All in Ideas and Opinions

What If Courts Treated Young Sex Trafficking Victims Like Cyntoia Brown as People, Not Perpetrators?

Slowly, state legislators and advocates are pushing legal reforms and diversionary programs that reflect the understanding that kids shouldn’t face a lifetime of consequences for decisions they made while their brains were still developing. Overall, the number of girls and boys in the juvenile justice system is decreasing. But even though girls make up less than a third of the nation’s roughly 800,000 juvenile arrests each year, they are the fastest-growing share of these arrests.

Missouri panel recommends school-based mental health care to boost safety in schools

In March, Gov. Mike Parson ordered the creation of a task force to recommend ways to enhance safety within Missouri’s K-12 schools. Member Paul Fennewald, a former FBI agent and state Homeland Security Director, says the group took a multi-faceted approach, including recommending the integration of school-based mental health services and healthcare. The report says teachers and administrators are often pressed into serving as mental health caretakers when one is not available.

Can Ohio’s Approach to School Truancy Succeed While Avoiding Justice System Contact?

Over the past several decades, researchers have studied and debated the complex pathway between school truancy, delinquency and involvement with the adult criminal justice system. While there is no direct link between school truancy and criminal behaviors, truancy is often a symptom of complex issues including concerns around violence, mental health, substance use in the home, and homelessness, in addition to other difficulties that are not easily addressed.

90 Percent Of Kids In LA County’s Juvenile Halls Have “Open Mental Health Cases.” Supes Call Urgently For Rehabilitative Plan—For Youth & Adults

At Los Angeles County’s Central Juvenile Hall, the largest of the county’s three juvenile halls, 93 percent of its youth residents have open mental health cases.

At Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, CA, the percentage of kids with open mental health cases is at 96 percent, according to the most recent report submitted to the board of LA County Supervisors in late April by Jonathan Sharin, MD, the head of the county’s Department of Mental Health.

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.

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.

Memphis students, once in juvenile detention, offer ideas to reduce suspensions

Students were teaching adults this week as Memphis student advocates shared their recommendations on how to reduce out-of-school suspensions and expulsions.

Six students at G.W. Carver College and Career Academy, an alternative school, worked for months on suggestions for Shelby County Schools leaders that they believe will lead to safer schools, more engaged students and more academic success.

Why the U.S. has seen a collapse in violent youth crime

When the youth crime rate started to drop in the late 1990s, it wasn’t a surprise to law enforcement experts. Crime is cyclical, with spikes and declines spurred by social, political and economic conditions.

But no one expected the large decrease in juvenile crime to linger, or to continue to dip for the next 20 years across a range of offenses — from violent assaults and homicides to minor theft and truancy — with no indication that the trend will be reversed.

Opinion | The miseducation of Michigan: How state fails kids in black history

As Black History Month unfolds this month and schools ramp up teaching about the subject, there’s still plenty of disagreement across the state and nation about how best to teach the subject. Should African-American history lessons focus on the struggles such as slavery and the civil rights movement but not also give greater attention to the accomplishments of African Americans?