Last Monday a federal judge ruled that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city, repudiating a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy. To read more about his important development for NYC click here

‘Smart on Crime’ Calls for Leniency for Youth Offenders.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced it will increase its juvenile justice reform funding by some $15 million, a major part of which will be used to establish the new Models for Change Resource Center Partnership. The Partnership aims to be that place people call when they want to make the kind of policy changes the MacArthur Foundation says result in better outcomes for kids and communities: rehabilitation, treatment in home communities and competent legal defense, among other things. To read more click here

Lawmakers Study Neurology Along With New Juvenile Justice Policy Ideas.

To read more about  a forum on using brain science to craft new policies at the National Conference of State Legislatures summit click here

Lebanon (NY) council approves new Peer Court program.

Something interesting is going on upstate. Unlike the traditional juvenile justice system, in which adults control the courtroom, youth are sentenced and mentored by their peers. The goal is to hold youth accountable with appropriate consequences; build skills; increase community connections; provide support and guidance; involve those who have been victimized when appropriate and utilize appropriate community programs. To find out more click here

OP-ED: The Power of Community Conferencing.

Read an interesting op ed on Restorative Justice and find out about documentaries, conferences and events that focus on alternatives to a punitive justice system for young adults. To access the article click here

Perps or Pupils? Safety Policy Creates Prison-like New York City Schools

More than the arrests, the summonses, and the substitution of detention halls with jail cells, critics of the burgeoning police presence in public schools point to the corrosive daily experiences of students like Dickson (featured in this article) to explain why the system needs to change. Students have grown to see school as a joyless place where they are treated like perps instead of pupils, critics say. To read more click here

Leaders at a juvenile justice conference in Santa Cruz on Friday said that preventing truancy and increasing high-school graduation rates could mean fewer juvenile and adult offenders in the coming years. District Attorney Bob Lee said there was an “absolute correlation” between public safety and public schools. There should be more attention paid to students who skip school and are in danger of not graduating from high school, he said. To read an article summarizing the forum click here. NYC and The DOE have also deemed this population a high priority with their Success Mentors program, part of the Every Student, Every Day campaign. If you’re interested click on either of the two preceding links to find out more.