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Opinion: Juvenile Justice Systems Need to Transform to Have Lasting Impact on Youth Outcomes

To push the field in this direction, The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University partnered last fall to interview nearly 50 researchers, national experts and system leaders from across the juvenile justice continuum to solicit their ideas about how juvenile justice systems could significantly improve outcomes for youth.

Opinion: If Addiction Is a Disease, Why Is Relapsing a Crime?

Anti-medication-assisted therapy policies have a number of unconscionable effects. They mean that incarceration necessarily disrupts a promising treatment before it has time to work. They also force addicts who are in treatment but faced with incarceration to rapidly and dangerously taper off serious medications.

Opinion: ‘Stepping Up’ for Pacific County

One of the first grants that our Stepping Up team secured financed an intake survey that identifies people for whom jail time is not the best solution. Once an individual is identified with a mental health or other problem, one of our county’s network of service providers can be brought in to help.

Editorial: Fort Smith Area Takes Mental Health Seriously

Sebastian County, Arkansas is in the process of securing grants funds for a mental health court, which will function hand-in-hand with the newly opened Crisis Stabilization Unit in Fort Smith. Last year, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill to set up procedures and rules for judicial districts to create mental health specialty courts.

Mental Health Co-Responder Program Earns National Award

Franklin County has received a Justice Public Safety Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for the South County Mental Health Co-Responder Program in the category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety. The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

First Step Act Glides Through House with Bipartisan Support

The U.S. House recently passed the FIRST STEP Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, sending the bill to the Senate. Introduced by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the prison reform bill, which also has the support of President Donald Trump, would lower recidivism and prison populations through rehabilitative programing.