|Juvenile Justice Shows Progress; News Roundup|
Juvenile Justice Reform
Yesterday at 3:00 AM
|Photography Supports Mia's Sobriety|
Through Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County, and the Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR) mentors, Mia stays sober and finds beautiful things to photograph around every corner.
Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 3:00 AM
|Oregon Teen Wins Poetry Award For Jailed Youth|
Back in March, we published a blog post about Words Unlocked, a new poetry contest for students incarcerated in juvenile detention. Today we're happy to congratulate Oregon teenager, Brianna Nicole Ireland, for winning the contest with her poem, "Hell's Angel." Listen to Oregon Public Broadcasting's coverage below, along with a reading by Brianna.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3:00 AM
|Mark Your Calendars: Faces & Voices of Recovery Awards on June 26|
We're excited to announce the Faces & Voices of Recovery event, America Honors Recovery, recognizing the impact that individuals can have on recovery.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 3:00 AM
|Family Visitation is More than Just a Nice Perk|
After years of research, Vera’s Family Justice Program has implemented new programs which will contribute to easier access for family members seeking out their incarcerated loved ones. Considering youth school performance and behavior are both directly affected by family visitation, the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) partnered with the Vera’s Family Justice Program on the Families as Partners project to promote support from the family members of incarcerated juveniles.
Through research gathered February 2010 through March 2013, the Families as Partners project discovered incarcerated adults and juveniles with a strong tie to loved ones progress better in prison and pose less of a threat once they are released. This family relationship and contact is described as critical to the accomplishments of youth in juvenile justice facilities.
Despite the lasting benefits family visitation has on incarcerated juveniles and the community, families often face obstacles when visiting their loved ones. Thus, the research gathered sought to support staff-to-family encouragement on emotional and material support, scheduled visits and overall involvement in treatment and reentry plans.
Monday, May 20, 2013 at 3:00 AM
|Fewer Memphis Juveniles are Being Transferred to Adult Court; News Roundup|
Juvenile Justice Reform
Friday, May 17, 2013 at 3:00 AM
|Road Map for Change: A Report on the 2013 Leadership Institute|
The 2013 Leadership Institute, a working conference for Reclaiming Futures leadership teams helping communities break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime, was held in Ashville, N.C., May 7-9, 2013.
Interactive workshops, plenary sessions and fellowship discussions provided opportunities to share and learn proven approaches and best practices for communities adopting, implementing and sustaining the Reclaiming Futures approach as the standard of care in communities across the nation.
Here is a sample of the topics that were addressed:
We'd like to hear from you. If you attended the Leadership Institute, What new skills, perspectives or strategies will you use? What insights will reinforce the efforts of your local Reclaiming Futures team?
It’s not too late to share ideas, photos and resources from the 2013 Reclaiming Futures Leadership Institute. Please use the following hashtag via Twitter: #RFutures13
Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 3:00 AM
|Children and the Prison Boom: Finding Solutions|
The era of skyrocketing US incarceration rates since the 1970s has been dubbed the "Prison Boom," and rightfully so. Future of Children authors Christopher Wildeman and Bruce Western report a fivefold rise, from about 100 to 500 prisoners for every 100,000 people. A major concern for policymakers and children's advocates is that many of those incarcerated are parents. Among African American children who grew up during the Prison Boom, one in four had a parent (most often a father) incarcerated at some point during childhood.
As the New York Times wrote recently, families and children with an incarcerated father can face considerable hardship, apart from the challenges associated with the father's criminality. While identifying a causal relationship between incarceration and various child and family outcomes is difficult, quality research continues to develop in this area. Recent studies find a link to child behavioral problems and school readiness, as well as housing insecurity and homelessness.
There is much discussion about ways to reduce the prison population, from increasing the number of police on the streets, to drug-treatment or faith-based programs. Based on the best research available, the Future of Children's policy recommendations focus on drug offenders and parole violators. Solutions include intensive community supervision, drug treatment when necessary, and more effective responses to parole violation. The White House highlights one program recommended by Wildeman and Western. Project HOPE in Hawaii significantly reduced drug use and other offenses by administering swift, certain, but very short jail stays to probation violators.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 3:00 AM
|Courage and a Plan: Guest Post from the Justice Policy Institute|
Since 2003, Washington D.C. has seen a 43 percent decline in children placed in foster care. Though some progress has been made we are still seeing greater numbers of families struggling to access the resources they need to stay together when compared to the rest of the country. Our nation’s capital has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country with nearly 50 percent of youth in Ward 8 and 40 percent of youth in Ward 7 living below the federal poverty line. In 2011, Ward 8 had the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
These same wards are predominantly African-American and have the highest rates of children entering the child welfare system, of which 99 percent are youth of color (93 percent African-American and 6 percent Latino) according to research in Fostering Change, the latest report put out by the Justice Policy Institute. Fostering Change shows how family and neighborhood poverty are two of the strongest predictors of child maltreatment, and that the conditions poverty creates can ultimately lead to a child being removed from their home.
When considered in a broader socioeconomic context, poverty becomes more than the absence of income and or earning potential—that is, a lack of work opportunities, quality or not, to support oneself and her or his dependents. It is also dealing with the collateral effects of not being able to take care of basic needs such as buying food, medical care, school supplies and adequate clothing or paying for transportation, utilities and rent. These are just some of the conditions that can lead to children being maltreated. JPI’s report found that abused and neglected children are 59 percent more likely to be arrested, 28 percent more likely to be arrested as adults, and 30 percent more likely to commit a violent crime. In 2011, half of youth under the supervision of the District’s juvenile justice agency, Department of Youth and Rehabilitative Services (DYRS), were from Wards 7 and 8.
You see, in the end, these children grow up. For all people currently incarcerated in the United States 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men report a history of abuse as children. So, when we think about the needs of children in poverty, equal thought must be extended to that child’s family on whom she ultimately depends.
How many hardships would be mitigated and lives spared the trauma of family separation and or justice system involvement if they had access to quality jobs, mental health services and for the child, an uninterrupted education? Fostering Change cites parental incarceration, substance abuse and inadequate housing as some of the leading causes for youth involvement in the child welfare system. Nationally, 80 percent of children entering foster care are a result of at least one parent experiencing a substance abuse disorder. In 2010, 1 in 6 District youth entering foster care had an incarcerated parent. Think if substance abuse were treated like a public health issue rather than a criminal one? Or if instead of building exorbitantly priced condos, there were parallel investments made in maintaining and increasing the availability of affordable housing that kept pace with the need, as articulated by the city’s poverty levels?
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 3:00 AM
|JJIE Launches New Resource Hub|
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) launched the all inclusive Juvenile Justice Resource Hub with the help of the National Juvenile Justice Network and the MacArthur Foundation. The Hub is an expansive source of information on modern juvenile justice issues and reform trends.
The Hub includes research, guides, toolkits and advice from experts on issues like health, education, family finances, after school and youth development and child welfare. The site includes tools to communicate, fundraise, evaluate and advocate as well.
In the future, the Hub will also offer a number of new features and those interested can sign up to receive updates. Updates will include:
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 3:00 AM