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Damning report finds serious issues with youth prison

From understaffing to suicides, youth are underserved in juvenile justice system By Christopher Zoukis The Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland Maine has deep roots — 165-year-old ones. The center’s first iteration was as the Boys Training Centre in 1853, when it functioned as a rehabilitation facility for young male offenders. In 1976

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Weighing Prison Time for Juvenile Offenders

By Christopher Zoukis The debate on whether or not teens should be tried as adults and be locked up in adult prisons rages on on each side of the issue. Some take a more compassionate stance that young offenders deserve second chances after making big mistakes, especially if their crimes are nonviolent in nature. On

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Florida's Troubled Prison, Juvenile Justice Systems Gearing Up For Overhaul

Proposed reforms to the Florida DOC include reducing harsh penalties on youth offenders. By Christopher Zoukis Following the launch of a new goal plan for the Florida Department of Corrections, big changes should be arriving in the beleaguered system, with several new pieces of legislation introduced and new budgetary items requested. All of the proposed

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Youth Punished For Inability to Pay In Juvenile Justice System

By Christopher Zoukis Lower-income, and racial and ethnic minority youth are far more likely to face incarceration or probation because of an inability to pay debts imposed by the justice system, according to a report issued by Philadelphia’s Juvenile Law Center. The legal aid and advocacy group analyzed state laws on the fines, fees, restitution

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Stop Sending Juvenile Offenders to Adult Prisons

By Jean Trounstine and Christopher Zoukis In a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision is a deceptively simple line that should affect, and in many cases, transform the way Americans think about juveniles who kill. At the heart of the 2012 groundbreaking case, Miller v. Alabama, said the Court, is the idea, proven by neuroscience and

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Where alternative sentencing and education meet

News out of Iran’s criminal justice system last week could not be more surprising. One Judge Qasem Naqizadeh in the city of Gonbad-e Kavus is adopting an alternative sentencing mechanism for juveniles that the rest of the world would do well to pay attention to. Juvenile offenders with no previous records, having committed relatively minor

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New Focus On Education For Juvenile Prisoners

Image courtesy www.azcourts.gov By Christopher Zoukis On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released new guidelines, coined a “Correctional Education Guidance Package,” designed to enhance educational programming in juvenile detention centers. These guidelines have the potential to help many of the 60,000 juvenile prisoners who

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