The result is addicts standing before judges, prosecutors, and probation officers-people who normally try to put them away-to divulge the most intimate and important details of their lives. During visits to hearings in several Texas cities, the Observer witnessed a woman ask a judge for help with a divorce, and another who inquired if having a child would impact her recovery. Several participants asked for help finding jobs. Another wanted permission to travel to Houston to see his family for Thanksgiving, which Bennett grudgingly approved as long as the man kept up his community service.
Next, Bennett brought forward a short, white youth who, despite several stints of rigorous inpatient drug treatment, had just tested positive for marijuana on his first urine sample in the program. There is a rapport being developed between the participants and the judge. I know a lot about their lives. But with the ability to refer addicts to a wider range of treatment facilities, Dallas may have the model program. The essential element that such courts must share, Creuzot says, is that treatment cannot work unless a judge connects with an addict.
You have to be engaged in who they are … what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Not everyone wants to do that. Nobody is, really. Violating the rules of a program might land some participants in jail for the weekend to set them straight. I want them to feel better about themselves. Paul Burns never considered himself an addict, though he concedes he drank too often. At 46, Burns lives near Conroe, a growing exurb north of Houston, with his wife and four kids.
He operates a small oil company-it has eight wells-along with several other small businesses. His trouble with drug court began last April. Burns-already on probation for a minor drug possession charge-submitted a urine sample that tested positive for alcohol, a violation of his probation. In addition to counseling and support group sessions, offenders in the program must submit to several random urine tests each month.
On July 5, Burns was called in for a random drug test. Addicts sometimes try to dilute their urine to mask evidence of drug use.
He says he skipped breakfast on the morning of his urine test and drank several cups of coffee, which diluted his urine. He was shocked it landed him in jail. Burns remained there for 44 days, until late August. Burns also claims that Mayes barred him from contacting his family during his stint in the county lockup. His lawsuit, filed in federal court, contends that his jailing without an opportunity to challenge his detention or go before a judge violated his constitutional right to due process.
Normally, judges have wide discretion in handling offenders on probation. Mayes has refused to comment on the suit. Of the 41 people who have graduated from his program, he says not a single one has committed another drug offense. Several offenders in the drug court that morning sobbed and effusively thanked Mayes for helping them fight addiction and stay out of jail. They immediately type up a one-page sheet-order of arrest-and we sign.
So when you get out in the real world, you can handle the real heat. Toxicologists say it is possible for addicts to mask drug use by diluting their urine, either by drinking a lot of water or taking pills that purportedly dilute urine enough to pass the test. All the other drug court judges interviewed for this story said they never jail an offender for dilute urine alone, simply because dilute urine has many causes, including overhydrati n.
In most drug courts, an offender must fail at least two drug tests to spend even a weekend in jail. For Mayes, a dilute sample is a violation, period. His drug court program forbids dilute urine for any reason.
He said he would jail offenders in his program for dilute urine even if they actually were clean. I say too bad.
In fact, long jail stints can be self-defeating-Creuzot says most research shows that jail terms longer than about five days for drug court offenders can be harmful-isolating someone who needs support. In fact, drug court guidelines issued by the Department of Justice stipulate that defense attorneys be present at all hearings. Molly Ivins on Carrying Texas.
Molly Ivins on Climate Change Deniers.
On August 21, Deputies with the Montgomery County Precinct 5 Michelle Aldridge, a year-old female from Magnolia, TX and Jacob The Juvenile was arrested for Possession with the intent to deliver a . (12) · January (2 ) · November (1) · August (1) · March (1). In late , City officials walked door to door and met with residents, church leaders, Implement a juvenile curfew to reduce drug activity. Work with Montgomery County officials to enforce stronger penalties for drug Texas Department of Public Safety statistics show an approximate % .. Juvenile Gang Arrests. 0.
Lavinia Masters Is Ending That. Merwin, Honorary Texan. The Power of Drug Courts. Drug courts can keep addicts in treatment and out of jail — if judges let them. Do you think free access to journalism like this is important?
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Learn More. You May Also Like:. Through a targeted media campaign to shift public opinion, the Campaign succeed in passing legislation through the annual budget to phase out and close Cheltenham, and to increase state spending on community-based alternative programs for youth offenders. The Tallulah Correction Center for Youth in Louisiana had been open for only three years when it was first sued by the United States Department of Justice in collaboration with local activists in the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana for violating the civil rights of youth held in its confines—marking the first time in U.
That same year the filthy conditions, brutal violence and chronic understaffing earned the center a citation as "the worst in the nation. Youth and adult activists appealed to the state legislature to shut down the prison once and for all. But their aspirations didn't stop with the abolition of one prison—they sought to redefine the juvenile justice system in the state, to change it from one based almost entirely on incarceration and punishment to a new system focusing on community-based alternatives to incarceration.
In the state of Louisiana became nationally recognized for its leadership in reforming a broken juvenile justice system. With the passage of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of Act , then Governor Kathleen Blanco and the Louisiana State Legislature ushered in a period of reform in which the notoriously brutal Tallulah prison for youth was shut down, conditions were improved in other abusive youth prisons throughout the state, and a commitment was made to both the increased use of alternatives to incarceration for youth and to revamping secure care prisons to be small, therapeutic facilities that were regionalized to keep children closer to their families.
Before the passage of Act , over two thousand children were held in prison in Louisiana. Today the system holds just over children statewide.
This decrease in the number of children incarcerated has contributed to an increase in public safety. In California residents passed Proposition 21 , a multi-faceted proposition designed to be tough on youth crime, incorporating many youth offenders into the adult criminal justice jurisdiction.
Advocates in the ACLU challenged many portions of the law, including a provision automatically sentencing youth 14—17 years old in adult court. This portion of the law was struck down by the California Courts of Appeal in The term " zero tolerance " is not defined in law or regulation; nor is there a single widely accepted practice definition. The United States Department of Education , National Center for Education Statistics, defined zero tolerance as "a policy that mandates predetermined consequences or punishments for specified offenses ".
Opposition to zero-tolerance policies, especially at the local level, focus on critiques including charges that the program is discriminatory , unconstitutional , harmful to schools and students, ineptly implemented, and provides harsh punishment suspension of education for minor offenses possession of tobacco. A few infamous cases have been used by opposition groups, such as Amnesty International , to further their case against the policy.
The Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice released a story in about a year-old girl in Tuscaloosa, Alabama arrested and detained for 5 weeks for possession of what was thought to be marijuana , but turned out to be oregano. Opposition to zero-tolerance policies nationwide and locally is broad and growing. Organizational leadership has been provided nationally by Amnesty International and the American Bar Association , who has officially opposed such policies since Most activists in the movement to end youth incarceration believe that the best way to mitigate the impact of detention and incarceration on our youth is to reduce the number of youth that pass through the system.
By providing credible alternatives to incarceration, this portion of the movement provides opportunities for communities to treat, rather than punish, young offenders—much the way that the juvenile justice system was founded to do. Their goal is to make sure that locked detention is used only when absolutely necessary. The JDAI has produced some promising results from their programs. Alternatives for juvenile detention centers for rehabilitation and reentry processes for those already incarcerated requires the work of counselors who understand the psychology of these individuals from law enforcement bodies to develop effective diversion programs are the best strategy to ensure children and youth to stay away from detention centers.
Diversion programs could include everything from counseling to peer mentoring in order to improve the relationship in the community and remove the stigma of criminal youth. There are solutions proven effective for those communities that impose them. For example, intervention centers are a progressive solution where trouble kids get the opportunity to be disciplined to correct behavior but the process involves family involvement, community service activities, and one-on-one therapy.
Legislation work such as Colorado's Smart School Discipline Law work to implement prevention strategies in an early stage starting in school, revise and provide adequate training to police officers in order to find proper disciplinary practice when dealing with trouble students. The initiative is now part of a bigger network to be implemented nationwide.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Prison Policy Initiative. Retrieved US Department of Justice. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 October Click "National Crosstabs" at the top, and then choose the census years. Click "Show table" to get the total number of juvenile inmates for those years. Or go here for all the years. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Dictionary of American Penology.
Second Edition. Greenwood Publishing Group , Retrieved from Google Books on August 23, Juvenile offenders and victims: National Report. Page Washington, D. Archived from the original on Sage Publ. Journalist's Resource. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list link Prepared for Sen.
Susan Collins, and Rep. Henry A.