When it comes to the juvenile justice system and adolescent substance abuse, there's always something cooking. Check out this week's bonanza of resources and new stories:
- Washington, D.C.'s juvenile justice agency is offering a free service to the elderly: lawns mowed by teens doing community service.
- Nicholas D. Kristof, writing in The New York Times, argued that it makes little sense -- financial or otherwise -- to prioritize prisons over health care.
- Curious about where kids who abuse prescription drugs get them? The majority get them free from friends and family, with the exception of opiods, which they get from physicians.
- When boys are anti-social, is it the parents or their friends who are to blame? Both, says the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC). And, in a 9-year follow-up study, the OSLC has shown that training for parents of anti-social boys reduces delinquency in adolescence.
- And speaking of anti-social, in a summary of recent research on the ethical thinking skills of public relations professionals, one can find the interesting detail that middle schoolers score at the bottom in ethical thinking tests: no doubt this is a result of their stage of brain development.
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is supporting "Lights on Afterschool," an initiative to reduce delinquency and increase school attendance by promoting afterschool activities for kids. OJJDP is also merging its National Youth Gang Center with the National Gang Center.
- Looking for an adolescent alcohol and drug treatment program? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) just published an updated national directory of treatment programs (for adults and youth) covering all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and five U.S. territories. And, you can search the directory online at SAMHSA's Treatment Facility Locator.
- You don't often see this: a first circuit court judge questioning the war on drugs. A well-reasoned, thoughtful, and far from dogmatic analysis. (It's long and dates from 1996, but it's definitely worth reading.)
- Wyoming would have more control over federal juvenile justice dollars if it complied with the law and stopped locking up teens for things like possession of alcohol, federal officials recently told the state's Joint Interim Judiciary Committee. But not all committee members were convinced change was necessary, as some judges and prosecutors still want the freedom to lock up repeat status offenders. (This, despite more evidence that contact with the juvenile justice system makes kids more likely to commit crimes as adults.)
- In the same vein, up to 30% of the children aged 12-14 were wrongly jailed in Britain in 2007-2008, using the government's own criteria, according to an analysis performed by a prominent children's charity there.
- And police in Manchester in the United Kingdom have put the name and photo of a 16-year-old murder suspect on a billboard, raising concerns that the youth's privacy and right to a fair trial may be compromised.
- Social media tools can bring people together ... as gangs in Britain have begun to figure out.
- Want help protecting children from family substance abuse, or information on how adult substance abuse impacts children? Check out a new manual from Health & Human Services.
- A youth advocacy agency switches tactics from being a "pain in the ass" (as one official described them) to engaging partners around shared values and holding each other accountable to them--with positive results.
- Want more teens to complete treatment? The British National Health Service has just issued a manual on how to increase the number of clients who engage in and complete alcohol and drug treatment.
- Privacy for youth in juvenile court may soon be a thing of the past -- and that might be a good thing, at least according to an article in The News Media and The Law, a publication of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Updated: February 08 2018