- Juvenile justice reform may finally be coming to New York state, where governor David A. Paterson has proposed a bill that would radically change the state's juvenile justice system by sharply limiting the kinds of crimes for which youth could be committed to youth prison, and setting up an independent office to oversee those prisons. Unfortunately, increased mental health and substance abuse treatment for youth in the system are not in the bill. (See this post for background on New York's broken juvenile justice system, and the opportunities it could provide for reform.)
- A program in Boston Lenox, MA diverts youth in the justice system to a 10-year-old, five-week program called "Shakespeare in the Courts, " according to The Boston Globe. Their sentence? Rehearsing Shakespeare four afternoons a week, with the goal of putting on a performance. What's great about the article is how well it displays the power of such a program to help kids change, as well as their uncertainty in the face of such an unconventional response to their behavior. (Related story: the National Endowment for the Arts recently funded performances of Shakespeare for youth in the juvenile justice system -- follow the link and check out the third bullet. )
- Related post: The Bard wrote his share of sonnets and other poems, and writing poetry can also be beneficial and therapeutic to teens in the juvenile justice system. Follow the link for more information.
- Our very own Hazel Cameron -- Director of The 4C Coalition and Community Fellow for Reclamiing Futures Seattle-King County -- has been named a "Champion of Mentoring" by Washington State Mentors. Congratulations, Hazel!
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published its Final Plan for Fiscal Year(FY) 2010 in the May 20, 2010, Federal Register. The Final Plan describes discretionary program activities that OJJDP intends to carry out during the current fiscal year.
- Retailer TJ Maxx did the right thing when it removed drinking games from its shelves "after a Boston Globe reporter spotted the games and contacted the parent company asking why games titled 'Drink Like a Fish' and 'Drink Til You Drop' were on display next to graduation gifts," according to Join Together. Which goes to show that a little public pressure can shape a community that not only supports teens in recovery from addiction, but also helps prevent them from becoming addicted in the first place.
Resources & Conferences Related to Juvenile Justice Reform and Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment
- NIDA's Blending Conference in April, 2010 unveiled new training to help providers take advantage of new evidence that Buprenorphine works in treating young adults addicted to opioids.
- You might think "Guildelines for Linking Addiction Treatment with Primary Healthcare" wouldn't be exciting reading, but the introduction provides as cogent a description as any I've ever seen of why primary care docs call addiction treatment a "black hole" when they make referrals (no one ever sends them a progress report), and why they resist integrating addiction treatment into their practices (liability's a big issue). This is followed by a few pages of useful guidelines for "Behavioral Health Recovery Management" that could help primary care and addiction work together. (Hat tip to the Portland, Maine Public Health Division's e-newsletter.)
- The Vera institute of Justice has just issued a report on The Academy, an innovative program in New York for older youth transitioning out of foster care.
- Wish you had a youth guide to wraparound? Follow the link for "Your Life, Your Future," from Community Partners, Inc., in Pittsburgh. If that's too long, check out the brochure instead. You can also download a wraparound guide for families. (Hat tip to Paul Savery.)
- For a review of promising approaches and next steps for addressing disproportionate minority contact (DMC), check out "Getting Beyond Failure: Promising Approaches for Reducing DMC," a new article in Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice by Ashley Nellis of the Sentencing Project and Brad Richardson, Iowa DMC Coordinator. Ms. Nellis posted "Minority Overrepresentation in Juvenile Justice: Frustrations and Promising Signs of Change" for us last year. (Hat tip to the National Juvenie Justice Network [NJJN].)
- You're probably already familiar with SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. Now you can compare it with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), which ranks the effectiveness of drug treatment approaches based on its own reviews of the scientific literature. Be sure to check out its "methodology" page so you understand what the EMCDDA means when it pronounces that a program is, for example, "beneficial."
Updated: June 04 2010