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Juvenile justice

Miller, Elizabeth

New Mexico In Depth 2-26-2018

“Without realizing it, we treat girls differently because of our desire to keep girls ‘safe’” … In the interest of protecting girls from potentially volatile home situations or reducing possible exposure to violence or sexual abuse—and many have a history of forced sexual contact—the county’s report found they were sending these girls to the detention center.”

“[R]esearchers from two long-term longitudinal studies of delinquency— the Denver Youth Survey and the Fast Track Project—collaborated to establish common delinquency measures, conduct analyses, and integrate findings on developmental patterns of girls’ offending from childhood through adolescence ” (p. 1-2). This bulletin presents some of their major results. These are: prevalence and frequency of offending—ever-prevalence, prevalence by age and/or grade, and frequency of offending behavior among girls reporting delinquency; initiation and desistance patterns—girls’ first offenses, age of first offense, and delinquency patterns by grade, transitions between delinquency patterns over time, temporal patterns of delinquency (persisters, desisters, intermittent, and late bloomers); and developmental pathways in girls’ delinquency—developmental sequences, delinquency patterns by grade, transitions between delinquency patterns over time for the Fast Track (multi-state) and the Denver studies. Some of the conclusions from this report include: most of the girls were delinquent in their childhood or adolescent years; a wide range of offending behaviors was reported; offenses were not frequent; the majority of girls did not have the same single beginning offense; and girls began and stopped offending at different ages.

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This publication explains why results from adolescent brain development studies in combination with other research that applies the foundation of this understanding to treatment and where interventions and practices with juvenile offenders achieve successful reductions of re-offending and improve positive youth development, it is apparent that the future of successful juvenile justice systems must be fundamentally driven by this research (p. 2).

This report looks at the significant overrepresentation of minority youth among juvenile status offenders. Sections of this publication includes: issue background; the need to focus on non-delinquent youth; addressing disproportionality among status offenders; new data on status offenses and disproportionality; and implications for juvenile justice reform.

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"Despite positive trends regarding juvenile interactions with the justice system, racial disparities remain as a persistent problem. African-American youth comprise 17 percent of the population, but comprise 31 percent of all arrested youth. This briefing paper explains how disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the juvenile justice system is measured and takes a close look at drug offenses, property crimes, and status offenses. Racial disparities weaken the credibility of a justice system that purports to treat everyone equally." Sections cover: what "contact" is; the extent of the problem; measuring DMC using the Relative Rate Index (RRI); encounters with the justice system—disproportionate arrest rates for status offenders, property crime arrests, and drug offenses; how policy choices worsen disparities—school discipline as a law enforcement issue, valid court order (VCO), and geography and population density; disproportionate minority confinement—RRI for pre- and post-adjudication detention and placement; and eliminating disproportionate minority contact by reauthorizing and strengthening the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).

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This brief "discusses an effort in Texas to divert youth with suspected mental health needs away from juvenile justice processing. The Front-End Diversion Initiative (FEDI) uses specialized juvenile probation officers to link these youth and their families to community services and divert these youth from adjudication within the juvenile justice system." Sections cover: FEDI introduction; the issue of juvenile offenders' mental health challenges; juvenile justice processing of youth with mental health needs; the role of the juvenile probation officer and specialized supervision; the innovation of using Specialized Juvenile Probation Officer (SJPOs) as a pre-adjudication diversion strategy; the FEDI model; results and lessons learned; and looking forward. It appears that those youth participating in FEDI were significantly less likely to be adjudicated than those youth who were under traditional supervision.

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Nzeka, Gloria

Capital News Service January 26, 2018

“An American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry study concluded that the Miranda rights are too complex and advanced for juveniles to understand. Its report prompted police departments across the nation to develop and employ a simplified explanation for juveniles in custody.”

“The use of risk assessment instruments in juvenile justice systems across the country is growing rapidly. Advocates should be aware of how they can be used most effectively to avoid unnecessary incarceration and improve case planning for youth” (p. 4). This fact sheet explains: what a risk assessment tool is; the need to use them; how to choose the right risk assessment instrument; how to implement carefully following your choice; and making sure to gather and analyze data regarding the tool. For more information regarding risk assessment of juveniles, be sure to refer to “Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation” by the Models for Change Initiative (NIC accession number 027092).

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“When your juvenile justice system puts youth on probation, does it assess them for risk? If so, do staff know how to use these assessments effectively? Or do the assessments just sit in a file, waiting to be dusted off? Whether your agency or jurisdiction is trying to choose the right risk assessment tool, or it already has one in place, you'll find this webinar from the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) helpful.” The audience is introduced to the use of risk assessments for. The publication “Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation” (NIC accession number 027092) provides the foundation for this presentation. Issues discussed include: what is meant by “risk”; what risk assessments can and can’t accomplish; whether a risk assessments has to be separate from a needs assessment; what works in the use of risk assessments for pre-trial detention or community reentry; what policies and procedures need to be in operation before a risk assessment can be effective in a probation setting; and how a jurisdiction gets the buy-in of stakeholders in the utilization of risk assessments.

Doing it Right: Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice - an NJJN Webinar Cover

This publication highlights California’s successful efforts to build public higher education access for thousands of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students, both in custody and on college campuses throughout the state.


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