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Juvenile Justice News

City council votes to pass resolution supporting juvenile justice reform

The state of Florida prosecutes more children as adults for criminal offenses than any other state. It's the message behind a resolution the Pensacola City Council voted on Thursday evening.

Coalition for Juvenile Justice, National Juvenile Justice Network Recognize 5 People

Both the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and National Juvenile Justice Networkare recognizing the people who achieved the most in the past year. The CJJ gives its awards to inspiring individuals who honor its core mission to improve the lives of children, families and communities nationwide. They will be presented this week in Washington, DC, at its annual conference. 

COLORADO: Bill to Limit Juvenile Solitary Confinement Advances in Colorado House

The state Legislature is considering a bill to limit the use of solitary confinement as a punishment for Colorado's youths. Despite a 1999 law banning seclusion, independent investigations have shown the Colorado Department of Youth Corrections has repeatedly put juveniles in isolation for days and weeks at a time. Elise Logemann, executive director of the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center, said two separate investigations found the state's Department of Youth Corrections had repeatedly held kids in small rooms with only a metal bed frame, toilet and sink. 

Column: It’s time to stop funneling Florida youth into the adult criminal justice system

Florida prosecutes more children in the adult criminal justice system than any other state. And historically, the 13th Judicial Circuit — which covers all of Hillsborough County and many of the constituents I represent — has been one of the worst.

Column: Take care over cost in juvenile justice

Michigan does not allow 17-year-olds to drop out of school, serve on a jury, vote in elections, live independently from their parent or guardian, purchase fireworks or rent a hotel room. However, the state does require all 17-year-olds to be charged as adults if arrested for any offense. 

Michigan is one of only five states that treat 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system, which harms not only those young people being jailed but also local communities and the state economy.

Commentary: Our Work to Reform the Juvenile Justice System Is Not Yet Complete

Dakota County, Minnesota, prosecutor James Backstrom, in his July 28 opinion piece, “America’s Juvenile Justice System is Appropriately Balanced,” affirmed many of the strongest arguments for ongoing juvenile justice reform. He recognized that “youth are fundamentally different from adults” and acknowledged that “[w]e now know that the human brain is not fully developed until the early twenties.”

Commissioners debate if juveniles should be held in adult jail

Should teenagers charged with crimes be held in adult jail? That's the question that had Shelby County commissioners split Monday night.

Advocates argued before Shelby County commissioners to stop transferring juveniles to adult jails altogether. Instead, they want to keep them in the juvenile system.

Congressman Rally Behind Juvenile Justice Reform

In something of a departure for Capitol Hill these days, advocates of juvenile-justice reform faced little opposition Wednesday in pushing members of a House subcommittee to revive a bill that never made it out of the Senate last year.

CONNECTICUT: A second chance for CT youths who break the law? (CTM)

After running away from home again, Adam was arrested and jailed for stealing food and magazines from a Hartford bodega. Thirty days later, he was still incarcerated as lawyers and a juvenile court judge tried to figure out what to do with the 17-year-old, who also was struggling with drugs and a mother who wasn’t showing up for his court dates. “Do we want him in custody?” Beth Crawford, an attorney for the state’s child welfare agency, asked the adolescent’s social worker minutes before a juvenile court judge would consider committing him to the Department of Children and Families. The answer to this question, while specific to each case, is one that judges, attorneys and lawmakers in Connecticut generally seem to have reached a consensus on.

CONNECTICUT: Malloy To Try Again To Raise The Age

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, less than three weeks away from the start of the 2017 General Assembly session, made it clear Thursday that he will once again be pushing hard to pass legislation allowing 18-to 20-year-olds to be tried as juveniles. Malloy made that known in a pitch he gave to the Juvenile Justice Policy & Oversight Committee (JJPOC) Thursday at the Legislative Office Building.

Connections: Keeping teenagers out of the criminal justice system

We talk to teens involved with Rochester Teen Court. The program is in its 21st year and gives nonviolent teen offenders alternative sentencing in order to keep them out of the criminal justice system. Teen jurors recommend that sentencing for their peers.

Our guests discuss the program, youth incarceration, Raise the Age, restorative justice, and more.

Could $20 million Acadiana facility for juvenile offenders be left empty, unstaffed?

A long-awaited, 72-bed home for youthful offenders convicted of serious crimes is complete and ready to open in Avoyelles Parish. A key feature of Louisiana's 15-year-old effort to overhaul its juvenile justice system, the Acadiana Center for Youth is intended to provide a therapeutic environment for kids in southwest Louisiana. 

For the foreseeable future, though, the center is more likely to be used as an emergency shelter in a disaster, if anything at all, according to a spokesman for the Division of Administration. 

That’s because Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposed budget contains no money to operate the center, and the Office of Juvenile Justice, which is facing an 11 percent funding cut, has other pressing concerns.

Criminal Justice Advocates Blast Hogan Crime Bills

Proposed crime legislation by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan would increase mass incarceration, harm Blacks and Latinos and lower the priority for funding social programs, said criminal-justice reform advocates who lambasted the proposals during a news conference Tuesday.

Criminal justice reform: the facts about federal drug offenders

A fissure among Senate Republicans threatens federal criminal justice reform, one of the few statutory overhauls that could pass Congress in President Obama’s final year. The Sentencing Reform & Corrections Act (S. 2123), which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last fall by the comfortable margin of 15-5, has earned support from a bi-partisan group of Senators, the White House, and political advocacy organizations ranging from Koch Industries to the American Civil Liberties Union. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has described the bill as a “truly landmark piece of legislation,” that addresses “legitimate over-incarceration concerns while targeting violent criminals and masterminds in the drug trade.” 

Crucial Improvements Needed for the State of Youth Justice

Tuesday is President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. As he prepares to address the nation and outline his priorities for the year, we thought it fruitful to write our own State of Youth Justice address.

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