Archive for the ‘juvenile offenders’ Category

A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners Working With Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System

July 30, 2012 Comments off

A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners Working With Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System (PDF)
Source: Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health

Many mental health practitioners were trained in programs or at a time when very little attention was paid during the course of training to youth involved in the juvenile justice system. For a variety of reasons, general clinical training does not ordinarily equip a mental health practitioner to operate within the juvenile justice context. Practitioners who have been trained within more recently developed programs with a “forensic” emphasis may be more familiar with adults within the criminal justice system than with juveniles, more focused upon technical assessments, such as competency to stand trial, than upon youth-specific developmental and functional assessments, or relatively unfamiliar with the emerging literature regarding youth with mental health needs who have had contact with the juvenile justice system or penetrated to its deeper end programs.

This paper provides an overview for mental health practitioners who provide professional services to youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system. This overview emphasizes emerging research and practices, the emerging conceptualization of trauma and its implications for youth involved with the juvenile justice system, and implications for policy and practice. While primarily intended for mental health professionals working within system of care communities or interested in developing a system of care collaboration in their area, this paper is relevant for any mental health practitioner providing professional services to youth involved or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system. It is also relevant for juvenile court and juvenile justice professionals whose work brings them into contact with youth with significant mental health needs.

Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership: Using a Neighborhood Framework to Examine the Influence of Network Composition and Structure in a Latino Community

March 10, 2012 Comments off

Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership: Using a Neighborhood Framework to Examine the Influence of Network Composition and Structure in a Latino Community
Source: Urban Institute

As part of the Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership project, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, social network data were collected from youth in a small, at-risk neighborhood. The data were analyzed using social network methods. Results indicated that individuals with multiple, separate groups of friends have greater constraints on their behavior and are less likely to be delinquent. Results also suggested that networks with very low densities (fewer connections) are more successful contexts for intervention. These findings are relevant to developing appropriate delinquency programs and shed light on the efficacy of neighborhood-based interventions.

You’re an Adult Now: Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems

January 21, 2012 Comments off

You’re an Adult Now: Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems (PDF)

Source:  National Institute of Corrections
Since the world’s first juvenile court was founded in Chicago, our legal system has recognized a separate mandate to rehabilitate youth with an approach that is different than adults. Today, all 50 states and the District of Columbia and the federal government have two distinct systems for dealing with adults and juveniles, and corrections systems kept pace by developing different systems for dealing with the youth. While the majority of youth arrested for criminal acts are prosecuted in state juvenile justice systems, a significant proportion of youth are handled by adult criminal justice agencies.
It has been estimated that nearly 250,000 youth under age 18 end up in the adult 2 criminal justice system every year. However, little attention has been directed to how adult corrections systems are managing the youth offenders that end up in jails, prisons and under community supervision. To address this information gap, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) convened three dozen juvenile justice and adult corrections experts on June 18th , 2010, to consider some of the known issues, impacts and opportunities that face corrections systems as they work to safely and effectively rehabilitate thousands of youth offenders in the nations’ jails, prisons, probation and parole systems. This monograph presents the key findings identified during this convening of experts.

Juvenile Arrests 2009

December 30, 2011 Comments off
Source:  U.S. Department of Justice (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)

Contrary to the popular perception that juvenile crime is on the rise, the data reported in this bulletin tell a different story. As detailed in these pages, juvenile arrests for violent offenses declined 10% between 2008 and 2009, and overall juvenile arrests fell 9% during that same period. Between 1994—when the Violent Crime Index arrest rates for juveniles hit a historic high—and 2009, the rate fell nearly 50% to its lowest level since at least 1980. Arrest rates for nearly every offense category for both male and female and white and minority youth were down in 2009.

Although such trends are encouraging, they should not lead to a misplaced sense of compla­ cency. Juvenile crime and violence continue to plague many communities across the country. During the first decade of the 21st century (2000–2009), juvenile arrests for robbery rose 15%, and arrests for murder were unchanged. Clearly, our work is not finished.

Juvenile Justice Guidebook for Legislators

November 23, 2011 Comments off

Juvenile Justice Guidebook for Legislators
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Under a partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, NCSL has published a juvenile justice guidebook addressing the most important juvenile justice policy issues of the day. This juvenile justice primer highlights significant research, program approaches and gives examples of state legislation.

Homicides Fall to Lowest Rate in Four Decades

November 18, 2011 Comments off

Homicides Fall to Lowest Rate in Four Decades (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

The nation’s homicide rate fell to 4.8 homicides per 100,000 U.S. residents in 2010, its lowest level in four decades, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. Much of the decline was in the nation’s largest cities, those with a population of one million or more, where the homicide rate dropped dramatically from 35.5 homicides per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1991 to a low of 11.9 per 100,000 in 2008.

The sharp increase in homicides from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, and much of the subsequent decline, is attributable to gun violence by teens (age 14 to 17) and young adults (age 18 to 24). Despite the recent decline, the number of gun homicides committed by teens and young adults in 2008 remained similar to the counts of the mid-1980s.

Most murders were intraracial. From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

The number of homicides known to involve adult or juvenile gang violence has quadrupled since 1980, increasing from about 220 homicides in 1980 to 960 homicides in 2008. From 1980 to 2008, gang violence increased from one percent to six percent of all homicides. During this same period, gun involvement in gang-related homicides increased from 73 percent to 92 percent.

+ Homicide Trends In The United States, 1980-2008

Tribal Youth in the Federal Justice System, Final Report (Revised)

September 5, 2011 Comments off

Tribal Youth in the Federal Justice System, Final Report (Revised) (PDF)
Source: Urban Institute

The Tribal Youth in the Federal Justice System project explored issues surrounding the population of American Indian juveniles who are processed in the federal justice system. Juveniles in the federal system are rare, and a substantial proportion enters into the system because of crimes committed on American Indians lands, over which the states have no jurisdiction. While these cases are sometimes handled within a tribe’s own justice system, some are prosecuted federally. Using 1999-2008 data from the Federal Justice Statistics Program and interviews with tribal and federal officials, the study explored the prevalence, characteristics, and outcomes of these youth at each stage of the justice system. In addition, the study examined significant issues surrounding the processing of tribal youth cases, including the reasons that these cases may be handled federally or tribally. This study fills a gap in the literature by providing both statistical and contextual information about tribal and non-tribal juvenile cases in the federal system. Although the data have many limitations, the study pointed to a number of findings, including the following: over the last ten years, about half of all juveniles in the federal system were tribal youth; the number of juveniles in the federal system – both tribal and nontribal — decreased over this period; most juvenile cases were concentrated in a small number of federal judicial districts; and U.S. Attorneys declined a substantial portion of all juvenile matters referred for prosecution. Tribal and non-tribal juvenile cases differed in significant ways: most tribal youth cases involved violent offenses, while most non-tribal cases involved public order and drug offenses; and tribal youth were more likely to be adjudicated delinquent, while nontribal youth were more likely to be prosecuted as adults. Availability of rehabilitative resources and tribal capacity to prosecute were also found to be important factors in the decision to pursue a tribal youth case in the federal system.

Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement

August 17, 2011 Comments off

Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement (PDF)
Source: Council of State Governments Justice Center

This report describes the results of an extraordinary analysis of millions of school and juvenile justice records in Texas. It was conducted to improve policymakers’ understanding of who is suspended and expelled from public secondary schools, and the impact of those removals on students’ academic performance and juvenile justice system involvement.

Like other states, school suspensions—and, to a lesser degree, expulsions—have become relatively common in Texas. For this reason and because Texas has the second largest public school system in the nation (where nonwhite children make up nearly two-thirds of the student population), this study’s findings have significance for — and relevance to — states across the country.

Several aspects of the study make it groundbreaking. First, the research team did not rely on a sample of students, but instead examined individual school records and school campus data pertaining to all seventh-grade public school students in Texas in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Second, the analysis of each grade’s student records covered at least a six-year period, creating a statewide longitudinal study. Third, access to the state juvenile justice database allowed the researchers to learn about the school disciplinary history of youth who had juvenile records. Fourth, the study group size and rich datasets from the education and juvenile justice systems made it possible to conduct multivariate analyses. Using this approach, the researchers could control for more than 80 variables, effectively isolating the impact that independent factors had on the likelihood of a student’s being suspended and expelled, and on the relationship between these disciplinary actions and a student’s academic performance or juvenile justice involvement.

Bullying Among Middle School and High School Students — Massachusetts, 2009

May 28, 2011 Comments off

Bullying Among Middle School and High School Students — Massachusetts, 2009
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Multiple studies have documented the association between substance use, poor academic achievement, mental health problems, and bullying (1,2). A small but growing body of research suggests that family violence also is associated with bullying (3). To assess the association between family violence and other risk factors and being involved in or affected by bullying as a bully, victim, or bully-victim (those who reported being both bullies and victims of bullying), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC analyzed data from the 2009 Massachusetts Youth Health Survey. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which showed significant differences in risk factors for persons in all three bullying categories, compared with persons who reported being neither bullies nor victims. The adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for middle school students for being physically hurt by a family member were 2.9 for victims, 4.4 for bullies, and 5.0 for bully-victims, and for witnessing violence in the family were 2.6, 2.9, and 3.9, respectively, after adjusting for potential differences by age group, sex, and race/ethnicity. For high school students, the AORs for being physically hurt by a family member were 2.8 for victims, 3.8 for bullies, and 5.4 for bully-victims, and for witnessing violence in the family were 2.3, 2.7, and 6.8, respectively. As schools and health departments continue to address the problem of bullying and its consequences, an understanding of the broad range of associated risk factors is important for creating successful prevention and intervention strategies that include involvement by families.

Prison Rape Elimination Act Data Collection Activities, 2011

May 27, 2011 Comments off

PREA Data Collection Activities, 2011
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108-79) requires the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to carry out, for each calendar year, a comprehensive statistical review of the incidence and effects of prison rape in randomly selected federal, state, and county correctional facilities. Every year since 2004, BJS has collected administrative records on allegations and substantiated incidents of sexual victimization in correctional facilities nationwide. BJS also conducted interviews with prison and jail inmates in 2007 and 2008-09 and youth held in juvenile correctional facilities in 2008-09. During 2010, BJS in collaboration with the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a feasibility study using clinical indicators to track sexual violence in prisons and jails. This report provides selected findings and status updates on each of these data collection efforts.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Trends in juvenile detention in Australia

May 22, 2011 Comments off

Trends in juvenile detention in Australia
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

An overview of key trends in juvenile detention in Australia since 1981 is provided in this paper, based on data contained in the Australian Institute of Criminology’s Juveniles in Detention in Australia Monitoring Program database. In addition, two key trends in juvenile detention in Australia are discussed.

First, the substantial increase in the proportion of juvenile detainees that is remanded, rather than sentenced, is identified as a concerning trend. A number of potential drivers for the increased use of remand are outlined in this paper. It is argued that the apparent increase in the use of remand should be a key focus of future juvenile justice research.

Second, the over-representation of Indigenous juveniles continues to be an important issue to be addressed. Although rates of Indigenous over-representation have increased steadily, this appears to be due to decreases in rates of non-Indigenous juveniles in detention rather than increases in rates of Indigenous juveniles in detention. It is argued that rather than attempting to determine how juvenile justice policies have failed to keep Indigenous juveniles out of detention, consideration might be given to what has worked in reducing rates of non-Indigenous juveniles in detention.

Violence-Related Firearm Deaths Among Residents of Metropolitan Areas and Cities — United States, 2006–2007

May 13, 2011 Comments off

Violence-Related Firearm Deaths Among Residents of Metropolitan Areas and Cities — United States, 2006–2007
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Violence-related firearm deaths remain an important public health concern in the United States. During 2006–2007, a total of 25,423 firearm homicides and 34,235 firearm suicides occurred among U.S. residents (1). These national totals include 4,166 firearm homicides and 1,446 firearm suicides among youths aged 10–19 years; the rate of firearm homicides among youths slightly exceeded the rate among persons of all ages. This report presents statistics on firearm homicides and firearm suicides for major metropolitan areas and cities, with an emphasis on youths aged 10–19 years in recognition of the importance of early prevention efforts. It integrates analyses conducted by CDC in response to requests for detailed information, arising from a heightened focus on urban violence by the media, the public, and policymakers over the past year. Firearm homicides and suicides and annual rates were tabulated for the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and their central cities* for 2006–2007, using data from the National Vital Statistics System and the U.S. Census Bureau. Firearm homicide rates in approximately two thirds of the MSAs exceeded the national rate, and 86% of cities had rates higher than those of their MSAs. The youth firearm homicide rate exceeded the all-ages rate in 80% of the MSAs and in 88% of the cities. Firearm suicide rates in just over half of the MSAs were below the national rate, and 55% of cities had rates below those of their MSAs. Youth firearm suicide rates in the MSAs and cities were collectively low compared with all-ages rates. Such variations in firearm homicide and firearm suicide rates, with respect to both urbanization and age, should be considered in the continuing development of prevention programs directed at reducing firearm violence.

Highlights From Pathways to Desistance: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders

March 24, 2011 Comments off

Highlights From Pathways to Desistance: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This fact sheet presents an overview of some major findings from the Pathways to Desistance Study, a project that followed 1,354 serious adolescent offenders for 7 years following their convictions. The primary findings of the study to date deal with the decrease in self-reported offending over time by most serious adolescent offenders, the relative inefficacy of longer juvenile incarcerations in decreasing recidivism, the effectiveness of community-based supervision as a component of aftercare for incarcerated youth, and the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment in reducing both substance use and offending by serious adolescent offenders.

+ Full Document (PDF)

AU — What makes juvenile offenders different from adult offenders?

March 15, 2011 Comments off

What makes juvenile offenders different from adult offenders?
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

Responding to juvenile offending is a unique policy and practice challenge. While a substantial proportion of crime is perpetuated by juveniles, most juveniles will ‘grow out’ of offending and adopt law-abiding lifestyles as they mature. This paper outlines the factors (biological, psychological and social) that make juvenile offenders different from adult offenders and that necessitate unique responses to juvenile crime. It is argued that a range of factors, including juveniles’ lack of maturity, propensity to take risks and susceptibility to peer influence, as well as intellectual disability, mental illness and victimisation, increase juveniles’ risks of contact with the criminal justice system. These factors, combined with juveniles’ unique capacity to be rehabilitated, can require intensive and often expensive interventions by the juvenile justice system. Although juvenile offenders are highly diverse, and this diversity should be considered in any response to juvenile crime, a number of key strategies exist in Australia to respond effectively to juvenile crime. These are described in this paper.


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