A five-year plan to transform juvenile justice systems in Los Angeles County will be based on a “care-first” model that emphasizes rehabilitation and support by placing youth in “home-like settings.” The plan, presented this week in a motion by the County Board of Supervisors, will create a new Department of Youth Development.
Examples include creating more green space in neighborhoods, strengthening nonviolent social norms, and providing more structure for youth, according to a recent review published by the John Jay Research and Evaluation Center. These interventions have not only reduced violence; they are also cost-effective and sustainable.
Ignoring the often-overlooked connection between the child welfare system and youth incarceration perpetuates a system that is especially biased towards young people of color, says Kim Dvorchak, executive director of the National Association of Counsel for Children.
Growing financial pressures are likely to bring about more changes in youth justice systems across the country, despite election results that left statehouse leaderships largely unchanged, predicts an official with the National Conference of State Legislatures.
A system supposedly aimed at rehabilitating justice-involved young people is instead harming them, says Mary Ann Scali of the National Juvenile Defender Center. She was one of the speakers at a youth justice webinar which highlighted civil rights abuses experienced by youth, and particularly young girls of color.
A new ranking of state youth justice systems by the group Human Rights for Kids declares California, North Dakota and Arkansas as the “best human rights defenders” and Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming as the “worst human rights offenders.”
At the age of 14, Christian L. Bolden was a gang member in San Antonio, Tx. Several decades later, he had crossed apparently insurmountable barriers to become a university professor studying gang sociology. In a conversation with TCR about his new book, he discusses how the hurdles have gotten even higher for young men today who are trying to navigate a system bent on punishing, rather than rehabilitating, them.
Grace, the teenager who was given a jail sentence for not completing her online schoolwork, makes a case for justice reform. Children affected by COVID-19 “need to be heard,” she told the “Justice for Black Girls” conference.