This Story Has A Sad Ending

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Feb 23, 2017 9:35:21 AM

So if you don’t like sad, don’t read it.

We live in a lovely neighborhood in a residential community outside Boston.

It’s quintessential New England. Cul-de-sac, walking distance to school, the library and shops. Full of big backyards with swing sets and slides. I raised my two kids here. They are now in their 20s.


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Topics: family stories,

Unraveling Zero Tolerance Documentary

Posted by Sue Dee

Feb 21, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Short documentary sheds light on shortcomings of a zero tolerance policy

You’ve seen the news headlines—fear and violence widespread in our schools. Some of you might have seen the movie, “Lean on Me ,” about the New Jersey school principal, Joe Clark, who took matters into his own hands to keep “those kids” out of his school. The response of “zero tolerance” made sense—or did it?

In only 12 minutes, you can learn a lot about how we got to where we are and how we might do something better for our youth.

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Topics: Zero Tolerance

The Last Two Battlegrounds to Raise the Age: New York and North Carolina

Posted by Sarah Johansson, MST-SA Supervisor

Feb 16, 2017 8:28:00 AM

Only two states remain that automatically charge 16-year-olds as adults

The need to raise the age of criminal responsibility has been written about here more than once. (Charging Juvenile Offenders as Adults parts one and two being two examples). Progress has been made, but our fight is not over. There are still two states left that prosecute and place children in the adult criminal-justice system—North Carolina and New York. 

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Topics: raise the age

Seven Reasons This Therapist Was Nominated for a WIT Award

Posted by Michelle Robinson, MST Expert, Community Solutions, Inc.

Feb 13, 2017 8:30:00 AM

MST therapist helps father through difficult time and nominated him for WIT award

As any parent today will tell you, it is hard enough to raise a teenager under the best of circumstances. What we know in Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, help is needed to achieve the hoped-for results. In those troubled times, it can be more painful if the help you seek doesn’t make things better at all. 

But that isn’t always the case, as one New Jersey father can attest. He was in desperate need of help handling his daughter. Luckily, he was assigned MST therapist Lionel Latouche.

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Above, Latouche is shown receiving his WIT award from his supervisor 

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Topics: Whatever it Takes Awards

A Differing Perspective on School Resource Officers

Posted by Nick Angers, CSI

Feb 9, 2017 8:45:00 AM

An MST expert responds to the blog on SROs published Tuesday Feb., 7

My experiences with school resource officers (SROs) differ from the viral videos that make the media rounds. The SROs that I was fortunate to build relationships with as a Multisystemic Therapy (MST) therapist and supervisor produced a picture different from the image of officers arresting kids in school hallways or physically restraining them in their classrooms. Granted, it took some effort to establish rapport with the SROs.

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Topics: school to prison pipeline

What Does the Research Show about School Resource Officers?

Posted by Dr. Scott Henggeler

Feb 7, 2017 1:29:06 PM

This commentary originally appeared as an op-ed in the Mount Desert Islander. 

Historically, research has repeatedly shown that juvenile justice interventions often result in outcomes that are the opposite of what was expected or intended. For example, most people would agree that youth who commit crimes need more structure and self-discipline in their lives. This perspective led to the proliferation of military style boot camps in the 1990s designed to reduce delinquent behavior. While this intervention would seem, at face value, to be harmless and well suited for teaching teens to be more responsible, subsequent evaluations showed strikingly different results. That is, boot camp interventions actually increased youth antisocial behavior problems and did so at considerable financial cost.  

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Topics: school to prison pipeline

The MST International Conference is a Month Away

Posted by Lori Moore, MST Services

Feb 2, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Before looking ahead, here's my thoughts on past conference

I can hardly believe it has been 17 years since I first attended the biannual MST International Conference in Savannah, Ga. At that time, I was an MST supervisor for Adelphoi Village. I loved my new job, but I wasn’t yet exactly sure what I was doing. I went to the conference enthusiastic and ready learn. The workshops I attended fit the bill. 

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Topics: international conference

'Making a Murderer:' A Netflix Documentary, Part II

Posted by Jamie Bunch-Sanfilippo

Jan 31, 2017 8:45:00 AM

Brendan Dassey's long road of appeals is not over yet

The Netflix original series “Making a Murderer” captured the attention of America with the story of Brendan Dassey, a 17-year-old who was convicted in 2007 of first-degree murder, mutilation of a corpse, and second-degree sexual assault. The guilty verdict came in large part because of Dassey’s confession, which he recanted. He was sentenced by a Wisconsin jury to mandatory life in prison with a possibility of parole in 2048.

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Topics: making a murderer

How MST Therapists Respond to Childhood Trauma

Posted by Laurie Spivey and Lori Moore, MST Services

Jan 26, 2017 8:45:00 AM

Many youth experience trauma and MST is prepared to respond

There is no debating that the number of young people in the United States who have been exposed to traumatic events is far too high. Although estimates vary, it is believed that the prevalence of such events in the general youth population is substantial. In one nationally representative survey of 9-to-16-year-olds, 25 percent reported having been subjected to at least one disturbing incident, according to Dr. Josephine Hawke of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. For youth involved with the juvenile justice system, exposure to traumatic events is believed to be higher than that of community samples of similarly aged kids. One study found that more than 90 percent of juvenile detainees reported having experienced at least one traumatic episode.

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Topics: MST and trauma

They Call Us Monsters

Posted by Joshua Leblang and Eric Trupin, Ph.D., University of Washington

Jan 24, 2017 8:30:00 AM

A documentary film about teens behind bars

The documentary, 'They Call Us Monsters,' is a rare glimpse into the lives of the most vulnerable of those residing in America’s system of mass incarceration—juveniles facing a bleak life in prison. These adolescents would not have been deemed adults in virtually any other setting. They are unable to purchase cigarettes, rent a car or even vote. Yet, they are held to an arbitrarily created standard of adult convictions. It is clear from the film there is no easy answer for what to do with adolescents who commit serious offenses.

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Topics: juvenile offenders

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