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2014

Governors Must Certify PREA Compliance or Face Fiscal Penalties by May 2014

Carmen Daugherty Thursday, 13 February 2014 Posted in 2014, Uncategorised

On February 11th, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a letter to state governors reminding them of their obligations under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and setting a strict deadline for governor certification of compliance. Per the PREA standards, states risk losing valuable federal dollars--such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Formula Program and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP) Act Formula Grant Program--if unable to provide DOJ with certification of compliance or assurance that money will be used to come into compliance.  

A governor's certification of full compliance, "shall apply to all facilities in the State under the operational control of the State's executive branch, including facilities operated by private entities on behalf of the State's executive branch." 28 C.F.R. § 115.501(b). By May 15th 2014, governors must provide DOJ with such a certification or provide DOJ with an assurance that the state will use no less than 5% of its federal grant dollars to come into the compliance "in the future."
 
While we applaud DOJ for setting a certification date, we wonder how many states will actually be able to certify compliance by May 2014. Although the PREA standards have been in effect since August 2012, it is unclear what progress has been made in the states since audits began in August 2013. We also wonder how long state governors can promise to use federal dollars to come into compliance without actually taking any substantive steps to keep corrections facility residents safe.
 
Considering that nearly 100,000 youth are held in adult jails and prisons each year, how long can we wait for full implementation of the Youthful Inmate Standard? Or are we to be satisfied to receive "assurances" from the state that "we're working on it" only to find ourselves back in the same spot we were in 10 years ago when PREA became the law of the land? 
 
As May 15, 2014 draws near, helps us encourage states to come into compliance by signing this petition urging your Governor to take action now.
 
 
 

 

 

Meeting of the Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach to Juvenile Justice Reform

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 Posted in 2014, Take Action Now

On February 13-14, the Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach to Juvenile Justice Reform, under the direction of the Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ), will hold its second meeting where the committee anticipates discussing access to and the quality of counsel, the role of State Advisory Groups, family engagement, and racial and ethnic disparities. This meeting will also discuss the role of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) within the larger Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Reauthorization. CJJ Executive Director Marie Williams, J.D. will present on the role of State Advisory Groups on February 13.

Click here to RSVP. 

This committee is charged with assessing and prioritizing strategies and policies to effectively reform the juvenile justice system building on the recommendations from the 2013 report, Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach. The committee assesses OJJDP's activities and internal capacities to implement its legislative mandates on juvenile justice systems, policies, and practices; and, consults with experts and practitioners in the field of juvenile justice. The committee also examines existing literature in three areas:

  • Implementation science,
  • Cross-agency collaboration,
  • and Appropriate criteria for prioritization in the context of juvenile justice reform, including cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis where applicable.

The meeting will take place at:

Keck Center of the National Academies
Room 100
500 5th St., NW
Washington, DC

Click here to learn more about the project.  

Baltimore: Youths in adult jail face higher risk, longer wait for trial

Friday, 07 February 2014 Posted in 2014, Across the Country


Recently ABC2 (Baltimore) explored the fine line between rehabilitation and punishment in Maryland:

For thousands of teens accused of crimes, punishment precedes any conviction in court. While awaiting trial and ostensibly presumed innocent, they can be held for months or even years in county jails for -- and sometimes with -- adult suspects.
 
Federal law aims to shield youths from extended detention and from physical or psychological abuse by adult inmates. But the protection does not apply to suspects 17 and younger sent to adult court to be tried for serious offenses such as assault, rape or murder. Youth advocates say this exemption amounts to a major loophole.

 Click here for the full story and video segment.

(ABC2 Baltimore)



SAMHSA and MacArthur Renew Commitment to Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Needs

Friday, 17 January 2014 Posted in 2014, Take Action Now

States seeking to develop or improve policies and practices that divert justice-involved youth with behavioral health disorders to appropriate community-based programs and services are encouraged to apply for a new Integrated Policy Academy initiative.

Up to five states will be selected to participate in this effort based on their commitment to improving policies and practices for these youth. Throughout the duration of the initiative, selected states will receive technical assistance to guide the establishment of sustainable models and strategies for diverting youth with behavioral health disorders as early as possible. This initiative will focus specifically on school-based and probation-intake diversion strategies, with special emphasis on:

The Campaign for Youth Justice Applauds Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his Support of ‘Raising the Age’ in New York State

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 Posted in 2014, Federal Update

Today Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) delivered his annual, ‘State of the State’ Address in which he announced his support to ‘Raise the Age’ of juvenile court jurisdiction in the state of New York.

The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) applauds Gov. Cuomo for addressing this issue and urging swift action movement on the measure this year:

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