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Juvenile Justice News

Justice varies for juvenile lifers in U.S. prisons

The Associated Press surveyed all 50 states and found that uncertainty and opposition stirred by the court's rulings have resulted in an uneven patchwork, with the odds of release or continued imprisonment varying widely. 

Juvenile jail fees may be eliminated by Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Millions of dollars of debt carried by parents and guardians of children who have been committed to juvenile hall could be erased under a proposal up for review today by Sonoma County supervisors. 

Juvenile Justice Advocates Try Valentine Candygrams to Push Reauthorization

Advocates for re-authorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) took to the halls of House and Senate office buildings to hand-deliver Valentine’s Day gifts with a political message.

Juvenile Justice Division a Likely Victim in Massive Culling of Justice Department

The Trump Administration plans to cut thousands of Department of Justice positions, which may mean a 25 percent (or more) culling of the already tiny 60-person federal agency focused on juvenile justice, according to several sources at the department or with connections to the department.

News of these cuts comes as advocates are working feverishly to hammer through a reauthorizationof the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), a 44-year-old law that trades federal grants for compliance with basic juvenile justice standards.

Juvenile justice gains flexibility

Here’s proof politics is not everything in Jefferson City: In the closing days of the General Assembly an important change to our system of criminal justice was approved by overwhelming margins — 32-1 in the Senate and 139-4 in the House. With Gov. Eric Greitens’ signature added in his final hours in office, strong majorities of lawmakers from both parties have reversed a long-ago decision and approved the “raise the age” bill. The measure changes from 17 to 18 the age at which a young person automatically is charged as an adult in criminal courts.

Juvenile justice reform already starting to fulfill its promise for families, Kansas

Summer is a season for families, a time to strengthen bonds and make memories. As we enjoy summer with our loved ones, we’re grateful that a new law is helping Kansas families enjoy the human connections that enrich our lives.

Juvenile justice reforms making impact in Connecticut 

The state’s efforts to keep juveniles out of the criminal justice system appear to be having a long-term positive effect, a University of New Haven lecturer said Monday during the Connecticut State Forum on Public Safety. The forum, an outgrowth of last fall’s 50-State Summit on Public Safety, outlined Connecticut’s successes while exploring how to adjust once Gov. Dannel P. Malloy leaves office in January.

Juvenile justice summit: ‘We are addicted to incarceration’

James Bell, who works nationally to address racial disparities in juvenile justice, described incarceration as an addiction Thursday to an audience of more than 200 people in Hickory Hill. "We are addicted to incarceration as a primary instrument of social control," Bell said. "Not just for law violators but for misbehaviors in school." 

Juvenile Justice System gets financial boost from lawmakers 

In Louisiana, a 17-year-old can be routed through the adult criminal justice system when arrested.  That could soon change since lawmakers identified $4 million to support the state's juvenile justice system.

Juvenile Prisons: It’s Time to Close ‘Factories of Failure’

A year ago, in October 2016, Patrick McCarthy, president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Miriam Shark, former associate director at Casey and I took an exhaustive look at the evidence surrounding America’s use of large, congregate care facilities – sometimes called youth centers, training schools or juvenile correctional facilities – but what we called “youth prisons” due to their similarity to their older cousin: the adult prison.

Kansas Juvenile Justice Reforms Cut Detentions by 34 percent

Reforms to Kansas’ juvenile justice system have already sharply reduced detentions for young people, and are projected to allow the state to shift over $72 million in savings to alternative approaches for dealing with troubled youth, according to a recent report.

Keeping Girls Out of a Justice System Created for Boys

Arrests of youth younger than 18 are down significantly. Between 1994 and 2014, juvenile arrests dropped from about 2.8 million to about 1 million, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). But for girls in this same age group, who account for about a third of juvenile arrests, the trend is moving in the opposite direction.

Keeping Youth Out of the Adult Criminal Justice System

Olivia B. was a 17-year-old high school student in North Carolina when she had her first contact with the adult criminal justice system. She was arrested for a fight at school and charged as an adult. Despite the fact that she had been on track to graduate early, Olivia was expelled from her high school and had to attend an alternative school.

Kentucky Reformed Juvenile Justice, And Left Black Youth Behind

When a youth is accused of a crime in Kentucky, an adult has to make a choice in nearly every step that follows. Allow the youth to avoid a formal charge, or bring the case to a judge? Send him back home to his own bed, or to sleep in a cell? Put another way: Offer another chance, or deny it? Disproportionately, the Kentucky youth denied that second chance are black.

Kids who make mistakes need resources, not jail time

The teenage girl and her boyfriend decided to rob a man, but something went horribly wrong: During the robbery, the victim was killed. They were both charged with murder. The district attorney wanted me to send this 15-year-old girl to the adult criminal justice system, where she would have been housed with adults at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women.
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