Roundup: JDAI Sets its Sights on State Training Schools

juvenile-justice-reform_news-signJuvenile Justice System News and Speculation

For sheer breadth of coverage in the juvenile justice arena this week, you couldn't beat John Kelly of Youth Today.

  1. First, Kelly covered a year-long, national survey on the use of psychotropic meds in juvenile justice facilities. Sixteen states participated; 17 didn't reply; the remainder did not comply for a variety of reasons, although it appeared that  many states did not track the drugs, or the diagnoses for which they were prescribed. Youth Today's coverage offered useful background on several of the most commonly-used drugs, and a point/counterpoint on whether they should be used as a first resort for behavior management, or whether their use helps make youth "treatment-ready."
  1. Second, Kelly reported on the first day of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) conference in Kansas City. Several things jumped out at me:
    • Kelly's sources seem pretty sure that the new top administrator for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will be California Superior Court Judge Kurt Kumli.
    • Researcher Jeff Fagan found in recent research in New York City that juveniles stopped for "random" searches were stopped at highly disparate rates: black youth had an 80% chance of being stopped; Latino youth had a 38% chance; and whites had only a 10% chance. 
    • Clayton County, Georgia got more attention for its highly effective collaborative strategy to reduce arrests of teens at school.  You can find links to presentations on it in our post on a Coalition for Juvenile Justice conference held early this year.
  2. Third, Kelly summarized the JDAI director Bart Lubow's plans for next steps in JDAI. In the spotlight: pressuring states to stop holding teens in large, centralized training schools. See the article for more information. (Related post: four lessons for juvenile justice reform from Bart Lubow.)

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment - Related News

  • You can provide feedback on the eight strategic initiatives of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) until October 22, 2010. (You can see a fuller description of SAMHSA's initiatives here.) From the list, you can see how much is on the agency's plate - I was especially excited to see that one of the categories was "Trauma & Justice." In any case, be sure to comment on the importance of adolescent treatment.
  • Parity legislation was supposed to prevent insurance companies from benefits for alcohol, drug, and mental health treatment more limited than other medical benefits. How's that working out in your community? If it's not working well, you might try (or pass on) a new Parity Toolkit for Addiction & Mental Health Consumers, Providers & Advocates, from the Parity Implementation Coalition. Subtitled, "Simplifying The Appeals Process: Strategies for Winning Disputes," it'll teach you all about the law – including how to file complaints and appeal denied claims if you need to. (Hat tip to Faces & Voices of Recovery.)
  • The Council of State Governments just released "Information Sharing in Criminal Justice-Mental Health Collaborations: Working with HIPAA and Other Privacy Laws." It's a guide "intended to help criminal justice officials work with health professionals to better use both systems' information, when appropriate, to reduce criminal justice involvement among people with mental illnesses and provide better links to treatment." It does not appear to offer juvenile-specific information, but it may nonetheless be a useful resource for anyone serving youth in the juvenile justice system. 
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one in four teens reported binge drinking in the past month ...
  • The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has a new name and is rebranding itself as The Partnership at Be sure to check out their newly-overhauled website. 
  • adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment_drug-facts-chat-day-logoThe National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will host its annual Drug Facts Web Chat for teens on November 9, 2010, from 8am to 6 pm EST, during National Drug Facts Week (November 8 - 14, 2010). Young people will be able to go online to ask NIDA scientists questions about drugs. Last year, thousands of teens participated -- make sure young people in your area know about it! (Hat tip to the Office of National Drug Control Policy [ONDCP].)
  • Want to know more about what continuing care after treatment should look like? The Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network just published part 1 of a series on continuing care.


  • The future of funding: Do you work for an adolescent substance abuse treatment provider that needs to make the switch to fee-for-service operation? Tune in at 9 am PST / 12 pm EST on October 12, 2010 for a free webinar from NIATx on the topic. 


Updated: February 08 2018