image_pdfimage_print

Juvenile Offenders that Work Long Hours and Skip School More Likely to Engage in Antisocial Behavior

A new study published in the journal Child Development finds that adolescents that eschew school for employment are more likely to be associated with antisocial behaviors than peers that either work less hours or focus solely on schooling.

Researchers, over a five year window, examined the relationship between work hours and school attendance in a sample of almost 1,300 juvenile offenders. The study, conducted by researchers from Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, Irvine states that teens that work long hours while simultaneously attending high school classes were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior than classmates that had less work hours or did not work at all.

In particular, researchers noted an apparent connection between high-intensity employment - categorized as more than 20 hours per week—and greater likelihoods of teens fostering antisocial behavior, such as bullying and vandalism.

Teens that attended school regularly, without working, were found to demonstrate the least amount of antisocial behavior, while teens that worked long hours and did not attend classes regularly were found to be the likeliest adolescents to engage in antisocial activities.

“The combinations of high-intensity employment and irregular school attendance, unemployment and irregular school attendance and unemployment and not being enrolled in school are associated with significantly greater antisocial behavior, particularly during early adolescence,”  the report reads. “High-intensity employment diminishes antisocial behavior only when accompanied by attending school.”

Foundation Strives to Create Legacy for Juvenile Justice Reform

Models for Change 2012 Annual Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nonprofit MacArthur Foundation has spent more than $100 million since 2004 on developing blueprints for reform within the juvenile justice systems of 16 states. Earlier this week, its reform initiative, Models for Change, brought together nearly 400 judges, advocates, probation officers and other juvenile justice professionals for two days of workshops in Washington, D.C.

It was the seventh such yearly gathering for Models for Change partners, and it came at a time when the foundation is beginning to wind down funding for new research into juvenile justice reforms and enter a new phase focused on defining, sustaining and disseminating to the rest of the country the reform models its state partners and networks have already developed.

As the foundation moves toward solidifying the legacy of its blueprint initiative, its conference this year emphasized the power of storytelling and collaboration as a way to convey the impact of justice reforms to other states and to the public.

The storytelling theme ran through several events over the two-day event. Public relations professionals held a plenary session to discuss how juvenile justice organizations could craft an effective public message.

University of California at Santa Barbara professor Richard Ross exhibited a collection

Keynote speaker Cheryl Corley of NPR.

of photographs that illustrated the stark conditions within juvenile facilities around the country. Journalists from the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and CBS This Morning held a hands-on workshop to explain how justice professionals could engage the media without compromising the privacy of minors. And NPR reporter Cheryl Corley gave a keynote address explaining how she came to report a radio series on juvenile offenders in Chicago last year.

More than a dozen people sat down to record short videos of their experiences within the juvenile justice system at a video booth. The videos are up on the JJIE website.

Another conference theme emerged around fostering collaboration: training attendees to recognize the multiple ways individuals, agencies and local governments can work together to improve the treatment of children in the justice system. Workshops addressed ways to involve families of juvenile offenders more closely with their child’s treatment; encourage state agencies to seek common goals with watchdog organizations; get court and child welfare agencies to share data more effectively; and build relationships between public defender offices and local law schools.

Plenary speakers encouraged cash-strapped public entities to partner with private organizations and foundations as a way to grow their resources and further their reach in replicating and sustaining reform models throughout the country.

Collaborative efforts by private foundations like MacArthur are motivating the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to develop its own partnerships with private philanthropic entities, said Marlene Beckman, the counsel to the assistant attorney general at the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice, at a conference panel.

Federal officials recently met with a group of philanthropic organizations to solicit guidance on how to work with the private sector, Beckman said. The Obama administration was very interested in such partnerships, she said.

Julia Stasch, VP, MacArthur Foundation and Marlene Beckman, Counsel to Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Among the feedback the federal juvenile justice office received from philanthropic groups at that meeting was that federal agencies needed to collaborate more closely with each other – between the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Education, Health and Human Services, for example – and present a united leadership front when seeking partners from the private sector, Beckman said.

The group also advised the federal office of juvenile justice that it needed to communicate more effectively with private partners so that everyone understands their priorities and goals, and shares a vision for desired outcomes, Beckman said.

“Up until now, we have been more the follower than the leader,” Beckman said of the federal office’s role in developing public-private partnerships in pursuit of justice reforms.

Editor's note: The MacArthur Foundation supports the work of JJIE.

Photos courtesy of Models for Change. 

U.C. Davis Campus Police Chief Suspended After Protestors Pepper Sprayed

The University of California, Davis, campus police chief has been placed on administrative leave after a video showing campus police pepper spraying seated protestors has gone viral. Protestors have called for the resignation of U.C., Davis chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, according to The New York Times. The video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Speaking at a rally Monday, Katehi apologized to the protestors.

“I feel horrible for what happened on Friday,” she said. “I don’t want to be the chancellor of the university we had on Friday.”

Katehi told the crowd the protestors did not have to believe her.

“It is my responsibility to earn your trust,” she said.

Students are protesting continued university budget cuts and corresponding tuition increases. The Times reports the California Legislature will likely push through a further $200 million in cuts to higher education in 2012. Next year the University of California will collect more from student tuition than from state funds.

Following the pepper spray attacks, protestors at other University of California campuses vowed to restart encampments Monday night. On a conference call with the chancellors of all 10 University of California campuses, U.C. president Mark G. Yudof urged them to refrain from using police force against “peaceful, lawful protests,” according to The Times.

Photo by Flickr | uzvards

UC Berkeley Occupy Protestors Clash with Police, Call for Student Strike

Occupy protestors at the University of California in Berkeley, birthplace of the Freedom of Speech Movement in the 1960s, twice clashed with police Wednesday while trying to establish an encampment on campus. As seen in the video below, campus police hit students with batons while attempting to disperse the crowd. The Demonstrators linked arms while police pushed them back. Protestors are now accusing police of using excessive force.

Occupy protests are taking places in numerous cities in California, with the most violence occurring in nearby Oakland where protesters have clashed with police.

On Friday, Occupy protestors at Berkeley called for students to walk out of class Tuesday as part of a general strike in opposition of funding cuts to education, according to The San Jose Mercury News.

Meanwhile, Occupy protestors have voted not to erect a camp at Berkeley for the time being.