Webinar Opportunity: Exercising Judicial Leadership on the Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders

by Susan Richardson

The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) will host a webinar on November 14 to address how judges can more effectively bring together family members, attorneys and advocates, and service providers to improve outcomes for non-delinquent youth in their communities. Targeted to judicial leaders and juvenile justice practitioners, the webinar will offer actionable steps on how to […]

Examining Collateral Consequence Laws: Do They Promote or Deter Recidivism?

by Cecilia Bianco

isolationA recent report by William & Mary Assistant Professor Tracy Sohoni called “The Effect of Collateral Consequence Laws on State Rates of Returns to Prisons” examined whether collateral consequence laws effectively prevent crime or simply make it more difficult for past offenders to successfully re-enter society.

Collateral consequence laws are legal sanctions and restrictions imposed upon people because of their criminal record, and Tracy Sohoni believes they are doing more harm than good.

The report states about 70,000 people are released from prisons annually and roughly two-thirds are rearrested within three years of release. Sohoni hypothesizes that this is due to the restrictions brought on by the laws, which can make it difficult for past offenders to get welfare, vote, obtain a drivers license, and find stable housing and employment.

“Ex-convicts need structural opportunities. They need jobs,” Sohoni said. “A lot of offenders come out and want to live a productive life but a lot of them find the opportunities just aren’t there.”

The research did not find statically significant relationships between collateral consequence laws and state returns to prison, but in specific cases where more data was available, Sohoni did link increases in rates of returns to prison to the restriction in question. Such was the case with her evaluation of restricted access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

The report highlights that collateral consequence laws have often been called “invisible punishments” because they aren’t broadly publicized or well known—something that is beginning to change. In 2012, Congress directed the National Institute of Justice to collect and study collateral consequences in all U.S. jurisdictions, and the ABA Criminal Justice Section was appointed to do the necessary research and analysis to create a new online database.

Sohoni, as reported by the Chicago Bureau, acknowledged that the lack of wide data at this time and other factors make it impossible to draw absolute conclusions on the direct impact these laws have. However, the results can still serve as support for those advocating for “less severe punishments, a rollback of the harsh laws from 20 and 30 years ago and the relaxation of laws that haunt inmates after release, often precluding them from re-entering society in any meaningful way.”

Reclaiming Futures Featured on the Office of National Drug Control Policy Blog

by Susan Richardson

In recognition of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, I had the honor to contribute to the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s blog. Citing our Reclaiming Futures site in Snohomish County, Washington, I shared why we at Reclaiming Futures believe community involvement is critical to improve mental health and substance abuse treatment, and ultimately build stronger communities around prevention.

Read the full blog post here and contribute your thoughts below.

In Juvenile Justice, Community Involvement is Key to Substance Abuse Prevention

Local artists in Snohomish County, Washington, are contributing their time, tools, and studio space to mentor teens recently involved in their community’s juvenile justice system. For eight weeks, the youth will learn art and photography skills, then produce artwork documenting their lives, families, and communities. Some of their efforts will be featured in local art venues or the local newspaper.

The teens are participants in Promising Arts in Recovery (PAIR), part of Snohomish County’s local Reclaiming Futures program. The goal of PAIR is to establish social and job skills by connecting local artists with at-risk teens who are involved in the juvenile justice system and may be undergoing treatment for substance use or mental health issues. Through programs like PAIR that offer workshops, internships, or job-shadowing opportunities, local professionals are not only helping these young people develop skills necessary to be active citizens, they are helping to rebuild a community around prevention.

Read the full story.

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, 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

Improving the Reclaiming Futures System of Care: Building on 14 years of Innovation

by Evan Elkin

A “system,” with all its interconnected parts, is something we don’t really notice when it’s working well. That’s the hallmark of an effective system and when things are working well enough, most people rarely take the time to stop and reflect on how they can improve the systems they are part of. When your car […]

Request for Proposals to Become a Reclaiming Futures Site Now Available

by Jim Carlton

Now is your opportunity to bring Reclaiming Futures to your community? A recent grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will fund two new Reclaiming Futures sites, and the request for proposals is available here. We will host a webinar for potential applicants on Wednesday, October 22nd, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern / 11:30 a.m. Pacific. Learn […]

Why Solitary Confinement Hurts Juveniles More Than Adults; News Roundup

by Cecilia Bianco

News-oldTV-smlJuvenile Justice Reform

  • In Their Own Words, Inmates Discuss the Riddle of Juvenile Justice (JJIE)
    The John Howard Association of Illinois, an independent prison watchdog and justice reform advocate, recently published a report introducing ways to reform the criminal justice system for youth prosecuted for serious offenses. This report takes a unique approach in asking the population in question about their experiences in the judicial system.
              • Seven Charged in Sayreville Hazing Case Could Be Tried as Adults (The New York Times)
                The acts of violent sexual hazing that seven New Jersey high school football players are accused of committing have been called “horrendous” by school officials and “extraordinarily disturbing” by Gov. Chris Christie. Now, as the players from Sayreville War Memorial High School await their first court hearing this week, Middlesex County authorities face a daunting question under escalating scrutiny: whether to charge some or all of the boys as adults.

  • Why Solitary Confinement Hurts Juveniles More Than Adults (Pacific Standard)
    In a long-awaited move, New York City’s Department of Correction has finally decided to end its practice of putting teenaged offenders in solitary confinement cells. Currently, fights and other infractions can land kids in solitary for weeks, months, sometimes years.

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

  • Christie Announces $12M in New Addiction Treatment Funds (NorthJersey.com)
    “If we continue to work together to remove the stigma, to promote addiction treatment rather than addiction as a societal issue that denigrates and lowers people, then than we have an opportunity to have more and more people realize what a gift their life really is,” Governor Christie said.
  • Teen Challenge Begins to Make a Difference in Madison County (The Jackson Sun)
    “The courts are seeing the advantages of putting them in a program like this rather than putting them in jail,” Teen Challenge sponsor and Madison County Commissioner Gary Deaton said. “If they can put them in a program like this, they won’t be in court anymore. It’ll change their life.”

Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, 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

SAMHSA Releases 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Results

by Cecilia Bianco

samhsaThe Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released the results of the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). NSDUH, the Nation’s largest survey of drug use and drug-related attitudes, perceptions and consequences, interviews approximately 70,000 Americans who are 12 and older.

The resulting report displays national estimates on rates of use, numbers of users, and other measures related to illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco products, with a focus on trends between 2012 and 2013 and from 2002 to 2013.

Key findings of the 2013 NSDUH are as follows:

  • In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, representing 9.4 percent of this population.
  • Current illicit drug use in 2013 was statistically unchanged from 2012 (9.2 percent) but continues a gradual increase since 2002.
  • Almost 20 million (4 out of 5 current illicit drug users) used marijuana alone or in combination with other drugs.
  • Among current marijuana users, 8 million (2 out of 5) were daily or almost daily users, who used marijuana on 20 or more days in the past month.
  • An estimated 2.8 million persons aged 12 or older used an illicit drug for the first time within the past 12 months – an average of about 7,800 new users per day.
  • Most of the above new users (7 out of 10) reported that their first drug was marijuana. About 1 in 5 initiated with non-medical use of prescription drugs.

For complete findings, view 2013 NSDUH: Summary of National Findings.

Note: NSDUH national estimates related to mental health and NSDUH State-level estimates related to both substance use and mental health will be published in separate releases in the fall of 2014.

Marijuana Studies Reveal Some Risks Not Known Before; News Roundup

by Cecilia Bianco

News-oldTV-smlJuvenile Justice Reform

  • New Web-Based Expungement Tools Launched by IL, MD, LA (National Juvenile Justice Network)
    Having a record—even from youth court—can drastically affect a young person’s life chances, including their prospects of education, employment, and housing. Expunging that record is one way to address this issue, but the requirements for expungement are often opaque to many who are eligible.
  • Critics Point to Problems in Louisiana’s Reformed Juvenile Justice System (JJIE)
    Reports of gladiator-style fighting, guards molesting children and a lack of basic education for kids as young as 14 once gave Louisiana’s juvenile justice system the reputation of one of the worst in the country. In 2003, the Louisiana Legislature passed sweeping reforms. Over time, those efforts helped whittle down the number of kids locked in sprawling, prison-like facilities from more than 2,000 to about 350 today.
  • No Country for Young Men (The Marshall Project)
    On Feb. 27, 2013, 17-year-old Junior Smith was summoned to the front office of his Philippi, West Virginia, high school. It was eighth period, just a few minutes before everyone would start streaming out of the building for dismissal. When Junior got to the office, a police officer was there, waiting for him. The officer handcuffed Junior and led him past his staring classmates to a waiting patrol car.

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

  • Children’s Mental Health Changes Aimed at Addressing ER Crisis (CT Mirror)
    Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is expected to announce a plan Wednesday to expand the services available for children and teens with significant mental health needs, a response to concerns about the growing number of young people going to — and often stuck in — emergency rooms in psychiatric crisis.
  • Butte Lands Big Grant for Suicide Prevention (Montana Standard)
    Butte public schools have landed a massive grant aimed at preventing suicide. The district will split the $1.2 million grant with Kalispell and Browning public schools, part of a series of grants announced this week by Superintendent Denise Juneau of the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
  • Marijuana Studies Reveal Some Risks Not Known Before (The Wichita Eagle)
    With clever names like Peace of Mind, Girl Scout Cookies, Train Wreck and Tsunami, it’s a good bet that the marketers of legal marijuana finished high school. That’s less certain for their younger customers. New research shows daily marijuana use before the age of 17 cuts your chances of graduating from high school or getting a college degree by 60 percent.