Sue Dee

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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.

retro report unraveling zero tolerance.jpg

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Topics: Zero Tolerance

Childhood Interrupted: Incarcerating Youth in Adult Prisons

Posted by Sue Dee

Oct 19, 2016 12:26:50 PM


Film highlights the dangers of incarcerating youth with adults 

Imagine your 17-year-old daughter got in a school fight with a 16-year-old classmate. Hair pulling, scratching. No weapons involved. What do you think is the appropriate consequence for such behavior? Suspension from school? Grounded? Not allowed to attend the prom or other school activities? What about community service? Restitution? Probation? Think that may be going too far for a youthful mistake? Well, depending on the state you live in, that 17-year-old could be charged with felony child abuse and incarcerated in an adult correctional facility. As a parent, you would have no control over that process.


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Topics: Youth Justice Awareness Month

October is Youth Justice Awareness Month (#YJAM)

Posted by Sue Dee

Oct 4, 2016 1:00:00 PM


Organizers are asking you to take action 

The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is a national initiative dedicated to ending the prosecution, sentencing and incarceration of youth younger than 18 in the adult criminal justice system. 

CFYJ was started in 2004 by a distraught parent whose juvenile son was prosecuted in adult criminal court. The mother became determined to change policies that allow hundreds of thousands of youths to be tried in adult court every year. And she put her money where her heart was. Her actions led to the Campaign for Youth Justice officially opening in July 2005.


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Topics: Youth Justice Awareness Month

Do Girls in the Juvenile Justice System Commit More Drug Crimes?

Posted by Sue Dee

Jul 12, 2016 11:00:00 AM


Proportion of females arrested for drug crimes higher than males

There has been some good news and statistics in the juvenile-justice world recently. One is that juvenile-drug arrests fell to about 112,100 in 2014, down from 200,000 14 years earlier.

However, examining this stat more closely finds something disturbing. Call them girls, young women, females, whatever you prefer, they are now accounting for a larger percentage of juvenile drug arrests than their male counterparts. Also worrisome is, writes Jeffrey A. Butts of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in a recent brief, “the growing proportion of females among juvenile drug arrests was seen among arrests for drug manufacturing and sales as well as arrests for simple drug possession.”


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Topics: juvenile justice system

Time to Rethink Youth Incarceration

Posted by Sue Dee

May 5, 2016 11:06:17 AM


For their sake and ours, we need to stop locking up kids

A talk at the recent Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development conference in Denver made me think of a show I love, “The West Wing.” In one of my favorite episodes, after hearing of the death of a secret-service agent, a politician wonders out loud, “Crime. Boy, I don’t know.”

We all want to live in safe communities, free of crime. As a parent, this feels like an increasingly urgent need as I send my children more and more out into public without me. Levels of risk I was willing to accept in the past are now too scary to tolerate. Before, I have ignored the news of local crime, and now, there are times I have to force myself to stop thinking about it. 

So, I join the public in the wish for a silver bullet. We want safety. We want something to guarantee it. Crime. Boy, I don’t know. What are we going to do?


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Topics: Cost of youth incarceration, Blueprints conference

How to Bring an Evidence-Based Practice to a Community

Posted by Sue Dee

Apr 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM


How one community successfully established MST

Adopting an evidence-based practice such as Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is not for the faint of heart, as Maria Picone, Family and Community Services Department director at Catholic Charities of Buffalo, discovered. But she also discovered, it is well worth the effort. 


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Topics: EBPs, evidence-based practice

Children’s Village CEO Kohomban to Speak at MST Pre-Conference

Posted by Sue Dee

Mar 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM


Jeremy Kohomban will explain how to use EBPs to get juveniles out of placement at the MST pre-conference at Blueprints

How does a large organization that provides residential treatment to children and teens change direction to decrease residential care by using evidence-based practices (EBPs)? Not only will Jeremy Kohomban answer that question, but at the MST pre-conference kicking off this April’s Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development Conference in Denver, he will also relate how his organization accomplished this, becoming a key player in national change.


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Topics: Blueprints, MST pre-conference

Continuous Training is a Vital Part of Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by Sue Dee

Dec 17, 2015 10:00:00 AM


Why MST booster trainings?

It’s just human nature. You did things one way, are accustomed to that way, and you drift back into that comfort zone without even realizing it. Without continual focus and attention it’s difficult to stick to new habits and skills. In the case of Multisystemic Therapy (MST), staying true to the treatment model is of utmost importance if the best results are to be achieved. Booster_Training_Blog.jpgBack row left to right: Alexandra Westcott, Magnus Irvine, Kerry Jayne Lambert, Rose Amado-Taylor, Shelley Stel Front row left to right: Anna Davies, Georgina Privett, Gordon Wilson, Thomas Burke

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Booster training

In MST, Parents Aren't the Problem, They're the Solution

Posted by Sue Dee

Nov 12, 2015 10:00:00 AM


You've come to the right place

When a youth is exhibiting antisocial behavior and is committing criminal offenses in the community, families are often at a loss as how to move forward. They feel powerless to change their children’s choices. This often stops them from seeking the right kind of support, and it also creates difficulties for professionals working with these kids and families to find the right solution. In MST, we don’t see parents as the problem, we see them as the solution. We stand ready to support caregivers to hold their kids accountable and make changes in the youth’s environment that will impact their choices. With a referral to MST, “You’ve Come to the Right Place” for help turning your child around.

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Topics: MST, engaging families

Kentucky Police Officer Handcuffs 8-Year-Old, Stirs Outrage

Posted by Sue Dee

Aug 6, 2015 11:00:00 AM


Police in our schools—There is a better way

Watching the news this week, I came across an unsettling story.  

An 8-year-old, third-grade student diagnosed with ADHD and PTSD was handcuffed above the elbow by a sheriff’s deputy for not following directions at school. It is a disturbing image, yet one that may become increasingly more common. Police_handcuff_8yo

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Topics: Zero Tolerance, Kentucky, school to prison pipeline

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