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U.S. Supreme Court holds Miller retroactive, providing review opportunities for youth Date Posted: January 27, 2016

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that any child sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole is eligible for review. Further, the Court said that any child serving life without parole – except for the rare cases where it has been found that the child’s crimes reflect “permanent incorrigibility” – violates the eighth amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

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StateScan: Mental Health Screening in Juvenile Justice Services Date Posted: April 28, 2015

Identifying the mental health needs of youth involved in the juvenile justice system has become somewhat of a common practice across the country, catalyzed by research illustrating the prevalence of mental health issues in this population. Research has shown that nearly 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental disorder and more than 25% meet criteria established to diagnose a severe mental disorder.1 To ensure that these youth receive appropriate treatment, it’s imperative to identify these issues in a timely and efficient manner. To this end, many juvenile justice agencies have adopted mental health screening protocols for youth in their care.

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StateScan: Statewide Risk Assessment in Juvenile Probation Date Posted: March 30, 2015

Risk/needs assessments in juvenile justice, herein referred to as risk assessments, have grown significantly in the last decade, improving the ability to accurately assess the static and dynamic risk factors (criminogenic needs) of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. Risk assessment tools gauge the likelihood that an individual will reoffend and guide intervention planning by identifying and prioritizing criminogenic needs. These assessments can be used at different decision points in the juvenile justice system and the results should be used to guide these decisions. For example, a risk assessment administered at intake can help determine whether the youth is appropriate for diversion opportunities; while a risk assessment used at detention can guide pretrial detention decisions.

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Out of Detention: How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline Date Posted: March 10, 2015

A single instance of incarceration in a young person’s life increases the risk of future imprisonment, at a cost to taxpayers of $240.99 per day. Living in jail worsens the mental, emotional, and behavioral problems with which these children and adolescents must struggle. And mental disorders and youth incarceration already share an alarmingly strong link

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Screening & Assessment of Youth in Confinement: An OJJDP Online University Webinar PowerPoint Date Posted: October 22, 2014

The systematic use of screening and assessment tools or instruments at key decision points in the juvenile justice system can provide critical information to divert youth who do not belong in confinement to more appropriate services and placements, and assist confinement staff in understanding how to best serve those youth for whom confinement is required. These Webinar PowerPoint slides will address the purpose of screening and assessment and issues related to appropriate and responsible sharing and use of information obtained from these tools.

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Dr. Grisso Receives 2014 APA Award Date Posted: August 18, 2014

Dr. Grisso was chosen as the recipient of the 2014 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research. The award was received during ceremonies at the 2014 Annual Convention of APA in August. The citation focused on his research on juvenile justice issues:

“Thomas Grisso has made seminal contributions to the field of forensic psychology and psychiatry through is internationally renowned program of research, which has directly impacted juvenile justice reform worldwide. His research contributions to juvenile forensic assessment and to the study of the interface between youth development and the law are unparalleled. Grisso’s work exemplifies how to diffuse and translate knowledge from psychological science and assessment into forensic assessment practices and national policies in the United States. His research has raised the global standards for juvenile legal rights and screening for mental health procedures.”