Holidays in the Juvenile Justice System; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- At Thanksgiving, Reflecting on Justice for Native Americans (YouthToday.org)
“Native Americans and Juvenile Justice: A Hidden Tragedy,” is an article from the 2008 issue of Poverty and Race, and covers the intersection of this historically disadvantaged group with the modern justice system.
- OP-ED: Life-Saving Suicide Prevention Resources Address Critical Need in Juvenile Justice System (JJIE.org)
When it comes to high risk for suicide, youth in contact with the juvenile justice system stand out. It is alarming. Fortunately, staff within the system can play a crucial preventive role by working collectively to provide guidance, support and access to needed care.
- Holidays in the Juvenile Justice System (JJIE.org)
"My wife, Mary Jo, and I were snowbound in Michigan while working on a building project so we lost Thanksgiving with our families in southern Illinois. Missing a holiday with the dozens of brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles got me to wondering – what is the holiday experience for a kid in detention?"
New Research Shows More Than Half of Teens With Mental Health Disorders Do Not Receive Treatment
According to a recent blog post on Drugfree.org, over half of teens with mental health disorders don't receive the treatment they need. Via the post:
“It’s still the case in this country that people don’t take psychiatric conditions as seriously as they should,” lead researcher E. Jane Costello of Duke University said in a news release. “This, despite the fact that these conditions are linked to a whole host of other problems.”
Overall, in the past year, 45 percent of teens with psychiatric disorders received some form of service. The most likely to receive help were those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (74 percent), conduct disorder (73 percent) or oppositional defiant disorder (71 percent). Those least likely to receive services were those with phobias (41 percent) and any anxiety disorder (41 percent). Black teens were much less likely than white teens to receive mental health treatment.
There are not enough qualified pediatric mental health professionals in the United States, Costello said. “We need to train more child psychiatrists in this country,” she noted. “And those individuals need to be used strategically, as consultants to the school counselors and others who do the lion’s share of the work.”
See the detailed analysis in the Psychiatric Services journal >>
Economics Alone Supports Juvenile Justice Reform; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- [OP-ED] Economics Alone Supports Juvenile Justice Reform (TheNewsStar.com)
"Locking up a juvenile is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $100,000 a year, while treating one at a community-based center is estimated by the Juvenile Justice Project to cost about $5,000."
- Talking Juvenile Justice: A Webinar with Photographer Richard Ross (JJIE.org)
On Monday, November 18th JJIE hosted a webinar with Richard Ross -- a photographer, researcher and professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. Ross has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Fulbright, and the Center for Cultural Innovation.
- Racial Disparities in Juvenile Justice System Addressed (TheMiddletownPress.com)
To illustrate the stark racial disparities in Connecticut’s juvenile justice system, think about this: While non-white kids make up 57 percent of the patients at Riverview Hospital, a youth psychiatric facility, non-white kids at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, a secure facility for delinquents, make up 86 percent of the kids serving there. It’s a reality that child advocates, city officials and roughly 100 residents gathered to discuss Wednesday.
- [OP-ED] Spotlight on Solano: Youth Thrive Through County Innovation (JJIE.org)
Today, juvenile justice reform and innovation is underway in California and nationwide. The Missouri and Washington models of juvenile justice programming are renowned, as they should be. They present a much-needed road map for other jurisdictions strategizing for systemic change. However, California may not need to look so far away to find the answers. With 58 counties, California is a hotbed of innovation, and Solano County is forging the way.
Supporting Systems Change in Reclaiming Futures Communities
Reclaiming Futures has helped communities break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime for more than 10 years. But how exactly does Reclaiming Futures accomplish systems change? We sat down with National Executive Director Susan Richardson to discuss the model and benefits of becoming a Reclaiming Futures site.
Lori Howell (LH): What makes Reclaiming Futures successful in a variety of communities across the country?
Susan J. Richardson (SJR): Reclaiming Futures offers powerful tools and resources to communities helping teens overcome drugs, alcohol and crime. We work to improve drug, alcohol and mental health treatment and connect teens to positive activities and caring adults.
LH: That sounds like quite a feat! How do you accomplish this?
SJR: Reclaiming Futures unites juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, teen mental health treatment and the community to reclaim youth.
LH: Please tell us about the Reclaiming Futures model.
SJR: The proven six-step Reclaiming Futures model unites juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community to reclaim youth. Together this leadership team works for change to improve drug, alcohol and mental health treatment for teens and connect them to positive activities and caring adults.
LH: Please tell me more about the leadership team and how it functions.
SJR: The Reclaiming Futures Change Teams are organized into five groups: Judicial, Juvenile Justice, Substance Abuse Treatment, Community, and Project Director Fellowships. This change team also represents their local community at national Reclaiming Futures meetings. In addition to regular conference calls, each Fellowship has an annual meeting with their colleagues. Both the calls and meetings provide opportunities for Fellows to discuss implementation issues, professional topics, and seek the advice and support of colleagues as they work to implement the Reclaiming Futures model at the local level.
[Video] What is Juvenile Indigent Defense? News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- [Video] What is Juvenile Indigent Defense? (JJIE.org)
On November 11th, JJIE rolled out the next section of our juvenile justice resource hub on juvenile indigent defense. To kick start the launch, JJIE led a compelling and informative live group video chat with key players in the Juvenile Indigent Defense reform movement—exploring youth’s rights and access to quality council and defense when they find themselves in court.
- Proposed Reforms to Juvenile Representation Stir Concerns in Colorado (The Denver Post)
Criminal justice experts are questioning whether proposed reforms requiring youth offenders to have attorneys are really necessary — or if the system can even afford it. Legislation on juvenile representation — including one provision requiring juveniles to have legal counsel at detention hearings — will be proposed in January when state lawmakers convene.
- Criminal Case Puts Focus on Bullying Laws (JJIE.org)
Once considered a teenage rite of passage, bullying is now the subject of hundreds of state laws and a rallying cry for pundits, parents and celebrities.
- Inside Heads and Cells of Juvenile Offenders: New Philly Art Exhibit Showcases and Helps Youth (Philly.com)
What was originally conceived as a locally-staged art exhibition highlighting the need for reforms to the nation's juvenile justice system has snowballed into something much more. At nonprofit arts organization and studio space InLiquid, housed inside Kensington's Crane Arts building, hundreds of youths will this month receive the opportunity to have their juvenile records expunged, while hundreds more will be provided with resources about diversionary programming that could potentially save them from having to face the issue, in the first place.
Study: Many Convicted Juveniles Say They Falsely Admitted Crime; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Study: Many Convicted Juveniles Say They Falsely Admitted Crime (JJIE.org)
More than a third of juveniles convicted of serious crimes said in a recent study they had falsely admitted to a crime they did not commit. The study, which appeared in the journal “Law and Human Behavior,” focused on 193 males aged 14 to 17 incarcerated in a California juvenile justice facility.
- Our Views: Give More Teens Second Chances in Juvenile Court (GazetteXtra.com)
Wisconsin should give 17-year-old nonviolent first-time offenders a break. Instead of sending them to adult court and risking higher levels of recidivism, the state should keep these low-level offenders in the juvenile justice system, where they can get the help they might need.
- South Florida Squeezes School-to-Prison Pipeline (JJIE.org)
South Florida’s Broward County School Board voted unanimously to sign new rules, written by many hands, which are meant to drive down arrests and their unintended consequences in the state’s second most populous school district. The Nov. 5 Memorandum of Understanding approved by the school board has its signatories promise “appropriate responses and use of resources when responding to school-based misbehavior.”
- Debate Over Role Of Government In Juvenile Justice System (WCTV.tv)
More than 58,000 delinquents were arrested between 2011 and 2012, according to Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice. Because of those staggering numbers, The James Madison Institute hosted a debate at the Challenger Learning Center tonight.
What Role Does Race Play in Juvenile Justice? News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Juvenile Justice Reform Pays, in Dollars and Sense (Ledger-Enquirer)
One eye-popping number: The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice says the state can save more than $90,000 for every child -- every child -- that doesn't have to be placed in a juvenile detention center. So said political, law enforcement and judicial officials in a town-hall panel discussion at the Augusta Library Headquarters.
- New Coalition to Focus on Juvenile Justice in Jacksonville (Jacksonville.com)
More than two dozen Northeast Florida elected officials, churches, advocacy groups and policy organizations are joining forces to put a stop to the criminalization of first-time juvenile offenders accused of committing misdemeanors.
- Georgia Closing Juvenile Prison With Nation’s Highest Rate of Sexual Victimization (JJIE.org)
A Georgia youth prison, recently found by a federal study to have the highest rate in the nation of sexual victimization of incarcerated youth, will close at the end of the year, the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced Monday.
- What Role Does Race Play in Juvenile Justice? Youth Forum Tackles Subject (Middletown-CT.Patch.com)
The Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew and young people will explore solutions to racial disparity to promote equality for Connecticut young people in the system.
OP-ED: Girls in the System Need More of Our Support; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- In ‘Vernon’s World,’ a Young Photographer Documents the Life of a Homeless Teenager (JJIE.org)
Unaccustomed to the cold, hard floor in his spot next to the door of the public bathrooms in Trenton, Missouri, Sam Wilson, 22, slept badly. In a stall next to him, Vernon Foster, 18, didn’t have the same trouble. By the time Foster woke, Wilson had been in a state somewhere between sleep and wakefulness for hours, apologizing to the morning walkers as they filtered through the bathroom, surprised to see two young boys asleep on the floor.
- Mandatory Sentencing 17 year-olds in Adult Court - Is There a Better Alternative for Wisconsin's Youth and Taxpayers? (MacIver Institute)
In the United States, there is a wide consensus that children differ from adults. The very fact that each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. have institutions designed to render judgment on cases and administer justice outside of the adult criminal court speaks to this critical distinction.
- OP-ED: Girls in the System Need More of Our Support (JJIE.org)
"I just returned from the Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders Conference in Portland, Maine, where Piper Kerman, author of the memoir 'Orange Is the New Black,' -- the inspiration for the wildly successful Netflix series of the same name -- gave the keynote address to the 400 or so attendees all with some connection to the offender population."
- Florida's Juvenile Justice Department Seeking Reform Suggestions (WJHG.com)
Gulf County residents sat quietly as Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters talked about a major change, focusing more on prevention programs. "These problems that allow people to become violent and so disregard authority and commit crimes and know that they're committing crimes, these things don't happen in a day," said Secretary Wansley Walters of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Nearly Half of U.S. States Enact Juvenile Justice Reforms; News Roundup
Juvenile Justice Reform
- Nearly Half of U.S. States Enact Juvenile Justice Reforms (JJIE.org)
Nearly half of U.S. states have made great strides in the past eight years toward reducing the prosecution of juveniles in the adult criminal justice system or preventing youths from being placed in adult jails and prisons, a report released Thursday found.
- ‘Raise the Age’ Advocates Tout New Report on Juvenile Justice (NewsObserver.com)
The NC Insider is reporting that advocates for raising the age at which North Carolinians are tried in adult courts are touting a new national study that notes that 48 other states have enacted legislation to prevent older teenagers from being prosecuted in adult courts.
- When Babysitting Joins Forces With Zero Tolerance (JJIE.org)
Sometimes on a Friday night, when there’s nothing better to do and the streets are quiet, indigenous kids in this town 100km (some 60 miles) north-east of Perth, Western Australia, might hang out at the local police station. They’re often not there by choice, but they don’t really mind sticking around either.
- Florida Struggles To Craft Juvenile Sentencing Policy (Miami.CBSLocal.com)
As state legislators have tried and failed to craft a juvenile-sentencing law that conforms to landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings, a national advocacy group is calling Florida a “clear outlier” among states for its hard-line approach to trying juveniles as adults.
Six Steps to Break the Cycle of Drugs, Alcohol and Crime
Nearly 1 in 5 youth (17%) at the door of the juvenile justice system meet criteria for substance abuse disorders; in detention, 39% do. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only 1 in 16 young people with substance abuse disorders get into treatment.
That's unfortunate, because while we need to hold teens accountable for their actions, simply locking them up does not work.
Effective adolescent substance abuse treatment can help teens stay out of trouble, make our communities safer, and save money.
The Reclaiming Futures model unites juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community to reclaim youth. Together, they work to improve drug and alcohol treatment and connect teens to positive activities and caring adults.
Please call 503-725-8911 to learn how to bring the six steps of the Reclaiming Futures to your community: