An Effective Model for Child Abuse and Neglect

Posted by Kellie Allison, Manager of Network Partnerships

Apr 27, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Staten Island MST-CAN program can and does make a difference

Just the thought of a parent becoming violent toward his or her child causes a pretty visceral reaction in many people. Most of us love and want to protect children, and the subject of child abuse and neglect makes us feel helpless and hopeless. What can be done with and for a parent who beats a child?

There’s no doubt that it’s a challenge. But there are options other than removing the child from the home.MST-CAN Staten Island Team.jpg

Four members of the Staten Island Family Services MST-CAN team

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Topics: MST-CAN,

For Seattle, Juvenile Justice Reform Includes Building a New Detention Center

Posted by Keller Strother, Director, MST Services

Apr 25, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Though controversial, King County is committed to keeping kids out of the system 

Sometimes, it seems like it’s one step forward and two steps back. Such it is with juvenile justice.

In 2016, California’s Prop 57, which made it more difficult to shovel juveniles—as young as 14—into adult court, passed by more than 2 million votes. This was a definite step forward.

Then, you have the Missouri statute that went into effect. Jan. 1, 2016. Now in The Show Me State, an assault is classified as a class E felony instead of a misdemeanor. This means that should a couple of kids—no matter their age—get into a schoolyard fight, they can be charged with a felony. Think about how such a charge and conviction will follow that child through the rest of his or her life. This is a terrible step backward.

seattle jd center.jpg

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What a Difference MST Can Make: A Poem

Posted by Albert Mills, MST Therapist

Apr 20, 2017 8:30:00 AM

An award-winning poet helps a family use art to express their experience with MST 

Albert Mills and his twin brother, Nnamdi Chukwuocha, pictured below, were named the 2016 Poets Laureate of Delaware. They’ve been writing poetry and using art to express themselves since they were 7.

As an MST therapist for the last four-and-a-half years with Psychotherapeutic Children’s Services in Dover and Wilmington, Del., Albert has a lot of experience helping youth and families involved with the criminal-justice system. He is known for speaking publically in his community using poetry to talk about community issues, such as gun violence, poverty and the justice system. For Al, poetry changed his life. But to him, it isn’t just a poem. "You're not just writing a poem or an apology letter. You're writing your words. You're telling your story. What is your story?"

What follows is the story of one MST family who chose to use poetry to express the difference it made in their lives.

albert mills poet laureate delaware.jpg

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New York Raises the Age for Juvenile Defendants, All Eyes Turn to North Carolina

Posted by Sophie Karpf

Apr 18, 2017 8:30:00 AM

As of April 9, there is only one state in the nation that charges 16-year-olds as adults

Today, 800 inmates in New York jails and state prisons are younger than 18. What’s more, 96 percent of these youth are incarcerated for non-violent offenses. But after an April 9 legislative vote, things will be different.

new york raise the age gov cuomo.jpg

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Topics: raise the age

The MST Chilean Program Featured on National TV

Posted by Kellie Allison, Manager of Network Partnerships

Apr 13, 2017 8:17:00 AM

Fabiana Castro Brahm, an MST program developer, in the spotlight

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is practiced in multiple languages and dialects—13, to be exact—across 16 countries around the world. Next to English, Spanish is spoken as a primary language by the most MST families, accounting for 15 percent of all those being treated.

mst in chile video.jpg

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Topics: Chile

A Prosecutor’s Vision for a Better Juvenile Justice System

Posted by Sophie Karpf

Apr 11, 2017 8:50:18 AM

He was a high schooler who made a mistake, and Adam Foss gave him a second chance

Christopher was an 18-year-old, high-school senior who dreamed of going to college. Trouble is, despite working part time, he didn’t have enough money for tuition. What’s a kid to do? Christopher ended up stealing 30 laptops from a local store and selling them on the internet. He was arrested and charged with 30 felonies, one for each device.

When this case landed on Adam Foss’ desk in 2009, he knew he had a decision to make. As a criminal prosecutor, the decision to arraign Christopher, and what to arraign him for, was his and his alone.

adam foss ted talk prosecutors vision for justice system.jpg

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Topics: juvenile justice system

Pittsburgh’s Call for Juvenile Justice Reform

Posted by Melissa Golba, MST Expert

Apr 6, 2017 1:00:00 PM

“Kids in juvenile probation are no different.” -Anonymous youth, The 100 Percent Juvenile Justice Pilot

To understand the Pittsburgh of today, you must look at the Pittsburgh of yesterday. Located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers, it was perfectly situated to transport steel and coal from the area. Taking advantage of that, Andrew Carnegie started U.S. Steel at the beginning of the 20th century. It wasn’t long before the area was producing up to half of American steel. Working in the mines and mills was arduous work, but brought in a steady paycheck. 

Demands of business don’t always coincide with the needs of a community.

Pittsburgh Juvenile Justice Program.jpg

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

How to Best Treat High Risk Juvenile Offenders in Connecticut

Posted by Julie Revaz

Apr 4, 2017 8:19:03 AM

Lessons learned in Conn. can be applied to other states grappling with high risk youth

In Connecticut, you might say that these are the best of times and the worst of times. At the end of the last fiscal year, the state budget crisis prompted the layoff of dozens of probation officers, consolidation of several courts, elimination of some contracted services and a whopping, across-the-board, 6.9-percent budget reduction to all remaining juvenile services. What’s worse, additional cuts may be required as the current fiscal year closes. 

However, in what is broadly considered a victory for children, the governor recently called for the closure of the state’s only secure facility for sentenced youth, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS).

connecticut high risk juvenile offenders.jpg 

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Topics: CT juvenile justice reform

MST Intervention Helps Bring a Daughter Home

Posted by Allison Altwer, MST Therapist

Mar 30, 2017 8:15:00 AM

She was 17, not speaking to her mother and living with her boyfriend, until MST 

In 2016, I began working with Sarah*, a 17-year-old girl, and her mother, Ms. Jones. Sarah was on probation for a physical altercation with her older sister in 2013. The girl was referred to Multisystemic Therapy (MST) by her probation officer for other delinquent behaviors, including disobeying adults at home and in school, verbal and physical aggression toward family members, marijuana use and association with negative peers. Sarah had been in and out of juvenile hall for probation violations and twice served 30 days with an ankle monitor. 

mother and daughter dont speak until mst.jpg

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Topics: success stories,

Rehabilitating Juvenile Offenders Saves Over $2 Million a Youth

Posted by Laurie Spivey, MST Services

Mar 28, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Pay for prevention now, or pay for detention later

It just makes sense. Lock up a kid with other delinquents, not much good will come of it. Charles Dickens wrote at length about the destructive effects of prisons (called bridewells in Victorian England), workhouses and debtors prisons. In the same era, journalist Henry Mayhew documented that institutions for the poor and criminal were better at teaching crime than reforming. The notion of “schools for crime” is nothing new.

When the youth is released they often get into trouble again, using the knowledge gained in juvie and turnstiles back in.

dallas criminal capital study.jpg

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Topics: Cost of youth incarceration

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