New York is one of two states to prosecute 16-year-olds as adults. Some state politicians want to change the law so that anyone ages 16 or 17 goes to a youth court instead of an adult criminal court. Proponents of raising the age argue a higher age of criminal responsibility allows more teens to outgrow criminal behavior. Advocates say that teenagers outgrow criminal behavior when treated like teens instead of adults, a point supported by science.
Minnesotans have a reputation for being polite, friendly, and reserved—the last people you’d expect to be involved in vicious bullying. Unfortunately, as director Alec Fischer reveals in “Minnesota Nice? A Documentary on Bullying and Suicide in Minnesota Schools,” not everyone in Minnesota lives up to the state’s reputation.
In 2006, the mother of a teenage daughter involved in the juvenile justice system in Hawaii contacted a small, non-profit in Lake Charles, La., more than 4,000 miles away. The mother was seeking support from someone who could understand her plight in navigating the juvenile justice system and possibly help her find the treatment and services her daughter desperately needed. Her search, to find someone who had experienced the same challenges, took months of calls, letters, emails and Internet searches. Her efforts and lack of response left her hopeless. Fast-forward seven years. Continue Reading →
Juvenile court judges and their clerks in Massachusetts will see more money in their paychecks in 2014 thanks to a provision in the recently passed $34 billion budget. The phased-in salary increases, the first for judges and clerks since 2006, will total $23 million annually, about 2 percent of the 2014 budget. The budget will increase the salaries of regular associate judges from nearly $130,000 annually to almost $160,000 — an increase of approximately 23 percent. The Republican reports that under the new budget — which Gov. Deval Patrick said he will sign next month — trial court clerk salaries will increase by 22 percent, from $110,000 to approximately $135,000. Assistant court clerks will see their salaries increase by nearly $19,000, and first assistant clerks by $20,000. Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- For 40 years Robert Johnson, chair of the Committee on Assessing Juvenile Justice Reform at the National Research Council of the National Academies has worked with adolescents in the juvenile justice system. Continue Reading →
A report released last week by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth calls for the state’s Dept. of Children’s Services to step up its efforts in meeting the needs of young people with psychological and other health problems. Continue Reading →
As a criminal defense lawyer and the mother of two girls, I have a very effective disciplinary tool at my disposal: I can take just about any undesirable interaction between my daughters and frame it as a crime. If the older one smacks the younger one, it’s an assault. If the younger one takes her big sister’s earrings, it’s larceny. If they are both yelling and shouting at each other, it’s disorderly conduct. Over the years, I’ve been able to advise them that this behavior not only breaks the rules of our home but also violates North Carolina’s criminal statutes. As someone who defends children in juvenile delinquency court, I can also warn them that they could be criminally prosecuted and end up – as my young clients do – facing a judge and the possibility of a year of supervised probation, removal from their home, or long-term detention and commitment. Continue Reading →