Roundup: New Jersey's Detention Reform Success; All Teens Should be Screened for Depression; and More

  • newspaperNew Jersey's Office of the Child Advocate just released a great report on the state's successful detention reform efforts. For a truly compelling graph showing how juvenile arrests in New Jersey kept dropping even as use of detention was reduced, see the new (and interesting in its own right) Policy for Results website, an initiative of the Center for the Study of Social Policy that focuses on "better results for kids and families through research-informed policy."
  • An influential federal medical panel now recommends that doctors screen all teens for depression; (video).  This is great news, given its prevalence among teens. 
  • Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers in California found that adolescents living near alcohol outlets were more likely to engage in binge drinking and drunk driving.
  • One in every 31 Americans is either in prison, jail, or on probation or parole, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. In the current economic climate, prison reform efforts are starting to gain traction, as evidenced by a recent article by Senator Jim Webb, "Why We Must Fix Our Prisions," writing in PARADE magazine, of all places. 
  • A survey of research from the U.K. shows strong correlations between a healthy diet and good mental health. Specific recommendations include testing nutritional supplements in "Young Offender Institutes" to reduce the risk of teens harming themselves or committing suicide. On p. 30, you can find summaries of research on the influence of diet on violent behavior, specifically this one: "Hibbeln reported that his research on violent offenders in the USA since 1995 has demonstrated a 50% reduction in violence among substance abusers given omega-3 supplements." Promising news.

Updated: February 08 2018