Sunday, October 29, 2006

This Week's News: Youth In Transition


Experiment Will Test the Effectiveness of Post-Prison Employment Programs
New York Times
1 October 2006
Jobs are arranged by a Chicago charity, the Safer Foundation, which works with current and former prisoners. Offering transitional jobs like these-immediate, closely supervised work and help finding permanent employment-is a growing tactic in the effort to usher felons back to society and curb recidivism. Now the effectiveness of this approach is about to be tested scientifically for the first time.

Del. drop-out rate frustratingly high
Wilmington News Journal
29 October 2006
Of every 10 freshman entering Delaware high schools this fall, six likely will earn their diplomas in 2010. Students offer many reasons for leaving. Of 500 dropouts interviewed, about 69 percent said they weren't motivated to work hard. Two-thirds said they would have worked harder if more was demanded of them. Many of the 16- to 25-years-olds interviewed had more than one reason for leaving.

Seniors face tough odds trying to get into college
29 October 2006
Facing one of the most competitive college admissions cycles in decades, students scramble for acceptance. "We're turning away students who are number one and two in their class not because we're arrogant but because we don't have room" said Lee Stetson, dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, which rejected 62 percent of the 1,035 high school valedictorians who applied this year.

Juvenile Justice

Studies: Youth punishment doesn't always fit the crime
Times Leader
29 October 2006
Unlike the adult criminal justice system, judges in the Commonwealth's juvenile system don't hand down uniform or definite sentences. In many cases, punishments for juveniles end up being harsher than they are for adults, with considerably longer sentences, according to some studies. There is evidence that female juveniles receive unequal treatment in sentencing even as the proportion of female juveniles in the system nationwide has slowly increased through the years, from 13 percent in 1991 to 15 percent in 2003.

Bringing vision to kids--and the system
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
30 October 2006
Councilwoman Kathy Lambert opens a lot of eyes in the juvenile justice system. She read a study done in San Bernardino, California that showed that more than 70 percent of the kids caught up in its juvenile justice system had some kind of vision problem and that after the young offenders and custodial cases were given glasses and tracked for one year, almost none returned to detention. Recidivism dropped to nearly nothing. This inspired her to test her local juvenile justice system. The result: Eighty percent of those tested had some kind of vision problem. Seventy-three percent needed glasses only while the others needed further vision evaluation. And, among all of those kids, only 5 percent had any idea that they had a problem with their sight.

Foster Care

Safety net for ex-foster kids
The Mercury News
28 October 2006
On Monday, Unity Place Apartments opens with great expectations in San Jose, the first 24 units in Santa Clara County dedicated exclusively to young adults who have "aged out" of foster care. Community groups like Unity Care are finally starting to get meaningful state support. This year, California legislators more than tripled the budget for affordable housing and supportive services for homeless former foster youth, from $1.3 million to $4.8 million.

Youth helps out fellow foster kids
The Press-Enterprise
28 October 2006
For his Eagle Scout project, Timothy Buchheit set out to collect 1,000 suitcases and bags for foster children. He chose this particular project, because, as a foster child himself, he could identify with the pain of being shuffled from one home to another with his worldly possessions stuffed into a garbage bag.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Bleak College Graduation Rate Is Found
Washington Post
19 October 2006
Only 9 percent of D.C. public school freshman will complete college within five years of graduating from high school, a figure far below the national average, according to a report to be released today. The report asserts that nine out of 10 freshman will be confined to low-paying jobs because they never began college or gave up before obtaining a degree.

Bush Touts Education Program
Los Angeles Times
19 October 2006
President Bush on Wednesday renewed his efforts to win reauthorization of his signature education program when the new Congress begins work next year, and said he would not yield on one of its most controversial components: the requirement that standardized tests periodically measure students' progress.

Dropout crisis in city emerges from research
The Philadelphia Inquirer
19 October 2006
Only about half of the ninth graders in Philadelphia's public schools graduate in four years, and for some minority male students, the rate is even lower, according to a report being released today.
Researchers say the social and finanical consequences are grave not only for the 30,000 young people who dropped out between 2000 and 2005, but also for the economic health of the region.

Juvenile Justice

Girl violence on the rise in schools
The State
16 October2006
Girls today, according to national crime statistics, are more violent than girls of two or three decades ago. Besides a rise in aggravated assault arrests, girls account for about a quarter of assualts by juveniles.
About 75 percent of the time, the victims are other girls. Experts cite a mix of causes: Today's girls, unlike girls of three decades ago, are encouraged to be competitive and confrontational. Some experts say girls fight for some of the same reasons boys often do--to gain respect and to defend their reputations.

Foster Care

CASA's Role In Promoting The Education of Foster Children
The Post- Journal
20 October 2006
CASA: Advocates for Children of New York State has partnered with the Permanent Judicial Commission for Justice for Children to address educational issues for foster children. The lingering effects of abuse and neglect often lead to behavior problems such as aggression and withdrawal, which can further interfere with the child's ability to learn. Many children surveyed in a study also said that they limited their social interaction with peers to hide their foster status and avoid the social stigma.

Funds to help at-risk kids lagging
The Mercury News
18 October 2006
Volunteers await training to advocate for delinquents, children in foster care. There's nothing that can be done because of the lack of funding, which is unfortunate. It's unfortunate for anyone who wants to be an advocate, but the real need is for the kids.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

This Week's News: Youth In Transition


Hispanics hit hard by tuition tab
Desert News
15 October 2006
While rising tuition costs affect all families, a new report by the Campaign for America's Future suggests that Hispanics are disproportionately hurt. College is simply getting priced out of reach for more and more deserving students.

Appeal planned on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
Sacramento Bee
12 October 2006
A Yolo County judge's ruling upholding a CA law, that allows a public colleges and universities to extend resident fees to illegal immigrants will be appealed. Plantiffs claimed that giving certain undocumented immigrants lower-cost in-state tuition discriminates against U.S. residents who are charged higher tuition. Without the law, supporters say, many students would not have been able to afford college.

Juvenile Justice

States Are Growing More Lenient in Allowing Felons to Vote
New York Times
12-October 2006
Legislatures in 16 states have loosened voting restrictions on felons over the last decade, according to a new report, a trend hailed by some advocates as a step toward democratic principles and fairness, especially for black Americans. Becaused of their high incarceration rate, blacks are most affected by the voting bans that vary widely among the states, with many barring current inmates and parolees from voting until they have fulfilled their sentences, and some barring felons for life.

Justice Department report criticizes Juvenile Justice Center
The Associated Press
7 October 2006
The Baltimore Juvenile Justice Center is being run in an unconstitutional manner, causing youths to "suffer significant harm and risk of harm" because of a lack of staff and inadequate behavior management and treatment plans, the Justice Department has found. The U.S. agency began investigating the center last summer after advocates and others complained that youths were being mistreated and that the facility was unsafe and not adequately staffed.

Foster Care

Lil Kim Takes Up Foster Care Cause
11-October 2006
Lil Kim credits her 10-month stay in federal prision for giving her the clarity to pick up foster care as her new cause. She recently attended the second annual Keeping the Promise to At-Risk Youth Conferenced in Washington, DC. The one-day summit was organized to highlight issues within the foster care system and develop mentoring programs and other educational services for foster children and at-risk youth.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Rationing Education
Washington Post
5 October 2006
In dire circumstances, we accept the rationing of scare resources as a necessary if regrettable choice. We triage. And we ration resources in an effort to do the most good for the largest number. But there are areas of life that we have rejected the idea of triage. Public education, an institute charged with disbursing equality of opportunity for all children, is certainly one of them.

Tax credits fund private school scholarships
The Arizona Republic
5 October 2006
More state money is available to help Arizona parents pay tution at private and religious schools. A new law allows businesses and corporations to make donations to private and religious schools to be used for scholarships. The businesses and corportations can then reduce the amount of taxes they owe the state by the smae dollar-for-dollar amount.

Educators Announce Joint Action Plan to Address School Dropout Crisis
National Education Association
5 October 2006
NEA releases 12-point plan for parents, educators, business leaders and lawmakers to reduce high school dropout rate using tactics tried through research and professional experience.

Juvenile Justice

Parishes get juvenile justice grants
Shreveport Times
4 October 2006
A five-year, $7.5 million juvenile justice grant will be split amoung judicial districts covering seven Louisiana parishes to help speed reform in those areas. The districts will use the dollars to reduce disparities that cause more minorities to be imprisoned, to increase community services to keep juvenile offenders out of prison facilities and to improve access to programs that help children avoid becoming juvenile offenders.

Foster Care
Aging out would be easier for youths
Detroit Free Press
8 October 2006
Children who grow up in, then outgrow state care face poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and sometimes jail. But if the Legislature adopts new recommendations, they might finally get some help to get off to a better start. Foster youth would leave state care at 21 and would: get continous medicaid coverage, attend Michigan colleges for free, and use services of a Detroit-based Housing Resource Cetner that matches them with affordable housing.

Downtown help center for homeless youth opening
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
10 October 2006
The local chapter of StandUp for Kids, a nonprofit agency is opening a new downtown outreach ceter for homeless kids and estimates that 2,500 youths in Atlanta are without homes. About 1 percent of America is homeless today and roughly 17 percent of the homeless are under 21.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This Week's News: Youth In Transition

Making a difference one student at a time
September 28, 2006
Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune
Even Start is a program designed to help high school drop outs receive their GED. It is free and ofers 72 hours a month of instruction but what sets this program apart from other programs, is that the Even Start program adds the component of free child care, lunches and transportation.

Catching the Drop Outs
September 25, 2006
Hispanic Business
Altohugh the national Hispanic gradution rate hovers below 60%, 95% of Aspirantes finish high school. More than 80% finish college. For many years, miniorities and especially Latinos were steered toward vocational occupations. Aspira ensured curricula to enable students...

Foster Care
Lehigh hopes program will foster savings
October 1, 2006
The Morning Call
Lehigh County is starting a pilot program for foster care. The program will cut out the middleman and the county will no longer be solely relying on agencies to train, recruit and work with it's foster families. In the long term it wil be...

Juvenile Justice
Gap Grows in Arrests of Whites, Minority Youths
September 29, 2006
The Portland Oregonian
After years of success in reducing the disparity between the arrest, detention and conviction rates for white and minority juveniles in Multnomah County, the gap is growing again...

Landmark ruling for juvenile justice
September 28, 2006
State Supreme Court rules that minors are not entitled to jury trial.

Juvenile justice: helping juvenile offenders
September 29, 2006
Participants draft law on juvenile justice. The aim of the draft law is to regulate the relations arising in the process of protection of the rights and legal interests of juveniles in conflict with the law, minor sufferers and victims by courts, law enforcement and other state agenices, citizens' self-government bodies and nongovernmental nonprofit organizations.