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Secretary Duncan, Attorney General Holder Announce Guidance Package on Providing Quality Education Services to America’s Confined Youth

December 9, 2014 Comments off

Secretary Duncan, Attorney General Holder Announce Guidance Package on Providing Quality Education Services to America’s Confined Youth
Source: U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a Correctional Education Guidance Package aimed at helping states and local agencies strengthen the quality of education services provided to America’s estimated 60,000 young people in confinement every day.

This guidance package builds on recommendations in the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force report released in May to “reform the juvenile and criminal justice systems to reduce unnecessary interactions for youth and to enforce the rights of incarcerated youth to a quality education.” Today’s guidance package is a roadmap that states and local agencies can use to improve the quality of educational services for confined youth.

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Juvenile Court Statistics 2011

November 4, 2014 Comments off

Juvenile Court Statistics 2011 (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Juvenile Court Statistics 2011, which the National Juvenile Court Data Archive compiled and produced, chronicles the progress that has been made over the years and highlights the challenges that remain. This report profiles approximately 1.2 million delinquency cases that U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction handled in 2011. It also describes trends in delinquency cases that juvenile courts processed between 1985 and 2011 and the status offense cases they handled between 1995 and 2011. One challenge that remains is producing credible estimates that include details on cases involving youth of Hispanic ethnicity and that will be a focus of the project moving forward.

Labeling Effects of First Juvenile Arrests: Secondary Deviance and Secondary Sanctioning

October 27, 2014 Comments off

Labeling Effects of First Juvenile Arrests: Secondary Deviance and Secondary Sanctioning
Source: Urban Institute

Does arresting juveniles deter or promote future offending, and how does it affect the chances of future arrests? These questions were studied through official arrest data and self-reported offending data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, using propensity score methods. First arrests increased subsequent offending and subsequent arrest through separate processes, and the effects on rearrest were substantially larger. Being labelled as an arrestee seems to trigger “secondary sanctioning” processes beyond any effects on offending. Attempts to ameliorate deleterious “labeling” effects should include efforts to dampen their escalating punitive effects on societal responses.

Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role (2014)

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role (2014)
Source: National Research Council

In the past decade, a number of state, local, and tribal jurisdictions have begun to take significant steps to overhaul their juvenile justice systems – for example, reducing the use of juvenile detention and out-of-home placement, bringing greater attention to racial and ethnic disparities, looking for ways to engage affected families in the process, and raising the age at which juvenile court jurisdiction ends. These changes are the result of heightening awareness of the ineffectiveness of punitive practices and accumulating knowledge about adolescent development. Momentum for reform is growing. However, many more state, local, and tribal jurisdictions need assistance, and practitioners in the juvenile justice field are looking for guidance from the federal government, particularly from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in the Department of Justice.

Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform identifies and prioritizes strategies and policies to effectively facilitate reform of the juvenile justice system and develop an implementation plan for OJJDP. Based on the 2013 report Reforming Juvenile Justice, this report is designed to provide specific guidance to OJJDP regarding the steps that it should take, both internally and externally, to facilitate juvenile justice reform grounded in knowledge about adolescent development. The report identifies seven hallmarks of a developmental approach to juvenile justice to guide system reform: accountability without criminalization, alternatives to justice system involvement, individualized response based on needs and risks, confinement only when necessary for public safety, genuine commitment to fairness, sensitivity to disparate treatment, and family engagement. Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform outlines how these hallmarks should be incorporated into policies and practices within OJJDP, as well as in actions extended to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to achieve the goals of the juvenile justice system through a developmentally informed approach.

This report sets forth a detailed and prioritized strategic plan for the federal government to support and facilitate developmentally oriented juvenile justice reform. The pivotal component of the plan is to strengthen the role, capacity, and commitment of OJJDP, the lead federal agency in the field. By carrying out the recommendations of Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform, the federal government will both reaffirm and advance the promise of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

Roadmap Released to Improve Outcomes for Youth in Juvenile Justice System

September 8, 2014 Comments off

Roadmap Released to Improve Outcomes for Youth in Juvenile Justice System
Source: Council of State Governments

Members of Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and others met with juvenile justice leaders during separate events recently to discuss two publications released by the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center), which offer state and local governments recommendations to improve outcomes for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

The first publication, Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation, surveyed all 50 states’ juvenile correctional agencies and found 20 percent of those agencies do not track the rates of youth reoffending. Of the 39 states that do track recidivism data, most consider only one type of contact with the justice system, stopping short of determining, for example, whether the youth was later incarcerated in the adult system.

There has been significant progress in juvenile justice reform, with youth confinement rates almost cut in half from 1997 to 2011, and juvenile arrest rates in 2011 at their lowest level in more than 30 years. But as lower-risk youth have successfully been redirected from incarceration, progress is still needed to track, and ultimately improve, the outcomes of those higher-risk youth and others previously under supervision.

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Incarcerated youth die by suicide at a rate two to three times higher than that of youth in the general population. In this bulletin, the authors examine suicidal thoughts and behaviors among 1,829 youth ages 10 to 18 in the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL.

Key findings include the following:
• Approximately 1 in 10 juvenile detainees (10.3 percent) thought about suicide in the past 6 months, and 11 percent had attempted suicide.
• More than one-third of male juvenile detainees and nearly half of female juvenile detainees felt hopeless or thought a lot about death or dying in the 6 months prior to detention.
• Recent suicide attempts were most prevalent in female detainees and youth with anxiety disorders.
• Fewer than half of detainees with recent thoughts of suicide had told anyone about their suicidal thoughts.

Annotated Bibliography: Juvenile Justice

April 18, 2014 Comments off

Annotated Bibliography: Juvenile Justice
Source: National Institute of Corrections

Are you looking for a comprehensive list of resources about juvenile justice? Then this publication is for you. It offers a wide range of sources that will give you an excellent review of the field of juvenile justice. Each annotation explains what the item is about, with many having Web links. Citations are organized into the following areas: courts; juvenile assessment; assessment tools; programs; programs for young women; facilities; training; websites; and juvenile sex offenders.

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