The members of the Blueprint Commission urge the State of Florida and the Department of Juvenile Justice to embark upon a five-year period of transition and change that will develop better, community-based alternatives for low-risk juvenile offenders, improve the effectiveness of programs for those youth who are incarcerated, and improve the prospects for all youth in the state while improving public safety.
This OJJDP Bulletin analyzes the prevalence and overlap of substance-related behaviors among youth, with comparisons by age group, gender, and race/ethnicity. It uses data from the first two waves of the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97)—self-reports gathered in 1997 and 1998 from a nationally representative sample of youth ages 12–17.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released four fact sheets providing data derived from the report "Juvenile Court Statistics 2005."
In 2005, U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction handled 1.7 million delinquency cases. One third of these cases received probation as the most serious disposition, and 25 percent of these cases involved personal offenses. For every 1,000 petitioned juvenile cases, 8 were waived to criminal court.
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center announced the release of Children of Incarcerated Parents: An Action Plan for Federal Policymakers. The plan outlines promising practices and 70-plus recommendations for improving outcomes for the more than 1.7 million children of incarcerated parents. Supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Open Society Institute, the publication reflects the work of an advisory board of criminal justice and child welfare experts, representatives of community-based organizations, and a bipartisan group of state and local government officials.
Prepared by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through its Models for Change initiative, the Guidebook provides an overview of diversion, summarizing its history in juvenile justice, its values, and limitations. The research summary also identifies the range of diversion processes used across the country, clarifies the points within the juvenile justice system at which diversion may occur, and reviews the key components and characteristics of diversion programs, their benefits, consequences, and challenges. A state-by-state review of statutes addressing diversion, including the differences among the identified objectives and eligibility criteria, is included. The Guidebook also presents a set of steps jurisdictions should consider when planning, implementing, or improving a juvenile diversion program. For each of the 16 steps, the major options to be considered are laid out, as well as the pros and cons for each option. In addition, it includes a Juvenile Diversion Workbook intended to provide structure in the planning process when considering critical issues, various options, and the implications for structuring diversion programs or processes.
A brief report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, which highlights some of the changes to the juvenile justice system that have occurred over the past decade.
This paper (28 pp.) provides an overview for mental health practitioners who provide professional services to youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system. It emphasizes emerging research and practices, the emerging conceptualization of trauma and its implications for youth involved with the juvenile justice system, and implications for policy and practice.
This Guide from the National Youth Screening & Assessment Project details the purpose and nature of risk assessment, provides definitions of risk assessment concepts, reviews research evidence, and gives step-by-step guidance about how to implement a tool.
This bulletin presents the latest available national and state-level data from the CJRP, describing 79,165 youth held in 2,259 facilities on February 24, 2010. Findings from the 2010 CJRP appear positive. The population of juvenile offenders in custody has declined by one-third since 1997, and the number of status offenders in custody was down 52% from 1997. There are still areas for improvement, however, especially as regards rates of confinement for minority youth. Nationwide, the custody rate for black youth was more than 4.5 times the rate for white youth, and the custody rate for Hispanic youth was 1.8 times the rate for white youth.
The National Health Law Program just released an issue brief on the mandatory Early, Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) provision in the Medicaid law. The brief provides an overview of the EPSDT mandate that requires states to provide mental health screening for children and youth up to age 18 enrolled in Medicaid and makes clear that for those children found to have a mental illness, states must provide all medically necessary services to address the child’s condition. The brief highlights the fact that many states do not comply with the broad EPSDT mandate which has led to legal action. If more states followed the Medicaid EPSDT requirements, far more children with mental illness would be identified and linked with services and supports.
This whitepaper highlights strategies that youth-serving systems can apply to begin developing a more integrated approach and looks at examples where system integration and coordination led to profound transformations with better outcomes for youth and communities.
OJJDP Juvenile Residential Facility Statistics released September 2013.
To understand to what extent states currently track recidivism data for youth involved in the juvenile justice system and use that information to inform policy and funding decisions, the authors of this brief surveyed juvenile correctional agencies in all 50 states. This issue brief highlights the key findings of the survey and provides state and local policymakers with five recommendations for improving their approach to the measurement, analysis, collection, reporting, and use of recidivism data for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. In addition, it provides examples of how select states have translated these recommendations into policy and practice.
This brief is the first in a series on trauma-related procedures for use with dual-status young people, children, and adolescents who come into contact with both child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Traumatic experiences can have significant impact on the mental health, physical health, and behavior of children and youth whom practitioners work to protect, treat, and rehabilitate. This article describes generally the state of our understanding of the prevalence of trauma-based behavior problems and considerations in designing agreed-upon best practices to identify them. It explores the importance of clearly defining one’s objectives for identifying trauma in youth, discusses the broad types of screening and assessments available for use in identification, and highlights important issues of implementation.
This study of Texas youth involved with the juvenile justice system shows that juveniles under community-based supervision are far less likely to reoffend than youth with very similar profiles who are confined in state correctional facilities. Findings from the analysis of 1.3 million juvenile case records spanning eight years shows youth incarcerated in state-run facilities are 21% more likely to be re-arrested than those who remain under supervision closer to home. When they do reoffend, youth released from state-secure facilities are three times more likely to commit a felony than youth under community supervision.
Source: Council of State Governments
This report consists of the most requested information on juveniles and the juvenile justice system in the U.S. It relies on reliable data and relevant research to provide a comprehensive view of young offenders and victims, and what happens to those who enter the juvenile justice system in the United States. The report offers to Congress, state legislators, other state and local policymakers, educators, juvenile justice professionals, and concerned citizens-empirically based answers to frequently asked questions about the nature of juvenile crime and victimization and about the justice system's response. Information in the report includes the status of the youth population on several indicators of child well-being such as poverty level and maltreatment, the level of substance use by juvenile offenders, descriptions of the juvenile justice system structure and process, and arrest rates and trends.
Source: National Center for Juvenile Justice
This guide highlights trauma consultation and how it can help juvenile and family courts become more trauma-informed across environment, practice, and policy. A trauma consultation assists the courts in establish a logically sequenced protocol for the diagnostic evaluation and treatment individuals with trauma related injuries, such as posttraumatic stress disorder. The guide outlines a conceptual and basic operational framework for trauma-informed courts, including positioning them as stakeholders in the community. The publication is a living document that will be updated with lessons learned and advances in the field as they develop.
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice
Approximately two-thirds of youth in the care of the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health and/or substance use disorder. Too frequently, staff supervising these youth have received little formal adolescent mental health training and lack the knowledge and skills to provide adequate supervision and care. This can often lead to the use of ineffective and unnecessarily punitive responses to youth which can further exacerbate a youth’s symptoms and create stressful situations for all.
Source: Models for Change
Repeated exposure to violence, abuse, or neglect during childhood can have traumatic and long-lasting effects that impair adolescent and young adult functioning. The individual may be hyper-reactive to perceived threats, have difficulty calming down, and exhibit impulsive behavior. This paper discusses symptoms of trauma and their practical implications for police. The author explains how training to recognize and appropriately respond to trauma will allow for better early interventions for children exposed to violence, improve de-escalation of incidents involving traumatized individuals, and lead to more referrals to support services.
Source: Kennedy School, Harvard University
This brief presents findings from an evaluation of the Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures (JDC/RF) program. The Reclaiming Futures model unites juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community to improve drug and alcohol treatment and connect teens to positive activities and caring adults.