President Obama Announces New Actions to Promote Rehabilitation and Reintegration for the Formerly- Incarcerated; News Roundup

Every week Reclaiming Futures rounds up the latest news on juvenile justice reform, adolescent substance use treatment, and teen mental health. 

FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Actions to Promote Rehabilitation and Reintegration for the Formerly- Incarcerated (The White House)
On Monday President Obama announced steps the Administration will take to create "meaningful criminal justice reform," including reforming the reentry process of formerly-incarcerated individuals. Among the measures announced was the "Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program Awards to Support Public Housing Residents," a program to make fresh starts possible for youth with expungeable convictions. In an effort to promote second chances for youth, the Obama Administration will no longer use the term "juvenile delinquent,' and will now exclusively use the term  "justice-involved youth."

Study Highlights Little State Oversight of Educational Services Provided to Incarcerated Youth (The Council of State Governments Justice Center)
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released a new report yesterday called   “Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth,” which highlights how most incarcerated youth severely lack in educational opportunities and services otherwise available to their peers. “On average, what states spend on these kids while they are locked up is at least three times the cost of a Harvard tuition,” said Michael Thompson, director of the CSG Justice Center. “Policymakers making this level of investment should be asking what type of education they expect to be provided to these youth.”

Black Girls Are Being Pushed Out of the Classroom (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
Education policy researcher Kayla Patrick responds to the recent video of a police assault of a Spring Valley High School girl. Patrick emphasizes the detrimental effects that zero tolerance school discipline and policing in schools has on black and Latino students' success and well-being. She also presents recent reports which highlight the intersection of race and gender in schools, and calls for recognition of the specific needs of black girls experiencing injustice in schools.

New Toolkit Issued to Help Providers Measure Trauma With ACES Survey (Youth Today)
The National Crittenton Foundation released a new toolkit to help service providers communicate with youth and families about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey (ACES), which collects data on childhood trauma. The toolkit will also help providers track results and put the data to use in public education and policy advocacy.

State won’t disclose names of doctors prescribing in youth corrections (Public Source)
Halle Stockton's report on the alarming rate at which youth in Pennsylvania correctional facilities are given mood-altering psychiatric drugs continues. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has refused to disclose the names of the doctors involved to the public, Stockton reports. The practice of giving mood-altering psychiatric drugs to youth in corrections, which some call “chemical restraint," exposes incarcerated youth to “severe side effects” and “significant health risks.”

Branson senior produces documentary film on juvenile justice (Marin Independent Journal)
Avani Bahl, a 17-year-old senior at California's Branson School, spent two years producing a documentary on juvenile justice, inspired by her experiences with Marin County Youth Court. Bahl handled all of the research and camerawork on her own and did not receive class credit for the project,  "which was strictly a labor of love."

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Updated: September 23 2020