A story of determination and goals accomplished

Check out exalt’s blog for an inspiring story of a young girl’s tenacity and perseverance as she completes an on-time high school diploma against great odds.  NYJJI gets a special mention as we learn about her impressive work with youth justice advocacy efforts as well. To read click here

Obama steps up efforts to help young men of color

President Obama will launch an initiative aimed at improving the lives of young black and Latino men by bringing businesses and foundations together with government agencies to change what an administration official called the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

Obama plans to unveil the initiative, called My Brother’s Keeper, on Thursday. The move is the latest in a series of efforts by the president to spur social change outside the stalemated legislative process, and represents an escalation of his efforts to target the problems faced by young men of color. To keep reading click here

Vera Study Looks At Mandatory Sentencing Reforms

Over the last decade, the majority of states have taken steps to reform or limit mandatory sentencing laws, signaling a shift in a decades-long approach to combating crime, according to a report recently released by the Vera Institute of Justice. To read this article click here. To read the report click here: mandatory-sentences-policy-report

Juvenile Justice Experts Scrutinize OJJDP’s Role

On Thursday and Friday, a committee that is to recommend ways OJJDP can be strengthened and realigned got an earful from experts in the juvenile justice field.

The committee is tasked with implementing key recommendations from a 2012 National Research Council report titled “Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach.” To keep reading click here

Massachusetts Begins Juvenile Justice Initiative

Massachusetts has launched an initiative to reduce recidivism by signing a contract for the largest pay-for-success financial investment in the country.  The goal is to improve the lives of nearly 400 at-risk youth in western Massachusetts, reduce crime, and save taxpayers money. To read this article click here

Los Angeles Juvenile Justice System Overhaul Pondered

Los Angeles County supervisors are considering an overhaul of the county’s system for defending juveniles accused of crimes.

Under-age criminal defendants who can’t afford a lawyer are generally represented by someone from the county public defender’s office. But when that office is already representing another defendant in the case or a special circumstance arises, lawyers from a separate panel step in to remove the potential conflict of interest.

Advocates argue that the switch creates another problem: The private lawyers the county contracts with for these cases, known as panel attorneys, are paid less — a flat rate of $319 to $345 per case — and may not represent their clients as vigorously. To learn more click here

White Paper: Need to Reform Mental Health Treatment for Incarcerated Youth

National mental health organizations and experts are calling for reforming mental health services for incarcerated youth after recent reports revealed startlingly high numbers of mental health disorder in the population.

Up to 70 percent of youths who come in contact with the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health disorder, according to a Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change white paper published Thursday. To continue this article click here. To view the full report  click here: Better_Solutions_for_Youth_with_Mental_Health_Needs_in_the_Juvenile_Justice_System.