Dan Edwards

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Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform Wins Award

Posted by Dan Edwards

Georgia juvenile justice reform, led by Gov. Nathan Deal, wins award 

A year after taking office, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recognized that he had an opportunity, and a responsibility, to fix the state’s criminal justice system. A year later, in 2013, he expanded his focus to include the state’s juvenile justice system. Shortly thereafter, the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) partnered with the Pew Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, among others, to explore ways to reduce the unnecessary, ineffective, and expensive overuse of out of home placement of youth who ran into trouble with the law as adolescents.

Much to CJCCs surprise, many of the juveniles placed out of home had committed misdemeanor or status offenses.

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Topics: MST Community

The Long Road to Closing Youth Prisons

Posted by Dan Edwards

Fight for alternatives to locking kids up. Fight for evidence-based programs.

It’s often said that if a young person ends up in prison, it’s a sign that the “system” failed somewhere along the way. Early warning signs were missed, help was not available or it came too late. Often, good people and good programs were simply not available due to lack of funds.

Is there really a lack of funds, or are available funds just being spent the wrong way?

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

The End of Youth Prisons

Posted by Dan Edwards

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. 

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

Evidence Based Practices Help Georgia’s Juvenile Offenders

Posted by Dan Edwards

Georgia Has Over 50% Decline in Juvenile Out of Home Placement

The state of Georgia saw impressive declines in out-of-home placements of juvenile offenders during the first nine months of a statewide initiative that implemented evidence-based practices led by Gov. Nathan Deal. According to the “Report of the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform 2015” released early this year, “Among the counties participating . . . felony commitments and placements . . . dropped more than 62% statewide over a nine-month period ending in October 2014, dramatically exceeding the 15% goal set when the grants were awarded.”

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Topics: MST Success Stories