Case workers in Juvenile Justice have long been concerned about a subversive movement in the back halls of Congress and many state houses to erase any distinction between young offenders and adult criminals. As recently as the 1990s almost all 50 states overhauled their juvenile justice laws, allowing more youths to be tried as adults and scrapping long-time protections to help rehabilitate delinquent kids and prevent future crimes. Only ignorance of the history of juvenile justice in United States could be responsible for a now subdued but continued movement to “simplify” criminal justice by merging juveniles and adults together in the eyes of the law. May we take a moment to remind everyone how our juvenile justice system evolved to its present effective state.
“An 18-year-old sleeps in a doorway of a public building with nothing but a tattered blanket to shield him from the cold wind. He took little more than the clothes on his back when his foster parents demanded that he leave home. He hasn’t been in touch with his biological parents in years. None of his friends’ parents will allow him to spend a night on their sofa. And he’s unfamiliar with the nearest homeless shelter.” (Social Work Today, Vol. 19, P.24, Nadine Hasenecz, MSW, LSW)
COVID-19 Diagnoses in Juvenile Facilities
Known Cases as of June 24
658 youth, 771 staff
Annie E. Casey Foundation
“If there was ever a good time to make sure that not a single young person spends a single day in detention or placement unless there is an immediate and severe risk to community safety, this is it,” says Nate Balis, director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Strategy Group. “This is the time for juvenile justice agencies to scrutinize every detention and placement decision and to review — if not reconsider — every policy that leans toward confinement.”
After years of writing about the mass incarceration of Americans, it gives us great pleasure to share this headline with everyone in the social services community.
Where have all the CDCs gone? For decades, Community Development Corporations tackled some of America’s most challenging problems: neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, community economic development, workforce development and job creation, financial empowerment and food access.
Henry Ford, not the US Labor Bureau, instituted the first major increase in the minimum wage. In January 1914, Henry started paying his auto workers a remarkable $5 a day. Doubling the average wage helped ensure a stable workforce and likely boosted sales since the workers could now afford to buy the cars they were making. It laid the foundation for an economy driven by consumer demand.