Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Multi-State Analysis of Correctional Boot Camp Outcomes: Identifying Vocational Rehabilitation as a Complement to Shock Incarceration, Student Pulse

This paper evaluates the outcomes of various correctional boot camp and shock incarceration programs from three U.S. states. It examines the recidivism rates observed among graduates of these programs juxtaposed against their contemporaries who received other custodial and non-custodial sanctions. This paper further analyzes the overall efficacy of these initiatives and offers suggestions for the improvement of juvenile and adult correctional boot camp programs. Finally, it identifies employability as a contributing factor to criminal recidivism and proposes its applicability as a complementary strategy to shock incarceration. It also addresses the challenges to vocational rehabilitation initiatives posed by the perceptions of policy makers and the general public.

Supreme Court Complicates Sentencing Of Juveniles, www.Ocala.com

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court barred mandatory life terms for juveniles who commit homicides. In 2010, the high court said life prison sentences were unconstitutional for juveniles who commit non-violent crimes like armed robberies or other felonies with a maximum penalty of life.  Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature failed to pass a law that would have helped resolve the issue. As a result, Florida judges have no statutory guidelines when faced with sentencing juveniles convicted of crimes for which the only sentence allowed by law is life behind bars.

New Juvenile Justice Program Shows Early Promise, Austin American Statesman, Texas

In law-and-order Texas, where there has been a reluctance to lock youths in prison except for the most serious crimes, the state’s juvenile justice system has changed drastically in five years. Thanks to sweeping reforms after a sex abuse scandal in 2007, the number of incarcerated youths has dropped by more than 70 percent. Most teenage offenders are now placed in community-based rehabilitation programs, instead of state-run lockups — a shift away from the tougher, boot-camp mentality that was popular across the country during the 1990s. Other states have found community-based programs successful at turning around low-level, nonviolent offenders as well.

Lisa Steffek

About Lisa Steffek

Lisa Steffek is a third year student at the University of Houston Law Center. Lisa completed her Bachelors, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Texas in Human Development and Family Sciences. As an undergraduate, Lisa worked as a research assistant studying child attachment. Lisa also worked for several years at The Settlement Home, a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed adolescent females. Most of the girls at The Settlement Home had been removed from their homes by Child Protective Services, and Lisa worked with the girls to teach them life-skills and provided psychological treatment to prepare them for adulthood and the transition to foster homes. Lisa also worked for six years in various academic capacities at the University of Texas, including an undergraduate teaching assistant, graduate research assistant, and undergraduate writing consultant. Lisa has presented papers regarding human development at various academic conferences in the states and abroad, and has had her writing published in an international, academic journal.

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