Weekly Roundup

Studies Suggest Cautious Optimism About Declines In Teen Opioid Use, NPR

In the midst of an opioid epidemic that continues to devastate families, a sliver of hope has arrived. Two long-term studies published Monday show that opioid use among teens and opioid poisonings among younger children are on the decline.

Though it gets less press, the opioid epidemic has been hitting teens and children hard, with hospitalization rates for opioid exposures nearly doubling for teens and more than doubling for kids under 5 between 1997 and 2012. But family members’ opioids are a major source for youth who use them, and opioid prescriptions have been decreasing since around 2011, reducing youth access to the drugs, noted both studies’ authors. Read more.

The Unfinished Business of Juvenile Justice, The Crime Report

Lawmakers in New York, North Carolina, Missouri, and Texas are currently debating proposals that would move 16-or-17-year-olds (or both) out of the adult criminal justice system and into the juvenile court.

This development comes after seven states raised their age of jurisdiction over the past decade. In those states, as a result, half the number of youth who were previously automatically sent to  adult courts now appear before a juvenile court judge—an outcome which  increases the likelihood that a young person will move past delinquency, and avoid the abuse and harm youth can face in adult facilities. Read more.

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Rocío Rodríguez Ruiz

About Rocío Rodríguez Ruiz

Rocío Rodríguez Ruiz is a second year student at the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC). Rocío received her B.A. from Agnes Scott College. Before entering law school, she taught middle school history at D.M. Sauceda in Donna, Texas with Teach For America. After completing her corps service, she taught at KIPP Voyage Academy for Girls, where she designed the curriculum for her non-fiction studies class. Rocío then taught mathematics for two additional years at HISD’s Jane Long Academy. She interned at the federal courthouse this past summer. At UHLC, Rocío is involved with the Hispanic Law Students Association and the Houston Law Review, and serves as a mentor for the Pre-Law Pipeline Program.

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