Since a peak in the mid-nineties, the number of juveniles placed into secure detention has fallen dramatically, in part to due to a decrease in juvenile crime, and in part due to an increase in pre-trial diversion programs and post-adjudication alternatives to incarceration. These programs, such as the juvenile drug treatment courts (JDTCs) I work with, seek to bring about behavior change and ensure public safety, without the iatrogenic consequences of incarceration.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promises to sign an executive order allowing parolees the right to vote, Connecticut becomes the first state to close all of its youth prisons, and San Diego attorney Steve Binder is recognized as “Community Hero” for the creation of Homeless Court Program in 1989. Read these stories and more below in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
April is Second Chance Month, so I felt it was only appropriate to discuss how the juvenile justice system is built on the idea of providing second (and third and fourth) chances to a population that has difficulty discerning between wrong and right. For those of us passionate about juvenile justice reform, we like to refer to this month instead as “As-Many-Chances-As-It-Takes Month.” We believe that every month should honor a clean slate.