Communities are Critical in Aiding Criminal Justice System, Experts Say

NEW YORK – Community was the word on everyone’s lips at the Symposium on Crime in America at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. More police engagement with the community is needed to win the war against gangs, and communities need to be more receptive to those returning from prison, according to experts speaking at the conference. According to FBI data provided by Jeffrey Butts, Director of the John Jay Center on Research and Evaluation, violent crime arrests are at a 30-year low. But “as violence has dropped,” Butts said, “arrests for other crimes increased since the 1990s.” One reason may be that gangs are still a serious problem across the country and according to Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, gang violence has changed.

Study Looks at Strategies for Juvenile Justice Reform

A study by researchers at the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice released this week attempts to answer these larger questions and highlights some of what the authors believe to be some of the more sustainable examples of juvenile justice reform being implemented around the country.

Benjamin Chambers Interviews Dr. Jeffrey Butts on Positive Youth Development

Positive youth development is a key part of Reclaiming Futures. But what the heck is “positive youth development?” According to juvenile justice researcher Dr. Jeffrey Butts, it blends what we know about adolescent development and what we know about effective services. But don’t take it from me — here’s a brief interview on the subject that I did with Dr. Butts at the Reclaiming Futures Leadership Institute held in Miami in May:

The above story is reprinted with permission from Reclaiming Futures, a national initiative working to improve alcohol and drug treatment outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system.