The state assembly passed a sweeping bipartisan overhaul of Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system, approving a bill that would close the troubled Lincoln Hills youth prison by 2021 and authorize $80 million in borrowing for new state and county youth facilities.
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Under the old system, Boulder County truant students, accompanied by a parent or guardian, were required to appear in court every two weeks—with students missing even more school and some parents losing jobs because they were forced to miss work.
Griller Clark was a teacher for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, which operates its own one-school district at Adobe Mountain. Its teachers are all Arizona-certified and subject to the same requirements as public school teachers outside the fence for core content areas. Some are certified in vocational education, and those are the teachers Griller Clark is working with to improve the odds of success for youths who leave Adobe Mountain.
A bipartisan proposal from Assembly lawmakers would remove inmates from the state’s embattled youth prison by 2020 and send most youth offenders to facilities overseen by counties throughout the state.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is pushing legislation that would make several changes to the state’s juvenile justice policies and spending plans, including limitations on the use of detention and increased resources for rural parts of the state.
The new P.A.C.T. (People Achieving Change Together) program is specially designed for individuals aged 18 to 24. The name was coined by Middlesex Sheriff’s Office staff members who will work in the unit.
The goal is to have school districts—with parental feedback—develop a graduated “positive discipline” system that leads to punitive punishment and lost school time only as a last resort. It would also require schools to factor in the role that formative traumatic stress plays on student behavior.
Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools, responded to criticism by seeking additional feedback from teachers and principals, ensuring that top officials from the district visit schools throughout the year to see firsthand the changes in progress. She plans to introduce tweaks along the way—by adding more opportunities for kids to work on social and emotional skills, for example.
Governor Chris Christie has announced plans to close two state prisons for juveniles and replace them with smaller, more modern facilities in more populated parts of the state.
Out of every 10,000 children living here, the Fourth Judicial Circuit charged 4.3 as an adult, compared to 7.5 a year earlier. The decline was even starker in Gainesville’s 8th Judicial Circuit, where the rate fell from 10.5 to 5.1.