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How to Support National Prevention Week 2015: “The Voice of One, the Power of All”

NPW15This week is National Prevention Week 2015 and the theme is “The Voice of One, the Power of All,” emphasizing the importance of communities and individuals coming together to help each other lead healthy, productive lives.

Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of substance abuse and mental health issues that brings individuals, organizations, coalitions, states, and communities together through local events to educate the public about the importance of preventing substance abuse and mental disorders before they occur.

Lynch on Youth Violence: ZIP Code Must Not Decide Children's Future; News Roundup

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

Lynch on Youth Violence: ZIP Code Must Not Decide Children’s Future (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
At the fourth National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch demonstrated the prevalence of  youth violence, and the toll it takes on children and their communities. Citing recent events, Lynch reasons that "preventing violence in our communities is not an abstract concept, but a clear and pressing need."

Topics: News

Milwaukee Early Intervention Program Strives to Help Reduce Mass Incarceration

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 11.05.58 AMThe New Yorker recently published an article, “The Milwaukee Experiment,” on the criminal justice reform efforts taking place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a result of the continued increase in the prison population. These efforts focus on changing the way the system handles low-level offenders, many of which are young people, and the continued growth of racial disparities in prison.

One of the main players behind the movement is John Chisholm, the District Attorney in Milwaukee County, who has worked to find ways his office can contribute to changing the tide of mass incarceration and racial imbalance in American prisons.

Some Baltimore youth have fears of police reinforced in their schools; News Roundup

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

Some Baltimore youth have fears of police reinforced in their schools  (Washington Post)
Baltimore's unrest creates discussion around the role of police officers on the streets, and in city schools. Concern for violence in schools, as well as for Baltimore's school-to-prison pipeline, give cause for the community to examine the relationship between police officers and students.

Saying Goodbye: Reclaiming Futures Recognizes the Impact of Susan Richardson

farewellpost We recently announced the departure of Susan Richardson, Reclaiming Futures’ current national executive director. Effective May 11, Susan will transition out of the organization and return to North Carolina after four years leading and overseeing the national program office in Portland, Oregon.

In commemoration of Susan’s work over the last few years, the Reclaiming Futures team has gathered their favorite memories working under her leadership:

Susan has been an incredible force within and across Reclaiming Futures since we first met years ago.  Her passion, dedication and determination to learn, promote, advance and celebrate the mission, the values and the spirit of the initiative has been unmatched. She has tirelessly tended and expanded the networks and partners of RF.  She has thoughtfully shepherded an important (and challenging) transitional phase of our effort.  Her contributions will always be valued and we will miss her regular presence in our ranks - but truly consider her a valued part of the Reclaiming Futures family.  Thank you Susan!!!
-Laura Nissen, Ph.D., LMSW, CADC III, Dean and Professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University

How Curfews Have Changed Through History; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • How Curfews Have Changed Through History (TIME)
    In light of recent events in Baltimore, Lily Rothman, Archive Editor of TIME.com, examines the historical reasons for and effects of curfews, and why emergency curfews should be thought of differently than permanent juvenile curfews

Hardin County Convenes Local Leaders at Annual Stakeholder Meeting

Last week, Hardin County Juvenile Court convened its annual stakeholders meeting, gathering leaders from local businesses, churches and agencies to share progress on Reclaiming Futures’ impact through new data, and insight into the future of the program.

Randy Muck, Senior Advisor of Advocates for Youth and Family Behavioral Health, speaks at the Hardin County Juvenile Court stakeholder meeting

Judge Steven Christopher shared results from Hardin County’s participation in a statewide pilot program to study medically assisted treatment for opiate abuse. He noted positive results. Of the 69 percent of people in his family treatment court, zero percent relapsed or experienced recidivism.

Pew Charitable Trusts Release In-Depth Look at Poor Outcomes and High Price of Incarcerating Juveniles

249326_262741703751645_3185263_nA recently released report from Pew Charitable Trusts has emphasized the need for change in the juvenile justice system as it reveals that many current practices are high cost with poor outcomes.

The report highlights the growing body of research indicating that “lengthy out-of-home placements in secure corrections or other residential facilities fail to produce better outcomes than alternative sanctions” for many juvenile offenders.

The Solution to a 27.47 Ton Problem

April in Dayton, Ohio generally means the winIMG_4366ter weather is starting to break. Snow showers and subzero temperatures are replaced with rain showers and flowers. For some neighborhoods in Dayton, Ohio the break in the weather brings light to a major issue. The issue of illegal dumping is highly visible once the piles of snow have melted away. In some instances, neighborhoods have been left with tons of trash and debris.  For several blocks certain alleyways can be found with couches, mattress, appliances and construction waste.

On April 1, 2015 Montgomery County Juvenile Court hosted its fourth annual community cleanup in the Fairview Neighborhood. This was a community effort, with multiple partners coming together to improve the appearance of one of our city’s neighborhoods.

Recovery Support Services for Youth and Families

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the April issue of The Atlantic features a story titled - “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous” by Gabriella Glaser. The article sheds light on the recovery support service of 12-step programs through interviews with research and practice experts and personal testimonials.

Commitment to Youth Comes Through Strongly in Readers Survey

Responders to Reclaiming Futures’ eNewsletter readers’ survey say they want to read about Juvenile Justice, Youth Development, Family Engagement, Youth and Family Voice, Disproportionate Minority Contact, and the School to Prison Pipeline.  Most responders to the Fall survey report working in juvenile justice or with teen behavioral health treatment organizations, and both the personal as well as professional passion for helping youth came through strongly.

NCJFCJ Releases Guide to Trauma Consultation in Juvenile and Family Courts

A growing body of research is constantly giving fuel to the issue of childhood trauma and toxic NCJFCJ Trauma Manual Coverstress—specifically, how they impact health outcomes in the future, and the critical need for juvenile and family courts to become trauma-informed in order to effectively treat these issues. The latest effort to make trauma-informed courts widespread is from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), which has released “Preparing for a Trauma Consultation in Your Juvenile and Family Court,” a guide for juvenile and family courts to become more trauma-informed.

The guide outlines why courts need to be trauma-informed and how they approach building a framework, including:

  • Elements of a comprehensive and successful trauma-informed framework
  • Questions to ask to determine if your juvenile or family court is ready for a trauma consultation
  • How to prepare for a consultation
  • What to expect during a consultation
  • How to put consultation recommendations into action

ACEs Too High, an online news site dedicated to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), regularly reports on the need for more trauma-informed courts that are reflected in this NCJFCJ guide. A recent article by writer Ed Finkel reports on local courts who are adopting models of trauma-informed care, and other tools available, such as the Think Trauma curriculum for staff members in juvenile correctional facilities.

Finkel also reported on the trauma-informed approach used by judges to administer sustainable solutions for at-risk youth. The article interviews several judges to gain their perspective on trauma-informed courts.

Most recently, Pediatrician and ACEs leader Nadine Burke Harris brought ACEs to the forefront once again on a national stage during her TEDMED talk emphasizing the health impact of childhood trauma, indicating that those who have experienced high levels of this kind of toxic stress are four times more likely to become depressed, and 12 times more likely to attempt suicide.

The NCJFCJ guide is more timely than ever, as more and more public health leaders are adding to existing evidence that emphasizes the need for trauma-informed care. A trauma-informed court can be a safe and effective point of intervention to vulnerable youth and families, and can help coordinate support or treatment to improve outcomes and get young people on a positive path.

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