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Most States Still House Some Youth in Adult Prisons, Report Says; News Roundup

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

Most States Still House Some Youth in Adult Prisons, Report Says (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
A new report from Campaign for Youth Justice finds that most states still house youth in adult prisons, putting them at risk for abuse. Now is a good time to end this practice, according to the report, due to a recent decrease of youth housed in both adult and juvenile facilities.

Topics: News

New Report, Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works

medicine-385947_1920A new report, "Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works," calls attention to the rising rate of teen overdose fatalities in the United States, the role of prescription painkillers, as well as research-based solutions for prevention and treatment. The report, supported by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, was authored and produced by Trust for America's Health (TFAH), a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, non-partisan organization with a focus on public health policy and community prevention and treatment strategies. 

Significant Increase in Teen Overdose Fatalities

TFAH finds that youth drug overdose fatalities, among 12 to 25 year-olds, more than doubled in 35 states over the past ten years, particularly among young men and boys. Fatality rates for youth overdose more than doubled in 18 states, more than tripled in 12 states, and more than quadrupled in five states (Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming). Analyses reveals that, while no state had a youth overdose death rate over 6.1 per 100,000 before 2001, 33 states were above 6.1 per 100,000 deaths by the year 2013.

Teen Drug Overdose Death Rate Doubles Over Last Decade; News Roundup

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

Teen Drug Overdose Death Rate Doubles Over Last Decade (Psychiatry Advisor)
Trust For America's Health released a new report with findings that the American drug overdose mortality rate has more than doubled over the last ten years, and especially among young men between the ages of 12 to 25 years old. Prescription drugs were found to be responsible for many of the overdoses, and were also found to be connected to heroin addictions in young people.

November is Native American Heritage Month

first-nation-908605 (2)President Obama has proclaimed November as "Native American Heritage Month." This is a time to celebrate the many significant historic and contemporary contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives, a population of 5.4 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the juvenile justice field, this month is not only a time to celebrate Native American heritage, but also an opportunity to make visible the unique youth justice challenges faced by Native American communities, and to highlight steps for collaboratively working with tribal communities to improve conditions for Native American youth and their families.

Though 1990 was the first year "Native American Indian Heritage Month" was recognized as a national legal holiday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the pursuit of a holiday to celebrate heritage began in the early 20th century when Dr. Arthur C. Parker - a Seneca Indian and director of the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Rochester, New York - promoted a day to celebrate "First Americans." In May 1916, the first "American Indian Day" was declared by the state of New York, and many states observed a version of this day for years before official national recognition in 1990 for the month of November.

States Look Beyond Incarceration to Rearrest Rates; News Roundup

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

States Look Beyond Incarceration to Rearrest Rates (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
The Council on State Governments reports that while juvenile arrest rates are down, rearrest rates are still high, sometimes reaching 80 percent in certain states. As a result, researchers and policymakers urge officials to look for ways to improve the lives of youth after they return to their communities, preventing further contact with the system.

12th Annual Natural Helper Recognition Banquet in Montgomery County, Ohio

On October 27, 2015, Montgomery County Juvenile Court, Judge Nick Kuntz and Judge Anthony Capizzi hosted the 12th annual Natural Helper Recognition Banquet. As one of the ten original RFBanq2015GroupReclaiming Futures sites, this year marked our twelfth year of our Natural Helper program. Our volunteers and community partners that make our initiative a success were recognized for their
achievements. This year’s event was held at the Presidential Banquet Center in Dayton, Ohio. Approximately 200 community leaders, partners, Natural Helpers and Juvenile Court staff were in attendance, including members of the Lucas County Reclaiming Futures team.

The evening started with entertainment provided by the talented Novae A Capella Group, a student cappella group at Centerville High School whose motto is, "Shine like stars, work like bees, and sing like angels." Their performance was enjoyed by all in attendance. Special guest speaker, Brian Jenkins, a local businessman, author and motivational speaker provided a wonderful story of addiction, incarceration, recovery and the impact two special mentors had on his life. One particular part of his message really resonated with the audience: “For all of you who are mentoring and wonder if all of your efforts are ever recognized by the people you are working with, I am here to tell you that they are. Please don’t give up.”

Welcoming NW Ohio: Our New Rural Community Collaborative Site

The National Program Office (NPO) is very pleased to announce Reclaiming Futures' new rural community collaborative site in NW Ohio. The NW Ohio Reclaiming Futures (NORF) Initiative is a collaboration between Defiance, Henry, and Williams Counties, as well as their regionally shared service providers and community stakeholders. As a new example of a Reclaiming Futures rural community collaborative site (the site model also exists in Kentucky and North Carolina), NW Ohio provides an important example of a site tapping into an innovative state justice reinvestment fund in order to join the Reclaiming Futures initiative.

NW Ohio is Reclaiming Futures' fifth site in the state of Ohio. Evan Elkin, Executive Director of Reclaiming Futures, credits the growing presence of Reclaiming Futures in Ohio to the neighborly and supportive tendencies of Ohioans, which creates a grassroots sharing of information. “They share with their communities and around the state - and word of the positive outcomes the existing sites are seeing is getting around,” explains Elkin.

Defiance, Henry, and Williams Counties of NW Ohio provide an excellent example of Ohio's collaborative and supportive nature, and how this quality of working together and sharing resources particularly benefits rural communities. The three counties joined together to propose the NORF Initiative upon recognizing a need in their communities for more consistency and specifically...

How a trip to Germany opened a governor’s eyes on juvenile justice; News Roundup

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

How a trip to Germany opened a governor’s eyes on juvenile justice (Fusion)
Last Friday Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy argued to raise the age of Connecticut's juvenile justice system jurisdiction to 20 years old. Malloy's speech is one of the most high-profile statements made so far in the U.S. on how youth have a higher capacity for rehabilitation than adults, and so should be treated differently.  He was inspired by a trip to Germany earlier this year - a country where anyone under 21 years old is treated as a juvenile rather than as an adult.

Creating a More Equitable and Effective Juvenile Justice System

This opinion-editorial was originally published on JJIE.org.

We know that young offenders are different from adults and that incarcerating them perpetuates cycles of trauma and inequality that do us all more harm than good. As Congress considers pending juvenile justice reforms, such as the landmark Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), it’s worth reviewing the role that basic federal protections and effective community-based interventions play every day in improving young lives and keeping our communities safe.

President Obama Announces New Actions to Promote Rehabilitation and Reintegration for the Formerly- Incarcerated; News Roundup

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

FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Actions to Promote Rehabilitation and Reintegration for the Formerly- Incarcerated (The White House)
On Monday President Obama announced steps the Administration will take to create "meaningful criminal justice reform," including reforming the reentry process of formerly-incarcerated individuals. Among the measures announced was the "Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program Awards to Support Public Housing Residents," a program to make fresh starts possible for youth with expungeable convictions. In an effort to promote second chances for youth, the Obama Administration will no longer use the term "juvenile delinquent,' and will now exclusively use the term  "justice-involved youth."

Red Ribbon Week

red ribbon weekDuring the week of October 23, 2015, Red Ribbon Week was in full swing at Montgomery County Juvenile Court. This time of the year is another opportunity to focus our efforts on tobacco, alcohol and drug violence prevention. Red Ribbon Week was created in memory of DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena, who passed away 30 years ago. Red Ribbon Week has since become the nation’s largest and longest running prevention campaign.

With the support of Judge Kuntz and Judge Capizzi, our Juvenile Drug Court and Reclaiming Futures came together to host a variety of activities at the Montgomery County Probation Services Building. Kyla Woods, Tashina Sampson and Brittini Long worked side by side with Drug Court youth to decorate the Probation Services lobby with Red Ribbon decor to cheerfully welcome all guests.  A large classroom size board was also decorated with information to give youth examples of how to respond to peer pressure and remain drug and alcohol free. A parent forum was also conducted to provide education and awareness for the parents to support their children in remaining drug and alcohol free.

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.

Topics: News

Watch this Webinar: What is Restorative Justice?

justice-471885_1920Restorative justice is a paradigm that is distinct from criminal justice. Rather than asking traditional questions like “What law or rule was broken?,” Who broke it?,” and “What consequences or punishment do they deserve?,” restorative justice asks: “Who has been affected?,” “What are their needs?,” “Who has the obligation to address the needs, right the wrongs and restore the relationships?” It’s an effective approach that seeks to engage, heal and transform both the victims and the perpetrators of a crime simultaneously.

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