How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System

Today, if you’re under 18 and charged with a crime, your case will likely be decided, and punishment meted out, through a legal system designed for minors. But until the beginning of the 20th century, kids under the age of 18 were tried — and jailed or imprisoned — alongside adults. That is, until the world’s first juvenile court was established right here in Chicago in 1899.

Teenage suicide sheds light on lack of oversight for juveniles in county jails

OKLAHOMA CITY — Before his death, 16-year old John Leroy Daniel Applegate was secluded from other juveniles in a cell in the Oklahoma County Detention Center.

The teenager also was placed on suicide watch intermittently during his time at the detention center before jailers ultimately found him unresponsive in his cell in April, said County Commissioner Carrie Blumert.

Juvenile justice reform based on simple truth: ‘You can’t punish the bad out of kids’

Over the past decade or so, our county and our state have been in the forefront of a national movement to rethink what “juvenile justice” is. This movement is based on recent research on brain development, and how it is impaired by childhood traumatic experiences such as domestic violence, abuse, neglect, and poverty. It’s also based on evidence about what kinds of programs and services really help kids overcome adversity and develop the skills they need to lead meaningful, satisfying, and law-abiding lives.

Racial Disparity of Incarcerated Youth

This map includes rates of incarceration for each state broken out by race, ethnicity, and gender. Custody rates are calculated per 100,000 juveniles ages 10 through the upper age of original juvenile court jurisdiction in each State. Click on a state to see that state’s overall number of incarcerated youth, and breakdowns of incarcerated youth by race, ethnicity, and gender as compared to the general youth population in that state.

Mentally ill suspects get help in Miami, jail in Michigan. Guess which works

Since it began in 2000, the Miami-Dade Circuit Court Criminal Mental Health Project(or CMHP) has steered thousands of mentally ill offenders into treatment while deeply reducing the county’s jail population, from nearly 7,000 prisoners a decade ago to just over 4,000 last year. That in turn has allowed officials to close a detention center while saving the county $12 million a year.

One Can Help saves taxpayers millions each year by helping juvenile court involved children and families quickly access missing resources.

Nonprofit's innovative program partners with juvenile court professionals to fill the gap in resources that impacts countless children in the juvenile court and child welfare systems. Their interventions have been credited with helping to reduce state's foster care, court, homelessness and dropout burdens, says study.

Sarah Koenig Clears Up Our Biggest Misconceptions About the Justice System

Sarah Koenig is a former executive producer of This American Life and creator of Serial, a massively popular, Peabody Award–winning podcast that follows one story or topic all season long. Koenig was kind enough to chat with us ahead of the San Diego Workforce Partnership Opportunity Summit on May 2, where she will be delivering the keynote address, “The Vortex of Justice Involvement for Young Adults.”

With fewer juvenile offenders locked up, an unexpected consequence arises for schools that teach them

Schopen teaches at a juvenile detention center for children serving time for committing felony crimes — assault, burglary, murder, manslaughter, arson. Four out of five students have mental-health or substance-abuse issues and struggle to control their emotions. About half have learning disabilities and are many grade levels behind. It’s hard to imagine a more difficult place to teach.