Support for LGBTQ Youth Can Reduce Drugs and Alcohol Use; News Roundup

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

Support for LGBTQ Youth Can Reduce Drugs and Alcohol Abuse (Youth Today)
Public health research finds that, due to lack of support as teens, LGBTQ youth are far more likely than their peers to use drugs and alcohol, including heroin and cocaine. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has partnered with Partnership For Drug-Free Kids to call for the support of parents, caregivers, educators, and youth-serving professionals in the lives of LGBTQ teens. Jointly, they have issued these recommendations.

PA juvenile offenders given psychiatric drugs at high rates (Public Source)
Halle Stockton reports on the alarming rate at which youth in Pennsylvania correctional facilities are given mood-altering psychiatric drugs. The practice of what some child advocates refer to as "chemical restraint" exposes incarcerated youth to "severe side effects" and "significant health risks."

Former Oregon inmate granted clemency now works toward juvenile justice reform (Fox 12)
Former Oregon inmate Sang Dao spoke to a Portland audience earlier this week as part of a juvenile justice reform panel, moderated by Reclaiming Futures' National Executive Director Evan Elkin. Dao now pursues a master's degree in Public Policy at Portland State University and works part-time for the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice. Due to his own personal experiences with the juvenile justice system as a teenager, Dao advocates finding alternatives to youth incarceration.

American Friends Calls for Private Prison Company Divestment (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has joined the growing movement to end the practice of investing in private prison companies. AFSC tracked companies, widely researched the industry, and is now recommending divestment from several companies.

What Happens When Moms Go To Prison (Huffington Post)
This past week Child Trends released a report with findings that "more than five million U.S. children have had a resident parent incarcerated at one point or another." While men still make up the majority of the criminal justice system, reports find that the number of incarcerated women and mothers increases significantly with each decade, and that maternal incarceration has a noticeably negative impact on children and teens' well-being and academic performance.

Policy Center conference in Jacksonville aims to get community to see the whole girl (Jacksonville.com)
Jacksonville's Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center held their annual "See the Girl Summit" which emphasizes how the whole of a girl's life experiences influence the trajectory of a girl's life and unique needs. Lawanda Ravoira, president and CEO of the Policy Center, believes this is especially important in regards to girls in the juvenile justice system.

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Topics: News

Updated: October 30 2015