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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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Social Host Liability for Underage Drinking Statutes

April 16, 2014 Comments off

Social Host Liability for Underage Drinking Statutes
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Enacted in 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act set the minimum drinking age at 21. To comply with federal law, states prohibit persons under 21 years of age from purchasing or publicly possessing alcoholic beverages.

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 9.3 million persons aged 12 to 20 (24.3 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month and an estimated 11.2 percent of persons aged 12 or older drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year.

In an effort to combat underage drinking, state legislators have enacted laws that assign responsibility to adults who allow minors to drink alcohol at social gatherings. Thirty-one states allow social hosts to be civilly liable for injuries or damages caused by underage drinkers. Twenty-six states and the Virgin Islands have criminal penalties for adults who host or permit parties with underage drinking to occur in the adults’ homes or in premises under the adults’ control. These social host statutory provisions do not apply to licensed establishments such as restaurants, bars, and liquor stores, which are covered by dram shop laws.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service — Special Feature: Youth Violence

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Special Feature: Youth Violence
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

According to data released by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, juvenile arrests for violent crimes (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) declined 29% between 2006 and 2011 (Juvenile Arrests 2011, December 2013). The number of juvenile court cases involving violent offenses fell 8% between 2008 and 2009 (Juvenile Court Statistics, 2009, July 2012) and 8% between 2009 and 2010 (Juvenile Court Statistics, 2010, June 2013).

The Bureau of Justice Statistics resource, Violent Crime Against Youth, 1994-2010 (December 2012), presents trend data on a number of different points related to the topic. For example, from 1994 to 2010, the rate of serious violent crime occurring on school grounds declined by 62%. Also presented is information on the non-reporting of violent crimes by youth victims. During a 2002-10 period of analysis, the most frequent reasons youth provided for not reporting violence were that the incident was reported to another individual such as a school official (30%), was considered not important enough to the victim to report (15%), or was considered to be a private or personal matter (16%). Another reason youth provided for not reporting the victimization to police was that the offender was a child (7%).

The pages of this Special Feature contain publications and resources on topics related to youth violence and the prevention of such violence.

Juvenile Arrests 2011

March 25, 2014 Comments off

Juvenile Arrests 2011
Source: office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

As has been the case in general for the past decade, juvenile arrest data for 2011 provide reasons for encouragement. Overall, arrests in 2011 were down 11 percent from 2010 and down 31 percent since 2002.

Although juvenile arrest rates for many crimes are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years, many states and communities are instituting legislative, policy, and practice changes to reduce juvenile arrests even further. As a growing body of evidence underscores the corrosive effects that system involvement and confinement can have on healthy adolescent emotional, mental, behavioral, and social development, many jurisdictions are examining and developing ways to divert nonserious offenders from entering the system. With time, the cumulative effects of these and other reform efforts, such as trauma, mental health, and substance abuse screening and assessment for youth upon intake, should result in a system where arrests are rare, all youth are treated fairly, and when a youth enters the system, he or she receives much-needed treatment and services. Such changes would undoubtedly provide positive and healthy outcomes for youth, families, and communities.

Delays in Youth Justice

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Delays in Youth Justice (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Historically, the American juvenile justice system has sought to take an individualized approach to each case, focusing more on solving problems than on punishing offenders. But solving problems related to human behavior takes time and can collide with the principles of swift and certain intervention. Delays in the processing of youth through the justice system can have negative results not only for the youth themselves but also for their families and communities.

Improving the timeliness of the justice process is far more than a technical matter for managers and judges; it is a critical part of policy and practice in ensuring the juvenile justice system fulfills its basic mission.

This bulletin reviews a research effort in juvenile case processing that looked at two information sources, a nationwide sample of counties and an indepth investigation of three Midwestern courts…

See also: Young Offenders: What Happens and What Should Happen (PDF)

A Comparison of Risk Assessment Instruments in Juvenile Justice

February 20, 2014 Comments off

A Comparison of Risk Assessment Instruments in Juvenile Justice (PDF)
Source: National Council on Crime and Delinquency

The proper use of valid, reliable risk assessments can clearly improve decision making. However, results of this study indicate that the power of some risk assessment instruments to accurately classify offenders by risk level may have been overestimated. Only three of the risk instruments examined demonstrated considerable capacity to accurately separate cases into low, moderate, and high risk levels with progressively higher recidivism with each risk level increase. Several risk instrument approaches emphasized over the last decade have substantial shortcomings and fail to convey what is most important to correctional administrators: the difference in outcomes between risk levels and the distribution of cases across the risk continuum.

The lack of standards for measuring validity and reliability of risk assessment instruments further complicates decision making for administrators. Greater emphasis should be placed both on reliability testing and validation studies before and after risk assessment instruments are transferred to other jurisdictions. This is an area where national standards could be established to ensure due diligence.

Risk assessment should be a simple process that can be easily understood and articulated. This study’s findings show that simple, actuarial approaches to risk assessment can produce the strongest results. Adding factors with relatively weak statistical relationships to recidivism—including dynamic factors and criminogenic needs—can result in reduced capacity to accurately identify high-, moderate-, and low-risk offenders.

Functional Impairment in Delinquent Youth

January 13, 2014 Comments off

Functional Impairment in Delinquent Youth (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This bulletin is one in a series that presents the results of the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL. The authors present the results of their examination of youth’s functional impairment as assessed 3 years after their release from detention. Key findings include the following:

  • Only 7.5 percent of youth had no notable impairment in functioning.
  • Approximately one of every five youth had markedly impaired functioning.
  • Markedly impaired functioning was much more common in males than in females; however, females were more likely to be severely impaired in the moods/emotions and self-harm domains than males.
  • Among males living in the community, African Americans and Hispanics were more likely to be severely impaired in school and work than non-Hispanic whites.

How to Calculate the Average Costs of Detaining a Youth

December 23, 2013 Comments off

How to Calculate the Average Costs of Detaining a Youth (PDF)
Source: National Juvenile Justice Network

At a time when state and local governments face extreme fiscal challenges, it is imperative that reformer s have access to credible and informed estimates of the costs of juvenile justice processing. Although some jurisdictions and organizations have been able to complete in – depth cost – benefit analyses of juvenile justice expenditures, such extensive analyses can be expensive and time consuming. No netheless, reformers can arm themselves with valuable information on the costs of juvenile justice system processing by doing some basic research and calculations. The National Ju venile Justice Network’s (NJJN ) Fiscal Policy Center’s toolkit series shows r eaders how to use available budget data and processing statistics to estimate costs for different stages of the juvenile justice system.

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Releases Life-Saving Juvenile Justice System Resources

December 3, 2013 Comments off

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Releases Life-Saving Juvenile Justice System Resources (PDF)
Source: National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention ( Action Alliance) today released a set of comprehensive suicide prevention resources to support professionals who work with youth in the juvenile justice system. The newly developed educational tools advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, which guides efforts to prevent suicide across the nation. Online versions of the nine resources are now available to the juvenile justice workforce and the general public…

Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the US

November 19, 2013 Comments off

Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the US
Source: Human Rights Watch

Throughout the United States, people who commit sex offenses as children (also referred to in this report as “youth sex offenders”) must comply with a complex array of legal requirements that apply to all sex offenders, regardless of age.

Upon release from juvenile detention or prison, youth sex offenders are subject to registration laws that require them to disclose continually updated information including a current photograph, height, weight, age, current address, school attendance, and place of employment. Registrants must periodically update this information so that it remains current in each jurisdiction in which they reside, work, or attend school. Often, the requirement to register lasts for decades and even a lifetime. Although the details about some youth offenders prosecuted in juvenile courts are disclosed only to law enforcement, most states provide these details to the public, often over the Internet, because of community notification laws. Residency restriction laws impose another layer of control, subjecting people convicted of sexual offenses as children to a range of rules about where they may live. Failure to adhere to registration, community notification, or residency restriction laws can lead to a felony conviction for failure to register, with lasting consequences for a young person’s life.

This report challenges the view that registration laws and related restrictions are an appropriate response to sex offenses committed by children. Even acknowledging the considerable harm that youth offenders can cause, these requirements operate as, in effect, continued punishment of the offender. While the law does not formally recognize registration as a punishment, Jacob’s case and those of many other youth sex offenders detailed below illustrate the often devastating impact it has on the youth offenders and their families. And contrary to common public perceptions, the empirical evidence suggests that putting youth offenders on registries does not advance community safety—including because it overburdens law enforcement with large numbers of people to monitor, undifferentiated by their dangerousness.

Factors associated with smoking among adolescent males prior to incarceration and after release from jail: a longitudinal study

November 1, 2013 Comments off

Factors associated with smoking among adolescent males prior to incarceration and after release from jail: a longitudinal study
Source: Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy

Background
The prevalence of cigarette smoking among incarcerated adult men and women is three-four times higher than in the general population, ranging from 70-80%. However, little is known about factors associated with smoking among incarcerated adolescents, especially upon their re-entry into communities after release from jail. The current study explores factors associated with smoking among adolescent males prior to incarceration and one year after their release from jail.

Methods
We conducted a secondary data analysis of the Returning Educated African-American and Latino Men to Enrich Neighborhoods (REAL MEN) study, which was designed to reduce HIV risk, substance use, and recidivism among 16–18 year old males leaving jail. We examined differences between smokers and non-smokers at the time of their incarceration (N = 552) and one year after their release from jail (N = 397) using t-tests and chi-square tests. Using logistic and linear regression we examined factors associated with current smoking status, frequency of smoking, and quantity of cigarettes smoked per day both prior to the young men’s incarceration and one year after their release from jail.

Results
Prior to incarceration, 62% of the young men reported smoking, and one-year after jail release, 69% reported smoking. Prior to incarceration, foster care history, not living with parents, not attending school, drug sales, number of sex partners, gang involvement, current drug charges, and number of prior arrests were positively associated with smoking indicators prior to incarceration. Having violent charges was inversely associated with smoking indicators prior to incarceration. One-year after release from jail, foster care history and number of prior arrests before the index incarceration were associated with smoking indicators.

Conclusions
Several problem behaviors may be associated with adolescent males’ smoking behaviors prior to incarceration. However, the young men’s histories of difficult life circumstances and engagement in illegal activity may have long-term consequences on smoking for these young men during their transition between jail and community. Findings suggest a need for comprehensive risk reduction interventions in settings in which disadvantaged young men are institutionalized, starting in childhood.

New OJJDP Bulletin Examines Youth Delinquency and Victimization

October 30, 2013 Comments off

New OJJDP Bulletin Examines Youth Delinquency and Victimization
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

OJJDP has released Children’s Exposure to Violence and the Intersection Between Delinquency and Victimization. The latest in OJJDP’s National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) publication series, the bulletin presents survey results regarding the co-occurrence of victimization and delinquency among children who are exposed to violence.

The survey categorized adolescents ages 10 to 17 into one of four groups: those youth who were primarily delinquents and not victims (primarily delinquents), those who were primarily victims and not delinquents (primarily victims), those who were both delinquents and victims (delinquent-victims), and those who were neither victims nor delinquents. Youth identified as delinquent-victims had higher levels of both delinquency and victimization than either the primarily victim or primarily delinquent youth. These youth also suffered more adversities, and had lower levels of social support and higher rates of mental health symptoms. The study points to the importance of early intervention.

The relative sizes of these various groups appear to change as children age; they also differ by gender. The delinquent-victim group among boys is larger overall and increases substantially between ages 13 and 14. This may reflect an increase in delinquent activities around the time they enter high school among boys who had previously been primarily victims. The high school environment may expose them to older delinquent role models and present them with conditions of more independence and less supervision than middle school.

For girls, the pattern change appears to occur earlier (between ages 11 and 12) and is associated with an increase in both victimization and delinquency, but particularly victimization. This is likely related to the onset of puberty in girls and shows up in the data as a particularly marked increase in sexual harassment.

These findings strongly suggest that delinquency- and victimization-prevention efforts need to be marshaled around or before the fifth grade, and they need to include components that minimize sexual aggression and harassment.

Changing Course: Preventing Gang Membership

September 25, 2013 Comments off

Changing Course: Preventing Gang Membership (PDF)
Source: Office of Justice Programs/Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Youth gang membership is a serious and persistent problem in the United States. One in three lo- cal law enforcement agencies report youth gang problems in their jurisdictions. One in four high school freshmen report gangs in their schools. Limited resources at the national, state, tribal and local levels make it more important than ever that we make full use of the best available evidence and clearly demonstrate the benefit of strategies to prevent gang-joining.

In acknowledgment of these realities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Na- tional Institute of Justice (NIJ) formed a partnership to publish this book. It is critical that those who make decisions about resources — as well as those who work directly with youth, like teachers and police officers, community services providers and emergency department physicians — understand what the research evidence shows about how to prevent kids from joining gangs.

The NIJ-CDC partnership drew on each agency’s distinctive strengths: NIJ’s commitment to enhancing justice and increasing public safety is matched by CDC’s dedication to health promotion and prevention of violence, injury and disability. By combining perspectives, lessons and evidence from public safety and public health, NIJ and CDC provide new insights into the complex problems of gangs and gang member- ship.

Public health and public safety workers who respond to gang problems know that after-the-fact efforts are not enough. An emergency department doctor who treats gang-related gunshot wounds or a police officer who must tell a mother that her son has been killed in a drive-by shooting are likely to stress the need for prevention — and the complementary roles that public health and law enforcement must play — in stopping violence before it starts. Given our shared commitment to informing policy and practice with the best available evidence of what works, CDC and NIJ brought together some of the nation’s top public health and criminal justice researchers to present core principles for gang-membership prevention.

Nature and Risk of Victimization: Findings From the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement

August 19, 2013 Comments off

Nature and Risk of Victimization: Findings From the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DOJ)

This bulletin covers key findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement on youth’s victimization in placement, including their experiences of theft, robbery, physical assault, and sexual assault. It presents the details of youth’s reports about these victimization experiences, indicating the prevalence and frequency of victimization, the perpetrators involved, the use of weapons, and any injuries resulting from the victimization. Because SYRP provides substantial information about youth’s characteristics, needs, and conditions of confinement (Sedlak and Bruce, 2010; Sedlak and McPherson, 2010a, 2010b), it also provides a rich basis for un- derstanding the context of victimization.

The bulletin describes a variety of youth characteristics and facility conditions that correlate with victimization rates and identifies a core set of risk factors that predict the probability of a youth experi- encing violence in custody.

PTSD, Trauma, and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth

July 16, 2013 Comments off

PTSD, Trauma, and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This bulletin examines the results of the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a prospective longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Tem – porary Detention Center in Chicago, IL. The authors discuss their findings on the prevalence of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among juvenile detainees and PTSD’s tendency to co-occur with other psychiatric disorders. Some findings include the following:

  • Of the study sample, 92.5 percent of youth had experienced at least one trauma, 84 percent had experienced more than one trauma, and 56.8 percent were exposed to trauma six or more times.
  • Witnessing violence, the most common trauma, was far more common in this study sample than in most community studies of youth and young adults.
  • More than 1 in 10 detainees had PTSD in the year prior to the interview.
  • Among participants with PTSD, 93 percent had at least one comorbid psychiatric disorder. Among males, having any psychiatric diagnosis significantly increased the odds of having comorbid PTSD.

PTSD, Trauma, and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth

July 8, 2013 Comments off

PTSD, Trauma, and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice

This bulletin examines the results of the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL, cosponsored by OJJDP. The authors discuss their findings on the prevalence of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among juvenile detainees and PTSD’s tendency to co-occur with other psychiatric disorders. Of the study sample, 92.5 percent of youth had experienced at least one trauma, 84 percent had experienced more than one trauma, and 56.8 percent were exposed to trauma six or more times. Among participants with PTSD, 93 percent had at least one comorbid psychiatric disorder. Among males, having any psychiatric diagnosis significantly increased the odds of having comorbid PTSD.

Firearm Possession Among Adolescents Presenting to an Urban Emergency Department for Assault

July 8, 2013 Comments off

Firearm Possession Among Adolescents Presenting to an Urban Emergency Department for Assault (PDF)
Source: Pediatrics

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Firearm violence is a leading cause of death among youth. The objectives of this study were (1) determine firearm possession rates and associated correlates among youth seeking care for assault in an emergency department (ED); (2) understand differences in risk factors for youth with firearm possession; and (3) identify firearm possession characteristics in this population: type, reason for possession, and source of firearms.

METHODS: Youth (14 to 24 years old) presenting to a Level 1 ED with assault were administered a computerized screening survey. Validated instruments were administered, measuring demographics, firearm rates and characteristics, attitudes toward aggression, substance use, and previous violence history.

RESULTS: Among 689 assault-injured youth, 23% reported firearm possession in the past 6 months. Only 17% of those reporting firearm possession obtained the gun from a legal source; 22% reported ownership of highly lethal automatic/semiautomatic weapons and 37.1% reported having a firearm for protection. Logistic regression analysis identified significant correlates of firearm possession, including male gender, higher socioeconomic status, illicit drug use, recent serious fight, and retaliatory attitudes.

CONCLUSIONS: ED assault-injured youth had high rates of firearm possession (23.1%), most of which were not obtained from legal sources. Youth with firearm possession were more likely to have been in a recent serious fight, and to endorse aggressive attitudes that increase their risk for retaliatory violence. Future prevention efforts should focus on minimizing illegal firearm access among high-risk youth, nonviolent alternatives to retaliatory violence, and substance use prevention.

Youth Justice Legislation in Canada

April 3, 2013 Comments off

Youth Justice Legislation in Canada

Source: Library of Parliament

Youth crime in general, and violent youth crime in particular, is a significant source of concern to many Canadians. In part, the concern is connected with an impression that crime committed by young people is on the rise, though the latest police statistics indicate that by 2011 the youth crime rate had fallen by 22% compared with 2001.1 The drop in youth crime rates over this period was mainly the result of a decrease in property crime. The rate of violent crimes in which the alleged perpetrator is a young person decreased by 12% between 2001 and 2011, while the rate of youth property crime dropped by 31%.2 In 2011, police identified 135,647 alleged youth criminals, of whom 42,799 were suspected of violent crimes.3

The data provided by Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index also show a 22% decline in the severity of all crimes committed by young people in 2011 compared with 2001.4 A significant part of this decline stems from a 33% decrease in the severity of non-violent crime. During this period, the severity of youth violent crime decreased by 3.1%.5

In attempts to address the concerns of Canadians and to react to the youth crime problem, lawmakers have, from time to time, proposed amendments to youth justice legislation. This document provides an overview of the principal legislative provisions that govern the way in which the police, the courts and the correctional systems must deal with those between 12 and 17 years of age when they are charged with a crime. The first section briefly traces the evolution of Canadian legislation in the area. The second section describes the philosophy and principles underlying the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), which currently governs criminal and justice matters affecting young people in Canada. The third section briefly outlines the sentences imposed on those convicted of an offence as a young person. The final section deals with the possible consequences of a conviction under the YCJA, specifically how criminal records are established and kept and how bodily substances may be taken in order to store a young person’s DNA in the National DNA Data Bank administered by the RCMP.

A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners Working With Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System

July 30, 2012 Comments off

A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners Working With Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System (PDF)
Source: Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health

Many mental health practitioners were trained in programs or at a time when very little attention was paid during the course of training to youth involved in the juvenile justice system. For a variety of reasons, general clinical training does not ordinarily equip a mental health practitioner to operate within the juvenile justice context. Practitioners who have been trained within more recently developed programs with a “forensic” emphasis may be more familiar with adults within the criminal justice system than with juveniles, more focused upon technical assessments, such as competency to stand trial, than upon youth-specific developmental and functional assessments, or relatively unfamiliar with the emerging literature regarding youth with mental health needs who have had contact with the juvenile justice system or penetrated to its deeper end programs.

This paper provides an overview for mental health practitioners who provide professional services to youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system. This overview emphasizes emerging research and practices, the emerging conceptualization of trauma and its implications for youth involved with the juvenile justice system, and implications for policy and practice. While primarily intended for mental health professionals working within system of care communities or interested in developing a system of care collaboration in their area, this paper is relevant for any mental health practitioner providing professional services to youth involved or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system. It is also relevant for juvenile court and juvenile justice professionals whose work brings them into contact with youth with significant mental health needs.

Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership: Using a Neighborhood Framework to Examine the Influence of Network Composition and Structure in a Latino Community

March 10, 2012 Comments off

Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership: Using a Neighborhood Framework to Examine the Influence of Network Composition and Structure in a Latino Community
Source: Urban Institute

As part of the Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership project, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, social network data were collected from youth in a small, at-risk neighborhood. The data were analyzed using social network methods. Results indicated that individuals with multiple, separate groups of friends have greater constraints on their behavior and are less likely to be delinquent. Results also suggested that networks with very low densities (fewer connections) are more successful contexts for intervention. These findings are relevant to developing appropriate delinquency programs and shed light on the efficacy of neighborhood-based interventions.

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