Justice Department Releases Blistering Report On New York City’s Juvenile Jails

New York City’s juvenile jails are extremely violent and unsafe, the result of a deeply ingrained culture of violence in which guards routinely violate constitutional rights of teenage inmates and subject them to “rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force,” the federal government said in a scathing report released Monday.

The report, the result of a 2 1/2-year Justice Department investigation into violence at three RikersIsland juvenile jail facilities, recommended major reforms to almost every aspect of how young offenders are treated.

It identified problems that occurred between 2011 and 2013 that also likely hold true for adult inmates, including poor staff training, inadequate investigations, an ineffective management structure and the overuse of solitary confinement, particularly for mentally ill inmates.

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How Do We Build Resilience Among Youth?

How can the juvenile justice system — and other agencies that serve children — build post-traumatic resilience among youth? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is exploring how it can contribute to ending the culture of violence and trauma that is an obstacle to good health for too many vulnerable Americans.

A new report, “Trauma and Resilience: A New Look at Legal Advocacy for Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems,” provides a vital look at how system involvement — in the juvenile justice or child welfare system — can cause trauma, or exacerbate underlying trauma caused by sexual abuse, violence, the death of a loved one, witnessing violence and other experiences. The report sets forth ways to support resilience in youth, and also recognizes the risk of lifelong damage from unaddressed trauma. It includes both strategies for individual advocates and policy recommendations for changing the system.

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Pew Applauds Hawaii for Enacting Juvenile Justice Reforms

New law will strengthen supervision and services, expand use of proven practices to reduce recidivism

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law a comprehensive set of juvenile justice policy reforms that will halve the number of youth held in the state’s secure facility and improve public safety by redirecting much of the savings to proven strategies for helping troubled youth move toward productive, law-abiding lives.

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Summit to Bring Together Juvenile Justice Pros, Youthful Advocates

“Building the next generation of juvenile justice leaders” will be the focus of a two-day summit in Washington co-hosted by the nonprofit Coalition for Juvenile Justiceand the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The second annual Juvenile Justice Youth Summit, which begins Thursday, will bring together 130 youth advocates from throughout the nation and will feature remarks by CJJ Executive Director Marie Williams and OJJDP Administrator Robert Listenbee, who will also moderate a panel.

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Juvenile Justice White Paper:

Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (The Council of State Governments Justice Center)

This white paper was written to guide leaders across all branches of government; juvenile justice system administrators, managers, and front-line staff; and researchers, advocates, and other stakeholders on how to better leverage existing research and resources to facilitate system improvements that reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The focus of the white paper is to promote what works to support successful reentry for youth who are under juvenile justice system supervision.

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This Week in Youth Services: Funding, News and Opinion on Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare

The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 11 former foster youths who completed Congressional internships. The first three profiles:

  1. Trauma Training for Caregivers
  2. An Empowerment/Comfort Curriculum for New Foster Youth
  3. Internship-track Career Programs for Aging-Out Teens


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Health Coverage and Care for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: The Role of Medicaid and CHIP

This report by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured provides an overview of the physical and mental health needs of youth in the juvenile justice system, and the role of Medicaid in financing comprehensive, coordinated medical services. The report focuses on the circumstances of youth who are placed in juvenile justice residential facilities, the discontinuity of Medicaid coverage for those youth, options for continuity of care, access to needed services, improving coverage after system involvement, and new opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act.

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Jonathan Lippman: New York’s ‘Pro-Activist’ Judge

The state’s most powerful judge is a busy man. As the Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, Jonathan Lippman is not only the top jurist on almost 300 cases a year, he’s also in charge of the court’s day-day-administration.

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New Orleans Immigration Court Handling More Than 1,200 Cases of Unaccompanied Minors Fleeing Central America

By the end of June, 1,216 cases involving children were pending in immigration courts in Louisiana, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks federal immigration enforcement.

They’re all in New Orleans Immigration Court, which already had a massive backlog.

Why New Orleans? The immigration court here, located at One Canal Place, is the only one in the state that deals with people who aren’t in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Another factor: Most of the cases involve Honduran children, and New Orleans has a large Honduran population. The federal government tries to place unaccompanied minors with relatives or sponsor families as they process their cases.

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