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.

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