Opinion: Race, kids, and a path to change

Abby Andrerson, executive director of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, a public policy and advocacy organization, and a featured speaker at the recent NYJJI & Philanthropy NY sponsored event on effective collaboration has written an insightful and moving piece on the intersection of race, individual responsibility and our juvenile justice system. To read this op-ed click here 

To Understand Juvenile Detention, Listen to the Kids Inside

There is a world within prisons that only the prisoners know. Correctional officers, administrators, counselors and academics may all have access to a part of the life of a prisoner, but these windows by their nature only offer a limited view of the happenings behind the barbed wire.

This article focuses on Performance Based Standards Learning Institute’s latest brief, “What Youths Say Matters.”

Godfrey writes: “I realize that what youths say about their experiences in custody is essential to understanding the truth about what happens in juvenile facilities and provides crucial information needed to manage safe and healthy juvenile facilities.” This, based on her 20 years of listening to and asking questions of kids in detention is a profound (and seldom embraced) position in the world of juvenile justice reform. To read more click here

Justice Department Announces More Than $62 Million to Strengthen Reentry, Probation and Parole Programs

The Justice Department has awarded more than $62 million in grants to strengthen efforts to help people returning from prison rejoin their communities and become productive, law-abiding citizens.

The SCA programs, administered through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), are designed to help communities develop and implement comprehensive strategies to reduce recidivism and address the challenges faced by incarcerated adults and youth when they return to their communities following release from confinement. To read more click here

Speaking for the Children: A Hard Look at the State of Juvenile Defense Across the U.S.

In many jurisdictions, juveniles are not even appointed a defense attorney until after their first hearing — a hearing in which a judge will decide if the youth will be held in detention or released. To read more of this article, which explores the role of public defenders in protecting children’s rights click here

York County judge rules mandatory lifetime registration for juvenile sex offenders unconstitutional

Drawing heavily on last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found mandatory life sentences for juvenile killers unconstitutional, Senior Judge John C. Uhler has held that lifetime registration for juvenile sex offenders also is unconstitutional for many of the same reasons. To read more click here

Troubled Youth Prison Company Wins Even More Contracts 

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Despite voluminous evidence that inmates have suffered violence, sexual abuse and neglect inside the facilities of a private juvenile prison operator, the state of Florida has in recent weeks awarded fresh contracts to the company. To read more click here

Independent monitor could be used for Illinois’ juvenile prisons

Illinois is looking to bring in an independent monitor for its juvenile prisons. As IPR’S Brian Mackey reports, it’s intended to bring down the rate of sexual abuse. To read more click here

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