By Mackenzie Tudor
On Thursday, May 16th, the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with the National Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Resource Center held the first webinar of their “PREA in Action” series on implementing the Youthful Inmate Standard. The Youthful Inmate Standard requires all prisons, jails, lock ups, and detention facilities to provide sight and sound separation between youth and adults while restricting the use of solitary confinement and isolation practices.
In this interactive web conference, Juvenile Custody Services Program Manager Craig Bachman, Multnomah County Department of Community Justice Director Scott Taylor, and Oregon Youth Authority Assistant Director Philip Cox discussed the county- and state-level changes that have been made in Oregon to keep young people who are being charged as adults in juvenile facilities.
Oregon's facilities found that the juvenile placement of youth sentenced as adults:
- Meets the developmental needs of the youth.
- Offers them age-appropriate education services.
- Provides staff trained in adolescent development.
- Allows for cognitive behavioral skill-building program tailored to youth.
Professionals from local and state correctional and juvenile corrections agencies, criminal justice and correctional nongovernmental organizations, and advocates are encouraged to watch this webinar, now archived here.
Learning from Oregon’s success and working towards successful implementation of the Youthful Inmate Standard is critical because:
- youth are 36 times more likely to commit suicide in an adult jail than in a juvenile detention facility;
- and to “protect” the youth in adult facilities, some jails and prisons keep youth in solitary isolation for upwards of 23 hours a day, a practice that has been proven to have destructive effects on mental health especially for children and adolescents.
Watch the webinar now.
Register for the second webinar in the “PREA in Action” series, “Implementing the Youthful Inmate Standard Part II: Spotlight on Indiana and Pennsylvania” on June 25th at 3pm - here.