New interactive website tracks trends in juvenile detention

The National Center for Juvenile Justice has launched a new interactive website that tracks regional and national trends in the laws and policies for dealing with young offenders.

The site, called Juvenile Justice GPS, includes several maps and graphs that allow users to track and compare state policies in six different juvenile justice categories. One interesting use for the map includes a function to compares the states that treat 16 and/or 17-year-old offenders as adults to states that use 18 as the cut-off.

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Mayor Stands by Police Commissioner on Harlem Raids, Promises More

Mayor Bill de Blasio promised more controversial raids in the city’s public housing projects like the one that swept through the Manhattanville and Ulysses S. Grant Houses last week. Dozens were arrested during the 6 a.m. raid as part of 145-count indictment charging 103 people, some teenagers, in a multitude of gang crimes.

The mayor’s comments came a week after NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton, in an unusual symbolic gesture, led what he called the largest gang raid in the city’s history.

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At 6 a.m. on Wednesday June 4, hundreds of police officers in flak jackets swept through both the Manhattanville and Grant Houses in West Harlem in the largest gang raid in the city’s history.

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Juvenile Recidivism Measurement Inconsistent Across States

A quarter of state-level agencies across the country do not currently collect or report juvenile recidivism data, according to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators and the Council of State Governments. The survey, which went out to 50 states and Washington, D.C., found that 33 juvenile corrections agencies reported recidivism data on a regular basis, five reported infrequently and 13 did not report or collect this type of data at all at the state level.

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Notes on Push for Juvenile Justice Act Reauthorization

Are we on the verge of a fresh reauthorization?

Many juvenile justice advocates would like to think so. But with JJPDA, it has been more than a decade of tremors without an earthquake since the last update in November of 2002- and the update is sorely needed to address issues ranging from how to treat status offences, how to strengthen efforts to combat disproportionate minority contact to restoring serious cuts in funding.

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The tragic, maddening failure of America’s juvenile justice system

This article briefly summarizes a compelling new book,Nell Bernstein’s Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison. Bernstein is not the first writer to tackle the problem. But she adds vital context to the tragic story.

She eloquently argues that what children need most to break out of these cycles of destruction are stable relationships with adults they can trust and respect. What these young offenders need, in other words, are adults in the juvenile justice system who have the patience and the compassion and the wisdom and the incentive and the training to draw them out from their cycles of crime. But, Bernstein tells us, “virtually every aspect of our juvenile justice system” is “designed to disrupt and deny relationships.”

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From Jails to Joblessness:  Why Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth Need More Than Just a Job 

Studies show that although transitioning youth that hold jobs may be less likely to engage in criminal activity, there is no direct causal relationship between finding employment and less recidivism.  Instead, research suggests it’s actually the change in a young person’s antisocial attitudes and beliefs associated with crime – rather than the paycheck – that accounts for their shift away from crime.  Or, to put it another way, employment is only helpful to the extent that one can keep a job.  A new job must be coupled with new behavior in order to help lower the risk of recidivism.

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