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Juvenile Justice (Click here for Michigan Contacts)


Juvenile Defender Delinquency Notebook (PDF) - The National Juvenile Defender Center has revised and updated this manual for its 2nd edition, which is intended as an advocacy and training guide for juvenile defenders. Thirteen chapters cover everything from the initiation of the attorney-client relationship to appeals and related proceedings. Over 500 downloadable pages in which case you should stock up on ink cartridges and invest in several reams of paper. Available as a free PDF document.


D.C. Juvenile Reform Official Quickly Shakes Up Attitudes - Vincent Schiraldi made the rounds, forgoing the handshake in favor of the chest bump, a greeting not in the standard repertoire of most city officials.

MI Audits of Privatized Program Show Overpayments, Conflicts of Interest - Five years after Wayne County became the first in Michigan to hire private companies to care for delinquent youths, its juvenile justice system is awash in accusations of financial mismanagement, cronyism and fraud.


MI BALDWIN YOUTH FACILITY: Prison Is At The State's Mercy - Deep in the scrubby jack pine forests of Lake County, an unlikely battle is brewing over the state's so-called punk prison. At issue is whether to close the maximum-security prison for 484 teenage boys convicted as adults. Most communities might be glad to see it go, but most aren't Lake County.

The National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) is a non-profit child advocacy and professional membership association. The NACC is dedicated to providing high quality legal representation for children. Our mission is to improve the lives of children and families through legal advocacy. The NACC provides training and technical assistance to attorneys and other professionals, serves as a public information and professional referral center, and engages in public policy and legislative advocacy.

Also see: Education on Lockdown: The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track (PDF).


FL Records: Cops Used Tasers Against 24 students Since '03 - Officers too eager to use stun guns, critics say. At least 24 Central Florida students have been zapped by Tasers in the past 18 months as police officers working at public schools turned the controversial stun guns on children as young as 12. "Simply, we meet force with force," said Lt. David Ogden, who heads the training division of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.


IL Schools Faulted for Calling Cops on Students - The Chicago Public Schools funnel alarming numbers of African-American students into the Cook County Juvenile Court system through a zero tolerance policy that criminalizes them for minor misbehavior, a national study to be released today charges.


MA Dad: System Punishes Sick Kids - Joshua Sarao's father had no idea that his son's three-month stint for a probation violation would turn into an eight-month nightmare of psychiatric hospitals and suicide attempts. But the anguished Haverhill dad has been forced to watch as his son is bounced from program to program in a juvenile justice system meant for delinquents, not mentally ill kids.


Children of the Code Interview: Dr. Peter E. Leone on Juvenile Injustice - Reading Difficulties, Special Education and Juvenile Delinquency - Dr. Leone is a Professor of Special Education who specializes in Behavior Disorders at the University of Maryland. He is the Director of The National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice which is a collaborative project involving partners from the University of Maryland, Arizona State University, the American Institutes for Research in Washington, DC, and the PACER parent advocacy center in Minneapolis.


It's Been 7 Years of 'Tough Love' For One of Nation's Youngest Convicted Killers - Since 1997 Judge Eugene Arthur Moore and Nathaniel Abraham, one of the country's youngest convicted killers, have sat feet apart, exchanging frowns and apologies, promises, ultimatums, encouragement and the occasional spontaneous laugh. Their relationship has been a strange kind of periodic parenting for Abraham, a virtually fatherless teenager now in the home stretch of his incarceration for murder.


"Get Tough" Youth Programs are Ineffective, Panel Says - Boot camps and other get-tough programs for adolescents do not prevent criminal behavior, as intended, and may make the problem even worse, a new study has found. Further, laws transferring juveniles into the adult court system lead these teenagers to commit more violence, the study said. More promising, reports Laura Meckler, are programs that offer intensive counseling for families and young people at risk.


MI Fund Cuts Imperil Youths - Through treatment and counseling at a Growth Works program Chris Allen has been sober for more than year and enrolled at Schoolcraft College, with dreams of becoming a drug counselor. Now he's worried others may not have that same opportunity. As part of a 15 percent cut in the juvenile justice system budget, Growth Works today faces funding losses from Wayne County that have leaders scrambling to figure out how they will offer high-level service to adjudicated youth from 17 western Wayne communities with limited resources.


MI Children in Crisis: Mental Health - In this three-part series, the Detroit Free Press examines how children with bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, depression and other mental illnesses succeed or fail in getting mental health services. Through the eyes of children who are in treatment, locked up, or on the brink, we explore what it takes to get services, what's available and the impact on families when a child needs mental health care.


CHILDREN IN CRISIS: Family of Boy Overcoming Abuse Makes Tough Choice to Get Him Help He Needs - Not when he is reminded of the fire that killed his three adopted siblings and nearly took his own life. Not when he thinks of the years of horrific neglect, physical and sexual abuse and constant shuffling from place to place. Not even when he's plucked out of his home and locked up in a juvenile detention center.


MI Lack of Mental Help Keeps Kids Locked Up - Thousands of children sit needlessly in the nation's juvenile-detention facilities because they need mental health services, costing those facilities more than $100 million a year, according to a survey commissioned by two lawmakers to be released today in Washington.


Violent Marriages May Make Violent Children - Children of violent marriages may be more than twice as likely to set fires intentionally or be cruel to animals than those from nonviolent homes, according to new research. The study shows that problems in the family, especially violent behavior among father figures, significantly increase the risk of fire setting and animal cruelty in children, and these behaviors set the stage for later adolescent delinquency.


MI Adrian Training School to Become Female Facility - The Adrian Training School, which for decades has housed delinquent youth, will be converted into a juvenile justice facility for girls. Department of Human Services Director Marianne Udow said the conversion will best meet the needs of single-gender juvenile justice programming for girls in the system.


Dependent Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Guide for Judges (PDF) - The Juvenile Law Center announces a new publication to guide judicial decision-making in cases involving older youth in foster care. This 8-page publication includes analysis of the Foster Care Independence Act, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and special concerns affecting older foster children. It shows how judges, child welfare agencies and children's lawyers can ensure that youth have safe passage to adulthood by ensuring their access to education, physical and behavioral health care, housing, and other services. Includes checklists for ensuring comprehensive decision-making in these areas: Permanency; Independent Living Skills; Education and Vocational Training; Physical Health, Mental Health and Other Needs; Youth With Disabilities; and Discharge of Youth On or After Age 18.


Juvenile Law Center - Advancing the rights and well-being of children in jeopardy. A Pennsylvania based site providing national coverage of juvenile justice initiatives and issues as well as excellent summaries of recent court cases.


Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Michigan - Fight Crime - Invest in Kids Michigan is a bipartisan anti-crime organization of police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecuting attorneys and victims of violence. It is a project of the national Fight Crime - Invest in Kids, a nonprofit supported by tax-deductible contributions from foundations, individuals and corporations. It receives no public funding.  The organization calls on public officials to adopt a four-part plan to reduce crime and violence, and help young people learn the skills and values they need to become responsible adults. The four-steps are: 1. Provide all school-age children and teens access to after-school youth development programs to shut down the "Prime Time for Juvenile Crime"; 2. Provide all families access to quality pre-kindergarten, school readiness, and educational child care programs proven to dramatically reduce crime; 3. Help schools identify troubled and disrupted children at an early age, and provide children and their parents with the counseling and training that can help kids get back on track; 4. Improve deficient parents and prevent child abuse and neglect by: * Offering high-risk parents in-home parenting-coaching; * Making sure child protective, foster care, and adoptive services have comprehensive policies and enough well-trained staff to protect and heal abused and neglected children.  For more information, contact K. P. Pelleran, State Director at or 517-371-3565.


MI ACLU Studying Effect of Teen Life Sentences - With Michigan being one of 40 states that still allow life without parole for juvenile offenders and one of 13 with no age limit on such sentences, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has undertaken a study of the effect of those sentences on communities.


MI Senate Panel Gives Youths An Out From Sex Offender Public Registry - A Senate committee on Tuesday toughened some aspects of legislation giving a break to young persons convicted of age-based sex crimes as proponents said they were trying to strike a new balance in the operation of Michigan's sex offender registry program.


When Schools Criminalize Disability/Education Law Strategies for Legal Advocates
(from the Center for Law and Education) - When Schools Criminalize Disability/Education Law Strategies for Legal Advocates explores various legal theories and strategies for challenging inappropriate school-initiated delinquency petitions and crime reports, and addressing their aftermath. This collection of materials discusses approaches that, while well-grounded in law, have not necessarily been tested in the courts. It uses education advocacy based on IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to hold local schools accountable when they criminalize the behavior for which they are legally obligated to provide appropriate educational services; obtain better outcomes for clients in the juvenile courts; enforce schools’ obligation to address behavioral issues as educational ones; and reduce the risk of future school-initiated delinquency petitions or crime reports. When Schools Criminalize Disability includes illustrative hypotheticals as well as an appendix setting forth guiding principles and criteria for school policies regarding the filing of delinquency petitions and crime reports.

GAO Report on Special Education: Clearer Guidance Would Enhance Implementation of Federal Disciplinary Provisions.  In the 2000-01 school year, more than 91,000 special education students were removed from their educational settings for disciplinary reasons. The GAO (General Accounting Office) was asked to determine where disciplined special education students are placed, the extent to which local school districts continue educational services for those students, and how the U.S. Department of Education provides support and oversight for special education disciplinary placements.


Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy
Attn: Admissions & Graduate Affairs Office
5500 Armstrong Drive, Bldg. 13
Battle Creek, MI 49016-1099


The MYC Academy is a 17.5-month, three phase program. Cadets start with a two week Pre-Challenge phase at Fort Custer in Augusta, Michigan. Then, for 20 weeks they live, work, and study on-site with other 16-18 year old cadets.  In that 20 weeks, they will receive 400 hours of classroom instruction to prepare them for the G.E.D. exam. After completion of the 22-week resident phases, cadets graduate and continue their personal growth with an adult mentor, who will provide each graduate with assistance for the next 12 months in their own community.  There is NO COST to the cadet or his/her family for participation in this program. There is NO MILITARY OBLIGATION for participation.   Read an article about the Challenge Program: MI Challenge Program Spared in Budget - The Challenge Program is Michigan's voluntary boot-camp style program for dropouts and at-risk youth.


Child Delinquency: Early Intervention and Prevention - Read the summary of findings from OJJDP identifying risk and protective factors that are crucial to developing early intervention and protection programs for very young offenders - click here.


TX When Discipline Turns Fatal - Texas lacks tough law on prone restraint that's banned in three states.


A Ray of Hope in the Juvenile Justice System


Anti-Crime Study Boosts After-School Programs


MI Program gives problem teens second chance - Offenders praise Juvenile Drug Court.


Troubled Kids, Far From Home - Probing care, oversight at treatment centers.


Monograph Series on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice


MI County's biggest suburb drops D.A.R.E. - The workhorse of anti-drug education in Saginaw Township schools is headed to pasture.


Read the article from the Detroit Free Press - Success: Juvenile treatment improves Wayne County helps more, for less per teen

MIRS, July 13 - Governor's Appointments


Juvenile Justice - Education: 


Child Welfare League:


National Crime Prevention Council: 


Street Law: - Street Law is practical, participatory education about law, democracy and human rights. Through its philosophy and programs, Street Law empowers people to transform democratic ideals into citizen action. Street Law's programs do not end at the door of the classroom. Each student gains essential lessons that can be used for life.


Juvenile Justice Contacts in Michigan

Prevent Child Abuse & Missing, exploited, and abused children in Michigan

Prevent Child Abuse Michigan, Michigan Children's Trust Fund 

235 South Grand Avenue, Suite 1411

Lansing, MI   48909

(517) 373-4320

(517) 241-7038 


Michigan Juvenile Justice (JJ) Specialists in Michigan

Family Independence Agency 

235 South Grand Avenue, Suite 1515

Lansing, MI   48909

(517) 335-6315

(517) 373-2799


Juvenile Correctional Administrator - Michigan

Office of Delinquency Services 

235 South Grand Ave., #401

Lansing, MI   48933

(517) 335-3489

(517) 373-2799


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