Senate Committee Approves Changes in Juvenile Justice System; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Advocates for Juvenile Justice Reform Rally at Hearing for Bel Air Teenager Accused of Killing Father (
    Friday’s demonstration came ahead of a motions hearing in Robert Richardson’s case, and was the latest organized by a group which seeks to have his case—and Richardson himself—moved back into the juvenile criminal justice system.
  • The Crucial Role of Prosecutors in Juvenile Justice (
    The role and responsibilities of the juvenile prosecutor are plentiful and extend well beyond the courtroom. In fact, in cases involving juveniles, much of the work can and should be done outside the courtroom. Working collaboratively with other youth-serving agencies in their communities, prosecutors often play a leadership role in these efforts.
  • Senate Committee Approves Changes in Juvenile Justice System (
    The Senate Judiciary Committee approved proposed changes to the juvenile justice system Wednesday after making some adjustments to address concerns of judges. House Bill 242, which has passed the House, is designed to send fewer juveniles to state facilities for committing felonies and to divert kids who are not dangerous — especially so-called status offenders such as truants, runaways and the unruly — into less expensive community-based programs.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

  • Study Examines New Treatment for Marijuana Dependence (
    Researchers at Columbia University in New York are studying a new treatment for marijuana dependence. Margaret Haney, PhD, led a study of 11 people, which has not yet been published, of a synthetic version of THC—the active ingredient in marijuana—called nabilone. Marijuana-dependent patients received either a placebo or one of two doses of nabilone.
  • Since 2008, Insurers Have Been Required by Law to Cover Mental Health—Why Many Still Don't (
    The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act -- which requires group health insurance plans that offer coverage for mental illness and substance use disorders to provide those benefits in no more restrictive way than all other treatments -- was signed into law almost five years ago. But significant hurdles are still preventing it from taking effect.
  • College Enrollment Does Not Lead to Problem Drinking in Adulthood (
    Despite the high levels of binge drinking that take place on college campuses, college enrollment does not lead to substance abuse problems later in adulthood, and it may actually prevent adult substance abuse amongyouth who would not be expected to attend college, according to researchers at Penn State.

juvenile-justice-system_David-BackesDavid Backes writes the Friday news roundup for Reclaiming Futures and contributes articles about juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment to He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Santa Clara University. David works as an account executive for Prichard Communications.

Updated: February 08 2018