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Friday, August 20, 2010

New Report Calls for an End to Child Prosecutions In Adult Court

August 19, 2010
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News from NJJN




Advances & News in the Field

Louisiana Governor Signs Juvenile Justice Bills Mandating Educational Reform and Standards for Detention Centers

Oklahoma and Rhode Island Work to Reduce Disproportionate Representation of Minorities in Juvenile Justice System

New Jersey Creates Juvenile Transfer Task Force While New Report Calls for an End to Child Prosecutions in Wyoming Adult Courts

Four of New York State’s Youth Prisons to Be Placed Under Federal Oversight


New Reports & Research

NJJN Releases New Policy Paper Detailing Opportunities for Reform During Difficult Fiscal Times

NJJN Publishes Guide to Creating and Sustaining Meaningful Family Partnerships in Juvenile Justice Reform

NJJN’s Latest Policy Platform Offers Recommendations for Strengthening Reentry and Aftercare Services for Youth

New Report from Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana Calls Attention to Needs of System-Involved LGBT Youth

Justice Policy Institute Brief Examines the Relationship Between Childhood Trauma and Involvement in the Juvenile Justice System

Article in Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy Offers Lessons Learned in Juvenile Justice

New Research on Messaging Offers Tips for Telling More Effective Stories


Media of Note

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Publishes Articles Calling for Elimination of Valid Court Order Exception in JJDPA

ABC Primetime Segment on Missouri DYS Wins Silver Gavel Award for Television from American Bar Association

Sentencing Project Launches Juvenile Justice Web page


Job Opportunities

Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center Seeks Interim Director

Community Justice Network for Youth Seeks Regional Managers

Just Detention International Seeks Program Assistant

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Seeks Membership Director and Federal Policy Deputy Director


Upcoming Conferences

Registration Open for 2010 Coalition for Juvenile Justice National DMC Conference


Advances & News in the Field


Louisiana Governor Signs Juvenile Justice Bills Mandating Educational Reform and Standards for Detention Centers



With strong support from NJJN members and partners, including Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, Louisiana’s governor signed SB 527 (Act 136) on June 8. This law requires local school districts to provide certain class management training to teachers, principals, and other school personnel to support student behavior and discipline in a more positive way. The training is to include positive behavioral supports and reinforcement, conflict resolution, mediation, cultural competence, restorative practices, guidance and discipline, and adolescent development. Policies incorporating positive behavioral supports and restorative justice principles are also now required for charter schools pursuant to HB 1487 (Act 756), signed by Gov. Jindal on June 29 and also supported by NJJN members and partners. Additionally, the introduction of SB 628, a bill to require implementation of an evidence-based positive behavioral support discipline program and to encourage alternatives to student expulsion and arrest, led to a study resolution that will create a task force to study the bill and redraft it. Click here to learn more about a new book on the issue of school discipline (“Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear,” Aaron Kupchik).

Finally, on June 30, Louisiana's governor signed HB 1477 (Act 863), which establishes a plan and timeline for juvenile detention center licensing standards and implementation throughout Louisiana. The standards will establish a baseline for all facilities to operate more effectively, and provide oversight through compliance monitoring. Click “Read more” to visit NJJN’s Web page for Louisiana.

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Oklahoma and Rhode Island Work to Reduce Disproportionate Representation of Minorities in Juvenile Justice System



In Oklahoma, a number of agencies recently came together to sign a memorandum of understanding for the Tulsa County Disproportionate Minority Contact Reduction Initiative. The Tulsa Community Service Council is using a $75,000 grant from the Office of Juvenile Affairs’ State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to launch a long-term project to reduce the number of minority youth in the juvenile justice system. The project will focus on all entry points into the system, not just confinement. Click here to read an article from the Tulsa World regarding the Initiative (“Youth Prosecutions Targeted: Area Agencies Will Pool Their Efforts to Reduce the Number of Minorities in the Juvenile Justice System,” Ginnie Graham, June 28).

Rhode Island for Community and Justice has been leading a statewide advisory committee to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) through activities such as formulating standard guidelines for school resource officers, creating cultural competency training for police officers and others, and helping to restart the juvenile hearing board in Providence. The committee bases its work on a 2007 state-commissioned study that found white juveniles were less likely to be referred to Family Court than black juveniles for violent or potentially violent misdemeanors, at a rate of 65 percent to 79 percent, respectively. Click here to read an article from The Providence Journal regarding the advisory committee’s work (“Drive on to Reduce Rate of Minority Juvenile Offenders in R.I.,” Talia Buford, June 23).

Click here to learn more about NJJN’s member in Rhode Island, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. Click “Read more” to visit NJJN’s Web page on DMC.

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New Jersey Creates Juvenile Transfer Task Force While New Report Calls for an End to Child Prosecutions in Wyoming Adult Courts



The New Jersey General Assembly passed a bill (A 973) to create a Juvenile Transfer Task Force to study, evaluate, and develop recommendations concerning the transfer of juveniles from the juvenile justice system to the adult criminal justice system. The bill cites a November 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, “Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the Adult Justice System,” which finds that youth who are transferred to the adult criminal justice system are 34 percent more likely to reoffend than youth in the juvenile justice system. The task force must report its findings and recommendations within 12 months of the first organizational meeting.

A new report from the National Center for Youth Law, an NJJN partner, and the American Civil Liberties Union – Wyoming Chapter condemns Wyoming for commonly prosecuting children in adult courts, often for minor infractions such as smoking at school or stealing a pack of gum (“A Call to Stop Child Prosecutions in Wyoming Adult Courts,” Pat Arthur, Mikaela Rabinowitz and Jennifer Horvath, June 2010). The report notes that Wyoming stands apart from other states, trying 85 to 90 percent of youth in trouble with the law in adult courts.

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