Pennsylvania judge dismisses 2,000 juvenile cases in “kids for cash” scandal and more -- news roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • New Mexico’s Governor proposes change in agency for juvenile justice, child welfare
    The Republic:
    In her budget proposals released Thursday, the New Mexico's Gov. Martinez calls for consolidating juvenile justice programs into one division within the department and moving domestic violence services into a part of the agency that handles child abuse and neglect cases.
  • Are arrests a poor answer for young people in trouble?
    The Hartford Courant:
    Increasingly adults are recognizing that arrest should be a last resort in dealing with adolescent behavior. The Connecticut Judicial Branch has begun rejecting school-based arrests when the offenses do not rise to the level of true delinquency. Instead, the courts offers suggestions to police and school administrators about community resources that could more appropriately — and more cheaply — help address a child's issues.
  • For teens guilty of murder, penalties can vary widely
    The Boston Globe:
    Two recent cases illustrate the profound inequities that have grown up in the juvenile justice system since passage of a 1996 law aimed at cracking down on juvenile “super predators’’ by requiring them to be tried in adult court, an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found. Before the change, teenage murder defendants were sometimes tried in juvenile court, where, if convicted, they could be sentenced to serve only until age 21. Now such teenagers as young as 14 can be sentenced to life without parole.
  • Probation officers move into schools
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
    Public schools in Georgia’s DeKalb County are allowing probation officers into the schools, and in some cases giving them office space, so they can keep an eye on students who have run afoul of the law.
  • DOJ steps up oversight of juvenile justice
    The Wall Street Journal:
    The Justice Department, stepping up its oversight of the juvenile justice system, has launched an investigation into whether school and law enforcement officials are targeting black students in Meridian, Miss., for unfair treatment.
  • Maryland Judge George Bacon Rasin Jr. passes away
    The Baltimore Sun:
    George Bacon Rasin Jr., a former Kent County circuit judge who led a movement to modernize juvenile justice in Maryland, died of congestive heart failure Friday at the Edenwald Retirement Community in Towson. He was 94.
  • Pennsylvania judge dismisses 2,000 juvenile cases in “kids for cash” scandal
    Newsworks by WHYY:
    A judge brought in to clean up after a "kids for cash" scandal has expunged every juvenile court case decided by a Pennsylvania jurist convicted of corruption.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Students invited to participate in “Big Bowl Vote 2012”
    The Partnership at
    The Drug-Free Action Alliance (DFAA) is calling for young people from across the country to participate in the “Big Bowl Vote 2012” on Monday, February 6, the day after the Super Bowl. The survey is intended to gauge which commercials the students remember and prefer, and to help students more thoughtfully evaluate alcohol advertising.
  • Street slang in drug education advertises more than it helps
    Scientific American:
    Drug education may actually be teaching kids how to use and where to buy illegal substances instead of educating them on the dangerous effects.
  • ADHD-drug abuse popular on Oregon campuses; university health officials fight back
    As the rate of ADHD medication abuse increases, higher education institutions are responding with new policies aimed at reducing the drugs' prevalence on campus. The changes, which vary from school to school, include increased discretion in diagnosing and prescribing medications for ADHD and efforts to increase awareness of the legal consequences of selling and obtaining prescription medication on the black market.
  • New Jersey teen raises awareness of drug abuse
    A number of recent drug overdoses inspired Rebecca Hutsebaut, a recent graduate of Vernon Township High School and member of Girl Scout Troop No. 999, to host a Homerun Derby to raise awareness of the local drug problem.

 Events + Webinars

  • WEBINAR: A Look Inside Community-Based TTA: Prosecution & Courts
    The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) is hosting a free webinar on community prosecution and courts. The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys will provide the audience with information on TTA in the areas of community prosecution. The Center for Court Innovation will share research and insights on their advances in community courts.
    When: January 10, 2012 from 2-3 PM (EST)
    Register: online
  • WEBINAR: Basics of Performance Measurement and Evaluation
    Learning about evaluation will help practitioners integrate the best available evidence with their existing expertise and considerations in their work with delinquent and at-risk youth. This Webinar will teach participants basic concepts and key terminology related to evaluation and performance measurement. It will also provide a basic explanation of logic models and why they are useful.
    When: January 19, 2012 from 2-3:30 (EST)
    Register: online
  • EVENT: 2012 National Mentoring Summit
    MENTOR, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the Harvard School of Public Health, the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and United Way Worldwide will once again convene major youth mentoring organizations—along with government, civic, research and corporate leaders—to evaluate best practices, review new research, chart the field’s future, and ensure that more youth receive quality mentoring.
    When: January 24-25, 2012
    Register: online
  • WEBINAR: Bricks and Mortar of Restorative Justice
    This OJJDP webcast will teach participants to understand restorative justice, how it works, how to implement and apply restorative practices, and how to move from punishment to accountability.
    When: January 26, 2012 from 2-3:30 (EST)
    Register: online


juvenile-justice-system_Lori-HowellLori Howell is a Senior Associate at Prichard Communications. She is a seasoned public affairs practitioner with a background in public policy, fundraising, and education. Lori helps clients with online editorial services, media relations, and publications. Before joining Prichard Communications, she served as chief of staff for Greg Macpherson, a former Oregon state legislator, an account executive for the Northwest Evaluation Association, a nonprofit educational testing consortium, and once taught English in Choshi, Japan.

Updated: February 08 2018