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Mission The mission of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance is to reduce the number of children and youth entering the juvenile and criminal justice.

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Presentation on theme: "Mission The mission of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance is to reduce the number of children and youth entering the juvenile and criminal justice."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Mission The mission of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance is to reduce the number of children and youth entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems, and advocate a safe, effective, and fair system for those involved.

3 Good news to share with you this morning: Overall reforms going on within system over the past ten years have significantly reduced the size of the system from front end to back end:

4 Effectiveness All system referrals down dramatically: Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch

5 Average daily population in juvenile detention Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch Effectiveness

6 Commitments to DCF: FWSN Delinquency

7 Priorities for 2010 Make Connecticut’s juvenile justice system Effective Fair Provide support and assistance to the newly created LISTs (Local Implementation Service Teams) around the state

8 Priorities for 2010 Effectiveness Keep kids out of the adult system Keep kids who haven’t committed crimes out of the system (FWSN) Keep kids in school Fairness Ensuring that a child’s race or ethnicity does not affect how a child is treated

9 Effectiveness Keep kids out of the adult system. 16-year-olds part of the juvenile justice system as of January 1, year-olds will join the system in 2012

10 Effectiveness Youth recidivate less because they receive services in the juvenile justice system that address the root causes of their behavior. They are more likely to succeed in the future, without a permanent adult record and with access to Pell Grants, etc. For Raise the Age to be effective, it’s critical to maintain and enhance the services currently offered. Keep kids out of the adult system.

11 Effectiveness Alliance activities for Raise the Age this year: Monitor implementation for 16-year-olds Determine how new policies and procedures are working for youth and families, police, courts, service providers, schools, etc. Problem solve to ensure smooth transition for 17-year-olds in 2012 Keep kids out of the adult system.

12 Effectiveness What can you do about Raise the Age? –The Alliance relies on you to let us know how new policies and procedures are working for youth and families, police, courts, service providers, schools, etc. –As the age change affects you and your community call or us to give with the details.

13 Effectiveness Keep kids who haven’t committed crimes out of the system. Families With Service Needs (FWSN) – “status offenses,” behaviors that tend to lead to delinquent acts: Truancy Running away Being beyond parental control None of these offenses is a crime.

14 Effectiveness Keep kids who haven’t committed crimes out of the system. Families With Service Needs Philosophy shift: Serve the whole family

15 Effectiveness Keep kids who haven’t committed crimes out of the system. FWSN reform and other moves by the state to divert children from juvenile justice involvement are helping to shrink the juvenile justice system. Focus on providing services to youth and families before a FWSN situation would lead to court, has also encouraged and increased access to diversion options for youth throughout the system. How FWSN reform affects the system

16 Effectiveness Keep kids who haven’t committed crimes out of the system. Juvenile justice involvement after successful completion of a FSC program Family support centers: Immediate comprehensive help for the most high need FWSN cases. Source: Process and Outcome Evaluation of the CT FWSN Needs Project: Interim Report. Justice Research Center, Inc.

17 Effectiveness Most communities still lack access to a Family Support Center Hartford Waterbury Bridgeport New Haven

18 Effectiveness Alliance activities and what you can do –If your community does not have a Family Support Center, let your legislators know you need one! –Monitor implementation especially with 16- year-olds now included in the FWSN system –Let us know what’s happening with FWSN in your community –Reduce the number of youth who are truant

19 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. Truancy accounts for about half of all FWSN cases

20 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. “Students should be removed from the school setting only under the most exceptional circumstances...That is why we need policies like this that keep students in school, not at home. Keeping children out of school is a direct line to delinquent behavior. Students get farther behind in their course work. They lose hope of catching up. It’s a recipe for failure.” – Governor M. Jodi Rell, June 28, 2007

21 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. Truancy – What can we do? Prevention – brochure for parents Interventions – look at models that work in districts in CT and around the country and adapt them for use in this district (we’ll help!)

22 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. Reduce the use of discipline strategies that remove kids from schools: out-of-school suspensions/expulsions and arrests Connecticut Voices for Children postcard

23 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. Majority of suspensions in CT are for minor, non-violent offenses Sign at a Bridgeport high school

24 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. Arrests at school Children are more likely to be arrested in school today, many times for offenses that could be better addressed within the school.

25 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. Arrests in school – why more? Zero tolerance policies Lack of discipline alternatives Increased pressures on schools Lack of clarity regarding police presence/role in schools

26 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. Reducing school arrests – what can we do? Get the information out – how many kids are arrested in your district and for what offenses? Give educators the opportunity to use “common sense” Clearly define the role of police within the schools and ensure all school resource officers have standardized, appropriate training

27 Effectiveness Keep kids in school. How Do We Reduce Other Exclusionary Disciplinary Policies? CT Voices for Children report Proactive Discipline strategies Determine a matrix of disciplinary options tied to various offenses. Limit the types of offenses/circumstances for which out- of-school consequences are an option. Ideas that can be explored through your LIST

28 Effectiveness Fairness

29 Fairness All youth in the juvenile justice system should be treated equally, regardless of their race or ethnicity. “Disproportionate Minority Contact” (DMC) = this is not the case. Youth of color are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system and are treated more harshly there.

30 Fairness What states have Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC)?

31 Fairness All of them

32 Fairness Why are there more kids of color in the juvenile justice system?

33 Fairness Why are there more kids of color in the juvenile justice system? Do kids of color commit more crime than white kids?

34 Fairness Why are there more kids of color in the juvenile justice system? Do kids of color commit more crime than white kids? NO In national surveys, including one by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids of all races and ethnicities self-report committing the same crimes at very similar rates. Kids of all races and ethnicities do the same things. But we treat kids of color more harshly.

35 Fairness Why are there more kids of color in the juvenile justice system? Is Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) a result of poverty?

36 Fairness Why are there more kids of color in the juvenile justice system? Is Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) a result of poverty? NO Connecticut studies of DMC looked at how coming from a low-income neighborhood affects treatment. Poverty is a disadvantage, but it does not fully account for the difference in how a kid is treated.

37 Fairness Why are there more kids of color in the juvenile justice system? Is it simply because there’s more crime in cities, where many of them live?

38 Fairness Why are there more kids of color in the juvenile justice system? Is it simply because there’s more crime in cities, where many of them live? NO We actually see a greater disparity in the treatment of minority youth in rural and suburban Connecticut than in the state’s cities.

39 Fairness Where is the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) in Connecticut’s juvenile justice system?

40 Fairness Where is the DMC in Connecticut’s juvenile justice system? CT Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee research by Spectrum Associates 15 “decision points” 7 with Disproportionate Minority Contact

41 Fairness 7 Decision Points WITH Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC): BlackHispanicWhite 1. Referred to court  2. Placed in secure holding  3. Taken to detention  4. Released from detention prior to case disposition  5. Transferred to adult court  6. Time spent in CJTS  7. Time spent in non-secure facility  The data covers a sampling of police cases from , juvenile court records from 2006 and Department of Children and Families records from

42 Fairness 8 Decision Points WITHOUT Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC): BlackHispanicWhite 1. Brought to police station (versus released) 2. Length of time in secure holding 3. Length of time in detention 4. Type of handling (case in front of a judge or probation officer) 5-6. For cases in front of a judge, how many kids were found guilty and what the consequences were for being found guilty (i.e., placement in CJTS, residential, home / on probation) 7. For cases that didn’t go in front of a judge, the outcome (supervision, discharge) 8. Percentage of DCF commitment completed The data covers a sampling of police cases from , juvenile court records from 2006 and Department of Children and Families records from

43 Fairness Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) is something we can change. Because we know exactly where in the system these problems exist, we can target those decision points and demand accountability and equality.

44 Fairness DMC is in everyone’s interest to change. Offends our shared values of equality / equal opportunity Diminishes a child’s long-term chances Wastes state resources by putting kids in the system who don’t need to be there

45 Fairness What can we do about Disproportionate Minority Contact? Build public awareness and Support local efforts: Community breakfasts Just Start: JJAC public information campaign Support to LISTs

46 Effectiveness = Fairness Fairness = Effectiveness In conclusion, together we are working to: Keep children out of the adult system Advocate for services to help families in distress Support programs that keep children in school Ensure that race and ethnicity are not factors in how children in the system are treated

47 Effectiveness Fairness Join our listserv at Become a member of our Facebook community Join your LIST Talk with leaders in your school and community See handouts for more information

48 Questions?


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