Weekly Roundup

Northwestern University released a study on Thursday, regarding drug usage by delinquent youth following a period of incarceration. The study found that non-Hispanic white youth were more than 30 times as likely to abuse cocaine as African American youth, counter to stereotypes vestigial to the failed War on Drugs. March 17, 2016.

“CHICAGO — Abuse and dependence on “hard drugs” (cocaine, hallucinogen or PCP, opiate, amphetamine and sedatives) are less common among delinquent African American youth than those who are non-Hispanic white, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

The study offers the first comprehensive picture of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence in delinquent youth after detention. The investigators followed youth up to their late 20s.

During the 12 years after detention, non-Hispanic white youths had 30 times the odds of cocaine use disorder compared with African Americans. Hispanic youths had more than 20 times the odds compared with African Americans

“Those findings are striking, considering the widely accepted stereotype of African Americans as the most prevalent abusers of ‘hard drugs,’” said Linda A. Teplin, senior author of the study and Owen L. Coon Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Researchers found that substance use disorders were common and there were substantial sex and racial/ethnic differences. The study, part of the Northwestern Juvenile Project, was published March 17 in the American Journal of Public Health.”

Op-ed: American Indian students deserve better from Utah schools, by Vanessa R. Walsh, The Salt Lake Tribune, March 19, 2016

“In Utah, Native American students are expelled, referred to law enforcement and arrested at school at alarming rates. They are almost four times more likely than white students to receive a school disciplinary action and are the single most likely student population in Utah to be referred to law enforcement and arrested at school. This student population is three times more likely to receive this action than all other students of color and almost eight times more likely than white students. They are almost four times more likely than all other students of color to be arrested at school and more than six times more likely than white students.

The overuse of this discipline is playing out in the graduation and incarceration rates for these students. Although the graduation rate for Native Americans has increased from 55 percent in 2010 to 65 percent in 2015, the rate is still well below the 83 percent rate for Utah overall. In February, Native Americans accounted for 4.7 percent of the Utah State Prison population, while accounting for 1.5 percent of the population of the state, representing a rate three times higher than what would be expected based on population size.”

The ‘criminal’ black lesbian, where does this damaging stereotype come from? by Nicole Pasulka, NPR, March 17, 2016

“According to the Equity Project, a coalition of experts on LGBT youth and juvenile justice, nearly half — 40 percent — of girls in the juvenile justice system are lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and a whopping 85 percent of those girls are also girls of color. And they often end up in the system not for doing anything criminal, but for offenses like running away from home or breaking school rules.

[…]

When a gender-nonconforming black girl gets into a fight with a gender-conforming black girl, Canfield says, the gender nonconforming girl is often assumed to be responsible for the fight, and more likely to be punished for it. (Of course, this isn’t limited to lesbians or more masculine youth who identify as female. Research suggests that overall, black trans girls and boys experience harsher treatment by law enforcement and at school.)

This perception continues as queer black women become adults. When the more masculine partner in a lesbian relationship is the victim of domestic violence, police often arrest her under the mistaken yet pervasive assumption that “the bigger, stronger, more masculine presenting partner is the abuser,” according to a report by the Anti-Violence Project.”

Culture report: San Diego’s graffiti park is ready for a reboot, by Kinsee Morlan, Voice of San Diego, March 15, 2016

Writerz Blok was launched in 1999 by the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation as a nomadic program offering kids a legal outlet for graffiti art. Eventually, the crew of graffiti artists and muralists who ran the program landed on a half-acre piece of property owned by the Jacobs Center near Market Creek Plaza in southeastern San Diego.

Anyone is invited to stop by the outdoor urban art park to color the big wooden walls mounted throughout the property with spray paint. By most accounts, the program’s been successful at redirecting graffiti-inclined youth and has helped cut the amount of illegal graffiti in the neighborhood.”

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