Kentucky expresses interest in JDAI
From the Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro, Kentucky, on April 13, 2011.
In Kentucky incarcerating a juvenile is expensive. According to Kentucky Youth Advocates, the state charges counties $94 per day to incarcerate status offenders in secure detention.
Children's advocates who study juvenile corrections issues say "alternative sanctions" are needed to keep juveniles out of detention – and to keep them from becoming repeat offenders.
"We like to think throwing kids in detention provides a wake-up call or incentive for better behavior," said Bart Lubow, director for the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. "But the research implies, for a variety of reasons, the opposite affect is achieved."
A juvenile court judge faced with an adolescent who has violated his court order may feel the only response is to send the juvenile to detention. But Mark Soler, executive director for the Center for Children's Law and Policy in Washington, D.C., said a way to handle the issue would be to have a series of sanctions from which the judge could choose.
"The sanction would be proportional to the severity of the offense and to the number of times the court order has been violated," Soler said.
Community coaches work to keep juvenile offenders out of penalty box
From Minneapolis Public Radio on April 5, 2011.
Juvenile crime in Hennepin County has dropped by more than 40 percent in the past five years. The overall number of juveniles in the system has declined from about 2,800 in 2009 to just over 1,900 in 2010. Officials say one reason for the decline is police patrols of high-crime areas.
They also give credit to community coaches – people hired by the county to steer young people away from crime. One of the coaches says his past helps him understand the young people he works with.
Santa Cruz proves that incarceration is not the only option
From KALW San Francisco Public Radio on April 6, 2011.
Santa Cruz County, California, went from having an overcrowded juvenile hall to becoming a national model for alternatives to incarcerating kids.
Looking primarily from the perspective of Watsonville, California, a KALW reporter charts the county’s journey toward reform through a series of interviews with Yolanda Perez-Logan, director of the local Evening Reporting Center; Raquel Mariscal, member of the JDAI Management Team and local Watsonville resident; Watsonville Mayor Daniel Dodge; Fernando Giraldo, director of juvenile probation for Santa Cruz County; James Bell, executive director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute; and former gang members, parents and youth.
Juvenile justice initiative comes to Wyoming
From the Casper, Wyoming, Star-Tribune on May 15, 2011.
A national juvenile justice reform initiative is coming to Wyoming.
Laramie, Sweetwater, and Campbell counties have agreed to participate in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a program developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to reduce reliance on secure detention.
The Casey Foundation and the Department of Family Services have established a $275,000 annual budget to launch the initiative in Wyoming. While participation in the program is optional, officials hope other counties will take part.
“The end goal is to have this as the statewide model for juvenile detention,” said Rachel Campbell, who’s coordinating the initiative for the state.
Troubled kids get some help
From the Othello Outlook in Adams County, Washington, on May 3, 2011.
Adams County Juvenile Services is keeping things fresh with a new location and new alternative programs to help teens.
Juveniles have been working on cleaning up the building, clearing out old insulation, cleaning carpets and painting walls as part of their community services hours.
Through JDAI, ACJS is attempting to partner with several of the businesses in the area. Offering juvenile offenders a chance to tour work areas, speak with prospective employers and ask questions helps get them on the right track to earning an honest living.
The first community partner working with the group is Columbia Colstor, Inc. They decided to help out with one JDAI program, Girls’ Circle, with a $3,000 donation.
Police and Juvenile Justice: Contracting the Net
From the Juvenile Justice Update, Volume 17, No 1, Feb./March 2011.
As a result of information gleaned at JDAI’s 18th Inter-site conference in Kansas City, Missouri, H. Ted Rubin examines the important role law enforcement plays in any successful detention reform.
Nationwide juvenile justice reform project coming to Warren County
From the New Jersey Express-Times on March 21, 2011.
With similar reforms under way across New Jersey, Warren County will look at how to improve its juvenile justice system and ensure youths are getting the necessary rehabilitative services. The project is focused, in part, on eliminating inappropriate detention and developing alternative programs.
From the initial moment of police contact to detention, Warren County's analysis could mean studying case processing times and ways to prevent youths from violating probation, according to Shannon Brennan, the county's youth services administrator. At the end of the yearlong process, the county would be eligible for $80,000 to $160,000 annually to support the proposed changes, Brennan said.