Childhood Trauma and Its Lasting Impact

Posted by MST Services

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Childhood trauma can cause youth to develop coping mechanisms and behavior that stops social-emotional development and can dramatically impair their academic success. Gang activity, drug use, delinquent behavior, and aggressive attitudes become survival tools to get teens and youth through their traumas.

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Topics: Troubled Youth

Let's Stop the Violence in Youth Detention Centers

Posted by MST Services

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A 2014 article based in Cleveland, Ohio gives harrowing stories about the violence in their youth detention centers – staff to juveniles and juveniles to others. Is this article typical of juvenile detention centers across the nation?

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Topics: Troubled Youth

Pressures of Gang Affiliation on Youth

Posted by MST Services

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On the last day of March, 2017, Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood saw seven people murdered in just twelve hours. Six of those occurred at the hands of gangs.

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Topics: Troubled Youth

The Opioid Epidemic's Effect on Children

Posted by MST Services

addiction-antibiotic-capsules-159211Elizabeth’s baby was due in June, and that’s exactly when she came— on the very morning of her due date, a new little girl entered the world. Elizabeth was ecstatic to become a mother, sharing the special moment with her partner, but as the newborn was examined, doctors came back with bad news: the baby was unnaturally stiff and had difficulty breathing. Elizabeth’s heart sank as she heard the diagnosis: neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. After years of opioid addiction, beginning with prescription painkillers like Percocet and culminating with heroin usage, her worst fears had come to fruition: Elizabeth’s baby girl had been born with an opioid addiction.

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Topics: Child Welfare, Substance Abuse

Alcohol, Drugs, Youth, and Arrests.

Posted by MST Services

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Drug and alcohol use can cause tragedy across all members of society. Perhaps one of the most vulnerable groups is that of juveniles.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

Are Juvenile Drug Courts a Good Alternative to Incarceration?

Posted by MST Services

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Life can just be plain tough sometimes. But for some adolescents who feel anxious, angry, depressed, oppressed, stressed or even bored, drugs are a glamorous escape. Drugs represent a way to avoid life and offer relief from the pain of abuse, a “bad day,” or poor self-esteem.

Natalie*, just 15 years old, snuck out and was inclined to take just one “hit” to forget the disappointment of being denied a night out by her parents. She quickly learned that drugs made it possible for her to forget that she had homework, housework, and a commitment to her family she felt was unwarranted. She had a feeling of pure escape that transcended the circumstances Natalie felt were wrong in her life. She wasn’t a bad kid, just susceptible—which eventually led her to a local juvenile drug court.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

8 Years of Failed Interventions. Then Came MST.

Posted by MST Services

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The Beginning

It is the beginning of my very first meeting with the Lowe family, and as we sit on their front porch during a hot summer day, Mr. Lowe plops 200 pages of copied material on my lap. Intrigued, I ask what it is. He lets out a sigh and tells me this is the paperwork from all the intensive behavioral treatments his grandson, Tim, has gone through the past 8 years since being in their care. 

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How Can Juvenile Probation Help At-Risk Youth?

Posted by MST Services

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Juvenile probation is a form of sentencing that allows young offenders to remain in their communities while under the supervision of the court. During the probationary period, a juvenile may be required to follow certain terms or conditions.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

The Impact of Status Offenses

Posted by MST Services

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Violating curfew, running away from home, or skipping school may not be good choices, but are they actions that should land a minor in the justice system? Perspectives tend to differ.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

How Can We Stop The School-To-Prison Pipeline?

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_41512058Suspending and expelling students from school and taking them through the juvenile and criminal justice system for minor infractions has created the school-to-prison pipeline. According to a U.S. Department of Justice complaint, officials in some schools give armed police the authority to stop, question, search, frisk, detain, and arrest students both on and off the school grounds.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform