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Reclaiming Futures Blog

Study Looks at Kids Who Do Time For Offenses That Aren’t Crimes; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

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Yesterday at 3:00 AM
2014 Leadership Institute Highlights

Last week, Reclaiming Futures fellows from across the country gathered in New Orleans to share experiences, learn together, and get inspired all over again. For those who were unable to attend, see below for highlights, including an inspiring interview with Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries.

Father Greg Boyle on why he Supports Reclaiming Futures

Our two efforts and movements are completely aligned. We're the largest gang intervention rehab reentry program in the country, so gang members and folks who have been in the system, felons between the ages of 14 and 50 come through our doors. It's a community that's therapeutic, engages in attachment repair, is interested in healing and moving people toward exactly a reclaiming of their own futures.

Our program is not for those who need help; it's for those who want it. That's the only way rehab works. It never works with somebody who's dragged and forced.

But once they walk through the doors it's ticker tape parade and streamers so that they feel welcomed, accepted, not judged. We help them re-imagine their futures because gang violence is a lethal absence of hope. It's an inability to conjure up an image of what tomorrow looks like, which is exactly in line with what Reclaiming Futures is all about.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 8:23 AM
Join the Conversation in the Reclaiming Futures LinkedIn Group

Did you know that Reclaiming Futures has a LinkedIn group? Becoming a member lets you stay on top of the latest news related to juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment, participate in thought-provoking discussions, and connect with peers and thought leaders in the industry. All you have to do is visit our Juvenile Justice Reform and Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment LinkedIn group and request to join.

Our group will be especially beneficial if you are a:

  • Policy maker or legislator
  • Professional in the field of juvenile justice or adolescent substance abuse treatment
  • Family or youth advocate

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 3:00 AM
Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events

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!

Events

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 3:00 AM
Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County Reports on Successes in 2013

Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County recently released its 2013 Annual Report detailing its remarkable accomplishments over the last year. Also known as R-3 (Re-enter, Re-Engage, and Re-Claim), Reclaiming Futures of Snohomish County strives to provide comprehensive services for young people within and outside of the criminal justice system.

In 2013, Snohomish County successfully implemented, or sustained, the following programs to further its mission to meet the needs of young people in the juvenile justice system and at-risk teens:

  • Youth Partner Program: a mentorship program that matches young people with positive adults who share similar interests.
  • Journey: a gender-responsive program that utilizes the One Circle Foundation Curriculum and focuses on relationships with peers, body image, and path to the future.
  • Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR): a variety of eight-week art workshops for teens in recovery with the goal to exhibit the teens’ work at local venues.
  • The Seven Challenges Program: Snohomish County had its first fidelity visit—a day of training, reviewing of quality assurance documents and observing youth groups at each agency.
  • Music Futures: a performing arts program for teens actively involved in substance abuse treatment who are interested in attending guitar, percussion and song-writing workshops.

Of these programs, PAIR had the most significant results with a 23.3 percent misdemeanor recidivism rate and a 10 percent felony recidivism rate. 

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Monday, April 14, 2014 at 3:00 AM
Connecticut Advocates for Juvenile Justice; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

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Friday, April 11, 2014 at 3:00 AM
Next Week: James Bell, National Juvenile Justice Leader, to Speak at Portland State University

James Bell, a founding member of the Reclaiming Futures National Advisory Committee in 2001, will be speaking at the Native American Student and Community Center at Portland State University on April 17. See the description below from the event announcement:

The remanding of youth to adult criminal court is a social justice issue of national significance. Mr. James Bell of the Haywood Burns Institute will speak on a campaign soon to be launched in California called "Reclaiming Childhood.” This initiative will stand up against the forces that move youth (and disproportionately youth from low income communities and communities of color) into the adult system. Mr. Bell has worked closely with juvenile justice advocates in Oregon and his comments will be directly relevant to the work being done in our state.

This event is free and open to the community. Light refreshments will be served. To register, visit the PSU website.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014 at 10:58 AM
Illinois Supreme Court Makes Landmark Ruling Retroactive

In a pivotal case this March, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Illinois prisoners serving life sentences without parole for crimes committed when they were under 18 will receive new sentence hearings. This case arose after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that life without parole for crimes committed by people under the age of 18 was unconstitutional. The next question in line became whether this ruling would apply only to future cases or to those already serving their sentence. Individual states are now figuring that piece of the equation out.

This decision brings hope to the eighty juveniles in Illinois currently serving life without parole sentences and forces judges to take a closer look at who these young offenders really are as their cases are reopened. There has been significant research leading up to this on the principle that “children are different” from adult offenders and that placing life sentences without parole or imposing the death penalty on juveniles is “cruel and unusual.”

A similar decision was reached in California in August 2012 with the Supreme Court ruling in People vs. Caballero. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that life without parole was unconstitutional and could be applied retroactively to defendants who were sentenced as juveniles for a non-homicide offense. The Washington Legislature also passed a bill this year that would allow juvenile offenders serving life sentences to be eligible for a chance at release after 20 years.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014 at 3:00 AM
Opportunity Board Roundup: Juvenile Justice Grants, Jobs, Webinars and Events

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!

Events

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014 at 3:00 AM
OJJDP Seeks Applicants for New Funding Opportunity to Reduce Recidivism

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is accepting applicants for the FY 2014 Second Chance Act Comprehensive Juvenile Reentry Systems Reform Planning Program. This program will support state efforts to reduce recidivism and improve positive outcomes for teens returning to their communities after out of home placement.

The Second Chance Act of 2007 was established to promote community safety through recidivism prevention in response to the increasing number of incarcerated adults and youth released from prison, jail or juvenile facilities.

This new grant program provides funding for state or local-level juvenile justice agencies to assemble a reentry task force and develop and finalize a comprehensive statewide juvenile reentry systems reform strategic plan. Goals of the funding include the following:

• Developing comprehensive, evidence-based plans to reform their juvenile reentry systems
• Improving assessment policies and practices
• Enhancing program/policy monitoring, quality assessments, implementation supports, accountability practices, and youth outcome data collection
• Supporting an integrated approach to prerelease services and planning, and post-release services and supervision to improve youth outcomes

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Monday, April 07, 2014 at 3:00 AM