Monday, March 09, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


New Bedford school officials bearing down on graduation rates
South Coast Today, New Bedford, MA – March 8, 2009
School officials at New Bedford High wanted Amy Pimental, then 16, to see one more person before signing the paper that said she was quitting school. Giving up. Becoming a statistic. Becoming part of the problem. She was sent to see Bernadette Coelho, the school's dropout prevention specialist, whose job it was to keep as many people like Amy as she could from walking out the door.

Discipline of Military Redirects Dropouts
The New York Times, New York, NY – March 7, 2009
By his own account, Donte’ A. Dungey had no motivation in high school, sleeping through classes and sometimes showing up only for the free lunch to reduce the burden on his mother, who was struggling with nine other children. Held back three times and scheduled to enter the 10th grade at nearly 18, he knew that “high school just wasn’t going to work for me,” he said. Mr. Dungey is one of 203 youths who graduated from a grueling physical and educational program on Saturday.

Juvenile Justice

Fourth Circuit Juvenile Arbitration to offer training
SC, South Carolina – March 9, 2009
The first training sessions this year for the 4th Circuit Juvenile Arbitration program will be offered at the Darlington County Library beginning Monday. Juvenile arbitration is a restorative justice program that gives priority to the restoration of the victim’s physical, material and emotional needs. In most cases, the victim meets with the juvenile offender and the arbitrator and tells them about the offense committed against them.

Laconia presenters tell of restorative justice model
The Citizen of Laconia, Laconia, NH – March 5, 2009
Retired Juvenile Justice Willard Martin, and F. Andre Paquette, chair of the Belknap County Citizens Council, were presenters at the "Heads Together '09" statewide conference. They joined Deb Naro and Michelle Golden from the Communities for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth (CADY) Coalition in Plymouth to discuss the restorative justice model of community-based juvenile justice. Restorative justice principles focus on offender accountability, restitution to both the victim and the community, and the personal growth of the youth.

Juvenile justice agency gets federal grant
The Topeka Capital Journal, Topeka, KS – March 3, 2009
The Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority has received an $881,217 federal grant to improve services for juvenile sex offenders. Commissioner J. Russell Jennings said Tuesday the grant is aimed at reducing re-offense rates. The grant will be targeted at providing pre-sentencing assessment services to about 140 youths per year in 12 judicial districts. Those districts account for 43 percent of the juvenile sex offenders placed in the authority’s custody. It also will focus on about 50 youths per year in the juvenile correctional facilities to provide intensive treatment programs and re-entry services.

Foster Care

Foster child gives back to youth
The Lufkin Daily News, Lufkin, TX – March 8, 2009
Most children who age out of the foster care system at 18 eventually end up in prison, pregnant or without a college degree, statistics show. However, one Tyler woman has defied those odds, becoming one of the less than 2 percent of foster care children who go on to earn a college degree. At 22, Jennifer England now works as a Region 4 Youth Specialist for Child Protective Services to help others in the system succeed, too.

UCR social-work researcher wins grant to study youth emancipated from foster system
The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA – March 4, 2009
A University of California Riverside researcher has won a $94,781 grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation to study developmental processes that take place as teens age out of foster care. "It's an exciting new opportunity and we're hoping to listen to the youth with a pretty open ear because they are the experts on this," Yates said.

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