New JJIE Webinar: Talking Juvenile Justice with Photographer Richard Ross
JJIE recently hosted a webinar with Richard Ross, a photographer, researcher and professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. Richard's most recent project, Juvenile In Justice, aims to expose conditions within the juvenile justice system. Via JJIE,
[Juvenile In Justice] turns a lens on the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them. Seven years in the making, the project includes more than 1,000 kids in juvenile detention and commitment facilities in 31 states. The project is a quest to make the lives of these forgotten kids visual and tangible.
Watch the webinar in full below:
Complex Trauma Among Youth; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Complex Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Impact and Implications (Corrections.com)
Youth who have experienced complex trauma—repeated and various forms of victimization, life-threatening accidents or disasters, and interpersonal losses at an early age or for prolonged periods—have difficulties forming attachments with caregivers and self-regulating emotions.
- Family Seeks Change in Law to Protect Students (JJIE.org)
The government has a duty to protect prisoners from harm. It also has a duty to protect people who have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. Yet that same duty doesn’t apply to the government when it comes to protecting students in school, according to case law.
- Grant to Help Men Leaving Juvenile Justice System (The Boston Herald)
The U.S. Labor Department is giving Massachusetts an $11.7 million grant for a project to increase employment and reduce repeat crimes for men leaving the state's juvenile justice system. The grant will first go to serve 535 men ages 16-22 in Chelsea and Springfield who are leaving the juvenile justice system. It will provide education and pre-vocational training to help them get jobs.
- When Young Offenders–and Their Teacher–Say Goodbye (Kids in the System Blog)
Last month, due to a lack of funding, the juvenile lock-up where I taught a weekly “life skills” workshop was shuttered. According to my very rough calculation, in the year that I worked there I had about 400 young men of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds pass through my group. Of those, about half came and went frequently, often gone for a couple of months to less than a week, and then re-offended to find themselves right back where they started.
New Briefs on Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Approach Released Online
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services, has released six online briefs that discuss the key elements of a trauma-informed juvenile justice system. The NCTSN website explains:
This collection of Briefs written by experts invited to the NCTSN Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Roundtable, address topics essential to creating trauma-informed Juvenile Justice Systems. These Briefs are intended to elevate the discussion of key elements that intersect with trauma and are critical to raising the standard of care for children and families involved with the juvenile justice system.
In Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Roundtable: Current Issues and New Directions in Creating Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Systems (2013) (PDF), Carly B. Dierkhising, Susan Ko, and Jane Halladay Goldman, staff at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, discuss the Juvenile Justice Roundtable event, describe the current issues and essential elements of a trauma-informed JJ system, and outline possible new directions for the future.
In Trauma-Informed Assessment and Intervention (2013) (PDF) , Patricia Kerig, Professor at the University of Utah, discusses how trauma-informed screening and assessment and evidence-based treatments play integral roles in supporting traumatized youth, explores the challenges of implementing and sustaining these practices, and highlights practice examples for integrating them into a justice setting.
In The Role of Family Engagement in Creating Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Systems (2013) (PDF) , Liane Rozzell, founder of Families and Allies of Virginia Youth, discusses the importance of partnering with families, explores strategies for doing so, and emphasizes ways that justice settings expand their outreach to supportive caregivers by broadening their definition of family.
In Cross-System Collaboration (2013) (PDF) , Macon Stewart, faculty at the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR), outlines practice examples for continuity of care and collaboration across systems, a vital activity for youth involved in multiple service systems, drawing from the CJJR’s Crossover Youth Practice Model.
In Trauma and the Environment of Care in Juvenile Institutions (2013) (PDF) , Sue Burrell, staff attorney at the Youth Law Center, outlines specific areas to target in order to effectively implement this essential element, including creating a safe environment, protecting against re-traumatization, and behavior management.
In Racial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System: A Legacy of Trauma (2013) (PDF) , Clinton Lacey, Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation, outlines the historical context of racial disparities and highlights how systems can move forward to reduce these racial disparities, including by framing the issue so that practical and pro-active discussion can move beyond assigning blame.
Underage Suspects Are Apt to Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Commit. Here’s Why; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Underage Suspects Are Apt to Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Commit. Here’s Why. (Slate.com)
Why so many false confessions? Juvenile suspects are generally more deferential to authority—at least in the context of a police interrogation—and less likely to understand the consequences of confessing to something they didn’t do.
- [OPINION] Time to Affirm What We Mean by ‘Juvenile’ (The New York Times)
Recent Supreme Court rulings on juvenile sentencing raise issues that go beyond what’s at stake in Miller v. Alabama. They also present an opportunity to affirm what we mean by “juvenile.” New York State may soon be the only state in the country that processes all youth as young as 16 in the criminal justice system, regardless of the severity of the offense.
- Health and Incarceration: A Workshop Summary (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
The health disparities that exist in our communities are concentrated in the population that cycles in and out of our jails and prisons. Justice-involved populations have very high rates of physical illness, mental illness, and substance use disorders. And their health problems have significant impacts on the communities from which they come and to which, in nearly all cases, they will return.
- [OPINION] A Court Just for Juveniles in N.Y. (The New York Times)
Teenagers prosecuted in adult courts or who do time in adult jails fare worse in life and can go on to commit more violent crimes than those who are handled by the juvenile justice system. Neuroscience research has found that these young offenders don’t weigh risks the way adults do, making them prone to rash judgments that can land them in trouble with the law.
Major Gains for Family Engagement in Indiana’s Juvenile Justice System
Last year, the Vera Institute of Justice’s Family Justice Program wrapped up a multi-year project to develop and pilot family engagement standards for the Performance-based Standards Learning Institute. All juvenile corrections facilities participating in PbS are now collecting information related to family engagement—including a survey of family members twice a year. There are currently 48 facilities across 15 states collecting family surveys with a total of 1,033 family surveys collected since the start of the project.
One of the original pilot states is already benefiting from having data on family engagement after implementing the new standards last fall. Based on feedback from their PbS reports, Indiana’s Pendleton Juvenile Correctional facility decided to increase their rates of visitation. They analyzed their visitation policies and made drastic changes—opening up visitation hours to just about any time a family member can get to the facility. In addition to the expanded visiting hours, all restrictions on the number of visits a young person could receive were lifted.
These changes went into effect at the beginning of this year and, after just a few short months, the staff are seeing big changes. Not only did they successfully double their normal rate of visitation, they saw improved behavior by young people in the facility. The Family Justice Program found a similar correlation between improved behavior and visits in Ohio.
Juvenile Life Without Parole: The Confusion Remains; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- OP-ED: Digging up the Past (JJIE.org & The Miami Herald)
Sometimes, only by unearthing the skeletons of a tortured past can they be given a proper burial. That is what is happening in Marianna, in North Florida, literally and figuratively. A team of researchers, including anthropologists, archeologists, students and police detectives are searching, painstakingly, for the remains of young boys once confined to the Dozier School for Boys.
- Wisconsin Considers Keeping Non-Violent Teen Offenders In Juvenile Court (Wisconsin Public Radio News)
Wisconsin is moving slowly towards changing the age at which teenagers are automatically treated as adults when they commit a crime. A bill introduced Thursday would allow 17-year-olds who commit nonviolent crimes to be tried in juvenile court.
- OP-ED: Juvenile Life Without Parole: The Confusion Remains (JJIE.org)
"Last June, on the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Miller v. Alabama, I spoke to a long-time advocate for the elimination of juvenile life without parole. Like a lot of people, I was pleased with the ruling, and saw it as a victory not only for activists but for science-based research into the juvenile brain."
MacArthur Pledges New $15 million to Juvenile Justice Reform; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- The Sting of Juvenile Detention (JJIE.org)
When young people held in San Diego County’s juvenile hall are disciplined with pepper spray, guards at the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility ask afterwards if they want a shower. The best response, says former youth offender Ian Arellano, is “no.” Water reactivates the sting—which then washes down your body, he explains. Instead of affecting just your arms or face, suddenly every pore burns.
- Providing Teddy Bears for Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center (KIIITV.com)
It may not sound like a big deal -- the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center, dangerously close to running out of teddy bears -- but it turns out, it is. "A lot of these kids that come in here are sad and confused, and traumatized," Chesney said. "And sometimes just the smallest gestures, like a stuffed animal, will help break the ice and allow them to talk more freely and feel more comfortable in talking to me."
- MacArthur Pledges New $15 million to Juvenile Justice Reform (JJIE.org)
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced it will increase its juvenile justice reform funding by some $15 million, a major part of which will be used to establish the new Models for Change Resource Center Partnership. “Right now there are no go-to places to get the kind of information, resources, toolkits, [and] access to colleagues who have ‘been there done that,’” for would-be juvenile justice reform advocates, said Laurie Garduque, director of justice reform for the MacArthur Foundation.
- Fixing Juvie Justice (KPBS.org)
Young people in the United States are entering the youth justice system in shocking numbers, and many seem to come out worse than when they went in. The staggering costs and recidivism — more than half of incarcerated kids are likely to recommit crimes after being released — have led people to wonder if there is a better way to deal with youth offenders and whether exposure to the system itself could in fact be perpetuating a life of crime.
To Give Up or Not? An Open Letter To Parents with Justice-Involved Teens
Teenage years can be the most tumultuous times for parents and families. However, this is nothing new. The on again off again chaotic interactions of parent versus child often impair the family unit.
When parents are blindsided by gone-astray youth, not knowing what or who to ask causes a strain on everyone. The biggest complaint I receive is that parents don’t know what to ask when experiencing a traumatic crisis. The desire to flee from their environment is the greatest urge most parents feel.
However, most stay and I call it operating under a symptom called “functional numbness”. Meaning parents are physically present, but can be emotionally detached from their teens’ problems. Some consider it self-preservation.
As parents, we have to decide whether or not we want to be “right or happy.” This was and continues to be one of Dr. Phil’s mantras. Yet, it took me some time to incorporate it into my ongoing exchanges of my own.
CJJ Executive Director To Resign This Summer
On Thursday, Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) Executive Director Nancy Gannon Hornberger announced that she will be resigning from the position this August.
Hornberger has been a member of the CJJ for nearly a decade and a half. Prior to serving as the organization’s executive director, Hornberger also served as CJJ’s deputy executive director.
Her career in youth development, delinquency prevention and public policy stretches back a quarter century, having received commendation for her efforts from President Bill Clinton in 1996. As an advocate, she fought a four year battle for the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which was ultimately authorized by Congress in 2002. Additionally, she has served as a part of numerous juvenile justice and youth-centric organizations, including the ACT 4 Juvenile Justice initiative, Youth ALIVE! and the Montgomery County, Commission on Juvenile Justice in Maryland.
As executive director of CJJ, she has also collaborated with a who’s who list of juvenile justice and youth-advocacy groups and efforts, including the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change program and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI.)
Later this year, Hornberger will take over as CEO for Social Advocates for Youth San Diego (SAY San Diego,) a nonprofit that provides, among other community services, delinquency prevention, juvenile diversions and extended afterschool programming.
“Over the 14 years, I have been fortunate to be a part of the rich fabric of [CJJ,]” Hornberger stated in an official announcement. “As I depart, I am certain of CJJ’s esteemed position in the national field of juvenile justice.”
Juvenile Justice Shows Progress; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Juvenile Justice Shows Progress (Illinois Times)
When the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice was created in 2006, the state’s youth prisons held 1,500 juvenile offenders. Today, there are fewer than 900 kids behind bars in Illinois juvenile justice system. It’s one sign of progress for the relatively new department, which was previously part of the adult-oriented Illinois Department of Corrections.
- Forsyth County Clerk of Court Wants to Turn Old School into a Juvenile Court (MyFox8.com)
Forsyth County, N.C., Clerk of Court Susan Frye wants to see the now closed Hill Middle School in Winston-Salem turned into a one-stop shop for the more than 1,300 offenders who come through juvenile court each year. Frye says the courthouse is out of space and can not house the services the young offenders are often sentenced too. Hill closed last year after consolidating with Philo Middle School.
- Pennsylvania Finds 20 Percent of Juveniles Re-offend Within Two Years (JJIE.org)
A new report issued by the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission finds that among juveniles whose cases were closed in 2007, one-in-five recidivated within two years. The Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice Recidivism Report found juvenile recidivism rates to be as high as 45 percent in some counties, with the average length between case closure and recidivism to be 11.5 months.