Proposition 57 Is a Victory for Juvenile Justice

Posted by Keller Strother, President/CEO, MST Services

Nov 29, 2016 12:15:00 PM

California votes yes for juvenile justice reform  

Jerry Brown is a man on a mission. The California governor is set on shrinking the state’s prison population, including the number of juveniles caught up in the system.

That was why he threw his support behind Prop 57, one element of which would throw out a 2000 law that shunted more young defendants into adult courts. In 2014 alone, the number was 395.

California prop 57.jpg

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

Burning Down the House at Book Club

Posted by Jamie Bunch-Sanfilippo

Sep 15, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Not your typical summer read

When it was my month to select the book for the book club I attend, I knew immediately the one I wanted to choose. It was a summer month, however, when families schedule beach vacations, schools are out, and parents are using their saved time off from work to sit poolside, enjoy summer night cocktails, to frequent local fairs...and I pick a book about juvenile incarceration in America. 


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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

New Kansas Law Bodes Well for Juvenile Offenders

Posted by Joseph Boggs

May 10, 2016 11:18:53 AM

Kansas governor signs overhaul of juvenile justice system into law

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has been hounded by naysayers over his fiscal policies.

Now, with a simple swoosh of his pen, Brownback is being praised for being both fiscally-responsible and improving outcomes for the youth involved in the state’s juvenile justice system. On April 11, he signed into law a bill that puts more emphasis on treatment rather than detention.

“Being smart on crime promotes public safety and the rehabilitation of youthful offenders so that they can become law-abiding citizens,” the governor said. “This bill does just that. The legislation aligns our juvenile-justice system with what the research shows works best to reduce victimization, keep families strong and guide youth towards a better path.”

Backers say the law will lower the number of kids locked up or placed out of the home. Low-level offenders will be afforded educational, vocational and therapy programs. And juveniles with drug and alcohol problems will get treatment. kansas_no_place_like_home.jpg

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

The Gender Gap in The Juvenile Justice System

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Dec 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM

How to Make The Juvenile Justice System Fairer for Girls

Girls are different from boys. A pretty obvious statement that isn’t so obvious in much of the juvenile-justice system. blog-graphic-5.jpegAs pointed out in an exhaustive report by Francine T. Sherman Annie Balck (in partnership with the National Crittenton Foundation and the National Women’s Law Center), there is an inequality of treatment often from the get-go. Judges find abused young women from traumatic backgrounds in front of them and will put them into the system to “protect” the girls.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,, juvenile justice system

President Obama Urges Major Justice-System Reform

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Jul 23, 2015 1:00:00 PM

My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

It’s about time. 

The American justice system has long been inequitable especially for people of color and Hispanics. With the release of the White House’s “My Brother’s Keeper” report on the economic costs of disadvantaged youths being shut out of the system, President Obama is making an all-out push for change.


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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

South Dakota, West Virginia Reform Juvenile Justice System

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Jul 17, 2015 11:33:57 AM

Money earmaked for Evidence-Based Practices

It was only last June that South Dakota initiated a study on how to reduce the juvenile-incarceration rate. It was costing $140,000 a year for each youth commitment. Annual tuition at the University of South Dakota is only $13,904. And the returns on the commitment investment were not good. Forty percent of the adolescents were back with the Department of Corrections (DOC) three years after they were released.


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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

Youth Promise Act: Trying to Reform Juvenile Justice

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Jun 22, 2015 10:00:00 AM

5th time’s the charm with support from both sides of the aisle

You might think that after introducing a bill four times over the course of eight years, its sponsor would give up. Not so for Rep. Bobby Scott. The Democrat from Virginia has reintroduced the Youth Promise Act for the fifth time. After previously not reaching the House floor for a vote, the prospects for it being passed look good.Bobby_scott

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,, bipartisanship, Youth Promise Act

Diverting Juvenile Offenders Can Reduce Michigan’s Prison Budget

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

May 20, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Michigan can reduce its $2-billion state prison budget partly by diverting juvenile offenders to treatment.

When Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder decided to present his ambitious plan for justice reform, he chose Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, which makes it a practice to hire former convicts, as his setting. He also chose to have representatives from the Livingston County juvenile court and a Multisystemic Therapy (MST) supervisor from Highfields, Inc. in attendance. Snyder’s staff learned of the court’s success implementing programs that help kids, programs that save money.


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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,, success stories,

Youth Incarceration Costs Are Enough to Give you Sticker Shock

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Mar 2, 2015 9:30:00 AM

The Cost of Jailing Juveniles—Enough to Give You Sticker Shock 

The Justice Policy Institute recently issued a report spelling out the staggering costs of incarcerating juveniles. The institute, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to finding ways to improve the justice system and reducing the number of people imprisoned, gathered information from 46 states on what they spend on their juvenile correctional facilities. These states accounted for 93 percent of the U.S. population in 2013.sticker_shock

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,, Cost of youth incarceration, juvenile prison costs

Texas Juvenile Justice Reform Reduces Juvenile Crime

Posted by Lori Moore, MST Services

Feb 26, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Texas Juvenile Crime Justice Reform Reduces Crime & Saves Money

In 2007, after abuses were reported in Texas’ juvenile facilities, the legislature put together a reform package. Part of its aim was to keep youthful offenders close to home in the hopes of reducing the size of the correctional system, the second largest in the United States. Money that would have been spend putting kids behind bars, building new jails and prisons, and all the ancillary costs of incarceration was to be funneled into community supervision.texas_blog

Over the course of the years since the reforms began, juvenile incarcerations plunged from 4,305 to 1,481, a 66-percent drop. At the same time, arrests fell by 33 percent from 136,206 in 2007 to 91,873 in 2012. So, it would not appear that locking up fewer adolescents was a threat to public safety.

By closing eight juvenile correctional facilities, the state shaved its appropriations from $486 million to $290 million from 2006-2007 to 2014-2015. The savings went to local probation departments that find community supervision, services and treatment for the offenders.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,, Texas

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