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 (
    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 (
    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 (
    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 (
    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.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Dare County Targets Substance-Abuse Crisis (
    A decade ago, Dare residents ranked substance abuse as their top health concern in a state survey. From 2004 through 2006, a total of 17 Dare residents died of overdoses. People seemingly were dying left and right, recalled Dare County Commissioner Allen Burrus. That prompted state and local officials to form a task force.
  • Levy: Parents and Youth Substance Abuse - Early Detection is Key (
    Substance abuse by teens is common. A national survey shows that 80 percent of students will have tried alcohol, more than 40 percent will have used marijuana and nine percent will have taken prescription pain medication for nonmedical reasons by high-school graduation. More kids now smoke marijuana, in fact, than tobacco.
  • Health Report Viewed as ‘Wake-Up Call’ on Heroin Use (
    A privately produced report on the state’s public health trends is putting new emphasis on the level of heroin addiction problems in the state, citing statistics that show Massachusetts had some of the highest rates for heroin overdose emergency room visits in the U.S.

juvenile-justice-system_David-BackesDavid Backes writes the Friday news roundup for Reclaiming Futures and contributes articles about juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment to He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Santa Clara University. David works as an account executive for Prichard Communications.

Updated: February 08 2018