- Mississippi Security Police, the private company that runs the juvenile detention center for the Missisippi county sued earlier this week by the Southern Poverty Law Center, held a press conference yesterday vigorously denying all allegations. The lawsuit charges that youth offenders were physically and emotionally abused and kept in verminous, unsanitary living conditions without access to mental health care. Here's video of the press tour of the juvenile detention facility and details of the company's responses to the suit. (It should be noted that the county is the defendant in the lawsuit; the private company is not named.)
- The St. Petersburg Times has thorough coverage of decades-old horrors and abuses at the Florida School for Boys that came to light late last year, when former students at the reform school, now in their 60s, found each other on the internet and went public with their accusations. UPDATE: In its weekly roundup, Youth Today reported that an investigation is "going nowhere," according to the former Florida state employee who pushed for an investigation into the scandal and the school's 32 unmarked graves.
- You can find the legal complaint over the Mississippi juvenile detention center on the website of the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN). The NJJN also recently published Advances in Juvenile Justice Reform 2007-2008, which is just what is sounds like and should give heart to any juvenile justice advocate. And you can subscribe to their e-newsletter by emailing them a request. The newsletter "keeps juvenile justice advocates and allies across the country apprised of real-time advances in juvenile justice reform, updated on latest research in the field and informed about relevant funding and calls to action."
- I wasn't too impressed at first when I read that a small Canadian study had discovered that some teens self-medicate with marijuana because that's already well known, but some of the things in the summary surprised me. Addictions counselors have no doubt already observed this, but self-medicating users of marijuana distinguish themselves from those who use the drug socially, and are very serious about titrating their use. (They also categorically deny there could be long-term risks.) Seems like there'd be implications in treatment. Any treatment professionals have insight on this they'd care to share?
- The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is hosting two very low-cost juvenile drug court "micro-trainings" in Baltimore, May 20-22 on drug testing and using incentives and sanctions.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released a revised edition of its Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment, and a new online drug and alcohol screening tool that can be used by primary care physicians.
- Budget crunches are creating awkward choices everywhere. For example, Santa Clara County, California has the highest juvenile misdemeanor arrest rate in the state, but guess what the county's proposing to cut? Juvenile diversion and truancy-reduction programs.
- Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the state's investment in research-based prevention programs is paying off, according to this cost-benefit assessment of its delinquency prevention programs. (Services provided under the program include therapy for youth in the justice system.) Returns range from $1 to $25 for every dollar invested, adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars saved.
Updated: February 08 2018