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NCJJ Report Shows Juvenile Crime Keeps Falling, But Reasons Elusive

Click the image above to view the full report.

The latest comprehensive survey of the U.S. juvenile justice system paints a mixed picture of troubled youth even as the numbers of teens in the system continued a long decline.

The 244-page report includes data on arrests, commitment and detention up to 2010. It’s the first such report since 2006 by the NCJJ, the research arm of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Continue Reading →

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Reporter’s Notebook: Probation Officer & So Much More

Kathy McNamara

Kathy McNamara has played the roles of surrogate mother, mentor, big sister, coach, cheerleader, kindly counselor, confidante, inspiration and friend to her young charges. All the while, McNamara’s also served as their probation officer just outside Chicago in DuPage County, Ill. For 16 years now, she has worked on hundreds of the toughest of juvenile cases — those of so-called “dual-status youth,” kids entangled in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

Here and there, on the juvenile justice beat, you discover someone who goes so far beyond the call of duty you want to tell the world about that person. Kathy McNamara, a senior probation officer for juveniles, is one of those people. I first learned about McNamara, 45, while reporting on a JJIE story on dual-status youths. Continue Reading →

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Wyoming Girls School and CEEAS Featured in Marketplace Series

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American Public Media's Marketplace is covering an innovative educational program at The Wyoming Girls' School this week. The initiative, in collaboration with The Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings, is called Unjammed, and focuses on "using technology to transform teaching and learning inside of secure care facilities." Marketplace will also be covering more on the intersection of technology and juvenile corrections. Listen live or find the recordings here, here and here.  

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Researchers Find More than 1 Million Youths in Gangs

Percentage of Youth in Gangs

More than 1 million youths in America are gang members — more than triple the number estimated by law enforcement, according to a new study that shatters some long-held beliefs about gangs.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, refutes the notions that gang members are overwhelmingly black or Latino males and that once youths join a gang, they cannot leave.

Lead author David Pyrooz, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, said gang members come from all backgrounds. The study found about 40 percent are non-Hispanic white, Pyrooz said, with the remainder disproportionately black and Latino. Continue Reading →

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