Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Law urged to make teens stay in school
The Boston Globe, Massachusetts – October 21, 2009
Massachusetts students would be required to stay in school until age 18 under an ambitious proposal, part of a broader effort to halve the state’s high school dropout rate, to be announced today by a special state commission. With approximately 10,000 Massachusetts students quitting school each year, some as young as 14 years old, commission members say the state can no longer afford to ignore the dropout crisis, especially when striving to develop a more highly educated and skilled workforce.

Challenge Academy cadets helping Iraq vet
Chicago Tribune, Eagle, WI – October 21, 2009
Some youth enrolled in an alternative education program for high school dropouts at Fort McCoy are pitching in to help build a home for a soldier wounded in Iraq who was once in the program too. Challenge Academy offers high school dropouts and habitual truants a chance to earn their diploma and learn other life skills in a variety of ways.

N.J. at-risk youth education programs receive $6.25M
The Star-Ledger, New Jersey – October 21, 2009
With millions of dollars in state and federal grants already going to bullet-proof vests and surveillance cameras, Attorney General Anne Milgram today announced $6.25 million for another major crime prevention initiative: education. The grant will be split among YouthBuild programs across the state. "We are providing the resources necessary to help young people who are living at risk," Milgram said. "The alternative is to not support these efforts and pay for the costs associated with prison, emergency health care, public assistance, and much more."

Juvenile Justice

Restorative justice fans tout program advantages
Woodbury Bulletin, Woodbury, MN – October 21, 2009
Proponents of juvenile restorative justice programs say youths are less likely to commit offenses after successfully completing a peer court program. East Ridge High School police liaison Jean Hancock, who is coordinating a youth court program at the school, said it will take a few years to judge the new program’s outcomes.

Smaller JDC reflects larger goal for juvenile justice
Star-Tribune, Natrona County, WY – October 25, 2009
The next time Natrona County commissioners meet with their architect, they'll discuss designs for a juvenile detention center considerably smaller than the one they originally had in mind. They aren't expecting the county to shrink. Instead, the new plans are tied to a statewide effort rethinking how Wyoming houses young offenders, officials say. Rather than relying on large detention centers in Casper and Cheyenne, state leaders hope to create a network of smaller, regional facilities and dormitory-style operations that reduce the need to transport juveniles long distances. They also want to encourage more alternative programs that keep kids in their communities instead of locking them up.

Foster Care

Campus housing for foster youth bill signed
The State Hornet, California - October 24, 2009
Legislation that requires California's public post-secondary education systems to give priority for on-campus housing to emancipated foster youths was recently signed into law. AB 1393, the Foster Youth Priority Housing in College bill, also requires California State University campuses to keep housing facilities open for foster youths during school breaks. The bill was authored by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Oct. 11.

Georgia joins national foster care campaign
PBA Online, Atlanta, GA – October 24, 2009
While certain foster care homes in Georgia face sanctions, the state hopes a new effort will reduce the number of kids forced to grow up under state custody. The Georgia Department of Human Services is working with the Casey Family Foundation. The Foundation's Raise Me Up campaign highlights problems foster children face.

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