My first Halloween experience was when I was 12 years old. As a recently arrived immigrant to the United States, Halloween was a uniquely American experience for me and it was thrilling to discover haunted houses, carved pumpkins, and elaborate costumes. I still remember staying up late on Halloween and trading candy with my siblings after trick-or-treating. Today, I feel like I am a pro at Halloween, I have a collection of cute decorations, I create jack-o-lanterns, I plan my kids’ costumes, and I make sure my house has the best candy on the block. As an adult, I still appreciate the innocent Halloween fun, but I am also aware of the public safety challenges this celebration can pose. This includes keeping kids safe as they explore en masse, protecting pedestrians and drivers, and preventing intentional mischief that could result in serious harm.
Suspicious parcels targeting United States officials and CNN staff were, thankfully, kept out of harms way, a decision to end oversight of a juvenile court in Memphis causes uproar, and Wisconsin recognizes issues around paying public defenders. All of these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.
“The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” – Unknown
As I walked into my first (and only!) law class in grad school, there was a quote written on the whiteboard. Our professor looked at us and asked, “How does this apply to our case today?” The case in question was “In re Gault,” the landmark US Supreme Court case which established the right to counsel for juveniles in delinquency cases in 1967. That may have been my only law class, but I continue to grapple with the issues raised by this case through my work training and providing technical assistance to juvenile drug treatment courts. In the 51 years since Gault, we’ve come a long way to ensure justice for youth, but there are still steps we need to take, especially when it comes to the right to counsel.
Prosecutors and defenders push to expand veterans treatment courts in Minnesota, the Department of Justice steps in to review a juvenile justice court in Tennessee, and Michigan continues to be recognized for its positive work in drug treatment courts and in tackling the opioid crisis. All of these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.
Kanye West meets with President Trump to discuss prison reform, drug courts help to combat the opioid epidemic, and New York counties hire more public defenders. All of this and much more can be found in this week’s Friday news roundup.
With the start of the federal fiscal year on October 1, National Drug Court Resource Center (NDCRC) staff are hard at work preparing for the third year of our project. We have a number of exciting activities planned for the coming year. Some of these activities will build on the successes of the past two years while others will be entirely new.
The Kavanaugh nomination draws closer to a vote, the Surgeon General releases an opioid statistics report, and California passes more laws for juvenile justice. Check out these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.
Last week was the first time I heard Mark Holden, the senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Koch Industries, Inc., speak about criminal justice reform. He was interviewed by Bill Keller, the editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project, during a session titled, “A Conversation on State Progress,” at the Smart on Crime summit hosted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The Center for American Progress, and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.
The FBI finds a slight decrease in violent crime across the U.S., Michigan sets an example as the state awards nearly $1.2M in grants to veterans treatment courts, and Nevada is spotlighted for its lack of public defenders. All of these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.
The scene may be familiar: a family movie showing three young children, beginning a road trip to visit their mom who lives far away. The camera zooms in on one of the little girls and her uncle asks, “what do you tell people when they ask why Mommy is in Florida?” She responds, “I tell them that it’s something only the family needs to know about, and they seem okay with that.”