Sophie Karpf

Recent Posts

Good Judges Make Good Juvenile Justice

Posted by Sophie Karpf

How one judge is making a difference in the lives of the youth and community he serves

In 1899, the first-ever juvenile court was established in Cook County, Illinois. Within 25 years, almost all states had a juvenile-court system setup. Their primary goal was to rehabilitate, not punish, young people who committed delinquent acts. Thus, from its very inception, the juvenile-justice system was intended for prevention and rehabilitation.

There are a few key differences between the juvenile-court and the adult criminal-court system. Of major significance, juveniles are not entitled to a trial by jury. judge_ri.jpgMagistrate Charles Levesque, center

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

Confessions of a 'Juvenile Delinquent'

Posted by Sophie Karpf

How being white and privileged kept me out of the juvenile justice system

I’m new to a lot of things. Knitting, crossword puzzles, adult-ing, just to name a few. But most importantly, I’m new to my job at MST Services. Before working here, I could not have told you much about the juvenile-justice system. Now, by virtue of the research I now do, I can tell you a lot. Interestingly, not only have I learned a lot about the topic, I have learned a lot about myself. 

This is not going to be me gushing about how my life has improved since coming to MST. (Even though it has). This is going to be me speaking about the harsh realizations and self-awareness I’ve come to have, most of which I think are equal parts pertinent and relevant to my peers, as well.dodgeball.jpg

My friends and me, senior year of high school

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Topics: MST Success Stories

Burning Down the House at Blueprints

Posted by Sophie Karpf

It's not enough to do no harm, we must also do some good

Leaders in evidence-based practices and their advocates are gathered this week in Denver at the biennial Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development Conference. As part of that, Multisystemic Therapy (MST) held a one-day pre-conference specifically for people looking to learn more about how and why MST is a successful treatment program. Chief Judge Steven Teske of Clayton County, Ga., kicked off the day, joined by other thought leaders such as President and CEO of The Children’s Village Jeremy C. Kohomban and Manager of Administrative Services of the CT Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division Julie Revaz. Our special keynote speaker was Nell Bernstein, author of Burning Down the House.

Bernstein, a passionate advocate for juvenile-justice reform, opened the world’s eyes to the often brutal and deadly world behind bars when she came out with her book in late 2014. The stories she told can be difficult to digest at times and beggar belief at others. It is, in short, a compelling argument in favor of completely shutting down juvenile prisons.

For those of you unable to join us at Blueprints, the brief video below sums up Bernstein’s viewpoint on juvenile incarceration.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

Ken Warner, New Mexico Champion, to Speak at MST Pre-conference

Posted by Sophie Karpf

Thanks to Ken Warner, New Mexico has Multisystemic Therapy statewide

In 2000 when Ken Warner and his colleagues at the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, Children’s Behavioral Health Bureau (CBHB) attended a presentation on Multisystemic Therapy (MST) in Albuquerque, he had no idea he would go on to champion the evidence-based program statewide.

Albuquerque_skyline.jpg

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Topics: MST Community

What Are We Going to Do About the School-to-Prison Pipeline?

Posted by Sophie Karpf

Zero tolerance policies are pushing our kids into prison

An African American male born in 1940 had an 8-percent chance of ending up incarcerated if he did not attend college. In 1970, that figure rose to 36 percent. Want to know the chance of an African American male born in 1970 ending up incarcerated if he didn’t graduate high school? Seventy percent. That’s 7 out of 10 black youth.

So, how many African American males are not graduating high school? As of 2013, the graduation rate was 59 percent. (Compare that to 65 percent for Latino males and 80 percent for white males). This begs the question—why are so many of these young men not graduating high school? Well, partially because they’re disproportionately pushed into prison due to overwhelmingly Draconian discipline policies, a phenomenon known as the school-to-prison pipeline.Schooltoprisonpipeline.jpg

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Topics: School Safety