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IN BRIEF

Juvenile Justice
Rights4Girls and the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Initiative released the report Beyond the Walls: A Look at Girls in D.C.’s Juvenile Justice System. Among the findings: Girls today make up a larger portion of system-involved youth in D.C. than in previous years; the proportion of 13 to 15-year-old girls entering the juvenile justice system has grown at the greatest rate; 86% of arrests of girls in D.C. are for non-violent, non-weapons related offenses; and black girls are significantly overrepresented in the juvenile justice system in DC.

WNYC launched their new podcast “Caught” this month featuring the voices of young people involved in the justice system and their visions for system reforms. The sixth episode is focused on status offenses and follows the story of a young woman in Washington State who is chronically truant. Washington State leads the nation in locking up young people for status offenses.

The eighth episode, featuring a young woman in New York City, focuses on the sexual assault to prison pipeline for girls, punitive system responses to externalizations of trauma, and how common multi-system involvement is for girls.

Dr. Jerry Flores’ new book Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wrap-Around Incarceration follows the lives of fifty Latina girls living forty miles outside of Los Angeles, California and their experiences in the connected programs between “El Valle” Juvenile Detention Center and “Legacy” Community School.

The Vera Institute of Justice is accepting applications from juvenile justice agencies seeking to participate in a jurisdiction-wide initiative to eliminate the confinement of girls and LGB/TGNC youth in female units of their juvenile justice system.

As part of their “Teaching Vulnerable Students” special report, Education Week looks at the state of education in juvenile justice facilities through a profile of the Wyoming Girls School.

“Their analysis of federal civil rights data for 594 of the 633 juvenile justice-facility education programs operating in 2013-14 found their students receive an average of 26 hours a week of instruction—but 15% of schools average less than 20 hours a week, and, in some schools, instructional time may be as little as an hour or two.”

Two Los Angeles county supervisors are proposing “to create a multi-disciplinary countywide system to keep foster youth out of the juvenile justice system.” Girls are 40% of the foster care/juvenile justice crossover cases despite making up only 20% of the county’s probation population.

The newly appointed administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention believes the juvenile justice system is too focused “on avoiding arrests at all costs and therapeutic intervention.”

School Safety and Discipline
A 14-year-old in Miami-Dade was suspended after she reported that she had been sexually assaulted in school. The Miami Black Girls Matter Coalition is demanding action.

An investigation in Indiana found high-school-aged girls in the state feel unsafe after reporting they’ve been raped: “Girls we spoke with said they were re-victimized by the criminal justice system, and felt school, police, attorneys and judges blamed them for what happened.”

There is a continued push against the Obama-era school discipline guidance that addresses disparities in school discipline. Former Obama administration officials Vanita Gupta and Catherine E. Lhamon write in Education Week about how repealing this guidance will increase inequality, not safety, in schools. Dignity in Schools hosted a week of action to protect the federal guidance. Nia Evans and Kayla Patrick of the National Women’s Law Center write about how black girls pay the price when police enter schools.

In Boston, At-Large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley and Dr. Monique Morris of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute “presented a set of draft policy recommendations for Boston schools that address issues of disproportionate discipline actions toward girls of color and focus on creating safe and supportive learning environments.” The recommendations were developed from a series of focus groups and public hearings that involved 100 girls of color from Boston schools last summer.

Community schools in Philadelphia are working to implement trauma-informed practices. Last year the school district hired a Director of Trauma-Informed Practices.

new study “investigating gender expression and victimization of youth ages 13-18 found that the most gender nonconforming students reported higher levels of being bullied and were more likely to report missing school than their more gender-conforming peers because they felt unsafe. They were also the most likely to report being victimized with a weapon on school property.”

“I have heard students say that they do not want to come to school, in case their parents are deported.”
Educators from more than 730 schools across 24 districts and 12 states participated in a survey that informed the new study “Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Teaching and Learning in the Nation’s Schools.” Ninety percent of principals said they’d observed behavioral and emotional problems in their immigrant students. Seventy percent of respondents said that the academic results of immigrant students dropped this year. Sixty-eight percent of administrative staff in all regions noted absenteeism was an issue.

new report from CLASP documents how the current immigration context is affecting children under age eight, based on interviews and focus groups in 2017 with more than 150 early childhood educators and parents in six states.

Reproductive Justice
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit arguing that Scott Lloyd, the director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, denied seven abortion requests between March and late December 2017: “Lloyd, who oversees the care of undocumented minors in the United States, argued in a December deposition that those same minors had ‘no constitutional right to abortion’ due to their immigration status.”

The Lily profiles two young mothers and their experiences as pregnant refugees in the United States, including the impact of stress and a lack of access to prenatal care.

“When I first got pregnant, it took me a month to actually be seen by a doctor.”
The Atlantic’s short documentary “Maternity Desert” looks at the lack of OB-GYN services in Southeast D.C. through the experiences of a 24-year-old resident. The maternal mortality rate in DC is twice the national average.

About 35 states have now established maternal mortality review committees or are in the process of doing so.

BOOKMARKS

UPCOMING

TAKE NOTE

“Between 2007 and 2015, per capita arrests for girls in D.C. more than doubled for 13 and 15-year-olds and more than tripled for 14-year-olds.”

From the report “Beyond the Walls: A Look at Girls in D.C.’s Juvenile Justice System” by Rights4Girls and the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Initiative

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