Maureen Kishna

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How One City in Ohio Reduced Youth Imprisonment

Posted by Maureen Kishna

After years of collaborating, two local leaders helped bring MST to Toledo, Ohio and saw reductions in youth incarceration

When you meet matriarchs, you just know it. You feel their power, and you recognize their force. That’s how I felt when I made the acquaintance of Deborah Hodges, administrator of the Lucas County (Ohio) Juvenile Court and her colleague, Karen Olnhausen of their Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. In 2010, I met them at the launch of Toledo’s Multisystemic Therapy (MST) program. These are the ladies whom I affectionately call the godmothers of MST in Toledo because they had worked for years to bring it to their community. Finally, their goal was achieved through funding from the Ohio Department of Youth Services Behavioral Health Juvenile Justice Initiative.

toledo, OH

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

Racial Disparity in the Juvenile Justice System: MST's Response

Posted by Maureen Kishna

The unrest that started in Ferguson, Mo., after the shooting death in August of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white policeman continued to roil. It was exacerbated by the killing of another young black in St. Louis again at the hands of a white officer. Hundreds from across the country descended on the two cities to protest with shouts of “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot” and placards proclaiming “Black Lives Matter.” The incidents are reminders of the imbalance in many of our nation’s communities.

120312-national-arrest-handcuffs-police-school-to-prison.jpg.custom1200x675x20Black youths are two times as likely to be arrested as their white counterparts. ProPublica found that black are at 21 percent higher risk of being killed by police than young whites. Disparities exist at nearly every point of the juvenile justice system according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). They are less likely to be diverted, more likely to be sentenced to secure facilities, and even more likely to be transferred to the adult system. Many communities are working to identify what they can do to correct this inequality.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform