Publication Devotes Issue to Youth and the Criminal Justice System
Date:  12-20-2012

Child Welfare Watch focuses on the progress that has been made, and suggests what else can be done
Child Welfare Watch, a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School , has dedicated its Winter issue to articles dealing with young New Yorkers and the criminal justice system. Child Welfare Watch maintains that New York City has “transformed” the way juveniles caught up in the criminal justice system are dealt with, and that more and better services are now provided. Diverting children from custody is one of the most significant improvements the city has made. Still, they say, more can be done.

Highlights of the issue, which can be downloaded by clicking on the link at the end of this article, include:

  • New York’s policy of trying 16- and 17-year-old nonviolent offenders as adults in criminal court reduces each teen’s lifetime earnings potential by more than $60,000. The state loses at least $50 million in foregone wages for each annual cohort that passes through the adult courts - - and unknown millions in lost tax revenues. (See “The High Cost of Convicting Teens as Adults,” p.23.)

  • Last year, the NYPD conducted more than 151,000 patrols in NYCHA buildings, or more than 400 per day. Public housing residents make up about 5 percent of the city’s population, but from 2006 through 2009, roughly half of all NYPD trespassing stops in the entire city took place in public housing. (See “To Protect and Serve?” p.11.)

  • The number of arrested teens aged 15 and under whose cases have been diverted from court -- or adjusted -- and closed by the city’s probation department increased 47 percent between 2009 and last year. This number has more than doubled since 2006. (See “Case Closed,” p.6.)

  • Following a year-long negotiation that included tenant leaders and police, trespassing stops in public housing dropped by almost 60 percent. There’s no evidence that cutting back on trespass stops tied the NYPD’s hands when it came to making other arrests.

  • In the coming months, ACS plans to spend $22 million to provide short term, evidence-based therapies to work with about 3,000 families. This is a targeted effort to reduce the number of children 12 years old and older placed in foster care. (See “Social Workers at the Kitchen table,” p.29.)

    Other articles in this issue of .Child Welfare Watch are:

  • Recommendations and Solutions

  • Where People Live, Probation goes back to the neighborhood

  • Few Steps Forward, New York inches toward raising the age of criminal responsibility

  • The Lingering Consequences of Criminal Records

  • Re-Order in the Court? Transforming criminal court for older teens

  • Left Out by Reform, Teens accused of violent crimes won’t benefit from the most likely reform

  • New York Law, Teens and the Courts

  • Home in the City, New juvenile justice homes appear in the five boroughs

  • New Options for Young Lawbreakers, The continuum of services and alternatives

  • Watching the Numbers, A six-year statistical survey

    Source: The Fortune Society
  • Click here to read more.