Posts Tagged by juvenile delinquency
|December 7, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Juvenile Delinquency, Policy, Research||
Not too long ago the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania came under severe scrutiny after a shocking scandal involving the violation of the rights of juveniles in Luzerne County (including monetary kickbacks to judges from private detention centers). More recently, the issue of maltreatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender juveniles in juvenile detention have drawn media attention as reports of such abuse increase.
The report No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration by Richard A. Mendel from the Annie E. Casey Foundation illustrates the high cost but low return of the current juvenile justice system in the United States. Researchers found little evidence of increased public safety or reduced recidivism among juveniles after release detention, although the cost of incarceration to taxpayers was just under $90,000 per youth, per year.
Highlights from the report include,
- within 3 years of release, approximately ¾ of juveniles were rearrested;
- few juveniles are confined for serious offenses – in 2007, 12 percent of the nearly 150,000 youth adjudicated to residential programs by courts had committed aggravated assault, robbery, rape, or homicide;
- while there was a 24 percent reduction in juveniles sent to residential facilities or secure institutions between 1997 and 2007, this did not result in an increase in the juvenile crime rate during that same period (it decreased);
- recurring abuse or maltreatment was identified and documented by state and/or federal government or media investigation in 20 states since the year 2000.
According to report data, the number of youth in juvenile detention in Pennsylvania increased 15 percent, from 3,120 in 1997 to 3,618 in 2007, while the national total decreased by 25 percent from 75,406 to 60,426 during the same time period. Information about the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania may be found at the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission website.
|October 19, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Juvenile Delinquency, Policy, Program Model, Research||
Findings from the Pathways to Desistance Study out of the University of Pittsburgh, one of the largest current collaborative longitudinal studies in the United States to follow juveniles post-adjudication, indicate that youth offenders tend to decrease their level of criminal behavior over time, no matter the intervention applied. In the brief, Highlights from Pathways to Desistance: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders, principle researcher Edward P. Mulvey discusses other key findings of the study including,
- less drug and alcohol use and a higher level of stability in daily life are factors that differentiate serious juvenile offenders who have stopped offending from those who continue criminal behavior;
- recidivism is not reduced by sentencing juveniles to longer terms in institutions;
- in the short term, drug and alcohol treatment does reduce substance abuse and criminal activity.
|October 4, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Health, Research, Youth Development||
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 70 percent of high school students in the United States do not get an adequate amount of sleep.
Data from the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicated a majority of teens did not get the amount of sleep recommended (8 hours or more), particularly on school nights. Insufficient sleep was linked to reduced levels of physical activity, computer use of 3 hours or more daily, and feelings of despair. High-risk behaviors such as alcohol, marijuana and cigarette use were more likely in students who received less sleep than their peers.
A summary of the study, Relationships between hours of sleep and health-risk behaviors in US adolescent students by Lela R. McKnight-Eilya, Danice K. Eaton, Richard Lowry, Letitia Presley-Cantrella and Geraldine S. Perry is available at the Science Direct website.
|July 13, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Juvenile Delinquency, Program Model, Youth Development||
It is not uncommon for school-age children to experience temporary lulls in their enthusiasm toward school or schoolwork. However, if such disengagement from school continues, parents and teachers should not hesitate to explore the reasons behind such a shift in attitude. The issue of truancy, or a student’s absence from school without an approved excuse, is of growing concern to juvenile justice professionals as it potentially leads to more serious risk-taking behaviors. Habitual truancy may have a severe impact on the trajectory of a youth’s life.
An article from Education.com by the National Center for School Engagement (NCSE) reports on the most promising efforts to address and prevent truancy among school-age youth. The piece, Effective Strategies for Working with Truant Youth, provides a meta-analysis of sorts from evaluations of numerous truancy programs nationwide, arriving at the conclusion that meaningful alternative interventions with truant youth are more effective and cheaper than the detention option. The authors also discuss the need for court, agency and community partnerships, and include a list of court-ordered activities (sanctions/rewards) related to truancy reduction goals.
If you work with youth and are interested in additional resources for best practices in addressing truancy, visit the National Center for Criminal Justice Resources web site for the latest research, including a report on truancy reduction demonstration programs.