With Synthetic Pot, You Don't Know Where it's Been; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Legislator Wants to Change the Culture of Juvenile Justice System (NebraskaRadioNetwork.com)
    A leading state legislator says the state juvenile justice system must move from a culture of incarceration to a culture of treatment. Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, says his committee will spend a couple of days hearing legislation that aims at nothing short of the transformation of how Nebraska deals with juvenile offenders.
  • In Kentucky, Juvenile Offenders’ Names Could be Shared After Adjudication (JJIE.org)
    On Monday, members of the Kentucky House passed a bill that would allow victims in juvenile court trials to discuss a case once a verdict is rendered, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. House Bill 115 swept through the House with unanimous approval earlier this week, garnering a 93-0 vote in Kentucky’s lower legislative body.
  • [VIDEO] Nation Honors Center on Front Lines of Juvenile Justice (Northwestern.edu)
    The Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) at the Northwestern University School of Law has received a $750,000 award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in recognition of the Center's exemplary advocacy for children caught up in the harsh realities of Illinois’ juvenile and criminal justice systems.
  • Inquirer Editorial: Juvenile Justice that Leans Toward Mercy (Philly.com)
    The Luzerne County cash-for-kids scandal revealed the potential for tragedy when locking up juvenile defendants becomes routine. Thousands of young people were harmed by the scheme hatched by two disgraced judges, who took millions of dollars in kickbacks to place young offenders in for-profit detention centers.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

  • With Synthetic Pot, You Don't Know Where it's Been (CourierPress.com)
    The hallucinogenic mix of dried plant material and synthetic cannabinoids has a similar effect on the brain and body as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Before lawmakers banned the drug in 2011, spice originally was thought to be a safe and legal alternative to marijuana use. However, many of its users learned the hard way the drug is far from safe.
  • U.N. Report Criticizes Harsh, Unhelpful Addiction Treatment (Drugfree.org)
    Addiction treatment methods in some parts of the world are harsh and unhelpful, according to a new report from the United Nations. Some practices are “tantamount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” the report states.
  • Outside Box, Federal Judges Offer Addicts a Free Path (The New York Times)
    Federal judges around the country are teaming up with prosecutors to create special treatment programs for drug-addicted defendants who would otherwise face significant prison time, an effort intended to sidestep drug laws widely seen as inflexible and overly punitive.

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 ReclaimingFutures.org. 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