Pew Charitable Trusts Releases In-Depth Look at Effectiveness of Juvenile Incarceration

by Cecilia Bianco

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.

Key findings:

  • Juvenile incarceration fails to reduce recidivism and can actually increase it in some cases.
  • Young people who were placed in confinement were more likely to drop out of high school and to be incarcerated as adults compared to offenders who were not incarcerated.
  • Teens at low risk to reoffend point to better recidivism results for those in community-based programs than young offenders in out-of-home facilities.
  • Juvenile incarceration has proven to be a high cost to taxpayers with a poor return on investment, specifically siting outcomes in four states.

The report also includes statistics reflecting public opinion on the issue:

 

  • Voters care less about length of juvenile incarceration than about preventing crime.
  • Nearly 90% of voters think juvenile correctional facilities should house only serious offenders, and policymakers should find lower-cost alternatives for minor offenders.
  • 75% of voters believe young offenders should have treatment, counseling and supervision, even if this means no time in a correctional facility.
  • Majority of voters support reducing overall number of low-level offenders who are sent to facilities and the length of time that youth spend in institutions.
  • Voters believe cost savings from reduced incarceration should be used to build a more robust probation system.

 

Overall, the report clearly suggests that both research and public opinion are in favor of fielding low-level offenders to community-based programs that support rehabilitation over confinement.

 

Read the full report and additional resources at PewTrusts.org.

Re-Examining Juvenile Incarceration; News Roundup

by Kate Knappett

Juvenile Justice Reform Re-Examining Juvenile Incarceration  (The PEW Charitable Trusts) Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project demonstrates how alternatives to juvenile incarceration may produce better results and be a better investment for taxpayers. OP-ED:  Community Engagement as a Key to Juvenile Justice Reform (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange) Juliana Stratton, Executive Director of Cook County Justice for Children in Chicago, asserts […]

Recovery Support Services for Youth and Families

by Bridget Murphy

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. The article reports that while it’s difficult to […]

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

by Christa Myers

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 CJJR Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile […]

Commitment to Youth Comes Through Strongly in Readers Survey

by Donna Wiench

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 […]

National Rally to Unite Against Alcohol Addiction Set for Oct. 4, 2015

by Cecilia Bianco

main-logoAddiction to alcohol and other drugs impacts more than 85 million Americans. This growing problem has sparked a coast-to-coast addiction and recovery awareness campaign: UNITE to Face Addiction.

UNITE to Face Addiction is a new collaborative grassroots advocacy effort that will partner with hundreds of local, state and national participating organizations “to make history for the addiction crisis on The National Mall.”

On Oct. 4, 2015, this inspiring group invites you to join them at a national rally that will aim to “transform the conversation from problems to solutions” for what they believe is one of the most pressing health and civil rights issues of our time. The rally will take place in Washington, DC.

In light of Alcohol Awareness Month, this organization and the upcoming rally can serve as motivators for your community to join together in the fight to break addictions and improve the health and well being of us all.

Campaign Director of UNITE to Face Addiction, Greg Williams, in his appeal for communities to join UNITE at the October rally, writes:

“We know that addiction is preventable, treatable and people can and do get well. Too many of those affected have been incarcerated; they and others are afraid to speak up about the failed policies and poor care they receive due to long-standing stigma and discriminatory public policies. They have yet to be recognized as a political force because politicians assume they don’t vote and, indeed, many have had their voting rights revoked. For too long, a great majority of people connected to addiction have remained silent . . . UNTIL NOW!”

Williams also released a documentary film in 2013 called The Anonymous People, which tells the story of the emerging new recovery advocacy movement. This film can serve as an additional resource to your community as we journey through Alcohol Awareness Month.

You can sign up to receive updates from UNITE to Face Addiction on the campaign’s new website, which will officially launch in two weeks.

For more resources about Alcohol Awareness Month, see our past reporting:

Alcohol Awareness Month 2015: How to Get Involved

Juvenile Justice in America: We Can Do Better; News Roundup

by Bridget Murphy

Juvenile Justice Reform Juvenile Justice in America: We Can Do Better (Huffington Post) “The juvenile court was invented in Illinois in 1899. Soon thereafter, recognizing that youthful offenders often had diminished culpability and unique potential for rehabilitation, every state in the Union created its own juvenile court system. Developed nations around the world emulated the […]

NCJFCJ Releases Guide to Trauma Consultation in Juvenile and Family Courts

by Susan Richardson

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.

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

by Christa Myers

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 A National Assessment Standard for Treatment Planning and […]