Federal Government Investigates Dallas Truancy Courts

  Late last March, the Department of Justice announced a federal investigation of the Dallas County Texas Truancy courts.  Based on preliminary investigations, the Justice Department estimated that in 2014, Dallas County prosecuted over 20,000 children for missing class.  Punishing students for truancy may be understandable, but in Dallas students can be arrested in front of their […]

New Book Considers Rising Number of Girls in Detention

  An increasing number of detained juveniles are girls.  Author and photographer Richard Ross interviewed and photographed over 250 girls detention facilities in his new book, Girls in Justice.  Ross found girls who had suffered horrific abuse, and most were first arrested for running away or for larceny theft.  In the Mother’s Jones article on the book, Ross said […]

Early Stress Causes Long-Term Impact

For young children in high stress home environments, the effects can be long-term and dramatic.  A new study at the University of Washington found causal evidence that the stress response system suffered extreme, persistent effects based on early caregiving environment.  The study offers new insight to prior, non-human studies of impact on brain development. An article in […]

It’s Gotta Happen… Just Not. In. My. Back. Yard.

In a recent effort to keep juvenile delinquents out of secured detention facilities, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services stared a program called Close to Home, placing juvenile delinquents who do not pose risks to the public in group homes within the community. While this is a positive move toward reforming the country’s treatment […]

Knowing right from wrong: Circular logic in juvenile punishments

I recently read a blog post on the Marshall Project discussing raising the age of criminal liability in several states, including Texas.  The post clearly and concisely laid out the arguments for and against raising the age and advocated strongly in favor of raising the age, and I recommend reading it if you have any […]

Raising the Age: Is Texas Going “Soft on Crime?”

In the past decade, the Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty and mandatory life without parole for crimes committed while under the age of eighteen amount to cruel and unusual and are therefore unconstitutional.[1] [2] The Court, or at least a majority of it, appears to believe eighteen is the appropriate age to […]

A picture says a thousand words…for kids

NPR published a very interesting article about how children’s drawings are good indicators of family dysfunction.   It’s definitely worth a read for people who work with children.  I, for sure, will use this method the next time I talk to young children. Here’s the article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/12/08/368693069/kids-drawings-speak-volumes-about-home?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social   Follow

Double Jeopardy or Dismissal?

In Texas, a child is no longer a child when she turns 17.  When the clock strikes midnight, the protections afforded to juveniles vanish and the child becomes an “adult,” subjected to the processes and jurisdiction of the adult criminal court.  Rehabilitation and treatment is no longer in the minds of the court; 17-year-olds are now […]