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Disturbances At TX Juvenile Prisons Prompt Concerns About Treatment

A key Texas legislator is threatening to call a hearing and seek leadership changes at the state Juvenile Justice Department after reports of youths fighting, climbing onto rooftops, running away from staff in large numbers and barricading themselves in at state juvenile correctional facilities, the Texas Tribune reports. Eight disturbances have been reported at four of the state's five juvenile correctional facilities in the last three months, culminating in late September with a two-hour incident at the Giddings State School. […]

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CT Child Advocate: Teen Detention May Prompt Suicide, Not Protect Public

In video footage from inside Connecticut's juvenile correctional facilities, a distressed girl screams as she is restrained on the ground in a corridor. She is left alone, and she ties a shirt tightly around her neck, tries to pull nail-studded wood off the wall and ultimately is taken out of the facility on a stretcher. In another video, a boy who had reported suicidal thoughts is restrained and left lying on the floor, alone in a room. The Juvenile Justice […]

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Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction

The age of juvenile court jurisdiction should be raised to at least 21 years old, researchers propose in a new report released by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government citing studies that show brain development continues past the teenage years. The research is part of a series published by the Executive Session on Community Corrections at the school, which aims to develop new correctional policy and explore the role communities could play in a more “age-responsive” criminal justice system. The age […]

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Juvenile Justice Reform: No Longer a Partisan Issue

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S. 1169, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 2015. First signed into law by President Gerald Ford on September 7, 1974, and most recently reauthorized in 2002, the JJDPA embodies a partnership between the federal government and U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia to protect children and youth in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, to effectively address high-risk and delinquent behavior and to improve community safety. Moreover, […]

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Why Do We Still Shackle Kids?

When Skye Gosselin came to the Biddeford District Court on the coast of southern Maine to answer a disorderly conduct charge, a marshal put her in handcuffs and metal leg irons. She was 12 years old. Nearly five years later, the memory still haunts her. “It makes you kind of feel like a really crazed criminal or an animal, and it sticks with you,” Gosselin recalled recently in an interview with The Crime Report. The marshal determined she should be […]

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Equal Justice? Not for All Maine Kids

The reforms of Maine’s juvenile justice system are the envy of many states, but if you're a young African-American who gets in trouble at school, you're still more likely to end up in the school-to-prison pipeline. According to a report by the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service, black youths in Maine's Androscoggin County are arrested at a rate more than three times higher than their white counterparts. And black youths in the Lewiston, Maine area are […]