By Benjamin Chambers, April 09 2010
News - Juvenile Justice System and Alcohol and Drugs
- Teens trapped in prison: "Nearly 10 percent of the inmates in Illinois' juvenile prisons have essentially completed their sentences — in some cases more than a year ago — but are stuck behind bars because they have no place to go, state records show." (Hat tip to the Campaign for Youth Justice.)
- Are teens in the criminal and juvenile justice systems getting younger? No, according to an analysis performed by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. The lead author of the study also teamed up with a professor of womens' studies at the University of Hawai'i to author an op-ed in The New York Times called "The Myth of Mean Girls." (The title says it all.)
- Meanwhile, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) just published a bulletin, "Causes and Correlates of Girls' Delinquency," based on a review of over 1,600 articles and book chapters.
- OJJDP also released "Youth's Needs and Services: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement," which is the "first comprehensive national survey to gather information about youth in custody by surveying the detained offenders. Findings show that youth have substantive needs in the four areas examined—mental health, substance abuse, health care, and education."
- A Chicago social services agency helps 3,000 at-risk youth annually with an eclectic offering of hip-hip, break-dancing, art classes, and help with homework.
- According to a series in the L.A. Times, black tar heroin has been cutting a broad swath among middle- and working-class whites, particularly in smaller communities and among people previously addicted to prescription pain pills. And most of this epidemic has been traced to a community in Mexico, where drug profits lifted many out of grinding poverty. (Hat tip to Christa Myers, project director at Reclaiming Futures Hocking County, OH.)
Resources for Working in the Juvenile Justice System and Leading Systems Change
- Want to improve how your community addresses juvenile reentry? Strategic planning is the key, and the National Reentry Resource Center brings you resources from the Reentry Policy Council, the Urban Institute and the Crime and Justice Institute to help you do it.
- Paul Savery, who is the Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Co-ordinator at the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, sent me a link to "Apps for Healthy Kids,"a contest to design software to encourage kids to live healthy, active lives. Paul thought we should have something similar for teens abusing alcohol and drugs who are in trouble with the law. Why don't we?
- There's a lot of food for thought (especially for Reclaiming Futures communities) in A Public Health Approach to Children's Mental Health: a Conceptual Framework, from the Center for Child and Human Development. (H/t to Paul Savery.)
- Don't miss "Coalitions and Partnerships: Maximizing Community Potential," an excellent PowerPoint presentation from Dr. Frances Butterfoss that lays out the strengths and pitfalls of building a successful coalition. It begins with an extended analogy to "The Lord of the Rings." (H/t to Paul Savery.)
- "Changing Systems is Like Moving a Mountain" is a new publication from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, packed with useful insights into how to move that mountain. (H/t to Mark Fulop.)
Updated: February 08 2018