When Children Become Criminals; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juveniles Facing Lifelong Terms Despite Rulings (The New York Times)
    In decisions widely hailed as milestones, the United States Supreme Court in 2010 and 2012 acted to curtail the use of mandatory life sentences for juveniles, accepting the argument that children, even those who are convicted of murder, are less culpable than adults and usually deserve a chance at redemption.
  • Juvenile Justice Debate Continues As Teen Serves 70 Year Sentence (WJCT.org)
    Is a 70 year sentence without parole for a 14-year-old effectively the same as life in prison? Jacksonville’s Shimeek Gridine is a plaintiff in a lawsuit before the Florida Supreme Court that will decide whether his harsh sentence violates the federal constitution.
  • When Children Become Criminals (The New York Times)
    New York is one of two states, the other being North Carolina, in which 16-year-olds are automatically tried as adults. This is the case despite overwhelming evidence that sending children into adult courts, rather than the juvenile justice system, needlessly destroys lives and further endangers the public by turning nonviolent youngsters into hardened criminals.

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Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

  • Survey Finds That Parents Who Support Marijuana Legalization Expect Strict Regulation of Its Availability to Kids (Drugfree.org)
    A nationally representative survey released by The Partnership at Drugfree.org confirms that parents who support legalization of marijuana expect strict regulation of the substance’s availability to kids and teens. While 40 percent of adults say they are in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, a majority of them oppose any form of legal marijuana for use among kids and teens.
  • Is The Teen Brain More Vulnerable To Addiction? (HuffingtonPost.com)
    Even before their first acts of rebellion, teenagers can get a bad reputation. Popular myths paint the adolescent years as a time of hormone-fueled immaturity, while adults tend to look back on teenage-hood as a difficult time that young people simply need to "survive."
  • Poor Sleep Linked to Teen Mental Health Problems (Z News)
    Getting too little sleep might be a sign of - or even a contributor to - emotional problems, anxiety and suicidal thoughts among teens, according to a large study from Europe. Based on data about the sleep habits of nearly 12,000 teens across 11 European countries, researchers found that a student with suicidal thoughts could be predicted to sleep about 36 minutes less each night compared to counterparts with no suicidal thoughts.

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.

Topics: News, No bio box

Updated: January 24 2014