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Juvenile justice

This is a very good guide to interventions effective at reducing juvenile delinquency. "The purpose of implementing a delinquency intervention is to prevent criminal and antisocial behavior, reduce recidivism for those already in the juvenile justice system, and reduce youths’ dynamic/changeable risk factors (termed “criminogenic needs”) that are proven to be the major causes of juvenile criminal behavior. There are three levels at which we define delinquency interventions. The level an intervention is placed within is dependent on the empirical research conducted on that practice, and the results of those analyses. The levels progress in terms of methodological rigor and effectiveness of the practice, with evidence-based practices requiring the highest level of rigor and the highest level of program success with results lasting at least one year from completion" (p. 3). Thirty-eight practices are reviewed and organized into three areas—evidence-based, promising, or practices with demonstrated effectiveness. The entries for each program note the author, contact person, program overview, office location, whether it results in proven recidivism reduction, criminogenic need, target population, treatment setting, modality, training for trainers and associated fees, trainer certification, facilitator prerequisites, program fidelity, and bibliography.

A Sourcebook of Delinquency Interventions Cover

Risk assessment algorithms used in criminal justice settings are often said to introduce “bias”. But such charges can conflate an algorithm’s performance with bias in the data used to train the algorithm and with bias in the actions undertaken with an algorithm’s output. In this paper, algorithms themselves are the focus. Tradeoffs between different kinds of fairness and between fairness and accuracy are illustrated using an algorithmic application to juvenile justice data. Given potential bias in training data, can risk assessment algorithms improve fairness, and if so, with what consequences for accuracy? Although statisticians and computer scientists can documents the tradeoffs, they cannot provide technical solutions that satisfy all fairness and accuracy objectives. In the end, it falls to stakeholders to do the required balancing using legal and legislative procedures, just as it always has (p.1).

“Sexual abuse in custody can and often does have lifelong effects on youth. Youth who are sexually abused or experience sexual violence can suffer higher rates of drug use, have disproportionate contact with the criminal justice system into adulthood, become victimizers, and/or have higher rates of mental illness than youth who do not suffer sexual abuse.1 In addition, sexual abuse by staff or other youth in custody compromises safety and security as well as the overall mission of juvenile justice systems—to protect and rehabilitate youth … This handbook aims to educate juvenile justice professionals about the following: Why juvenile justice professionals should be concerned about sexual abuse of youth in custody; How culture and environment contribute to sexual abuse of youth in custody; Tools that will help identify, address, and respond to sexual abuse of youth in custody; How to investigate allegations of sexual abuse of youth in custody; Useful legal tools for prosecuting sexual abuse of youth in custody; [and] Preventive measures for juvenile justice agencies” (p. 1). Sections of this handbook include: introduction; the landscape of juvenile justice agencies; sexual abuse of youth in custody; youth in custody—the role of adolescent development in preventing sexual abuse; culture of youth facilities; identifying inappropriate staff-on-youth and youth-on-youth relationships; medical and mental health care for victims; investigating sexual abuse of youth in custody—duties of a first responder; rights of staff when an allegation of staff sexual misconduct is made; legal liability and sanctions for sexual abuse of youth in custody; preventive strategies; and conclusion.

Addressing Sexual Violence Against Youth in Custody: Youth Workers’ Handbook on Identifying and Addressing Sexual Violence in Juvenile Justice Settings Cover

It is critical that people learn about the intersection of trauma, mental health challenges, and substance use and how they will impact women and girls and their families and communities and overall well-being. Representatives from more than three dozen federal agencies have gotten together to focus on this issue and to develop collective strategies to address its impact. This webinar held May 29, 2014 aimed to address: "the historical context of the intersection of mental health substance abuse and trauma; review current research of the problems of trauma and adverse experiences, and the impacts of that on women and girls; highlight two evidence-based practices of seeking safety in the trauma resolution center; and the core components of a trauma-informed approach when focusing on these intersections". The presentations given during this webinar are: "SAMHSA's Women and Violence Study Trauma Services in Public Mental Health [WCDVS]" by Susan Salasin; "Adverse Childhood Experiences: Impacts on Health & Wellbeing across the Life Course" by Melissa Merrick; "Seeking Safety: An Evidence-Based Model for Trauma and/or Addiction" by Lisa M. Najavits; and "If It Works in Miami…a Model Program for Serving Traumatized Human Beings" by Teresa Descilo.

Addressing the Intersection of Trauma, Mental Health Challenges, and Substance Use Cover

Kelly, John

“The Justice Department has told Youth Services Insider that the Office of Justice Programs will reduce the Office of Justice Programs’ workforce by nearly 200 positions by October of 2019, a move that could sap staff from the already-small division focused on federal juvenile justice policy.”

The American legal system’s thinking about the criminal culpability of juveniles has been radically transformed over the past 12 years, largely as a result of the introduction of developmental science into the United States Supreme Court’s deliberations about the appropriate sentencing of adolescents who have been convicted of the most serious crimes. The author examines the role that developmental science, and, especially, developmental neuroscience, has played in this policy transformation (p. 410).

Projections for the changes in Texas’ adult and juvenile correctional populations are presented. Sections contained in this report are: introduction and report highlights; arrest rates in Texas; adult correctional population projections; juvenile correctional population projections; qualitative review summary; and glossary. Appendixes explain what the methodology and assumptions for each correctional population projection.

Adult and Juvenile Correctional Population Projections: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2018 Cover

This is a great example of a report that informs the state legislature about population growth in both the adult and juvenile system. "Correctional population projections are produced to serve as a basis for biennial funding determinations … Both adult incarceration and juvenile state residential facility populations are expected to remain at or below [current] capacity" (p. 1). Sections following an executive summary include: Adult Arrests and Arrest Rates; Adult Correctional Population Projections; Juvenile Arrests and Arrest Rates; Juvenile Correctional Population Projections; and Glossary.

Adult and Juvenile Correctional Population Projections: Fiscal Years 2014 to 2019 Cover

This is an important video to see, especially following U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's remarks that the excessive use of solitary confinement for juveniles needs to stop. Various youth tell us their stories about how insolation has affected them. Spread throughout are observation from correctional personnel. This investigation "toggles between New York City and Santa Cruz, where young people tell their own stories of isolation and how the justice system can do better." The program begins with a look at Rikers Island, New York City's enormous jail complex. The program then concludes with a visit to the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall, a national model that has "reduced the use of isolation so much that corrections officials around the country routinely traveled to California's Central Coast to see how they did it".

Alone: Teens in Solitary Confinement Cover

“The goal of this project was to examine the effectiveness of three distinct strategies (revision of a detention index, a procedural change in review of detention decisions, and a monitoring system of detained youth) created by Maricopa County Juvenile Probation to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) and the number of youth subject to detention in the County” (p. i). It appears that a combination of the three is the most effective way to reduce sentencing disparity and juvenile detention populations. In order to succeed, agencies must: clearly spell out what they intend to do and let all the staff know; continually evaluate the agency’s efforts and report those results to the staff; and be willing to change the process when it is needed.

An Impact Evaluation of Three Strategies Created to Reduce Disproportionate Minority Contact and the Detention Population: Final Report Cover

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