Raising the Bar: State Trends in Keeping Youth out of Adult Court

Posted by Staci Sottile, MST Project Director, Adelphoi Village

Dec 12, 2017 1:10:00 PM

This report documents legislative victories as well as what is left to be done in keeping youth out of adult court

Twelve years ago, the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) set out to get young people removed from the adult justice system. In an effort to achieve that goal, since 2011, it has issued periodically a State Trends Report documenting legislative victories and what’s left to be done.

In that time, a lot has changed. Although, too much has stayed the same. The CFYJ laid out its findings in the recently released “Raising the Bar: State Trends in Keeping Youth Out of Adult Courts (2015-2017).

Raising the bar.jpg

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

How MST Works in the UK

Posted by Ben Robins, MST UK Project Manager

Dec 5, 2017 8:10:00 AM

Multisystemic therapists, funders and families from the UK explain how MST works in 5 minutes

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then a video is worth at least a million—maybe more.

If you are a parent, funder, therapist or community stakeholder, you don’t want to miss this video. 

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Are Americans Really Mean?

Posted by Dan Bachicha, MST Expert

Nov 28, 2017 1:10:00 PM

Inspired from an unlikely place, one MST expert reflects on the value of kindness 

“You’re mean to each other.” That's what he said, and it shocked me. Maybe because it's true, and I didn't want to believe it. Or maybe I've been too ignorant to see it and just didn't want to believe it. Or maybe I was just embarrassed by the simple truth of it. Whatever it was, it caused me to think about those words for a long time. That’s definitely not the perception I want others to have.

Those were the words of a taxi driver as he drove me from the airport to my hotel upon my arrival in a foreign country.

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MST Helps Keep Son at Home

Posted by Beth Liddle

Nov 21, 2017 1:10:00 PM

She didn't think MST would work, but now this Scottish mum is grateful she gave MST a chance so her son could remain at home

Sean* was referred to Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Edinburgh by his social worker in July 2017. He was being reported missing to police as frequently as every day. He was using drugs, offending in the community and would often smash up property within the home. Sean’s mother, Ms. Spencer*, described the family as being in a “desperate situation.” She believed that having her son taken into Local Authority care was her only option. She said, “I couldn’t cope. My whole family was stressed, and it all became unbearable. I had to resign from my job as I was calling in sick continuously due to Sean’s behaviour. It was impossible to manage.” 

mst keeps son at home

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Topics: success stories,

Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform Wins Award

Posted by Dan Edwards, President, Evidence-Based Associates

Nov 14, 2017 1:30:46 PM

Georgia juvenile justice reform, led by Gov. Nathan Deal, wins award 

A year after taking office, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recognized that he had an opportunity, and a responsibility, to fix the state’s criminal justice system. A year later, in 2013, he expanded his focus to include the state’s juvenile justice system. Shortly thereafter, the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) partnered with the Pew Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, among others, to explore ways to reduce the unnecessary, ineffective, and expensive overuse of out of home placement of youth who ran into trouble with the law as adolescents.

Much to CJCCs surprise, many of the juveniles placed out of home had committed misdemeanor or status offenses.

governor nathan deal juvenile justice reform

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

An American Inferno: A Response

Posted by Allison Altwer, MST Therapist

Nov 7, 2017 8:30:00 AM

How Multisystemic Therapy gave this young man from Compton a chance to be more than a statistic

In the summer of 2017, The New Yorker ran an article titled “American Inferno: The Life of a South Central Statistic.” This was a woman’s story of how her cousin became involved in the juvenile  justice system and his eventual murder—making him one more tragic statistic.

As a Multisystemic Therapy (MST) therapist in the Compton and South Central areas of Los Angeles County, I see these “statistics” play out in real life.

american inferno response.jpg

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Topics: success stories,

Multisystemic Therapy Helps Mother and Son Communicate

Posted by Laura Jurasek

Nov 1, 2017 1:23:40 PM

Before Highfields' Multisystemic Therapy team came along, Sandra and her son, Larry, didn’t know how to communicate without arguing. 

Last year, Sandra and her family moved to a new home in a new school district. This created a lot of stress for her oldest child, 15-year-old Larry. 

Sandra saw changes in him. He was hanging out with the wrong crowd, not focusing in school and making bad decisions. They argued constantly about power dynamics, such as who was in charge or who would have the final word. They didn’t know how to communicate with each other.

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Topics: success stories,

Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice Invests in Evidence-Based Programs

Posted by Joseph Boggs

Oct 24, 2017 1:10:00 PM

Virginia replaces correctional centers with evidence-based practices, MST is one of them

In June 2017, the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) closed its Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center, which had been housing more than 160 young men. The center had first started receiving youth offenders in 1890, and its yearly budget had grown to $26,039,540 by 2016.

The closing was good news for some youth advocates. Even better news came this month when the DJJ announced it would be using savings from the closing to fund Multisystemic Therapy (MST). In a statement, the department referred to MST as “a highly-regarded evidence-based model,” which would be made available “to court-involved youth in traditionally underserved areas of the Commonwealth.”

virginia invests in evidence-based programs

Members of the new MST teams

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Nine Strategies Schools Can Use to Help Their Students Succeed

Posted by Maura McInerney, Senior Attorney, Education Law Center

Oct 17, 2017 1:43:32 PM

School professionals play a vital role in children's lives. Here are 9 strategies they can use to help their students succeed in school.

When families and schools work together, everyone wins. When both systems are open to one another, the school-to-prison pipeline can be interrupted. As this new school year begins, take on the challenge to understand each other, and to support and problem-solve together. It’s a new school year and a new opportunity for success and progress for students, schools and families.

In Part 1 of our blog, we considered what strategies families could use to help their children succeed. In Part 2 of our blog, let’s consider how we can effectively build those positive home-school links by examining what educational professionals can do to support student success.

nine strategies schools can use to help students succeed

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Topics: school to prison pipeline

How Judges Can Lead Juvenile Justice Reform

Posted by Honorable John Sumner, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Court Cherokee County

Oct 10, 2017 1:25:41 PM

A Georgia judge reflects on his states juvenile justice reform, and how judges can lead the effort

Our society finds itself asking why do we sentence, probate and incarcerate so many young people while forgetting the frailties of adolescents? Juvenile justice reform is occurring in many states. Often judges are the leaders or at the center of these efforts. Why are judges taking on this new role, and why are communities looking to them for leadership? It is always helpful to look back to see how we got here. We can then better answer those questions.

judges lead juvenile justice reform

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

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