Juvenile Justice Reform and Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment News Roundup

by Lori Howell

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Mentally ill children who don’t get help can end up in criminal justice system (Northwest Indiana Times)  Parents, judges, prosecutors, and other officials in Indiana say there is a multi-agency failure to provide mental health services to the children who need it most.
  • Are too many kids being sent to court for minor offenses? (Southern California Public Radio)  A growing wave of juvenile justice experts say school districts send too many students to court for minor offenses. Usually those kids are African American or Latino. A nonprofit’s effort to track school citations within Los Angeles Unified School District indicates that the district is following that pattern.
  • Director of troubled youth agency to retire (Texas Tribune)  Cherie Townsend, the executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, announced Tuesday that she will retire at the end of June after nearly four years leading the state’s institutions for youth offenders.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

  • New report: Health care costs drop if adolescent substance abusers use 12-step programs (University of Wisconsin-Madison) The use of 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, by adolescents with a history of drug and alcohol abuse not only reduces the risk of relapse but also leads to lower health care costs, according to research by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • Spotting depression in kids is essential (Albert Lea Tribune) There is a common misconception that many of the symptoms of depression, such as irritability and mood swings, are a normal part of adolescence. This is not the case and should be taken into account if there are other symptoms.
  • A vaccination for depression (Chicago Tribune) Dr. Benjamin Van Voorhees, who is chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital University of Illinois, and his team identify kids at risk and then use a combination of traditional counseling and Internet-based learning to stave off mental disorders so they don’t fall into substance abuse.

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!

    juvenile-justice-system_Lori-HowellLori Howell is a Senior Associate at Prichard Communications. She is a seasoned public affairs practitioner with a background in public policy, fundraising, and education. Lori helps clients with online editorial services, media relations, and publications. Before joining Prichard Communications, she served as chief of staff for Greg Macpherson, a former Oregon state legislator, an account executive for the Northwest Evaluation Association, a nonprofit educational testing consortium, and once taught English in Choshi, Japan.


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