Sunday, April 01, 2007

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


America Has Lost a Generation of Black Boys
The Chattanoogan – March 21, 2007
There is no longer a need for dire predictions, hand-wringing, or apprehension about losing a generation of Black boys. It is too late. In education, employment, economics, incarceration, health, housing, and parenting, we have lost a generation of young Black me. The question that remains is will we lost the next two or three generations, or possibly every generation of black boys hereafter to the streets, negative media, gangs, drugs, poor education, unemployment, father absence, crime, violence and death. Most young Black men in the United State don’t graduate from high school. Only a few Black boys who finish high school actually attend college, and of those few Black boys who enter college, nationally, only 22% of them finish college.

Juvenile Justice

Reeling in the big one: the smile of a troubled kid
The Daily Herald – April 1, 2007
As community corrections officers with the Snohomish County Juvenile Court, O’Day and Malcolm are involved in the After School Alternative Program. Judges send kids to the program because of minor offenses or truancy, or because parents have filed petitions to have them declared at-risk youth. The program, which includes mandatory school attendance and home confinement, keeps kids out of detention at Denney Juvenile Justice Center in Everett. As a bonus, it gives them experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Prosecutors vow to get tougher on juveniles
Orlando Sentinel – March 27, 2007
Central Florida prosecutors say they have lost faith in a juvenile justice system ill-equipped to handle a growing number of violent teenage criminals. As a result, the Orlando/Osceola State Attorney’s Office is considering charging more youths as adult defendants—thrusting them into a criminal justice system with severe penalties, such as prison time. Juveniles charged with less-violent crimes, such as burglary, could now end up in adult court when in the past, prosecutors would have kept them in the juvenile system. “We are going to err on the side of public safety,” said State Attorney’s Office spokesman Randy Means. “We don’t have confidence in the juvenile justice system.”

Boys & Girls Club opens for Juvenile Justice kids
Ventura County Star – March 27, 2007
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Huemene officially opened the first club inside the Ventura County Juvenile Justice complex on Monday. The partnership is part of an initiative- Targeted Re-entry – funded by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the U.S. Department of Justice, the state of California, and the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justices and Delinquency Prevention. The initiative is designed to provide opportunities for youths who are serving 90 days or less to easily reenter their communities upon leaving the juvenile justice system.

Foster Care

Kids get a voice in Youth Cabinet
Times Union – March 30, 2007
Albany—To advise him on matters affecting young people, County Executive Mike Breslin has formed a Youth Cabinet. The mission of the eight-member group is to act as a voice for the youth of Albany County and inform the count executive “in matter pertaining to services consumed and needed by youth in order to promote independence and success”. The Youth Cabinet will examine ways in which Albany County’s services can be enhanced to address quality-of-life concerns.

National Birthday Party Highlights Need for Foster Care Financing Reform
PNN – March 29, 2007
Thirty young people, including current and former foster youth from across the nation, joined child welfare advocates, policymakers and others at a Capitol Hill event today to celebrate and recognize the birthdays of the more than 500,000 children in foster care. According to Time for Reform: Too Many Birthdays in Foster Care, a guide to the U.S. foster care system released at the event, child in foster care spend an average of more than two years in care, move three different homes, and can be separated from brothers and sisters, friends and family. Childhood rituals—like birthday celebrations—can go unmarked and unnoticed for children in foster care. Flexibility in financing system would create and support permanent, loving families through reunification, adoption, and guardianship according to the Pew Commission.

On their own at 18
Union-Tribune – March 24, 2007
Proposed state legislation and a new local program would change the way foster children are dropped into the adult world. At the Children’s Advocacy Institute’s urging, legislation has been introduced to change the way the state treats former foster kids – from a patchwork of short-term programs to a more organized system of support. CAI proposes financial support and a Transition Guardian Program, designed to “replicate as closely as possible the commitment of responsible parents during the transition of their children into independent adulthood.”

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