The Year in Youth Services: A Look Back at Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice in 2013

In no particular order, take a look at some of the most notable developments in child welfare and juvenile justice this year- for the review click here

Governor Cuomo Outlines Agenda for 2014

Cuomo call for the creation of a Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice to Help NYS “Raise the Age” in his State of the State address

Quote: “Our juvenile justice laws are outdated. Under New York State law, 16 and 17 year olds can be tried and charged as adults. Only one other state in the nation does that; it’s the state of North Carolina. It’s not right, it’s not fair – we must raise the age. Let’s form a commission on youth public safety and justice and let’s get it done this year.” To access the full transcript click here

Click here to access the agenda (search “juvenile” to skip to his section on juvenile justice)

Obama Administration Unveils School Discipline Guidelines

The Obama administration Wednesday unveiled sweeping national school discipline guidelines urging schools to remove students from classrooms for disciplinary reasons only as a last resort. “Unfortunately, a significant number of students are removed from class each year – even for minor infractions of school rules – due to exclusionary discipline practices, which disproportionately impact students of color and students with disabilities,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote in a letter to school stakeholders nationwide. To read more click here

New York a National Leader in Keeping Youth out of Jail and Prison

New York is throwing fewer than half the children and teens in jail than it did a decade ago.  The state was singled out by the National Juvenile Justice Network, which is trying to further reduce youth incarceration.  Gabrielle Horowitz-Prisco, Director of the Juvenile Justice Project  in New York is interviewed in this article, giving her thoughts on the successes and areas for improvement for youth justice in NY. To read more click here 

Expungement App Tries to Help Erase Minors’ Records

The Mikva Challenge Foundation released an app aiming to encourage more juveniles to seek assistance expunging their arrest and court records.

In 2012, only 70 of the 25,000 youths who were arrested in Chicago got their records expunged, according to a report by the Juvenile Justice Council issued last summer. Those who sought to have their records expunged were successful. To read more click here

Last month the Vera Institute of Justice launched its Status Offense Reform Center, a clearinghouse of resources and education resources for changing policies and procedures.

The Status Offense Reform Center (SORC) offers resources and tools to policymakers and practitioners interested in creating effective alternatives to juvenile justice system involvement for youth who commit status offenses—behaviors that are problematic but certainly not criminal in nature. To access the SORC website click here

Giving Kids a Choice: Interview with Adam Foss at 2013 Models for Change Conference

Check out this video interview of Adam Foss, a prosecutor with the Suffolk county district attorney’s office in Boston, a member of the juvenile prosecution unit, at the MacArthur Models for Change conference in early December. To access the interview click here