The Next Juvenile Justice Reform

States need to redefine the mission of their juvenile justice systems. That means refocusing from warehousing and punishing juveniles to a much more positive mission: educating troubled youths who  typically suffer from an array of psychological and educational challenges. To read more from the New York Time’s Editorial Board click here and to read a response from newly appointed Commissioner of ACS Gladys Carrion, Commissioner of Probation Ana Bermudez and renowned NYU education professor Dr. Pedro Noguera click here

Burns Institute: Unbalanced Juvenile Justice

More youth are incarcerated in the US than anywhere in the world and there’s room for improvement for how fairly youth of color are treated by the juvenile justice system. Unbalanced Juvenile Justice (UJJ) is a rich, interactive data visualization that illustrates the racial and ethnic disparities that exist today.

Built for both researchers and the general public, UJJ allows visitors to explore racial and ethnic disparities at national and state levels. Highly customizable options provide answers to questions like:

To access this interactive map click here

Op-ed: Connecticut’s Leadership on Juvenile Justice in Jeopardy

What in the world is going on in Connecticut? For a number of years now, the state has been a national leader in juvenile justice policy, but all of a sudden, it’s in danger of losing its crown. That’s not good for Connecticut youth or the safety of its communities.

As director of the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)—whose member organizations advocate for reform in 35 states—I’ve had a bird’s eye view over the past decade of a sea-change in how states address youth in trouble with the law. While several states have been in the vanguard, Connecticut has arguably held the crown.

To keep reading this op-ed by Sarah Bryer click here

PACE Embracing the Needs of Girls, Looks to Expand Beyond Florida

A Florida program created in 1985 for girls who had a brush with the law has now developed into a highly successful intervention program.

PACE Center for Girls was called “the most effective program in the nation for keeping adolescent girls out of the juvenile justice system” by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its 2008 Kids Count report. The report pointed to PACE as a national model. To read more click here

Bill Seeks to Stop States’ Detention of Status Offenders

States would be forbidden to lock up juveniles who violate a court order by committing a status offense like truancy, running away from home or failing to abide by a curfew, under a bill pending in Congress. To access this article click here

Report: Youth Jail Schools Still Bad

Most states require kids to go to school through the first year or two of high school, but when it comes to juvenile-justice facilities, education is almost an afterthought for state officials.

A near-uniformity exists between or with states on how to educate children in juvenile-justice facilities. Such disregard for the education of incarcerated youth can perpetuate a vicious cycle of negative outcomes, particularly in the south, a new report from the Southern Education Foundation states.

To continue reading click here

OJJDP Grants Only Slightly More Transparent After 2008 Controversy

Six years after a grant-awarding controversy shook up the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention — resulting in a congressional hearing, an audit of the Justice Department’s Inspector General (OIG), the firing of the administrator’s chief of staff and the administrator’s own resignation months later — the legal mechanism that allowed such practices to take place has not changed. To read this article click here

The Courts At “Portland’s Projects”

In sport and play, we learn to move our little bodies in conjunction with a team. We experience the joy of collective winning and we practice losing with grace and an eye toward improvement. The court and the field are arenas for sport, but also spaces for learning. In one diverse community in Portland, Maine, the Kennedy Park basketball courts are a gathering space for folks of all ages, races and backgrounds in which to cooperate both in sport and community.

Elicia Epstein, a 21-year-old photographer, made the series as a part of her study this fall at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She created this series over several days spent at Kennedy Park, photographing and chatting with residents. She sees the courts as a space of diverse and quirky community, as well as just a nice place to hang out for the afternoon.

To continue reading and see some of these great pics click here