Trauma-Informed Care at Detention Centers Webinar

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014 from 2pm-3:30pm EDT, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Center for Youth in Custody will present a Webinar, Trauma-Informed Care, to discuss the use of trauma-informed care in juvenile detention centers and how to implement related programs.  To register, go here.

For an overview of the need for trauma-informed care, see Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Critical Issues and New Directions by Julian D. Ford, John F. Chapman, Josephine Hawke and David Albert, published by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (June 2007).

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network also a myriad of resources for families and professionals.

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New PREA Resources

The National PREA Resource Center has released documents that will be used by auditors to ensure that juvenile facilities are complying with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.  The documents include: (1) a pre-audit questionnaire, (2) the auditor compliance tool, (3) instructions for PREA audit tour, (4) interview protocols for the agency head or designee, superintendent or designee, PREA compliance manager or coordinator, specialized staff, random staff, and residents, (5) an template for the auditor summary report, (6) a process map that describes the audit process, and (7) a checklist of documentation to be used in the audit.

To help educate children to report sexual abuse in custody, there is a series of graphic novels (comic books), END SILENCE: Youth Speaking Up about Sexual Abuse in Custody aimed at children of various ages and minority youth, as well as a facilitator’s guide.  The five graphic novels and guide are available here.

The American University, Washington College of Law also offers at 24-hour training, Responding to Sexual Abuse of Youth in Custody: Responding to the Needs of Boys, Girls and Gender Non-Conforming Youthas part of End the Silence: The Project on Addressing Prison Rape.  For additional information on the training, email endsilence[at]wcl[dot]american[dot]edu.

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Reducing Youth Incarceration

The National Council on Crime & Delinquency has issued reports on the youth deincarceration trend over the last ten years.  Indiana has certainly seen evidence of this trend with the expanding Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and the closing of the South Bend and Northeastern Indiana Department of Correction, Division of Youth Services facilities.

There will be a total of nine articles.  Here are the first ones by Antoinette Davis, Angela Irvine, and Jason Ziedenberg:

Stateholders’ Views on the Movement to Reduce Youth Incarceration

Using Bills and Budgets to Further Reduce Youth Incarceration

Examining the Role of States in Monitoring Conditions and Outcomes for Youth

Study Methods for NCCD Deincarceration Project

Stemming the Flow of Youth into Adult Systems


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NAMI Indiana Mental Health Trainings

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Indiana is offering three upcoming trainings about mental illness:

On May 22, 2014, Mental Illness & Juveniles will cover categories of mental illness in youths, deescalation techniques, and a “lived experience” presentation.

On August 14, 2014, Mental Illness #101 will focus on categories and the biological basis of mental illness, active listening and other tools for crisis situations, and “lived experience” presentations.

On November 6, 2014, Mental Illness #201 will cover mental health law, treatment options for mental illness, suicide prevention, and a “lived experience” presentation.

Registration is here on the right side of the page.  The trainings are 9am-4:30pm in Indianapolis.  Registration cost is $80.00 and includes program materials, a light breakfast, and an afternoon snack.  Parking is free.

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Indiana Youth and the Superpredator Myth

The unfolding legal issues of Simeon Adams, a sixteen-year-old Indianapolis resident, once again thrusts Indiana into the national and international news cycle.  Paul Henry Gingerich was twelve when he assisted with the murder of a friend’s stepfather and was transferred to criminal court and sentenced as an adult.  Members of the national and foreign press covered the appeal.  The Elkhart 4 cases involve a sixteen- and seventeen-year-old who were convicted of felony murder for the death of their co-defendant, and the case has received national attention as it winds its way through the appellate process.

There are those who embrace the “tough on crime” approach to these cases arguing that these juveniles are superpredators who must be locked away for society to be safe.  The New York Times has written two recent articles on superpredator children that is timely to consider:  When Youth Violence Spurred ‘Superpredator’ Fear by Clyde Haberman and Echoes of the Superpredator by the New York Times Editorial Board.

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SEA 85 — School Resource Officers

SEA 85 amends, in part, IC 20-26-18.2-1, which defines a school resource officer and modifies the training requirements.  The amendments become effective July 1, 2014.

A “school resource officer” means, in part, an individual who is:

(A) employed by a law enforcement agency;

(B) appointed as a police reserve officer or as a special deputy if the police reserve officer or special duty: (i) is subject to the direction of the sheriff or appointing law enforcement agency; (ii) is required to obey the rules and orders of the sheriff’s department or appointing law enforcement agency; (iii) is required to complete all training required of regular full-time law enforcement officers employed by the sheriff’s department or appointing law enforcement agency; and (iv) may be removed by the sheriff or appointing law enforcement agency at any time, with or without cause; or

(C)  a school corporation police officer appointed under IC 20-26-16-3.

Before being appointed as a school resource officer, an individual must have:

  1. successfully completed the minimum training requirements established for law enforcement officers under IC 5-2-1-9; and
  2. received at least forty (40) hours of school resource officer training through: (A) the Indiana law enforcement training board established by IC 5-2-1-3; (B) the National Association of School Resource Officers; or (C) another school resource officer training program approved by the Indiana law enforcement training board.

This increasing merging of school resource officer with law enforcement will likely result in increased legal challenges to actions by school resource officers, such as searches, seizures, and interrogations.

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Limiting Access to Certain Court Records — SEA 19

IC 31-39 details at length the wide variety of juvenile court records that are available to various people and entities with or without a court order.  SEA 19 modifies the access statutes to exclude “records involving proceedings that pretain to: (A) paternity issues; (B) custody issues; (C) parenting time issues; or (D) child support issues; concerning a child born to parents who are not married to each other.”

Without comment as to whether this law is necessary or appropriate, it is interesting that when considering changes to the confidentiality statutes, the legislature chose to focus first on unmarried parents and their children, rather than juvenile delinquents.  Given the evolving case law and research that notes the immaturity and brain development issues that help lead children to juvenile court involvement and the collateral consequences of that involvement, it would be appropriate for legislators to shield more juvenile delinquency records from the public gaze.

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