By Benjamin Chambers, July 30 2010
Juvenile Justice News
- Does Maryland really need a new juvenile detention facility? Not without a new population forecast, says the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD). (Hat tip to Policy for Results.)
- I’ve written before about “sexting” – when minors send sexually explicit pictures via cell phone - so it’s good to see that the Youth Online Safety Working Group has released recommendations on how education and legal professionals should handle sexting and work to prevent it.
- A German study has confirmed that youth who commit crimes don’t necessarily go on to being career criminals. As ever, the problem for juvenile justice professionals is sorting out who will and who won't, and allocating resources accordingly. According to the study, many of the risk factors for criminality are the same as those for mental health issues, but “three risk factors seem to be specific for criminality: male sex, early onset of aggressiveness, and the negative influence of delinquent peers.” (Hat tip to @policy4results.)
- The number of kids detained in the U.K. dropped nearly 38% between 2008 and 2010 – but the use of restraints in detention rose 23%, despite a review panel recommending that their use be reduced. In related news, John Kelly of Youth Today reported that the British government was forced to release a horrifying manual on using physical restraints on youth after a five-year legal fight. Staff were advised on techniques such as:
o Alternating “elbow strikes” to the young person's ribs;
o Raking shoes down the youth’s shins; and
o Driving straightened fingers into teens' faces and then their groins.
The manual was denounced as “state authorization of institutionalized child abuse.”
- Latest news from Luzerne County, PA, where the “kids-for-cash” scandal erupted last year: Judge Conahan pleaded guilty, paving the way for a possible 20-year federal prison sentence; the other judge involved still denies any wrongdoing. (Hat tip to Youth Today.) Also, Pennsylvania’s Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice released its final report on the scandal in May, and the Juvenile Law Center made recommendations to strengthen Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system and provide a blueprint for reform. (Hat tip to the National Juvenile Justice Network [NJJN].)
- Good news: the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange launched recently, providing everyone with yet another source of news and research updates. Run by the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State university in Georgia, its mission is to fill the gap caused by the dramatic downsizing of journalism outlets. (Hat tip to @questionswork.)
Positive Youth Development
- Teens need structure, a new study suggests, because letting groups of teens roam around unsupervised often leads to violence – even in neighborhoods where parents trust their neighbors and all the teens are “A” students. Adult supervision, in other words, is a good rule of thumb for all teens. (Hat tip to somebody -- just can't remember who.)
- Related post: Supervision isn't the only youth crime deterrent. Getting feedback from their community helps teens realize that violence is wrong.
- The Department of Labor has awarded two $10 million grants to YouthBuild and The Corps Network to "prepare young adult offenders and young people without a high school diploma for employment and postsecondary education as well as to engage them in community leadership." YouthBuild will work in eight communities and The Corps Network in six; will one of them be yours? (H/t to Cora Crary.)
- Yet another report underscores the importance of preventing and healing trauma for young people – in this case, young men of color. The report, titled, “Healthy Communities Matter: The Importance of Place to the Health of Boys of Color,” was funded by the California Endowment and incorporates research from four different institutions. It discusses “disparities (socioeconomic, health, mental health, safety, readiness to learn) for boys and young men of color relative to white boys and young men; how place creates and exacerbates health disparities; and the importance of healing and preventing trauma as the underlying focus of solutions.” (H/t to Paul Savery.)
- Related post: Juvenile courts don't always remember the impact trauma can have on a teen's life. See this post for 10 things every court should keep in mind about trauma and teens.
Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment
- The proportion of teens 12 – 17 admitted to state-funded treatment for abuse of pain relievers jumped from 0.6% to 5.2% between 1998 and 2008, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research.
- The Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network (ATTC) explains the rationale behind Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in the first article in a series. Treatment providers in particular will want to pay attention, as SBIRT is a key part of the new National Drug Control Strategy and offers an opportunity for alcohol and drug agencies to reach out and partner with doctor’s offices and hospitals.
Juvenile Justice Jobs
- The MacArthur Foundation is hiring a juvenile justice program officer to be based in Chicago – a great chance to work on the Models for Change initiative. (Hat tip to Youth Today.)
- The National Council of La Raza is looking for a Juvenile Justice Fellow in its D.C. office to develop and implement "strategies to advance policy and legislative reforms in juvenile justice at state and federal levels."
- The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) is seeking a Research and Policy Analyst. Hurry, though - the application deadline is August 2, 2010.
- The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) is holding its annual conference August 15, 2010, in Washington, D.C.
- And if you’re in D.C. on August 5th, you might want to attend the forum on engaging disconnected youth hosted by the American Youth Policy Forum. (Hat tip to sparkaction.)
Topics: Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment, Juvenile Justice Reform, News, No bio box, Positive Youth Development
Updated: February 08 2018