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Juvenile Justice - General

Juveniles and adults who sexually offend should be viewed as distinct populations. Tools to assess risk in juveniles are not yet validated and may serve to best inform treatment planning. Treatment can be effective in reducing their risk to reoffend, especially approaches that include group and family therapy.

The goal of this policy brief is to provide state and local policymakers as well as education and juvenile justice leaders with information about how they can use requirements under ESSA to improve education and workforce outcomes for youth in long-term juvenile justice facilities. The sections that follow: Summarize relevant ESSA provisions and outline its key accountability requirements; Highlight three priorities for states to focus on as they contemplate accountability for juvenile justice programs and schools; Provide key questions to help state leaders consider their current policies and identify gaps and opportunities for improvement; and Feature states that are carrying out promising practices in each of the three priority areas, which can serve as examples for other states that are seeking to improve accountability for juvenile justice schools (p. 2).

This report presents findings from a project in which researchers examined six mentoring programs in Ohio to better understand their impact on recidivism. Youth on parole and probation who received mentoring services were matched with similar youth who did not receive mentoring services. While some reductions in recidivism were found, the differences were not statistically significant. The study looked at six Ohio mentoring programs and their impact on youth recidivism. Research questions explored whether mentoring services were effective in reducing delinquent and criminal reoffending, whether the impact of mentoring services differed based on youth characteristics, the impact of match quality on youth outcomes, and the impact of mentoring program quality on youth outcomes.

A number of strategies are available … to prevent youth from becoming homeless, and this article will focus on three key strategies: coordinated transition and re-entry planning, improved legal representation and sound judicial leadership, including supporting and prioritizing pre-court diversion from juvenile justice involvement as a systemic practice.

The issues addressed by the work group reflect the important role of state legislatures in enacting policies that avoid unnecessary involvement of youth in the justice system and support evidence-based interventions that reduce recidivism and protect public safety. While lawmakers and the group recognize that serious and violent crimes committed by the most serious young offenders may require secure confinement, a major interest of the group was how to sustain and reinforce current trends of falling juvenile crime and out-of-home placement rates. Many concepts addressed in the principles emerged from research on effective approaches in addressing juvenile delinquency to achieve better outcomes for youth and communities. Mindful that juvenile justice policies impact various levels and branches of government and the communities they serve, the principles also reflect the value lawmakers place on involving stakeholders in policy development and the importance of interbranch and intergovernmental collaboration, information exchange, transparency and evaluation. (p. iv).

The following is a summary of explicit state statutory-, regulatory- and policy-based protections, where they exist, against discrimination on account of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE) in the nation’s juvenile justice system.

Whether the benefits and costs of youth prisons [aka training schools” or “youth centers”] are weighed on a scale of public dollars, community safety, or young people’s futures, they are damaging the very people they are supposed to help and have been for generations. It is difficult to find an area of U.S. policy where the benefits and costs are more out of balance, where the evidence of failure is clearer, or where we know with more clarity what we should be doing differently. This ill-conceived and outmoded approach is a failure, with high costs and recidivism rates and institutional conditions that are often appalling. Our approach to youth in trouble with the law requires a watershed change to one that is more effective, more informed by evidence of what works, more likely to protect public safety, more developmentally appropriate, more humane, and more community based. Every youth prison in the country should be closed and replaced with a network of community based programs and small facilities near the youth’s communities. Closing these failed institutions requires a clear-headed, common-sense, bipartisan policy approach, and a commitment to replace these facilities with effective alternatives that are already available (p. 2).

The proliferation of adult criminal records and their harmful impact on people with convictions has received growing attention from scholars, the media, and legislators from both sides of the political aisle. Much less attention has been given to the far-reaching impact of juvenile delinquency records, partly because many people believe that juvenile records are not public, especially after a juvenile turns eighteen. That common notion is a myth. This Article addresses that myth and adds to both the juvenile justice and collateral consequences literature in four ways.

The well-documented statistics regarding the academic struggles of incarcerated youth are disconcerting, and efforts to improve reading performance among this population are greatly needed. There is a dearth of research that provides rich and detailed accounts of reading intervention implementation in the juvenile corrections setting … The present study attempted to address this gap in the research base by developing a grounded theory of literacy intervention implementation in one juvenile correctional school (p. 1).

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