The End of Youth Prisons

Posted by Dan Edwards, President, Evidence-Based Associates

Leaders in the field come together to demand the end of youth incarceration 

It may be that we look back on Oct. 21, 2016, as the day we finally made a public commitment to close youth prisons once and for all.

At a release event for the Future of Youth Justice report, the call for ending the use of juvenile prisons was loud and clear. While it’s true that it may not be tomorrow, next year or even this decade, this day marks a pivotal moment in the fight for juvenile justice. 

future of youth prisons.jpg

Read More

Topics: Youth Justice Awareness Month

Deviant Peer Groups Lead to Deviant Behavior

Posted by Phillippe Cunningham, Ph.D

Research shows that grouping troubled teens together creates worse outcomes

In the world of public and school policy to deal with adolescents who engage in antisocial behavior (delinquency, substance abuse) one area that seldom receives the attention it deserves is the side effects of commonly used prevention and intervention strategies. 

peer deviancy training.jpg

Read More

Topics: Youth Justice Awareness Month

Childhood Interrupted: Incarcerating Youth in Adult Prisons

Posted by Sue Dee

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.


Read More

Topics: Youth Justice Awareness Month

Juvenile Justice Should be a Campaign Issue

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Juvenile justice reform has bipartisan support... If we can move past presidential politics

Typically, our blog is apolitical. We don’t take sides except when it comes to what is best for young people in our society. Then we have an unwavering point of view. First, do no harm. Second, do good and do better. Advocate for change where change is needed.

We are not taking sides today—though we admit to looking forward to the end of this election cycle. 

Unlike the hot-button issues of tax, immigration and healthcare, juvenile justice reform has bipartisan support. 

So regardless of who wins in November, we hope our elected officials can get back to working on overhauling the juvenile justice system.  


Read More

Topics: Youth Justice Awareness Month

Words That Hide the Reality of the Juvenile Justice System

Posted by Laurie Spivey, MST Services

A look behind the euphemisms that proliferate the system

Imagine that you are sitting in court with your teenage son or daughter. The judge orders your child to six months living in a "training school" to address the concerns of the court. What would you imagine that to be? Something like a military school or a boot camp? A cluster of cabins in the woods where kids do ropes courses and practice trust falls?

The truth is that most training schools are thinly veiled youth prisons. Commonly referred to as "secure placements," they are actually cinder-block buildings behind barbed-wire where children wear orange jumpsuits, rubber shoes and handcuffs. They live in cellblocks and behind bars, get limited contact with their families and are at high risk of sexual and physical abuse. There is an intentional glazing over of the horrors within these facilities, under-reporting of crimes against young people behind bars and a number of creative euphemisms aimed at shielding us from the truth. 


Read More

Topics: Youth Justice Awareness Month

October is Youth Justice Awareness Month (#YJAM)

Posted by Sue Dee

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.


Read More

Topics: Youth Justice Awareness Month

Youth Justice Awareness Month: How Multisystemic Therapy Can Help

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

October is Youth Justice Awareness Month. YJAM brings awareness to systemic racial inequality 

In his proclamation naming October 2015 Youth Justice Awareness Month, President Obama said, “Nearly 55,000 individuals under age 21 are being held in juvenile justice facilities across the United States—a disproportionate number of whom are young people of color, including tribal youth. The proportion of detained and incarcerated girls and young women, often victims of abuse, has also significantly increased over the past few decades.”

When you look at the statistics, the racial disparity between which kids end up in jail and which do not is startling.YJAM_blog_pic

Read More

Topics: MST, Youth Justice Awareness Month

MST - Effective Intervention border

Subscribe to Blog

Recent Posts