Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Michigan Juvenile Justice Collaborative Legislative Day on September 22, 2009

Far too many of Michigan's most vulnerable children - particularly those affected by trauma, abuse, neglect, mental illness and disability - either drift into or are referred into a juvenile justice system that is inappropriate and ill equipped to serve their needs.

The Michigan Juvenile Justice Collaborative will work to advance policies and practices that prevent delinquency, promote rehabilitation, and support transitional services for youth involved in the juvenile justice system and will raise awareness about the need for best practices that are equitable and just.

Click here to register for the MJJC Legislative Day on September 22!

Join The Future of Children Executive Director Elisabeth Donahue to learn what top scholars are saying about juvenile justice reform. Donahue will share findings from the Fall 2009 issue of The Future of Children, Juvenile Justice, edited by expert Laurence Steinberg with contributions from nine respected academics in this field. This well-received volume examines juvenile justice policies and practices with the goal of promoting reforms that are 1) based on solid evidence and 2) acknowledge that adolescents differ from adults in ways that policy ought to take into account.

The volume and its companion brief, “Keeping Adolescents out of Prison,” conclude that the “get-tough” reforms implemented during the past two decades have been both unnecessarily costly and of questionable effectiveness, and offer alternatives – policies that have not only been proven effective, but save taxpayer dollars as well.
  • Prevention - Provide families and communities with the resources to properly care for and educate Michgan's children, particularly those who have experienced abuse and neglect and those with special needs.
  • Intervention - Address the needs of youth in the justice system in a way that is developmentally-appropriate, strength-based, and individualized to meet the unique needs of each child.
  • Reintegration - Assist youth who are transitioning from out-of-home placement back to their home communities by establishing necessary supports for housing, education, employment and other services.
  • Equity - Draw attention to the disproportionate number of youth of color within the juvenile justice system and pursue strategies to reduce disproportionality and ensure equitable access to resources and culturally competent services.
  • Outreach and Education - Participate in opportunities to educate juvenile justice and child welfare stakeholders about emerging research and best practices.
Source: http://www.miccd.org/juvenile_justice.php

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Children Given One Strike: A Lifetime Without Redemption

This video deals with the issue of sentencing juveniles to life without possibility of parole (JLWOP). Pennsylvania has more juvenile lifers in its prisons than any other state in the USA.

The video features interviews with anti-JLWOP activist Anita Colón, whose brother is serving a life sentence, Philadelphia Public Defender Bradley Bridge, Esq., and Temple University Psychology Professor Dr. Laurence Steinberg.

Relying on reasoning such as that invoked by the United States Supreme Court in outlawing the death penalty for juveniles, Colón and Bridge urge citizens to contact their elected officials about changing the law.