Brushes with the Law: Young New Yorkers, Neighborhoods and the Criminal Justice System

The city has overhauled its juvenile justice system to keep more young people out of confinement and in their communities. In the process, officials, organizers and providers also aim to strengthen families and neighborhoods. How can city government engage communities and tap into the strengths of local groups that work with teens and families?

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Combating Youth Violence: Concrete Solutions for New York City

Youth violence has declined sharply over two decades--more than 70 percent in New York State, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Yet in some neighborhoods there are now increasing reports of gang activity and violence. Tensions and distrust remain high between law enforcement officials and community members - especially young people.

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The Detention Dilemma: Families, Security and Immigrant Rights

Recent reports draw attention to the continuing expansion and privatization of immigrant detention centers and the violation of immigrants’ rights throughout the process of detention and deportation. What are the effects of the current situation on individuals who spend months or years in detention, and on their families?

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Ties That Bind: Reimagining juvenile justice and child welfare for teens, families and communities

The Bloomberg administration is seeking major changes in how the city works with teens in juvenile justice, child protection and foster care. The city would create a complete juvenile justice system in the five boroughs, no longer sending teens to state-run correctional facilities. At the same time, nonprofits would create more intensive, family-centered and community-rooted services for teens in child welfare.

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Youth in Harm's Way: Marijuana, Law Enforcement and Young New Yorkers

According to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, 70 percent of the 50,383 arrests for possession of marijuana in New York City in 2010 were of young people under 30, and 86 percent of those arrested were black and Latino. The debate on the classification of marijuana possession as a crime is heating up nationwide even as the number of arrests in New York has risen.

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A Transformative Moment? New York's New Vision for Juvenile Justice

Major changes are afoot in juvenile justice. Governor Paterson recently proposed long-awaited reforms for upstate facilities where young teens are incarcerated. But he also proposed large cuts to alternative-to-detention and diversion programs. Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration has merged the city’s juvenile justice agency with children’s services, potentially accelerating expansion of community- and family-centered services for juvenile delinquents and other young people.

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Crime, Justice and the Economic Crisis

Like New York, most states face deepening budget gaps and are slashing education and human services. Nationwide, states pour $50 billion a year into incarceration. New York led the way in expanding its prison system more than 25 years ago; should it lead the way in the other direction today? Will the federal government take a new approach to criminal justice in an Obama administration?

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Home Is Where I Belong: Juvenile Justice Shifts Back to the Community

State leaders are debating proposals to close several near-empty juvenile facilities and revamp a system that has long invested only modest resources in community-based alternatives. Meanwhile, New York City is deploying family supports and services designed to keep more young people from being locked up, send others home faster, and still ensure public safety. Could New York have a juvenile justice system that depends less on incarceration and detention?

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Justice Renewed? Criminal Justice in the Spitzer Era

Nearly $3 billion in state funds will be spent on corrections and criminal justice services in New York this year. Under the state's rst Democratic administration in 12 years, will there be a new vision—and new policies—on sentencing, prison conditions and drug treatment, health care and education behind bars?

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Is there Order in Family Court? A Child Welfare Watch Forum.

New York's Family Court ensures neither fair representation nor timely decisions in cases involving the most cherished and personal aspect of our lives, the relationships between parents and their children. This winter, new state legislative mandates, the impact of the Nixzmary Brown case and new initiatives at the city's Administration for Children's Services have converged to put new pressures on this overstressed institution.

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Drugs and the Law: Race, Politics, Prisons and Justice in New York State

Over the past year and half, the state legislature and Governor Pataki have modified New York’s Rockefeller Drug Laws. How effective have thosechanges been? Is further reform needed? What else could be done to improve the state’s drug policies, increase access to treatment for offenders and make alternatives to incarceration more meaningful and effective?

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