UN Report Faults Practices Common in U.S. Juvenile Justice; News Roundup

by Kate Knappett

Juvenile Justice Reform UN Report Faults Practices Common in U.S. Juvenile Justice (JJIE) The United Nations top investigator on torture has delivered a scathing criticism of juvenile justice practices common in the United States, including routine detention of youths, solitary confinement and sentences of life without parole for children. Florida Is By Far the Worst […]

Register for the 2015 Juvenile Justice Youth Summit

by Susan Richardson

Emerging leaders age 17-25 interested in juvenile justice reform will convene at the 2015 Juvenile Justice Youth Summit, co-hosted by The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) (OJJDP).

The two-day summit—”The Time is Now: Creating Change with Young Emerging Leaders”—takes place July 23-24, 2015 in Washington, DC.

According to the event announcement, “these next generation leaders gain a better understanding of the current juvenile justice system, examine trending reform topics, and participate in various skill-building, hands-on activities.” Agenda topics include: juvenile justice 101; keeping young people out of adult courts, jails, and prisons; and positive youth development. Additional interactive activities will connect these young leaders with key influencers:

  • Hill Day on July 23, 1:30pm – 3:30pm ET – Attendees receive training on legislative advocacy, develop talking points, and visit their members of Congress or their staff to discuss juvenile justice reform and urge them to act on the issue.
  • Job Shadowing on July 24, 1:40pm – 3:40pm ET – Attendees will be matched with a juvenile justice professional who is working in a role/issue of their interest. Attendees will shadow the professional for a few hours to get a sense of what a career might look like in that field.

Help identify emerging leaders in juvenile justice, and encourage them to register for the 2015 Juvenile Justice Youth Summit. We can help foster the next generation of leaders who will ultimately impact the future of juvenile justice.

Registration Details

Registration is now open. Register by April 30 for get the early bird discount rate.

  • Early registration period: March 12 – April 30, $65 — All
  • Regular Registration Period: May 1 – May 31, $85 — CJJ Member, $105 — Non-Member
  • Late Registration Period: June 1 – June 26, $110 — CJJ Member, $120 — Non-Member

Accommodations

All participants that register during the early registration period or using the non-member rate will receive a complimentary CJJ membership.

CJJ has a room block reserved at The Liaison Hotel for $189/night. To make your reservation you can call (866) 233-4642 or click here. Please reference the “Coalition for Juvenile Justice” group when making reservations or provide the following reservation ID: 15CJJ.

Questions?

Contact Jonathan Litt, CJJ’s Field Relations Associate, at litt@juvjustice.org.

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Jobs, Grants, Webinars and Events

by Jim Carlton

Below you’ll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It’s free to browse and post! Webinars Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System: […]

The Reclaiming Futures “Living Laboratory”: Translating Science into Practice to Create a More Responsive Juvenile Justice System

by Robin Jenkins & Evan Elkin

Translational research is concerned with moving basic (“bench”) research to clinical and ultimately practical benefit (“bedside”). If research can in fact demonstrate beneficial outcomes, then it may even lead to policy changes. The Reclaiming Futures initiative, among other things, has sought to be a vehicle and a catalyst for doing just that — for translating […]

Photographer Documents Life for Young Girls Inside Detention

by Cecilia Bianco

Photo by Richard Ross

Approximately 30 percent of the country’s incarcerated youth are young girls—a rapidly growing group whose needs are not being met, according to significant research and practice indicating the juvenile justice system is catered towards boys.

Photographer Richard Ross has sought to display this through images. Over the past eight years, Ross has visited more than 200 facilities in 34 states and been given rare access to interview and photograph more than 1,000 young people in detention.

His work has resulted in two books Juvenile in Justice and the more recently released Girls in Justice—a close look at the daily lives of young women in juvenile facilities.

Photo by Richard Ross

PBS NewsHour recently interviewed Ross on his latest collection of powerful photos, sharing a photo essay with commentary from Ross:

Ross said most of the young females he interviewed had remarkably similar stories. Few had committed serious crimes, and many had been the victims of either sexual or physical abuse before their arrest…

The stories he’s heard have been heartwrenching. Among countless stories of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, one 14 year-old girl recounted being raped at age 3, another admitted to being suicidal.

When asked what surprised Ross most about his project, he didn’t hesitate: “How many times I’ve cried,” he said.

See the full photo essay and interview on PBS.

How Prison Stints Replaced Study Hall; News Roundup

by Cecilia Bianco

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • How Prison Stints Replaced Study Hall (Politico)
    In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to stop the “taxi service” in Meridian’s public schools, where 86 percent of the students are black. The DOJ suit, still unresolved, said children were being incarcerated so “arbitrarily and severely as to shock the conscience.”
  • Crime & Delinquency Council selects S.D. for ‘Pay for Success’ (Times of San Diego)
    “NCCD strongly believes that Pay for Success creates a real possibility for sustained, positive change in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems,” said Kathy Park, acting president of NCCD. “We are proud to work with these three extremely dynamic programs to see if this innovative financing will work for them.
  • New Bill Would Change How Minors are Tried as Adults (News 4 Jax)
    A bill making its way through the state legislature would cut down on how often State Attorneys can charge juveniles as adults. Under the proposal, it would take a grand jury to charge anyone under the age of 13 as an adult. Prosecutors would only be able to charge 14 and 15 year olds as adults in cases of murder, manslaughter, and sexual assault.

Jobs, Grants, Events and Webinars

  • Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It’s free to browse and post!

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health

  • Teens in Detention Centers Find Voice, Rehab in Youth Theater (Herald Media)
    On a small stage, seven local teens stood in scrubs — their backs to an audience of about 75. One by one, they turned around, each somber or angry or both as they told stories of juvenile lockdown and the reasons that got them there. Drugs, truancy, rules, respect, depression and decisions … each story is laced with regret — each author feels misunderstood — and most tell of trouble at home.

  • Medical College awards $250,000 to reduce youth alcohol, drug abuse (BizTimes.com)
    The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment awarded $250,000 over two years to reduce the prevalence of alcohol and other drug abuse among youth in northwest Wisconsin’s Rusk County. The Medical College of Wisconsin is the steward of the AHW Endowment as it works to catalyze health improvement within the state.
  • New Data: Ind. Teens Trying Pot More Often Than Alcohol and Cigarettes (WNDU.com)
    Dr. Elmaadawi is concerned mainly for teen use. He says there is proven research marijuana can be healing to cancer patients and others suffering from chronic pain, but use for teens is dangerous. He says those who try the drug before age 18 are 67% more likely to continue using. The number drops to 27% for adults who try it for the first time.

Maintaining a Critical Eye When Assessing Research Findings

by Bridget Murphy

We live in the information age. Reclaiming Futures sites and other jurisdictions engaged in similar focused reform efforts have access to information from multiple sources and disciplines such as: web-sites; journal articles, news; juvenile justice, behavioral health, psychology, sociology, education, social work, medicine and so on. So how do we critically assess these sources of […]

Get Your School or Community Involved in National Youth Violence Prevention Week: March 23-27, 2015

by Susan Richardson

Youth violence in the U.S. is the third leading cause of death for young people between the agesSAVE logo of 15 and 24—one of the many reasons National Youth Violence Prevention Week seeks to educate students, teachers, school staff, parents, and the public on effective ways to prevent or reduce youth violence.

Taking place next week, March 23-27, 2015, Youth Violence Prevention Week is founded by The National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE). The initiative kicks off with the 15th SAVE Summit March 21, and expands nationally next week to encourage communities to host events and workshops engaging students in the fight to stop shootings, bullying and other violence in our schools using the planning tools and resources in SAVE’s Action Kit.

According to SAVE, violence in schools has become devastatingly common in the United States (statistics sourced from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • On average, 1,642 young people 10 to 24 years old had physical assault injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments EVERY DAY last year.
  • Between 20 and 33 percent of U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. 70 percent of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.
  • Only about 20 to 30 percent of students who are bullied notify adults.
  • About 17 percent of high school students in 2013 reported taking a weapon to school.

During the week of March 23-27, SAVE will offer activity ideas for schools and community organizations across the country to host events educating youth on the potential of their positive impacts on their communities. Below are a list of events produced by SAVE and its sponsors:

  • Monday, March 23: Promote Respect and Tolerance day is hosted by Teaching Tolerance, an organization dedicated to reducing prejudice and supporting equitable school experiences for children. Schools can hold a cultural day to celebrate activities, dress and customs from groups around the world.
  • Tuesday, March 24: Manage Your Anger, Don’t Let It Manage You day is hosted by the American School Counselor Organization, which supports school counselors’ focus on student development. This day challenges students to create signs or codes to use to communicate when they are angry so they do not let it get out of control.
  • Wednesday, March 25: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully day is hosted by the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network, which aims to ensure each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Students can observe conflicts and engage in group discussions to find effective ways to resolve them.
  • Thursday, March 26: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully day is hosted by the School Safety Advocacy Council, which provides training to school districts, law enforcement agencies and school safety professionals. School administrators will be challenged on this day to conduct a survey to assess students’ perceptions of safety during the school day and ask for suggestions to improve.
  • Friday, March 27: Unite in Action day is hosted by Youth Service America, which increases the number and the diversity of volunteer opportunities for youth around the globe. To wrap up the week, a final challenge will work to “beautify” the school or community by cleaning up graffiti/vandalized areas.Colored wheel of audiences involved in youth's life

Visit the National Youth Violence Prevention Week website for an activity planning guide, as well as suggested ideas targeted at specific audiences involved in young people’s lives (ie: parents, school, senior citizens, law enforcement, medical services, etc.)

Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth Releases First-Ever Guidelines for Juvenile Life Cases

by Cecilia Bianco

cfsyThe Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CSFY) has released the first-ever set of guidelines to protect the rights of young people facing possible life imprisonment. Titled “Trial Defense Guidelines: Representing a Child Client Facing a Possible Life Sentence,” this 24-page report has been endorsed by a wide range of attorneys, child advocates and juvenile justice experts.

Sparked by the findings of the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 2012 Miller v. Alabama decision, the guidelines call for a “national standard to ensure zealous, constitutionally effective representation” for all juveniles facing a possible life sentence, citing Miller’s holding that trial courts must “take into account how children are different and how those differences counsel against irrevocably sentencing [children] to a lifetime in prison.”

The guidelines are based on 11 foundational principles including “children are constitutionally and developmentally different from adults,” “children must not be defined by a single act,” “juvenile life defense requires a qualified team trained in adolescent development,” and “juvenile life defense requires communicating with clients in a trauma-informed, culturally competent, developmentally and age-appropriate manner.”

Split into the following nine parts, these guidelines aim to strengthen and improve defense in juvenile life cases:

  • Defense Team Composition and Ethical Duties
  • Defense Counsel Qualifications and Responsibilities
  • Investigator Qualifications and Responsibilities
  • Mitigation Specialist Qualifications and Responsibilities
  • Sentencing
  • Plea Agreements
  • Post-Sentencing Responsibilities
  • Defense Team Compensation
  • Training

“The Trial Defense Guidelines recognize that children need to be treated as children when facing a possible life-in-prison sentence,” said Marsha Levick, chief counsel and deputy director at the Philadelphia-based, nonprofit Juvenile Law Center, in an email. “The guidelines also will ensure a child receives a meaningful, individualized sentencing hearing before imposition of a sentence.”

CFSY collaborated with attorneys and advocates from across the nation to create the guidelines. Visit the CFSY website for more information and access the full guidelines online.

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Jobs, Grants, Webinars and Events

by Cecilia Bianco

opportunityBelow you’ll find a selection of the latest grants, jobs, webinars and events posted to our Opportunity Board. Please share the Reclaiming Futures Opportunity Board with your colleagues in the juvenile justice, adolescent substance abuse and teen mental health areas. It’s free to browse and post!

Webinars

Events

Grants

Jobs