Monday, July 06, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Jindal signs alternate diploma bills
The Times-Picayune, Baton Rouge, LA – July 2, 2009
Gov. Bobby Jindal signed two bills Thursday that aim to reduce Louisiana's school dropout rate by lowering educational standards and creating a new "career track" high school diploma. Jindal said the new career-path curriculum will help reduce the number of Louisiana children who drop out before finishing high school -- an estimated 13,500 per year, or 16,000 if middle school children are included.

Juvenile Justice

County introduces program to deter juvenile crime
Sentinel, Middlesex County, NJ – July 2, 2009
Anew county initiative called the "Clean Slate" program will give youngsters suspected of minor crimes a second chance to stay out of trouble, while easing the number of cases going to Family Court. According to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, when youngsters commit crimes such as carrying fake identification cards or damaging someone's property, they face the possibility of getting arrested and convicted as juvenile delinquents. However, some youths will be spared the ordeal of being arrested, charged and then tried by a Family Court judge under a new comprehensive program aimed at deterring first-time juvenile offenders from committing more serious crimes.

Study could ease concerns over hiring ex-offenders
USA Today, July 1, 2009
A study funded by the Justice Department concludes that over time accused robbers, burglars and batterers pose no greater risk to employers than job candidates in the general population. In a review of 88,000 arrestees in New York state, Carnegie Mellon University investigators found, for example, that after about 7 1/2 years the "hazard rate" for an 18-year-old first-time arrestee for robbery declined to the same rate as an 18-year-old in the general population. For 18-year-olds arrested for aggravated assault, it took about four years to reduce the risk.

Foster Care

Program helps foster dreams
The Atlanta Journal – Constitution, Atlanta, GA – July 5, 2009
For years, Tarkiyah Melton dreamed of owning a home, a place she could be proud of, a place where her two children could attend good schools. But for years the dream seemed out of reach. Not only had Melton spent more than half her life in foster care; she was yet to find the kind of career that would fund those dreams. Thanks to the Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Opportunities Initiative, a program of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta and other partners, Melton’s dreams are being realized.

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