Senate Judiciary Committee Approves JJDPA Update; News Roundup

Every week Reclaiming Futures rounds up the latest news on juvenile justice reform, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and teen mental health. 

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves JJDPA Update (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
The Senate Judiciary Committee has now approved the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill which has the ability to increase protections for youth within the criminal justice system. The legislation would update the law to reflect new understandings of best practices in juvenile justice.

No Jail Time for Troubled Kids: Radical Fixes for Juvenile Justice (Indian Country Today Media Network)
For the first time in almost 30 years, the federal government is updating the 1988 Model Indian Juvenile Code.  Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Kevin K. Washburn, explained: “Tribes know best what will work in their communities, but the model will be updated to provide better federal guidance to tribes in an effort to insure proper respect for the rights and responsibilities of Indian juveniles."

Mental Illness Hospitalization Common Among Juvenile Inmates (Psych Central)
Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine recently found that incarcerated youth are much more likely to be hospitalized for mental health disorders, when compared with non-incarcerated young people. Hospital stays last longer as well, which suggests to researchers that mental health issues are more severe for incarcerated youth than for the general population. While researchers were aware of mental illness disproportionately affecting kids in the system, they were surprised at its extent and severity upon conducting the study.

Low-Income, Homeless Teens Use Art for Job-Readiness (Youth Today)
Berkeley's Youth Spirit Artworks, an interfaith “green” art jobs and job training program, works to empower homeless and low-income young people in the Bay Area. Since 2007, it  has been a place for disadvantaged youth, ages 16-25, to create and sell art, learn job skills and contribute to their neighborhoods through community revitalization art projects. Youth Today features the story of one of its participants, Jay Hill, 22, an aspiring fashion designer.

Why Are There so Many LGBT Youth in Prison? (attn:)
While LGBT young people make up five to seven percent of American youth, they make up 15 percent of American youth in the juvenile justice system. Feministing's Reina Gattuso writes about reasons for this discrepancy, and how communities can work to keep LGBT youth out of the system.

They Climb, Bike, Run, Lift, Box Their Way Out of Addiction (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
JJIE reports on how physically active programs, such as Phoenix Multisport, help addicted youth and adults recover from alcohol and substance abuse, and ultimately help to maintain a commitment to sobriety.

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Updated: September 23 2020