Weekly Roundup

Nine Groups Call for Gov. Abbott to Appoint Task Force to Address School Policing, RGVProud

Citing recent police use of force on students in Texas schools by school resource officers, [on May 17th] nine advocacy organizations called on Governor Greg Abbott to establish a task force to examine school policing issues in preparation for the 2017 legislative session and school year.

Dear Decaturish – Georgia juvenile justice reform is model for the nation, Decaturish.com

In recent years, Georgians have quietly and decisively transformed the criminal justice system for adults and children alike. It’s a remarkable story of bipartisan cooperation and consensus-building . . .The process began more than four years ago when Gov. Nathan Deal set into motion a determined dialogue about how to reform the state’s criminal justice system.

[. . .]

In 2011, the governor created the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform to address the problems.

[. . .]

Although it’s premature to offer conclusive data on life outcomes for adults and children affected by the new reforms, early data is strong.


Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) impact an individual long-term. Dr. Vince Felitti from Kaiser Permanente and Dr. Bob Anda from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a research to study how childhood trauma impacts health outcomes. In their investigation, they tracked the number of ACEs of over seventeen thousand individuals and then compared these to the participants’ health outcomes. The study has shown a correlation between adverse childhood experiences and the health and social problems an individual encounters over his or her lifetime.

The potential ill effects of childhood trauma are troubling. ACEs can dramatically increase the risk for seven out of ten of the leading causes of death in the United States. Childhood trauma can impact the development of the brain and the immune system. There are also findings that individuals who experienced childhood trauma are at a triple risk for heart disease and lung cancer. Other areas where risks are increased include hepatitis, ischemic heart disease, depression, and suicide. The impact of childhood trauma is not confined to an individual’s health prospects, however, and also spills over into other areas.

In her TED talk, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris breaks down how the stresses associated with abuse, neglect, and parental difficulties—which can range from mental health or substance abuse struggles to separation or domestic violence—affect a child in the short and long term. Yet, she points out that in spite of these high stakes, doctors are not yet trained in routing screening or treatment of this ailment. She then recounts her personal journey to discovering the impact of childhood trauma and explains how she implements this knowledge to screen and address the ramifications of ACEs. Ultimately, Dr. Burke advocates for increased awareness regarding this threat, as well as a proactive approach to addressing it in order to minimize its potential detrimental effects.

However, we cannot leave it to the medical field to address and work towards eradicating the ill effects of childhood trauma. Rather, it will take a concerted effort from all actors that are able to help secure safe environments and provide appropriate interventions when necessary. For this reason, the Center for Children, Law & Policy’s Zealous Advocacy Conference later this summer will be focusing on adverse childhood experiences. Please be on the lookout over the next few weeks for more information regarding specific conference details.



Image from http://news.rutgers.edu/news/study-links-early-childhood-trauma-kindergarten-behavior-problems-poor-performance/20160118#.VxOvMGMoFSU.

Weekly Roundup

Long road to rehabilitation: Maharashtra juvenile justice system cuts pendency, but challenges remain, Firstpost

Maharashtra has reduced the pendency of cases before its juvenile justice boards (JJBs) by one-third in the past few years, but a lot remains to be done in the system when it comes to rehabilitation[.]

The National Conference on Juvenile Justice Promotes Solutions to Ensure Effective Juvenile Justice Systems Across the Country, Nevada Business

More than 400 of the top leaders, judges and court professionals of juvenile justice reform gathered in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 21-23 for the National Conference on Juvenile Justice hosted by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).

Probing The Complexities Of Transgender Mental Health, NPR

[A] study published this month . . . looked at the mental health of 73 transgender children between ages 3 and 12. [The] group [of children] did not experience any more depression, and had only slightly more anxiety, than their siblings and nontransgender peers.

Why are our kids so miserable?, Quartz

“Something in modern life is undermining mental health[.]” . . . Specifically, something is undermining young people’s mental health, especially girls.

More Sophisticated Transition Planning Needed for Foster Youth with Complex Needs, The Chronicle of Social Change

Youth who age out of foster care face obstacles like homelessness, unemployment and poverty.

Think about how much harder it is for young people with complex needs like a chronic illness or an intellectual disability. Youth with complex needs require extra support when they exit the foster care system at age 18 or 21, depending on the state, but there is too often little or no support.

The Untold Stories Of Black Girls, NPR

Recent research has documented that black girls are punished at school at rates that are even more disproportionate than those experienced by black boys.

The ‘Silent Epidemic’ of Child Trauma, The Chronicle of Social Change

Last week [Pia Escudero, director of the School Mental Health Unit at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)], presented on her work with FOCUS at Echo Parenting and Education’s conference on creating trauma-informed schools. 

Exercise May Help Young People With Severe Mental Health Disorders, Huffington Post

 For young adults who have experienced severe mental health disorders, exercise may help reduce the severity of their symptoms, a new, small study suggests.