sort of at the end of the beginning” in a review process by the U.S. Justice Department. And after this summer’s scathing report from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division of the court’s due process practices, Scroggs told those at a public hearing this week that the plan for systemic changes at the court will likely be a three- to five-year process.
  • Juvenile Justice Judge Speaks to At-Risk Students about Staying in School (WFXG.com)
    As students celebrate Red Ribbon Week, the Burke County Alternative School in Georgia invited juvenile justice judge Doug Flanagan to talk to them about the importance of staying in school. Judge Flanagan says this is one of the best schools in Burke County.
  • After the Violence, the Rest of Their Lives (The New York Times)
    At a time when the homicide rate in Chicago has risen sharply, jumping 25 percent over all since last year and 100 percent or more in a few gang-heavy neighborhoods, the research project offers a portrait of both the perpetrators and the victims in struggling, gang-ridden neighborhoods.
     

Troubled Teens Could Benefit from Online Access to Health Records and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Why So Many Hawaiian, Samoan And Filipino Youth In Justice System? (Honolulu Civil Beat)
    Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and mixed-race youth are disproportionately represented in Hawaii's juvenile justice system, a recent study concludes. The statewide analysis found that Hawaiian, Samoan and Filipino youth "fare worse than Caucasians at the stages of arrest," a pattern that continues as the young people move through detention, probation and protective services.
  • More Juvenile Offenders Put Through Diversion Programs, Less Locked Up (CourierPostOnline.com)
    Fewer young people in New Jersey are being locked up for offenses they commit, so states a report issued Wednesday by Newak-based children’s advocacy group Advocates for Children of New Jersey. The “Kids Count Special Report: Juvenile Justice” states that last year, the state incarcerated nearly 7,000 fewer juveniles than it did prior to the start of an initiative to bring down the what ACNJ deemed to be over use of juvenile detention.
  • Minorities Prevalent in Juvenile Justice System (KIMT.com)
    In Minnesota, juveniles who are minorities are three times as likely to be arrested than young people who are white. A report from the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs compares rates of minority youth in the state's juvenile justice system to those of white youth. The report finds that youth of color are more than one and a half times more likely to be securely detained than white youth.
  • 'A Door to Anywhere': Juvenile Justice Center Aims to Get Kids on the Right Track (TheDailyCourier.com)
    "When the juvenile court system started in Chicago 110 years ago, they realized that there's hope for children," Arizona Supreme Court Justice Robert Brutinel told an audience of 300 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for the new Yavapai County Juvenile Justice Center in Prescott.
  • Study Reveals Disparities in Juvenile Justice (New America Media)
    Youth-of-color are disparately represented at all stages of justice-system processing in Minnesota, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs. The OJP report compares rates of involvement of youth-of-color at key stages of Minnesota’s juvenile justice system to those of white youth.

Tough Times For Girls In Juvenile Justice System and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Kids Count Report Demonstrates New Jersey’s Successes In Juvenile Justice (NTToday.net)
    Advocates for Children of New Jersey today released a special juvenile justice Kids Count report entitled, “Measuring Change in New Jersey’s Treatment of Young Offenders.” The report details the successful reforms in juvenile justice since the implementation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) in New Jersey.
  • Tough Times For Girls In Juvenile Justice System (NPR.org)
    [AUDIO STORY] The number of boys locked up for crimes has dropped over the past decade, but the number of young women detained in jails and residential centers has moved in the other direction. Experts say girls make up the fastest-growing segment of the juvenile justice system, with more than 300,000 arrests and criminal charges every year.
  • Common Sense Discipline In Denver Schools (RightOnCrime.com)
    Between 2009 and 2011, enrollment in Denver schools rose six percent. But even with an increased number of students, expulsions dropped 44 percent, from 185 to 104. That’s because the school district has adopted alternatives to zero-tolerance, such as restorative justice and conflict resolution, which seek to defuse and resolve disciplinary issues before they rise to a level demanding expulsion.
  • South Dakota Counties Export Effective Juvenile Justice (RightOnCrime.com)
    Minnehaha and Pennington County, in South Dakota, have dropped juvenile detention rates by one-third and one-half, respectively, in just two years. Now the rest of the state is hoping to follow their lead.

Should 24-Year-Old Offenders be Considered Juveniles? This Story and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Youth Crime's Decline (NewsObserver.com)
    The new approach to juvenile crime hasn’t just worked. It has worked spectacularly. A report last Sunday by The News & Observer’s Thomasi McDonald said that the number of young people under 16 charged with violent crimes has dropped by nearly 37 percent. The arrests in that same age group for property crimes are down 40 percent.
  • Georgia Considers Juvenile Justice Reforms (The Augusta Chronicle)
    After overhauling its adult criminal justice system to provide alternative sentences for nonviolent offenders and reduce skyrocketing prison costs, the state of Georgia is turning its attention to the juvenile justice system.
  • DJJ Launches Roadmap to System Excellence (Florida Department of Juvenile Justice)
    The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) invited the people of Florida today to participate in a conversation about the Roadmap to System Excellence. The Roadmap builds on reforms already underway at DJJ and guides Florida on the path to becoming the national model for juvenile justice administration.
  • Should 24-Year-Old Offenders be Considered Juveniles? (JJIE.org)
    When the National Partnership for Juvenile Services annual symposium opened in Las Vegas, Jason Bowser, a youth service director from Columbus, Ind., told an executive committee that one of the standing committees was focusing on the question of “What is a juvenile?”
  • Counties Push to Bypass State Youth Lockups (Statesman.com)
    Counties in Texas might soon be allowed to incarcerate all their teenage lawbreakers locally rather than send them to state-run lockups that have been plagued by violence, high recidivism rates and gang activity in recent years, officials confirmed Wednesday.
  • Juvenile Justice and the Campaign (TheCrimeReport.org)
    California's second largest county is coping with widespread gang violence and prescription drug abuse among youth. But as election day nears, juvenile justice remains a whisper in a monsoon of economic rhetoric.
  • [Opinion] Adolescents in Grown-Up Jails (The New York Times)
    The practice of confining young people to adult jails and prisons is both counterproductive and inhumane. Adolescents who are locked up with adults are more likely to be raped, battered or driven to suicide than young people who are handled through the juvenile justice system. After the trauma of doing hard, adult time, young people often return home as damaged individuals who are more likely to commit violent crimes and end up back inside.
  • Florida To Completely Privatize Juvenile Correctional Facilities (HuffingtonPost.com)
    In an effort to reduce costs, Florida's state-run residential programs for juveniles will soon be completely privatized. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice announced Monday that the state will relinquish control of the five remaining public youth residential centers by October 2013.
  • Dog Trainer Teaches Empathy at Tehama Juvenile Hall (Redding.com)
    When dog trainer Gary Watts faces a group of kids detained in juvenile hall, he's focused on his mission. With a Labrador retriever named Abby in tow, he puts her through her paces and methodically demonstrates the fine points of canine obedience.

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 (JJIE.org)
    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 (NY1.com)
    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’ (JJIE.org)
    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 (WJBF.com)
    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 (NewsObserver.com)
    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 (RightOnCrime.com)
    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.

[OPINION] Florida is Poorly Equipped to Deal with Juveniles Accused of Murder and More; News Roundup

 
Juvenile Justice Reform

  • DJJ Offenders Meet Their Victims In New BARJ Program (WLTX.com)
    Tuesday there was a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Department of Juvenile Justice's Broad River Road complex in South Carolina as officials announced the implementation of a program called Balanced and Restorative Justice, or BARJ. The program allows young offenders to collaborate with their parents, the victim and officers to come up with solutions to their crimes.
  • New Term for U.S. Supreme Court Prompts Reflection on Children's Rights (Juvenile Law Center)
    Since 1917, the first Monday in October has been the official opening day of the annual term of the United States Supreme Court. For the first time in many years, there are no cases currently set for review that raise large questions about children’s status under the Constitution. So … it seems like a good time to pause and reflect on how children and youth have fared in recent years.
  • Feds End Monitoring of Juvenile Justice Spending (OnlineAthens.com)
    The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has satisfied federal auditors that it no longer requires intensive monitoring, members of the state agency’s board learned Thursday. The monitoring began last winter when officials from the U.S. Department of Education issued citations to the state agency for how it was handling $3.3 million in federal funds earmarked for schooling children in detention.
  • [OPINION] Florida is Poorly Equipped to Deal with Juveniles Accused of Murder (Jacksonville.com)
    The twists and turns in the case of 13-year-old Cristian Fernandez show how ill-equipped Florida is to deal with juveniles in such cases. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an Alabama case leaves the young man facing charges for murder for which there are no applicable penalties.

Middle Schools Add a Team Rule: Get a Drug Test and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Does the Juvenile Justice System Really Work? (TheCrimeReport.org)
    A five-month-long investigation spearheaded by Ashley Luthern of The Vindicator in Youngstown, Ohio examined the successes and tragedies produced as local courts, probation and schools struggle to address “disproportionate minority contact rates.”
  • Frequency Of Kids Sent To Detention Varies Widely (Courant.com)
    Juveniles in the Hartford, Connecticut judicial district who break the law are far more likely to be locked in a pre-trial detention center following arrests or referrals than juveniles from the state's other districts, an analysis of data from the judicial department shows.
  • 12 Investigates: Can Brain Injury Lead to Prison? (NBC12.com)
    Are more kids ending up in jail because of a traumatic brain injury? A study underway of Virginia's Juvenile Justice system recently revealed as many as 20% of the children incarcerated right now have a traumatic brain injury.
  • Juvenile Justice System Youths Express Themselves in Play (OregonLive.com)
    Over the summer, a group of youths in the Clackamas County, Oregon juvenile justice system prepared a performance that was central to who they are. They received a standing ovation for their show, "Choices," and for their courage in telling their stories.

Imprisoned Teens Found More Likely to Re-offend and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Illinois to Improve Conditions at Youth Prisons (St. Louis CBS Local)
    Illinois is promising to improve safety at its youth prisons and offer inmates better educational and mental health services. The Department of Juvenile Justice agreed to the improvements after the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois threatened to sue.
  • U.S. Families Fret at Juvenile Justice System in Crisis (The Raw Story)
    Relatives of jailed young Americans called Tuesday for reform of a juvenile justice system they say fails to help young people and is biased against youth of color. “More than two million children are arrested every year in the United States and the numbers continue to rise, despite the decreasing incidence of true criminal offenses,” according to the study released by the Justice for Families program at the research organization DataCenter.
  • Imprisoned Teens Found More Likely to Re-offend (Jacksonville.com)
    A new report shows that children and teenagers locked up for breaking the law have become 6 percent more likely to commit another crime than they were in 2003. The figures come from a study conducted by the Pew Center on the States at the request of a commission appointed to propose an overhaul to the juvenile-justice system in Georgia.
  • GIVING BACK - Troubled Youths get Chance to Serve Community through DJJ Initiative (TheTandD.com)
    A group of local youths spent Friday morning working with officers at the Orangeburg County, SC Department of Juvenile Justice as part of Restoring Carolina Through Youth Service. The program is a statewide initiative that gives young people who have made poor choices an opportunity to give back through community service.
  • Juvenile Court Records can Follow Kids to College (The Morning Call)
    Juvenile court records could begin following youthful offenders to college after a state appeals court decision in the child pornography case of a Whitehall Township teen. The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a Lehigh County judge's decision to notify the boy's university that he had admitted looking at and trading child pornography over the Internet.
  • Michael Griffiths: The TT Interview (The Texas Tribune)
    Michael Griffiths never really retired after 15 years as head of juvenile services for the Dallas County Juvenile Department. He taught online courses at his alma mater, Sam Houston State University, and consulted on juvenile issues, and he even handed out programs at Texas Rangers games. On Monday, Griffiths will become the new executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

From Detention Cells to the Stage and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Cops Fan Out To Schools (New Haven Independent)
    For three days last week cops all over New Haven, CT descended on every school for the beginning of the academic year. It was a new push to connect cops with kids—one that Assistant Chief Luiz Casanova pledges to make a year-round citywide campaign.
  • New Juvenile Justice Program Shows Early Promise (Statesman.com)
    Texas officials call them the worst of the worst. But at first glance, the eight teenage boys slouched at stainless steel tables, in gray polo shirts and khaki pants, might pass for a bunch of sullen high-schoolers almost anywhere in Texas. The youths are the focal point of an initiative by state officials to curb violence inside Texas' state-run youth lockups.
  • Sweet Tweet: Keri Hilson Inspires Girls at Juvenile Justice Center (act.MTV.com)
    Keri Hilson wants to make a difference! We all remember when she got involved with AIDS Walk New York for the MTV Staying Alive Foundation team, and now Keri has Tweeted about her latest do-gooder act. 
  • From Detention Cells to the Stage (CNN.com)
    Over the past decade, the Synchronicity theater group has returned to Georgia juvenile detention centers several times a year to help girls write plays about drug addiction, rape, abusive parents and cheating boyfriends, but also plays about finding love and making amends.
  • After Supreme Court Ruling, PA Grapples With Juvenile-Lifer Questions (TheCrimeReport.org)
    With more juvenile lifers in prison than any other state, Pennsylvania lawmakers are taking the first steps to consider what changes are needed in state law now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down laws that require juveniles convicted of homicide to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, reports the Scranton Times-Tribune.

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