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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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Justice System Throws Poor Kids Into Debtors' Prison

By Christopher Zoukis It is becoming increasingly obvious that zero-tolerance policies contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline, often unfairly punishing youth for offenses that should not be dealt with in the criminal justice system. Involvement in the criminal justice system often kicks off a domino effect toward further interaction with the criminal system. For non-violent offenses

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Juvenile records create major hurdles, says study

By Christopher Zoukis The United States has no national standard for how juvenile records are dealt with, and no states earned a five-star rating from the Juvenile Law Center, a national public interest law firm that ensures child welfare. The center scored each state on factors such as confidentiality of records, availability of sealing of

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Connecticut aims to break school-to-prison pipeline

By Christopher Zoukis Connecticut is moving to implement a series of juvenile justice and education reforms aimed at cutting the school-to-prison pipeline after a series of complaints were lodged about problems plaguing the state’s system. Governor Dannel Malloy has already moved to close the Connecticut Juvenile Training Program by 2018 after multiple reports of violence,

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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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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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