Tag: Juvenile Justice

Don’t Train Kids to be Felons in Adult Jails

By Newt Gingrich and Pat Nolan The noted “tough on crime” criminologist John Dilulio once commented that “jailing youth with adult felons under Spartan conditions will merely produce more street gladiators.” Louisiana should heed Dilulio’s caution against locking up young petty criminals alongside violent adult criminals. The Bayou State is one of only nine states that prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults, often for the most minor of crimes (stealing a bag of potato chips, for instance). We all can agree that breaking the law is wrong and that these teens deserve to face consequences for their actions. But tossing them into adult jails with hardened criminals just makes those bad situations worse. The research and data are clear: Adult jails are… View Article

Getting Smart on Crime Puts Georgia Ahead

By Mike Klein MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Not long ago, the national philosophy behind criminal justice policy was to lock offenders away and teach them a lesson. This was popular with politicians who found that it played well before crowds and it was popular in communities where prisons and jails created jobs. Some folks even seemed to celebrate the idea that prisons were real hellholes. This philosophy worked great if you did not care about creating better citizens in people who had made a mistake but could be rehabilitated; if you did not want to think about the effect of mingling juveniles with hardened adult criminals; if you did not care about the spiraling cost to support the… View Article

Astonishing Early Results from GA Juvenile Justice Reform

MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein Buoyed by freshly funded incarceration alternatives, Georgia reduced new juvenile justice detention commitments by an astonishing 62 percent during the nine month period that ended in June. As a result, the average daily secure population rate is also trending down as is the length of time juveniles are waiting for a detention center placement. “While it’s still early, we feel great about where we are,” Department of Juvenile Justice assistant deputy commissioner Joe Vignati told the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform on Tuesday morning. This was the Council’s first meeting since May although several committees met during the summer. DJJ Deputy Commissioner Carl Brown led off with an historical overview… View Article
MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Anyone of a certain generation – yeah, that would be my generation – will recognize that famous line from “Cool Hand Luke,” the 1967 film about southern prison warden Strother Martin and his young prisoner Paul Newman. Eight little words strung together became one of the most famous lines ever spoken in American film history. “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” could also describe the failure by thirteen states to measure juvenile recidivism, including three of Georgia’s southern neighbors.  Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky do not measure and report juvenile recidivism rates. Therefore, they do not have cumulative data about how often… View Article
MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein Federal juvenile justice officials have noticed Georgia’s aggressive reforms and must like what they see because Washington is offering to pony up hundreds of thousands of new dollars to help the state implement ongoing juvenile reforms. On Monday the U.S. Justice Department said it could make up to $600,000 available this year, with similar offers in Hawaii and Kentucky. The announcement said implementation grant funds would be used “to strengthen diversion and community-based options that will reduce their out-of-home population, avert millions of dollars in otherwise anticipated correctional spending, reduce recidivism and protect public safety. OJJDP applauds the efforts of Hawaii, Kentucky and Georgia and is committed to supporting states that… View Article
Tuesday, March 18 Update: The Georgia House has passed Senate Bill 365, which is one of two criminal justice reform bills on the calendar. The vote was 164-to-2. The bill is based in part on Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommendations.  SB 365 was amended on the House floor to add language from House Bill 923 that would move the state’s Child Fatality Review Board from the Child Advocate’s Office to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. HB 923 died in a Senate committee last week. As the bill was changed on the House floor, it requires Senate reconsideration. SB 364 is the other criminal justice bill still awaiting a House vote. By MIKE KLEIN Mike KleinEditor, Georgia Public… View Article

GA House Passes Interstate Compact for Juveniles Bill

By Mike Klein Mike KleinEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Every year Georgia locks up hundreds of juveniles who fled here from other states after they violated their probation or parole terms.  Those hundreds sleep in Georgia beds, eat Georgia food, attend Georgia school classes, use Georgia medical services and in every other regard, they become a costly burden for Georgia taxpayers.  But that might end soon Monday afternoon the Georgia House unanimously approved HB 898 which would enable the state to rejoin the Interstate Compact for Juveniles (IJC).  Georgia is currently the only state that is not an IJC member although it was a member for several decades until withdrawal in 2010. The Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommended that… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike KleinEditor. Georgia Public Policy Foundation This idea is almost too obvious:  Fix families and you might alleviate pressure on overburdened state justice systems as there might be fewer folks showing up in juvenile and adult criminal courts.  This week the Campaign for Youth and Justice echoed that idea in a new report that states: “Given the history of the juvenile justice system, which has historically kept families at arm’s length, coupled with organizational and fiscal challenges facing agencies today, it is not surprising that many justice systems are struggling to meet the needs of families.” The Family Comes First executive summary further states that despite legitimate efforts to improve outcomes, “what has been missing is a… View Article
Published May 3, 2013 By Mike Klein Mike KleinEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation One of the primary architects of the special council recommendations that became the basis for this year’s juvenile justice reform legislation says the primary reason that thousands of juveniles enter the legal system each year is because they come from dysfunctional families. “Most of the kids we’re seeing today in most courts are kids in which we have broken families, most of them have single parents, most of those are mothers and there are poor or very weak problem solving skills, not just among the young people but also their parents,” Clayton County Juvenile Court Chief Judge Steven Teske told the Georgia Public Policy Foundation this week.… View Article
Published May 1, 2013 By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia’s next justice reform priorities will start with expanded digital learning in juvenile sectors and increased focus on transitioning paroled adult inmates back into society with more than a few bucks and a bus ticket.  Governor Nathan Deal discussed these priorities during an Atlanta speech on Tuesday, two days before he is scheduled to sign juvenile justice reform legislation. Deal said the state will partner with Provost Academy Georgia to provide digital learning resources to juveniles, starting with some 140 who participate in the Georgia National Guard Youth Challenge programs at Fort Gordon near Augusta and Fort Stewart in Hinesville. “These are young men and women who… View Article

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