U.S Department of Justice and the U.S Department of Education Partner to Guide Local and State Governments in  Improving Education in Juvenile Justice Facilities

Student at desk

Eric Holder and Arne Duncan published a 33-page policy brief of guiding principles to improve the educational standards for juvenile correction facilities. These guiding principles advocate for access to high quality learning in juvenile justice secure facilities that are developmentally appropriate and focus on the youth’s educational, social-emotional, behavioral, and career planning needs. Also these classrooms should be facilitated by a professionalized staff in a safe and engaging learning environment with a rigorous curriculum, which is aligned with state standards.

Source: US News and World Report


The Obama Administration Takes a Hard Stance on Pell Grants

Along with the federal effort to improve the quality of education for young offenders, the Obama administration has provided clearer guidance regarding the prohibition on prisoners getting Pell Grants, stating that it does not apply to offenders in juvenile facilities. However, the new guidance only applies to a small fraction of the roughly 60,000 young people in juvenile facilities nationwide due to a lack of high school education.

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The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2014 Seeks to Reduce the Collateral Consequences of Incarceration for Young People 

Vera Institute

This month, senators proposed a second iteration to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. The proposed bill, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2014 will contribute to the federal standards and supports already in place for local and state governments to “reduce the severity and risks of incarceration to young people.” The Vera Institute of Justice produced an infographic that highlights the over-incarceration of young people  for status offenses, such as staying out past curfew.

To find out why the Reauthorization Act matters to cities, read here







The  Costs of Incarcerating Young People 

Incarceration Costs

The recent study, Sticker Shock by the Justice Policy Institute surveyed 46 states to discover the overall costs resulting from the negative outcomes associated with youth incarceration. The report finds that the long term cost of incarcerating young people can vary from $8 billion to $21 billion annually.

To read more on the the cost of youth incarceration to taxpayers, click here

Title: What States Pay to Incarcerate Juveniles
Source: Juvenile Justice Institute


Supreme Court Revisits Life Sentences for Juveniles

In March of 2015 the Supreme Court will revisit a hallmark case for juvenile justice, Miller V. Alabama, which banned life sentences for juvenile offenders on the basis of being unconstitutional. Justices will determine whether the law is retroactive.

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U.S Joins Lawsuit Against Rikers Island Over Brutal Conditions

Federal prosecutors plan to sue over civil rights violations in the handling of adolescents at Rikers Island by joining the pre-existing lawsuit, Nunez vs. The City of New York. Following the New York Times report and the investigation by United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, the government’s involvement creates more pressure on the city to address the problems at Rikers.

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