What is making the news globally, nationally, and locally in the world of children's mental health & juvenile justice? Find out here!
Editorial: Notable Gains on Mental Health. Seattle Times. May 6, 2013.
"IN a legislative session notable for what did not get done, lawmakers left Olympia last week having passed a bipartisan package of mental-health bills notable for their scope.The half-dozen bills, now on Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk, will ease crisis-level access to inpatient psychiatric care, reduce untenable delays for mentally ill patients awaiting trial and give school staff better training to spot suicidal students...." (Read more)
With Police in Schools, More Children in Court. New York Times. April 12, 2013.
"As school districts across the country consider placing more police officers in schools, youth advocates and judges are raising alarm about what they have seen in the schools where officers are already stationed: a surge in criminal charges against children for misbehavior that many believe is better handled in the principal’s office..." (Read more)
Looking for Evidence That Therapy Works. New York Times. March 25, 2013.
"Mental-health care has come a long way since the remedy of choice was trepanation — drilling holes into the skull to release “evil spirits.” Over the last 30 years, treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and family-based treatment have been shown effective for ailments ranging from anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders........." (Read more)
Time to Overhaul Washington State's Broken Mental-Health System. Seattle Times. February 3, 2013.
"Washington state’s public mental-health system is so fractured and dysfunctional that the absurd has become the norm. For evidence, look no further than the emergency rooms of King County hospitals. Each day, 20 or so mentally ill patients are parked there, sometimes in hallways, restrained, heavily medicated, waiting, waiting, waiting, often for days on end........." (Read more)
ADHD Diagnoses On the Rise; Seattle Children's Doc Says Most Kids with Psychiatric Problems Need More Than Meds. Seattle Weekly. January 25, 2013.
"Young children are prone to causing a ruckus or getting fidgety every now and then, but more children displaying serious problems with inattentiveness and hyperactivity are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)........" (Read more)
After the Violance, the Rest of Their Lives. The New York Times. November 4, 2012.
"At a time when the homicide rate in Chicago has risen sharply, jumping 25 percent over all since last year and 100 percent or more in a few gang-heavy neighborhoods, the research project offers a portrait of both the perpetrators and the victims in struggling, gang-ridden neighborhoods........" (Read more)
Adolescents in Grown-Up Jails. The New York Times. October 15, 2012.
"The practice of confining young people to adult jails and prisons is both counterproductive and inhumane. Adolescents who are locked up with adults are more likely to be raped, battered or driven to suicide than young people who are handled through the juvenile justice system. After the trauma of doing hard, adult time, young people often return home as damaged individuals who are more likely to commit violent crimes and end up back inside......." (Read more)
Inmates in 'If Project' hope to help kids by telling their own stories. The Seattle Times. August 13, 2012.
"With one question to prisoners about what might have changed their path, Seattle police Detective Kim Bogucki started a kind of movement. In getting prisoners to tell their stories, and getting at-risk kids to listen, Bogucki sees hope......." (Read more)
Youth Services Center Vote Endorses Effective New Approaches to Juvenile Justice. The Seattle Times. August 10, 2012.
"The $210 million levy passed by voters this week to pay for rebuilding King County's Youth Services Center was never about jail beds. The center houses a multilayered approach to juvenile justice rightly credited with a trend of fewer, not more, young men and women held under lock and key......." (Read more)
Justices Bar Mandatory Life Terms for Juveniles. New York Times. June 25, 2012.
"WASHINGTON — Some 2,000 juvenile offenders serving life sentences without parole were given hope of eventual release by the Supreme Court on Monday. The court ruled that laws requiring youths convicted of murder to be sentenced to die in prison violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment...." (Read more)
Evidence-Based Programs. Inside Olympia. May 24, 2012.
"Washington is a national leader in evidence-based policy: using research and data to publish policy changes in prisons, welfare, and other government programs. Austin Jenkins interviews State Senator Jim Hargrove & WA Institute for Public Policy Director Steve Aos." (Listen to the full interview here)
Unlikely Advocates For Teen Killers: Victims' Families. NPR. May 24, 2012.
"The Supreme Court heard arguments this week about the fate of 2,500 offenders who were sentenced as teenagers to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Seventy-nine of them were 13 or 14 when they committed their crimes. Many prosecutors and family members of victims spoke out about the need to keep the sentences in place.
But in a small building cafeteria, just a few blocks from the Supreme Court, a different group of family members quietly came together. These were the families of teenagers who committed horrible crimes — and sitting next to them were the families of victims....." (Read more)
Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? New York Times. May 11, 2012.
"One day last summer, Anne and her husband, Miguel, took their 9-year-old son, Michael, to a Florida elementary school for the first day of what the family chose to call “summer camp.” For years, Anne and Miguel have struggled to understand their eldest son, an elegant boy with high-planed cheeks, wide eyes and curly light brown hair, whose periodic rages alternate with moments of chilly detachment. Michael’s eight-week program was, in reality, a highly structured psychological study — less summer camp than camp of last resort...." (Read more)
"In the landmark Miranda case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution’s guarantee against self-incrimination required that police warn criminal suspects about their right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present when they are taken into custody for questioning. Now the court has ruled in J. D. B. v. North Carolina that police need to consider a suspect’s age when deciding whether they must give him Miranda warnings. Under earlier rulings, the court said that whether a suspect was “in custody” for Miranda purposes depended on the circumstances of the interrogation and whether a reasonable person would have felt free to leave..." (Read more)
"As a young psychiatrist, I worked with Vietnam War combat veterans and confronted the astonishing lack of resources to help these men and women who had sacrificed so much for their country. Three decades later, that situation has greatly improved. First, we named the problem — post-traumatic stress disorder — and then in 1989 Congress created the National Center for PTSD to help suffering veterans.
Their plight has also led to a greater recognition of the impact of violence on children. For every soldier returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with symptoms of depression or PTSD, there are around 10 children in the United States who are traumatized by exposure to family violence, sexual abuse, neglect and assault, with consequences comparable to those of adult exposure to war-zone violence. We have made progress in treating these children, but that progress is threatened by a drastic budget cut proposed by the White House..." (Read more)
"More than a decade ago, a 14-year-old boy killed his stepbrother in a scuffle that escalated from goofing around with a blowgun to an angry threat with a bow and arrow to the fatal thrust of a hunting knife. The boy, Quantel Lotts, had spent part of the morning playing with Pokémon cards. He was in seventh grade and not yet five feet tall. Mr. Lotts is 25 now, and he is in the maximum-security prison here, serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for murder..." (Read more)
Leaving Children Behind. New York Times. Feburary 27, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=1&ref=childrenandyouth
"Will 2011 be the year of fiscal austerity? At the federal level, it’s still not clear: Republicans are demanding draconian spending cuts, but we don’t yet know how far they’re willing to go in a showdown with President Obama. At the state and local level, however, there’s no doubt about it: big spending cuts are coming. And who will bear the brunt of these cuts? America’s children. Now, politicians — and especially, in my experience, conservative politicians — always claim to be deeply concerned about the nation’s children. Back during the 2000 campaign, then-candidate George W. Bush, touting the “Texas miracle” of dramatically lower dropout rates, declared that he wanted to be the “education president.” Today, advocates of big spending cuts often claim that their greatest concern is the burden of debt our children will face..." (Read more)
Rescuing 4 Children, but Struggling for Assistance. New York Times. Feburary 24, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/us/25bcbayview.html?ref=childrenandyouth
"Last October, Theresa Coleman received a call from a child-welfare investigator. Four young children, distant family members, had been discovered in a Georgia motel room filled with drugs, alcohol, a half-loaf of bread, a half-jar of peanut butter and a dwindling supply of baby formula. Ms. Coleman, who lives in the Bayview district of San Francisco, was told she had six days to pick up the children. Unable to afford a plane ticket, Ms. Coleman rode the bus 2,200 miles to Marietta, Ga. After a brief hearing, Judge James R. Whitfield of Cobb County Juvenile Court granted her temporary custody of two boys — an infant and a 6-year-old — and two girls, ages 1 and 2. The children’s mother is her niece, who was working out of the motel as a prostitute, Ms. Coleman said. Ms. Coleman, 49, brought the children back to the Bay Area, and she is now struggling to support them and the rest of her family. Eleven people live in her four-bedroom home, including a teenage foster child and five relatives ages 1 1/2 to 23..." (Read more)
As Mental Health Cuts Mount, Psychiatric Cases Fill Jails. New York Times. Feburary 24, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/us/25ttmentalhealth.html?ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"Dressed in an orange Harris County Jail-issued jumpsuit, Sterling Shepherd sat at a metal picnic table and described what got him into this situation — again. 'I’m extremely mentally ill and extremely intelligent,' said Mr. Shepherd, a 43-year-old with intense brown eyes and a big grin. During a 12-minute interview on Feb. 15, Mr. Shepherd veered in and out of reality, talking at times lucidly about taking medication for his severe bipolar disorder and at others describing how Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke to him through the television and explaining that Pope Benedict XVI is his grandfather. It was Mr. Shepherd’s eighth stay at the Harris County Jail, a Houston facility the size of two football fields that houses more than 10,000 inmates. He is one of about 2,400 inmates taking psychotropic medications. The jail is the largest mental institution in the state. It has a special unit with 108 beds for the severely mentally ill, where guards wear less-intimidating uniforms, nurses are on duty 24 hours a day and inmates undergo intensive psychiatric treatment..." (Read more)
Former Judge is on Trial in 'Cash for Kids' Scheme. New York Times. Feburary 8, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/us/09judge.html?_r=1&ref=childrenandyouth
"A former Pennsylvania judge went on trial in federal court on Tuesday, charged with racketeering, bribery and extortion in what prosecutors say was a $2.8 million scheme to send juvenile delinquents to privately run prisons. The case against the judge, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., who presided in Luzerne County, drew national attention for what legal experts say is a dangerous gap in the juvenile justice systems of many states — children appearing in court without lawyers. Mr. Ciavarella, now 60, sentenced thousands of young people, funneling them into two private detention centers prosecutors say were run by his friends who slipped him payments in a “cash for kids” scheme. Few of the young people had lawyers, a chronic problem that legal scholars say makes guilty pleas more likely, saddling them with criminal records. The state has since expunged more than 6,000 records of youths Mr. Ciavarella sentenced, some for crimes as small as stealing a jar of nutmeg..." (Read more)
Whither Young Offenders? The Debate has Begun. New York Times. January 22, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/us/23bcjuvenile.html?ref=childrenandyouth
"Joaquin E. DiazDeLeon, a former Fresno gang member, spent two years inside California’s juvenile prison system. What he found there, he said, was no better than the streets he came from. Instead of rehabilitating young offenders, he said, correctional officers spent most of their time separating rival gangs. Violence was so pervasive, he said, that he kept his gang affiliation just to protect himself. “Basically you’re being thrown in a box and expected to change,” said Mr. DiazDeLeon, 21, now a student at City College of San Francisco..." (Read more)
Autism Fraud. New York Times. January 12, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/opinion/13thu2.html?_r=1&ref=childrenandyouth
"The report that first triggered scares that a vaccine to prevent measles, mumps and rubella might cause autism in children has received another devastating blow to its credibility. The British Medical Journal has declared that the research was not simply bad science, as has been known for years, but a deliberate fraud. The study, led by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was published in The Lancet in 1998. It was based on just 12 children with supposedly autismlike disorders and purported to find a link between the vaccine, the gastrointestinal problems found in many autistic children, and autism..." (Read more)
Medicaid Bonuses to Reward States for Insuring More Children. New York Times. December 27, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/health/policy/27medicaid.html?ref=childrenandyouth
"The Obama administration plans to announce Monday that it will make $206 million in bonus Medicaid payments to 15 states — with more than a fourth of the total going to Alabama — for signing up children who are eligible for public health insurance but had previously failed to enroll. The payments, which were established when Congress and President Obama reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 2009, are aimed at one of the most persistent frustrations in government health care: the inability to enroll an estimated 4.7 million children who would be eligible for subsidized coverage if their families could be found and alerted. Two of every three uninsured children are thought to meet the income criteria for government insurance programs. .." (Read more)
Bloomberg Makes a Proposal on Youth Prisons. New York Times. December 21, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/nyregion/22juvenile.html?ref=childrenandyouth
"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that he would ask New York State to turn over control of prisons and services for juvenile offenders to local governments, a move that he said would end the failed and costly practice of shipping troubled young people from New York City to upstate facilities far from their families. Mr. Bloomberg also said that he planned to pursue changes to state law that would allow the rapid closing of large detention centers that are mostly empty but fully staffed. He said that keeping children close to home and in the least restrictive setting that is appropriate would help reduce the “entirely unacceptable” recidivism rates: 81 percent of boys in the system return within three years of their release..." (Read more)
Untangling the Myths About Attention Disorder. New York Times. December 13, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/health/14klass.html?_r=1
"As recently as 2002, an international group of leading neuroscientists found it necessary to publish a statement arguing passionately that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was a real condition. In the face of “overwhelming” scientific evidence, they complained, A.D.H.D. was regularly portrayed in the media as 'myth, fraud or benign condition' — an artifact of too-strict teachers, perhaps, or too much television. In recent years, it has been rarer to hear serious doubt that the disorder really exists, and the evidence explaining its neurocircuitry and genetics has become more convincing and more complex. Even so, I’ve lately read a number of articles and essays that use attention (or its lack) as a marker and a metaphor for something larger in society — for the multitasking, the electronic distractions, the sense that the nature of concentration may be changing, that people feel nibbled at, overscheduled, distracted, irritable.
But A.D.H.D. is not a metaphor. It is not the restlessness and rambunctiousness that happen when grade-schoolers are deprived of recess, or the distraction of socially minded teenagers in the smartphone era. Nor is it the reason your colleagues check their e-mail in meetings and even (spare me!) conversations..." (Read more)
Shut Those Doors. New York Times. December 12, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/13/opinion/13mon4.html?ref=children_and_youth
"As soon as Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo takes office, he should close a half-dozen more of New York’s ruinously expensive, and half-empty, juvenile detention facilities. He should also press the State Legislature to revoke a wasteful law that keeps facilities scheduled for shutdown open and staffed for a full year, even when there is not a single child in custody. These moves would save millions of dollars, and improve public safety and the lives of troubled children. The number of children in state custody has dropped from more than 2,300 a decade ago to about 650 today. A custody census released this month shows that 10 of the state’s 25 juvenile programs have vacancy rates of 50 percent or greater..." (Read more)
New York City Sues State over the Cost of Housing Juvenile in Prisons. New York Times. December 9, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/nyregion/10juvenile.html?ref=children_and_youth
"Taking a contentious step intended to shake up the state’s troubled juvenile prison system, New York City is suing the state, claiming it overcharged tens of millions of dollars a year for housing many of the city’s young offenders in upstate jails. The suit, which was filed last month in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, surprised and incensed state officials, who had been trying for months to hammer out an agreement on the issue with the Bloomberg administration. It is unusual, lawyers said, for the city to sue the state, especially over a budget dispute. But the suit reflects the severity of the impasse in an increasingly urgent debate over how to improve New York’s system of juvenile prisons..." (Read more)
FRC's New Report on Adoption Highlights Benefits for Children and Families. PR Newswire. November 29, 2010. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/frcs-new-report-on-adoption-highlights-benefits-for-children-and-families-110990399.html
"In a new paper released today by Family Research Council's Marriage and Religion Research Institute, Dr. Patrick Fagan demonstrates that adoption improves children's lives significantly. The paper, titled, Adoption Works Well: a Synthesis of the Literature, can be downloaded at www.marrifrc.org. Fagan is Senior Fellow and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), which examines the relationships among family, marriage, religion, community, and America's social problems, as illustrated in the social science data. 'Adoption is an act of love that has profound implications for the lives and well-being of both children and parents,' said Fagan. 'It is love expressed by a birth-mother who gives-up a child for whom she cannot provide to parents who want to give love to a child for whom they long desperately'..." (Read more)
Behind the Facade, Post-Traumatic Stress. New York Times. November 22, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/health/23voices.html?_r=1&ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"A soldier returns from war unable to get the images of battle out of his head. An earthquake survivor rides out long, anxiety-filled nights. A young woman in a pretty floral dress walks her dog along the streets of Manhattan. All three may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The woman walking her dog is Robin Hutchins, 25. She looks confident and self-assured, and few would guess that a year ago she discovered that she had the stress disorder. 'When I tell people I have P.T.S.D., it’s like I have to convince them it’s a real issue,' she said. The disorder — in which a traumatic experience leaves the patient suffering from severe anxiety for months or years after the event — is often associated with battlefield combat and natural disasters. But as Dr. Frank Ochberg, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University, noted in an interview, the typical trigger is more mundane — most commonly, a traffic accident..." (Read more)
Justice Initiatites New Study of Juveniles Transferred to Adult Courts. Youth Today. November 5, 2010. http://www.burnsinstitute.org/article.php?id=269
"For the first time in more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Justice is attempting to gather data about the least-known group of juvenile offenders: youths who are transferred into the adult criminal court system. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is funding research organization Westat Inc. to conduct the Survey of Juveniles Charged in Adult Criminal Courts. How much is learned from the survey depends in large part on what the Justice Department asks, and whether state and local governments can muster the answers. At a minimum, the survey is expected to produce a valid estimate of how many juveniles are moved into adult courts in the United States, the demographics of those youths, and the charges for which they are arraigned. But a recent study of Baltimore’s transferred youth suggests that further questions loom about what happens after the decision to move a juvenile to the adult system. The report probably won’t be published until after the 2012 elections..." (Read more)
Judges Forced to Revisit Juveniles' Life Sentences. Wall Street Journal. October 29, 2010. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303443904575578444151929822.html
"Judges are grappling with whether it is ever proper to sentence a juvenile to life in prison without parole in light of a Supreme Court decision that such a punishment for non-murderers is cruel and unusual. In its May ruling, the Supreme Court reasoned juveniles are less culpable than adults for their crimes because they are less able to control their behavior, and they have a better chance of being rehabilitated. "A life without parole sentence improperly denies the juvenile offender a chance to demonstrate growth and maturity," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority in Graham v. Florida. Since the decision, state courts have been reducing the sentences of prisoners covered by the ruling. An Iowa judge last month decided that Jason Means, 34 years old, who was serving life without parole for a kidnapping committed when he was 17, was eligible for parole..." (Read more)
New Justice Department Report Minimizes Rampant Sexual Abuse of Detained Youth. The Humble Libertarian. October 27, 2010. http://www.humblelibertarian.com/2010/10/new-justice-department-report-minimizes.html
"The Department of Justice has squandered an opportunity to address the rampant sexual abuse of detained youth, choosing instead to minimize this crisis. In the executive summary of its new Report on Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Correctional Facilities, the Department's Review Panel on Prison Rape claims that a recent study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) "indicated that violent sexual assault in juvenile facilities was relatively rare and facility staff, for the most part, did not victimize juvenile offenders."
"In fact," said Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of Just Detention International, "the BJS estimated that almost one in eight kids behind bars had been sexually victimized during a 12-month period, the vast majority of them -- 80 percent -- by staff whose job it is to keep them safe. Many endured repeated abuse, often more than ten times, and frequently by multiple perpetrators. I simply don't understand how that is 'rare.'"..." (Read more)
Homelessness Can Cause Mental Problems in Kids. Seattle PI. October 24, 2010. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/428684_mental;24.html
"The truest victims of homelessness are young children, who have no control over the decisions that put them there, and no power to change their circumstances. The typical homeless families in the country are headed by young women in their 20s, typically with two children. Nearly half those kids are under age 5. The consequences of homelessness can be devastating and long-lasting for young children. By age 8, one in three homeless children has a mental health problem that affects their functioning, said Karen Hudson, social worker with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a national expert on homeless children. More than three-quarters of homeless children under age 5 have developmental delays. And nearly 40 percent exhibit emotional and behavioral problems, she said. These early problems can set the stage for problems, including homelessness, later in life. Surveys have noted that more than one-quarter of homeless adults experienced homelessness when they were young..." (Read more)
Health Checkup: Kids and Mental Health. Time. October 21, 2010. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2026672_2026712,00.html
"Bethany hated fifth grade. She didn't much care for sixth, seventh or eighth either, but fifth grade was when the trouble really started. Fifth grade was the year Bethany started to notice boys — and to wonder if she was noticing them quite enough. The girls she knew were already swooning over Kirk Cameron, Michael J. Fox and other teen heartthrobs of the day. She was swooning too, she guessed, but in the same way her friends were? And what about when it came time to kiss a real boy in her own world? Would she want to?
Tales of boys and girls who doubt their sexual stirrings this way often end with their discovering — and eventually embracing — the fact that they're gay. But Bethany (not her real name) wasn't gay, and she knew it instinctively, even if she doubted it constantly. Her anxiety grew from an increasingly common form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in which people who may have no moral or cultural qualms about homosexuality suddenly begin despairing of the possibility of ever knowing with blood-test certainty just what their sexuality is. Uncertainty is the fuel for OCD, and the harder a sufferer tries to answer the unanswerable, the hotter the obsessional bonfire burns..." (Read more)
We're Doing Experiments on Poor Children. Crosscut. October 18, 2010. http://crosscut.com:80/2010/10/19/health-medicine/20249/-We-re-doing-experiments-on-poor-children-/
"The New York Times recently reported some disturbing differences in the psychiatric care received by poor children on Medicaid and children from families with physicians in private practice. Part of the story is the surging use of adult antipsychotics to treat American children from all economic backgrounds.
A December 2009 story in the Times, “Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics,” reported that these adult medications are prescribed four times more frequently for Medicaid children, as well as more often for children in foster care. Then an article just last month, “Child's Ordeal Shows Risks of Psychosis Drugs for Very Young,” told how a boy from an impoverished Louisiana family, misdiagnosed at 18 months, ended up being given half a dozen powerful drugs every day by the time he was 3. The drugs included adult medications such as Prozac, as well as the antipsychotic Risperdal, commonly prescribed in cases of full-blown schizophrenia.
Professionals commenting in the Times on the disparities in care said that a poor child or a foster child is unlikely to receive a full mental health assessment before a course of treatment begins, and that drugs are cheaper (in the short term, at least) than individual psychotherapy and family counseling.
Washington now leads several states in curbing the disproportionate use of antipsychotic drugs for poor children, according to a study that began as a collaborative project called Too Many, Too Much, Too Young. In June, Rutgers University's Center for Education and Research on Mental Health Therapeutics and the Medicaid Medical Directors Learning Network published the 16-state report, “Antipsychotic Medication Use in Medicaid Children and Adolescents.” The Rutgers report described Washington strategies that have driven a 40 percent reduction this year in the use of antipsychotics to treat children on Medicaid — and that have begun influencing approaches in other states.
One innovation is a Partnership Access Line (PAL) funded by the Washington legislature, which lets pediatricians anywhere in the state telephone child psychiatry specialists affiliated with the UW and Children's Hospital for consultations about a child with apparent mental health issues. Another is Washington's law requiring a second opinion from a psychiatrist if ADHD medications are going to be prescribed in combination with other drugs, in dosages exceeding pre-defined safety thresholds, or to children under 5..." (Read more)
Child Abuse Investigations didn't Reduce Risk, a Study Finds. New York Times. October 11, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/science/12child.html?ref=science
"Child Protective Services investigated more than three million cases of suspected child abuse in 2007, but a new study suggests that the investigations did little or nothing to improve the lives of those children. In 1973, Congress passed the Child Protective Services Act, designed to encourage more thorough and accurate reporting and record-keeping in child abuse cases. In New York, for example, there are now Child Protective Services offices in every county, paid for in part with federal funds. Researchers examined the records of 595 children nationwide, all at similar high risk for maltreatment, tracking them from ages 4 to 8. During those years, Child Protective Services investigated the families of 164 of these children for suspected abuse or neglect. The scientists then interviewed all the families four years later, comparing the investigated families with the 431 families that had not been investigated..." (Read more)
The Deadly Corruption of Clinical Trials. Mother Jones. September/October 2010. http://motherjones.com/environment/2010/09/dan-markingson-drug-trial-astrazeneca
"It's not easy to work up a good feeling about the institution that destroyed your life, which may be why Mary Weiss initially seemed a little reluctant to meet me. 'You can understand my hesitation to look other than with suspicion at anyone associated with the University of Minnesota,' Mary wrote to me in an email. In 2003, Mary's 26-year-old son, Dan, was enrolled against her wishes in a psychiatric drug study at the University of Minnesota, where I teach medical ethics. Less than six months later, Dan was dead. I'd learned about his death from a deeply unsettling newspaper series by St. Paul Pioneer Press reporters Jeremy Olson and Paul Tosto that suggested he was coerced into a pharmaceutical-industry study from which the university stood to profit, but which provided him with inadequate care. Over the next few months, I talked to several university colleagues and administrators, trying to learn what had happened. Many of them dismissed the story as slanted and incomplete. Yet the more I examined the medical and court records, the more I became convinced that the problem was worse than the Pioneer Press had reported. The danger lies not just in the particular circumstances that led to Dan's death, but in a system of clinical research that has been thoroughly co-opted by market forces, so that many studies have become little more than covert instruments for promoting drugs. The study in which Dan died starkly illustrates the hazards of market-driven research and the inadequacy of our current oversight system to detect them..." (Read more)
NAMI's Family-to-Family Educational Program: Consciousness-Changing for Caregivers. NAMI Blog. October 7, 2010. http://blog.nami.org/2010/10/namis-family-to-family-educational.html
"The story of Family-to-Family, NAMI’s educational program for families of people living with mental illness, is a story that has spread through the grassroots grapevine and is now the subject of several empirical studies, the most recent of which published preliminary findings in July. No other national peer-taught course has ever reached this stage of being recognized as an evidence-based practice. If we are now able to say that our twelve-week course lowers participants’ ratings of anxiety, distress and depression, it is because our volunteer work force has been so dedicated to maintaining the fidelity of a program that enables families to come out of the dark and deal much more directly with the realities that they have—a change in consciousness that would sound mystical if you didn’t know how much on-the-ground work it takes..." (Read more)
Side Effects may Include Lawsuits. New York Times. October 2, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/business/03psych.html?_r=1&ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"FOR decades, antipsychotic drugs were a niche product. Today, they’re the top-selling class of pharmaceuticals in America, generating annual revenue of about $14.6 billion and surpassing sales of even blockbusters like heart-protective statins. While the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs in some patients remains a matter of great debate, how these drugs became so ubiquitous and profitable is not. Big Pharma got behind them in the 1990s, when they were still seen as treatments for the most serious mental illnesses, like hallucinatory schizophrenia, and recast them for much broader uses, according to previously confidential industry documents that have been produced in a variety of court cases..." (Read more)
Baker Bill Mandates Juvie Reps: Senator's Legislation Requiring Legal Counsel for Juveniles in Court Passes First Hurdle. The Times Leader. 22 September 2010. http://www.timesleader.com/news/Baker_bill_mandates_juvie_reps_09-22-2010.html
"As the 'kids-for-cash' scandal unfolded, one systemic failure emerged that evoked a stunned response from some of those appointed to unearth the causes: More than half the children who appeared before former Luzerne County Juvenile Court Judge Mark Ciavarella had no legal representation. 'We were all struck by the collapse of the rule of law,' Judge John Cleland said when the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice released a report about the scandal in May. 'Every check and balance that we fully anticipate would come into play to make sure the system works collapsed,' added Cleland, the commission’s chairman. It’s a failure that state Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, attempted to address early with the introduction of Senate Bill 873, which would mandate legal representation for juveniles in state courts. The effort passed its first hurdle Tuesday, being moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a bipartisan vote of 13-1..." (Read more)
Who Will Protect Our Children from Bad Drug Experimentation? Psychology Today. 22 September 2010. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fetishes-i-dont-get/201009/who-will-protect-our-children-bad-drug-experimentation
"Mary Weiss's son Dan never saw the letter she wrote, telling Dan that if he wanted to get out of the study of atypical antipsychotics he was in, his mother would stand by him. Mary's letter didn't reach Dan until Monday, and Dan had killed himself that Saturday. As Mary told me when we talked this past Sunday, it isn't really clear Dan would have taken her up on her offer to help him get out of the study. Because Dan might not have told Mary what Mary only learned from reading over his medical records after he died: that Dan had been given to believe, by his doctor/researcher Stephen Olson at the University of Minnesota, that if Dan left the drug trial, he would be involuntarily committed.So this was Dan's choice: be a guinea pig (stay in the study), or be caged (be put away). Dan took what he saw as a third option..." (Read more)
The Secret Lives of Big Pharma's "Thought Leaders". Counter Currents. 16 September 2010. http://www.countercurrents.org/elliott160910.htm
"In the early 1970s, a group of medical researchers decided to study an unusual question. How would a medical audience respond to a lecture that was completely devoid of content, yet delivered with authority by a convincing phony? To find out, the authors hired a distinguished-looking actor and gave him the name Dr. Myron L. Fox. They fabricated an impressive CV for Dr. Fox and billed him as an expert in mathematics and human behavior. Finally, they provided him with a fake lecture composed largely of impressive-sounding gibberish, and had him deliver the lecture wearing a white coat to three medical audiences under the title Mathematical Game Theory as Applied to Physician Education. At the end of the lecture, the audience members filled out a questionnaire. The responses were overwhelmingly positive. The audience members described Dr. Fox as 'extremely articulate' and 'captivating.' One said he delivered 'a very dramatic presentation.' After one lecture, 90 percent of the audience members said they had found the lecture by Dr. Fox 'stimulating.' Over all, almost every member of every audience loved Dr. Fox's lecture, despite the fact that, as the authors write, it was delivered by an actor 'programmed to teach charismatically and nonsubstantively on a topic about which he knew nothing'..." (Read more)
As DCF Challenges Oversight, Report Describes Unmet Needs. Connecticut Mirror. 16 September 2010. http://www.ctmirror.org/story/7715/dcf-readies-challenge-dcf-oversight-report-outlines-children-needs-not-being-met
"As the state Department of Children and Families prepares to ask a court to end federal oversight of its operations, a new report says the agency is still not meeting the needs of many of the abused and neglected children in its care. DCF will begin arguing in federal court next week that it has made dramatic progress in improving its services, and nearly two decades of court supervision should be ended. But child advocates say Thursday's report by the court monitor demonstrates that oversight continues to be a 'necessary safety net. DCF continues to fail, according to the data,' said Jeanne Milstein, the state's child advocate. 'They may have made tremendous strides but they are still failing'..." (Read more)
Forest, Maker of Celexa, to Pay More Than $313 Million to Settle Marketing Case. New York Times. 15 September 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/health/16drug.html?_r=1&ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"A unit of Forest Laboratories, the maker of the antidepressant Celexa, agreed on Wednesday to pay more than $313 million to settle criminal and civil complaints, including a claim that it had illegally promoted the drug for use in children. The settlement is the latest in a crackdown by the Justice Department on pharmaceutical companies that have promoted drugs for uses that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, a practice called off-label marketing..." (Read more)
The Most Neglected Disease in Global Health. Humanosphere: Charting Global Health & Poverty (KPLU). 7 September 2010. http://humanosphere.kplu.org/2010/09/the-most-neglected-disease-in-global-health/
"Is it Kala-azar black fever? Elephantiasis? African sleeping sickness? Guinea worm? How about mental illness? 'Mental health is the Rodney Dangerfield of international health,' says Paul Bolton, an expert in evaluating treatments at Johns Hopkins University, paraphrasing the comedian’s signature line: 'It gets no respect.' But it should, Bolton says, if our goal is to improve lives rather than simply cure or prevent disease. Hundreds of millions of people in the developing world suffer from emotional, neurological or behavioral disorders, according to the World Health Organization..." (Read more)
Child's Ordeal Shows Risks of Psychosis Drugs for Young. New York Times. 1 September 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/business/02kids.html?_r=1&ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"At 18 months, Kyle Warren started taking a daily antipsychotic drug on the orders of a pediatrician trying to quell the boy’s severe temper tantrums. Thus began a troubled toddler’s journey from one doctor to another, from one diagnosis to another, involving even more drugs. Autism, bipolar disorder, hyperactivity, insomnia, oppositional defiant disorder. The boy’s daily pill regimen multiplied: the antipsychotic Risperdal, the antidepressant Prozac, two sleeping medicines and one for attention-deficit disorder. All by the time he was 3. He was sedated, drooling and overweight from the side effects of the antipsychotic medicine. Although his mother, Brandy Warren, had been at her 'wit’s end' when she resorted to the drug treatment, she began to worry about Kyle’s altered personality. 'All I had was a medicated little boy,' Ms. Warren said. 'I didn’t have my son. It’s like, you’d look into his eyes and you would just see just blankness'..." (Read more)
New Juvie Unit Touted as 'Model for State'. The Times Leader. 25 August 2010. http://www.timesleader.com/news/New_juvie_unit_touted_as__lsquo_model_for_state_rsquo__08-25-2010.html
"A new juvenile unit within the Luzerne County Public Defender’s Office, with three full-time attorneys and a caseworker dedicated to juveniles, “has never been done” and “will be a model for the state,” Chief Public Defender Al Flora said during a press conference Tuesday. Flora made the announcement in the soaring marble and granite rotunda of the County Courthouse, the physical heart of the “kids-for-cash” scandal that began in January 2009, when then-judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan agreed to plead guilty to charges they accepted millions in exchange for actions from the bench that benefited a private juvenile detention and treatment center. Both judges withdrew their pleas and were indicted. Conahan entered a new guilty plea, while Ciavarella is awaiting trial. The new attorneys will be dedicated full time to juvenile cases and will receive training in juvenile law, Flora said..." (Read more)
Can Preschoolers be Depressed? New York Times Leader. 25 August 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/magazine/29preschool-t.html?_r=1&ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"Kiran didn’t seem like the type of kid parents should worry about. 'He was the easy one,' his father, Raghu, a physician, says. 'He always wanted to please.' Unlike other children in his suburban St. Louis preschool, Kiran (a nickname his parents asked me to use to protect his identity) rarely disobeyed or acted out. If he dawdled or didn’t listen, Raghu (also a nickname) had only to count to five before Kiran hastened to tie his shoes or put the toys away. He was kind to other children; if a classmate cried, Kiran immediately approached. 'Our little empath!' his parents proudly called him. But there were worrisome signs. For one thing, unlike your typical joyful and carefree 4-year-old, Kiran didn’t have a lot of fun. 'He wasn’t running around, bouncing about, battling to get to the top of the slide like other kids,' Raghu notes. Kiran’s mother, Elizabeth (her middle name), an engineer, recalls constant refrains of 'Nothing is fun; I’m bored.' When Raghu and Elizabeth reminded a downbeat Kiran of their coming trip to Disney World, Kiran responded: 'Mickey lies. Dreams don’t come true'..." (Read more)
Later School Start Times and Zzzs to A's. Los Angeles Times. 23 August 2010. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-school-time-20100823,0,7500807.story
"A growing body of evidence demonstrates that growing bodies benefit from more sleep. When districts push back the start of the school day, good things happen. As summer winds down, another new school year brings fresh notebooks, sharp pencils and — for many kids — a new cycle of sleep deprivation. With classes that start as early as 7 a.m. and buses that pull up long before sunrise, some 80% of American kids in grades 6 through 12 are falling short of sleep recommendations during the school year, according to research by the National Sleep Foundation, a sleep advocacy group..." (Read more)
Foster Teen's Musical Opportunity Denied. Surrey Leader. 19 August 2010. http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/101083304.html
"Frankie Bones has been looking forward to this Friday for months. It’s his 18th birthday on Aug. 20, but that’s not what’s had him pumped up. Friday is supposed to be the day he was to leave Surrey for Washington state to further his piano studies at Walla Walla University. But Frankie is a foster child and the B.C Ministry of Children and Family Development has told Esther Cordner – Frankie’s caregiver for the past 17 years – that this month’s trip isn’t going to happen..." (Read more)
The Challenges of Mass Incarceration in America: Does Locking Up More Reduce Crime? PR Newswire. 19 August 2010. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-challenges-of-mass-incarceration-in-america-101066619.html
"More Americans are serving time in prison or jail than at any point in the nation's history, reflecting an incarceration rate that greatly exceeds those found in other advanced democracies. The growth of the nation's penal population during the past three decades has produced "a new group of social outcasts, defined by the shared experience of incarceration, crime, poverty, racial minority, and low education," according to Harvard University sociologist Bruce Western. Bruce Western and Brown University economist Glenn C. Loury are guest editors of the new issue of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which examines the social, political, and economic implications of the largely invisible phenomenon of "mass incarceration" in America..." (Read more)
Juvenile Facilities Improved. Washington Post. 13 August 2010. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/prison-beat/juvenile-facilities-greatly-im.html
"Maryland has made great strides to improve its troubled juvenile justice system, Gov. Martin O'Malley said Thursday as he announced the end of federal oversight at Baltimore's juvenile detention center. The federal government notified the state late Wednesday that the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center was in full compliance with its monitoring requirements. The oversight itself will likely end in a few months, state officials said. The Baltimore facility was one of three juvenile justice centers under federal monitoring. The other two — the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County and the Charles H. Hickey School in Baltimore County — exited in 2008..." (Read more)
Behavior: Internet Use Tied to Depression in Youths. New York Times. 10 August 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/health/research/10beha.html?_r=1&ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"A large Chinese study suggests that otherwise healthy teenagers are much more vulnerable to depression if they spend too much time on the Internet. Researchers who followed more than 1,000 students at high schools in Guangzhou — all of them free of anxiety and depression at the start of the study — found that after nine months, rates of severe depression among “pathological” users were 2.5 times those of the others. The study was published Aug. 2 in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. It used self-rating scales to assess anxiety and depression, along with an addiction test that asks questions like 'How often do you feel depressed, moody or nervous when you are offline, which goes away once you are back online?'..." (Read more)
L.A. County to Audit Children and Family Services Agency. Los Angeles Times. 3 August 2010. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/03/local/la-me-0804-audit-20100803
"Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to conduct a broad audit of problems vexing the Department of Children and Family Services. The county has experienced a series of deaths of children, many of which have involved errors by the child protective services agency. The audit will look at several issues related to those deaths, including management accountability, the department's cooperation with other county agencies and breakdowns in technology..." (Read more)
Foster Kids Gain from Mentoring, Relationship Skills. Businessweek. 3 August 2010. http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/641657.html
"Mentoring and relationship skills programs can improve the mental health of foster children, a new study from the University of Colorado suggests. The study appears in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. 'Children who have been maltreated and placed in foster care are at risk for significant mental health problems including depression, post-traumatic stress, dissociation, social problems, suicidal behavior, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorders,' researchers Heather N. Taussig and Sara E. Culhane, of the University of Colorado, said in a news release from the journal's publisher. Studies of Medicaid claims suggest that as many as 57 percent of youths in foster care meet criteria for mental disorder..." (Read more)
Recommit to Serving Troubled Teens. Chicago Daily Herald. 3 August 2010. http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=397939&src=
"It's been nearly a year since a 16-year-old boy took his own life inside a state youth prison in St. Charles. Nearly a year to look at what went wrong. Nearly a year for change to happen. We've taken a look, but we're still lacking in enough change. A new report provides insights into why the state Department of Juvenile Justice is failing to adequately serve our most troubled youths. Among its most alarming findings were a lack of proper mental health screenings and an undertrained staff..." (Read more)
Union Bridles at Youth Prisons Merger. Chicago Public Radio. 29 July 2010. http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=43467
"A much anticipated report is due out today, evaluating how Illinois handles the mental health of imprisoned kids. Yesterday, government and organized labor clashed over the youth prisons’ future. Governor Pat Quinn wants to fold Juvenile Justice into the department that runs foster care. The public employees union AFSCME told state legislators that both departments are already understaffed. They say the merger would substitute bureaucratic noodling for real reform. Tamela Smith works in the juvenile prison in Warrenville, where she says her caseload includes DCFS wards..." (Read more)
Report Lays Out Flaws in Care for Kids in Prison. Chicago Public Radio. 29 July 2010. http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=43493
"A new report finds serious problems with the mental health care in Illinois’s youth prisons. The authors blame lack of resources, and lack of leadership. The state invited a team of mental health professionals to visit all 8 juvenile prisons. They found severe staff shortages at some of the largest facilities, They say that effectively rules out real treatment for nearly two thirds of the kids in Illinois prisons. The team writes that staffers use therapies unsupported by research, and have few systems for measuring their effectiveness..." (Read more)
State's Youth Prisons Faulted on Mental Health Care. Chicago Tribune. 29 July 2010. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-07-29/news/ct-met-juvenile-justice-report-20100729_1_mental-health-troubled-youths-illinois-juvenile-prisons
"Illinois' juvenile prisons are not adequately screening and treating mentally ill youths, in large part because the facilities are underfunded and poorly staffed, while their mental health workers are not always trained in up-to-date methods, according to a report released Thursday. The report, in many ways, echoed what the outgoing director of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Kurt Friedenauer, has long said about the department: The state's failure to support the department has made it nearly impossible to deliver state-of-the-art mental health treatment to some of the state's most troubled youths. The report noted 'serious deficiencies' in mental health treatment at juvenile facilities across the state, and said that at one downstate institution the caseloads are 'unmanageable and a barrier for meaningful treatment to occur'..." (Read more)
Teens in Crisis: Mental Health Issues on the Rise. ABC News. 28 July 2010. http://www.abc4.com/content/news/slc/story/Teens-in-crisis-mental-health-issues-on-the-rise/sdgcdVHW9kuPt1J8pfs36A.cspx
"According to the Surgeon General, one in five youth have a mental health disorder. There are 46,000 young people in Utah alone battling a mental illness, and those numbers are growing. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says it’s time to get beyond the stigma of mental illness and talk about it openly. Today he talked about the personal heartache of having a daughter that battles depression. 'I spent a couple of nights last week, all night, driving the city looking for my daughter who had gone missing. I found her. She’s safe today, but it began at fourteen with her first suicide attempt. We’ve had a struggle. Families can’t do it alone'..." (Read more)
As Economy Takes Toll, Mental Health Budgets Shrink. The Bellingham Herald. 20 July 2010. http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/07/20/1533396/as-economy-takes-toll-mental-health.html
"Mental health policies in America have changed radically over the past 60 years. A one-time emphasis on caring for patients in large institutions has shifted to treating them in outpatient settings in the community. The ways mental disorders are diagnosed and categorized have changed. And the use of psychotropic medications is more prevalent than it used to be. But throughout the decades, one thing has remained the same - states have taken the lead role in publicly funded care for the mentally ill, and paid the majority of the expenses. Even through recessions, the states have steadily increased their mental health budgets every year to meet increasing demand. Now, as states face their biggest fiscal challenge in modern history, the trend has reversed. For the first time in more than three decades, mental health funding is declining..." (Read more)
Injustice for Children (Editorial). New York Times. 16 July 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/opinion/17sat2.html
"If New York abides by the settlement it reached this week with the Justice Department, mentally ill children in four of the state’s infamous youth prisons will finally get decent psychiatric care and will no longer be subject to brutal disciplinary practices. As important as it is, however, the settlement cannot be a substitute for the overhaul of the state juvenile justice system proposed by Gov. David Paterson’s juvenile justice task force. The Justice Department focused on New York because of people like Darryl Thompson, an emotionally disturbed 15-year-old who died after being pinned face down on the floor at the infamous Tryon Residential Center. A federal investigation found that children in the system were often brutally punished for minor offenses like laughing too loud or sneaking an extra cookie..." (Read more)
Federal Oversight for Troubled NY Youth Prisons. New York Times. 14 July 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/nyregion/15juvenile.html?_r=1&ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"Four of New York’s most dangerous and troubled youth prisons will be placed under federal oversight, strict new limits will be imposed on the use of physical force by guards, and dozens of psychiatrists, counselors and investigators will be hired under a sweeping agreement finalized on Wednesday between state and federal officials. The agreement will usher in the most significant expansion of mental health services in years for youths in custody, the vast majority of whom suffer from drug or alcohol problems, developmental disabilities or mental health problems. Currently, the state does not have a single full-time psychiatrist on staff to treat young offenders..." (Read more)
New Poll: Adults Working with Youths Say Minority Children Face more Obstacles to Health and Success than White Counterparts. PR Newswire. 8 July 2010. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-poll-adults-working-with-youths-say-minority-children-face-more-obstacles-to-health-and-success-than-white-counterparts-98026864.html
"Minority children and teenagers have fewer opportunities than white counterparts to be healthy, obtain a quality education and achieve economic success, according to a national survey of adults whose jobs involve children's education, health and economic well-being. The groundbreaking poll was released yesterday by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, which sought to gauge the level of disparities affecting children of color.
Researchers with C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan polled more than 2,000 adults, such as teachers, childcare providers, healthcare workers, social workers and law enforcement officials. Their findings indicate that African American, Latino, Native American/Alaska Native, Asian American/Pacific Islanders and Arab American children from birth to age 8, as well as teenagers ages 13 to 18, face diminished opportunities that reduce their chances to succeed..." (Read more)
Integrative Management of ADHD: What the Evidence Suggests. Psychiatric Times. 7 July 2010. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/adhd/content/article/10168/1603662
"It is important for mental health professionals to be familiar with emerging research findings about widely used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in order to provide patients with accurate information on efficacy, safety, and appropriate use.
A high percentage of children and adults who have been given a diagnosis of ADHD use alternative therapies alone or in combination with conventional pharmacological treatment. More than half of parents of children with ADHD treat their children’s symptoms using 1 or more CAM therapies, most commonly vitamins, dietary changes, and expressive therapies; yet only about 10% disclose use of such nonpharmacological therapies to their child’s pediatrician. Most nonpharmacological therapies used to treat ADHD are supported by limited evidence; however, as many as 80% of patients who use herbal preparations and other natural products regard these therapies as the primary treatment of their symptoms..." (Read more)
Call for Early Care Intervention. BBC News. 27 June 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10417516
"Delays in removing such children from their families are linked with poor mental health and behaviour, say researchers from the Demos think tank. The report, funded by Barnardo's, says the care system should be de-stigmatised and seen positively. It says the state can pay nearly £33,000 more per child per year if they have received poor care.
The research involved statistical analysis as well as interviews with foster parents, children in care and young people who had been in care. It compared two extreme hypothetical "care journeys" and found that the annual costs to children's services could be up to twice as much for a child who had experienced a lot of upheaval and change..." (Read more)
High Levels of Anxiety are Found Among Children and Families in the Gulf Region Impacted by Oil Spill Disaster. PR Newswire. 22 June 2010. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/high-levels-of-anxiety-are-found-among-children-and-families-in-the-gulf-region-impacted-by-oil-spill-disaster-96921749.html
"Two months after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion caused the oil spill now globally acknowledged as the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history, the residents of the Gulf region immediately impacted are exhibiting dramatically high levels of anxiety, both among adults and children, about the future health and well-being of the region. Many children – and parents – still recovering from Katrina are now reeling from a second major trauma as a result of the oil catastrophe.
At a public town hall meeting today in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, Irwin Redlener, MD, the President of the Children's Health Fund and the Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, spoke with families and children about their perceived beliefs and concerns about the impact the oil spill is having and will have on their lives and livelihoods in the region..." (Read more)
Oregon Tightens Drug Rules for Foster Children. The Oregonian. 15 June 2010. http://tdn.com/news/state-and-regional/article_acb27394-788f-11df-a85c-001cc4c03286.html
"Justin Snegirev mostly remembers feeling nauseous, tired and alone during the more than seven years he spent in state foster care. Placed in a foster home when he was 8, Snegirev says it wasn't long before he was prescribed Ritalin, a drug used to treat attention deficit disorders. Next came an antidepressant and then a sleeping pill. Between ages 8 and 15, Snegirev says he was given at least seven different types of psychiatric drugs.
But he wasn't mentally ill, says Snegirev, now 20. 'I was in an abusive situation and was a kid who simply was expressing symptoms of abuse - and nobody was listening to me'..." (Read more)
Secondhand Smoke and Mental Health. New York Times. 10 June 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/health/research/15haza.html?ref=mentalhealthanddisorders
"Smokers are known to suffer from high rates of depression and other mental health problems, and now a study reports that even people exposed to secondhand smoke are at significantly increased risk - and more likely to be hospitalized for mental illness..." (Read more)
Paterson Proposes Juvenile Justice Overhaul. New York Times. 2 June 2010. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/paterson-proposes-juvenile-justice-overhaul/
"Gov. David A. Paterson introduced legislation on Wednesday to begin overhauling New York’s troubled juvenile prison system, in what aides described at a first step toward broader changes long sought by critics of the system.
The legislation would prohibit judges from placing youths in state juvenile prisons unless they had been found guilty of a violent felony or a sex crime or a judge had determined that a youth posed a significant risk to themselves or others. Such a move would set the stage to significantly shrink the number of youths in state custody..." (Read more)
Juvenile Justice Reform a Must, Commission Says. Philidelphia Inquirer. 27 May 2010. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/95020849.html
"In its wide-ranging recommendhttp://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/ations issued Thursday morning, the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice suggested some basic measures to prevent the "kids for cash" scandal from recurring in Pennsylvania.
Make sure children have a lawyer. Don't let them be taken away in shackles.Give them expanded rights to appeal.
But in the end, what happened in Luzerne County - where some 4,500 kids were sent to detention centers for minor crimes and with limited if any counsel - was a failure of the courts and the community, the commission said in issuing its 66-page report" (Read more)
Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems. 24 May 2010. http://cjjr.georgetown.edu/pdfs/ed/edpaper.pdf
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University has released a new report which looks at educational barriers and interventions designed to improve educational outcomes. (Read the report)
Foster Children Mistreated, Suit Against City Claims. 13 May 2010. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/nyregion/13acs.html?src=me
"A federal lawsuit is seeking to bar New York City from allowing troubled foster-care children to be kept in psychiatric hospitals after doctors have recommended their release, a practice that routinely adds months to a hospitalization despite laws that require such children to be placed in the least restrictive environment possible. The suit, filed on Wednesday in United States District Court in Brooklyn, claims that the practice means that children who no longer require hospitalization are being kept in locked quarters where they have limited access to schooling, family visits and even walks outside..." (Read more)
U.S. Attorney General Visits East Bay Youth Center Seen as Possible Model for Nation. 11 May 2010. Oakland Tribune. http://www.insidebayarea.com/health/ci_15063924
"From Washington, D.C., U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had heard about an innovative youth center here called Youth UpRising. So during his visit this week to California to bolster gang prevention efforts, he made sure to make a stop in East Oakland on Tuesday for a tour. Youth UpRising, Holder said, exemplifies the kind of approach to preventing youth violence that the Justice Department wants to include in its mission under the Obama administration in reducing crime. The center follows a public health model for preventing violence and crime. 'We don't want to get tough on crime,' Holder said during a news conference at the center. 'We want to get smart on crime.'..." (Read more)
What to Say when Your Teenager Says She's Gay. 11 May 2010. The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487038
"What role, if any, should parents and schools play in a child's emerging sexual orientation? Sparks have been flying around that question this spring. Early last month, a small group called the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) sent a letter to the nearly 15,000 school superintendents in the U.S., stating that most adolescents who experience same-sex attraction at age 12 no longer do by age 25, and warning that prematurely labeling them could lead some "into harmful homosexual behaviors they otherwise would not pursue." The letter also stated that homosexual attraction and/or gender confusion "can respond well to therapy. The far larger American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) posted a statement saying it is in no way affiliated with the ACP and referred schools and parents to its own publications that urge acceptance of gay, lesbian and bisexual youth..." (Read more)
Santa Clara County Supervisors to Vote on Prohibiting the Jailing of Very Young Children. 10 May 2010. San Jose Mercury News. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15043448
"Stung by revelations the county has been locking up children as young as 10, Santa Clara County supervisors will vote Tuesday on a juvenile detention policy that justice experts say could be the most progressive in the country. At the urging of Supervisor Dave Cortese, the board will consider a directive calling on judges and probation officers to find secure placements other than the juvenile hall for children 12 years old and younger. A majority of supervisors say they support the policy in theory."As a parent, and as somebody who grew up in East San Jose, I know that no good can come of incarcerating kids 10, 11 and 12 years old," Cortese said. "Instead of rehabilitating kids or getting them on the right track, we're exacerbating those issues they already have..." (Read more)
In Juvenile Justice, Less Often More [COMMENTARY]. 9 May 2010. The Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/6997625.html
"Looking for a good value on lodging in the city that never sleeps? Don't bother with New York City's juvenile detention center. It goes for $620 a night or $226,300 for a year, about twice the typical rate at the Ritz-Carlton. This almost makes Texas Youth Commission (TYC) lockups seem like a bargain at $271 a night or $98,915 a year. Whether in the Big Apple or the Rio Grande Valley, taking a bite out of taxpayers' wallets might make sense if it took a large bite out of crime. However, research shows that for most youths, incarceration is less effective than evidence-based juvenile probation programs that supervise and treat youths in their homes and communities..." (Read more)
Fight Erupts over Rules Issued for 'Mental Health Parity' Insurance Law. 9 May 2010. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/health/policy/10health.html
"A huge fight has erupted over rules issued by the Obama administration to enforce a 2008 law that requires equal insurance coverage for the treatment of mental and physical illnesses. The fight offers a taste of the coming battle over rules to remake the health care system under legislation pushed through Congress by President Obama. Insurance companies and employer groups are lobbying the White House to delay and rework the rules on “mental health parity.” Insurers and many employers supported the 2008 law, but they say the rules go far beyond the intent of Congress and would cripple their cost-control techniques while raising out-of-pocket costs for some patients..." (Read more)
Student Trying to Close Book on Juvenile Indiscretions. 30 April 2010. The Spokesman-Review. http://www.spokesman.com:80/stories/2010/apr/30/trying-to-close-book-on-juvenile-indiscretions/
"What if the stupidest things you did at age 14 came up now during a job interview. If the application form included a box asking if you'd ever driven drunk in your parents' car? Plagerized an essay on Huck Finn? Set fire to bags of dung and left them on doorsteps? That's the sort of situation facing Starcia Ague when she graduates from Washington State University, only her stupid things were a lot more serious: three felonies associated with a break-in robbery she participated in back in 2003. It was a bad call, for sure, and she was locked up for the rest of her childhood. But to make that the end of her story would be a mistake..." (Read more)
WSU Student Trying to Close Book on Juvenile Indiscretions. 30 April 2010. The Spokesman-Review. http://www.spokesman.com:80/stories/2010/apr/30/trying-to-close-book-on-juvenile-indiscretions/
"What if the stupidest things you did at age 14 came up now during a job interview. If the application form included a box asking if you'd ever driven drunk in your parents' car? Plagerized an essay on Huck Finn? Set fire to bags of dung and left them on doorsteps? That's the sort of situation facing Starcia Ague when she graduates from Washington State University, only her stupid things were a lot more serious: three felonies associated with a break-in robbery she participated in back in 2003. It was a bad call, for sure, and she was locked up for the rest of her childhood. But to make that the end of her story would be a mistake..." (Read more)
Survey says Rehab, not Retribution, for Youths. 30 April 2010. The Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/ct-x-c-youth-detention-study-0430-20100430,0,1577256.story
"Sending juveniles in trouble with the law to neighborhood programs rather than detention centers is preferable to most people in Illinois, who believe it's less expensive and more effective, according to a survey released Friday. The public is looking toward real solutions to youth crime, as opposed to short-term asnwers that could be far more expensive in the long term..." (Read more)
Kids in Prison: Fixing Illinois' Juvenile Justice System. 29 April 2010. Illinois Times. http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/print-article-7221-print.html
"What do you do when you catch a criminal? Conventional wisdom says you lock them up and hope prison scares them straight. But what if that doesn't work, and what if that criminal is only 13 years old?
That’s what Illinois lawmakers thought they were providing four years ago when they established the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. It was to be a place, separate from the prison system, where kids gone wrong could be steered right. But, like Eve from Adam, IDJJ was created from the proverbial rib of the Illinois Department of Corrections, and though the two are now separate agencies, they are still entwined by their shared resources and attitudes toward corrections.
Legislators who pushed for a separate juvenile system hoped to move juvenile justice away from punishment toward a rehabilitative system that has shown promise in other states. The theory is that delinquent kids commit crimes because of exposure to violence, a lack of positive role models or a variety of other factors. Providing a safe, instructive and remedial environment is supposed to change their thinking and turn them into productive members of society, rather than hardening them into career criminals. So far, that dream hasn’t been realized, says Betsy Clarke, president of the Juvenile Justice Initiative..." (Read more)
Racial Disparity in the Juvenile Justice System. 27 April 2010. WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=41592
"When you look at which kids wind up inside our juvenile justice system you find some startling statistics. For example: African-Americans make up 18 percent of Illinois' youth population, but they represent over half of Illinois kids who are locked up." On April 20th, 200 community members from Chicago's South side gathered to discuss youth disproportionate minority contact...(Listen here)
A Better Chance (Editorial). 25 April 2010. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/opinion/26mon4.html
"Gov. David Paterson's (NY) juvenile justice task force was on the mark when it advised him to stop sending low-risk young offenders to faraway lockups and place more of them in lower-cost community-based programs. These programs closely monitor and mentor troubled children with curfew checks, reviews of their school performance, and after-school activities. They have been shown to get low-risk young offenders back on track without institutionalizing them...” (Read more)
Bill would Extend IT Rule to Behavioral Health. 19 April 2010. Modern Healthcare. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20100419/NEWS/100419944/1153#
"Legislation introduced April 15th by Reps. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) would extend eligibility for meaningful-use incentive payments to many behavioral and mental health professionals. The Health Information Technology Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act of 2010 would allow substance-abuse treatment facilities, clinical psychologists, psychiatric hospitals, clinical social workers and other providers to vie for the additional funds outlined in the HITECH provisiosn of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009...” (Read more)
Along the Racial Divide of Juvenile Justice. 16 April 2010. Inside and Out, WBEZ Chicago.http://insideandout.chicagopublicradio.org/content/along-racial-divide-juvenile-justice
"There are many more black and brown young people in our jails and prisons than you'd predict, if you just look at their percentages in the population at large. The numbers are simply out of whatk. And that's got a fancy name. It's called D-M-C: disproportionate minority contact. Juvenile justice experts say it's not rocket science to fix the problem. No, they say, it's a LOT HARDER than rocket science...” (Read more)
1 in 5 Children has a Mental Disorder, Researchers Say. 15 April 2010. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. http://interact.stltoday.com:80/blogzone/parents-talk-back/parents-talk-back/2010/04/1-in-5-children-has-mental-disorder-researchers-say/
"One in five American children has a diagnosable mental health disorder and kids in military families have an even higher incidence of emotional and behavioral problems, according to a press release from the National Center for Children in Poverty. The NCCP's release about its new brief, Children's Mental Health: What Every Policymaker Should Know, concludes that the country's system for children who need mental health services isn't sufficient to handle the volume or meet the specific needs of this vulnerable segment of our population...” (Read more)
Cruel Choices: Wraparound Services as an Alternative to Parental Rights Relinquishment. 15 April 2010. KBCS Radio. http://kbcs.fm/site/PageServer?pagename=oneworldreport_20100415
"Last week we brought you the story of Dwayne and his daughter Tina. Dwayne was forced to give up custody of Tina so that she could get the mental health care she needed. Washington State's solution for Tina was for Dwayne to relinquish his parental rights, then institutionalize Tina, hundreds of miles away from her father. Many in Dwayne's situation have come together to sue the state because of this unfair 'last resort'. In part 2 of Heidi Lang's series titled 'Cruel Choices', we meet another Washington State family struggling with some of the same mental health issues. Only this time the family found a program that works...” (Listen to the full story)
New York City is Urged to Track Foster Care Results. 14 April 2010. New York Times. www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/nyregion/15foster.html
"At 21, a young person in foster care in New York is officially out of the child welfare system. Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate, said Wednesday that the government's involvement should not stop there. 'Too often, young adults who grow up in the city's foster care system slip through the cracks.'...” (Read more)
Behavioral Change: While an interim rule on mental health parity was met with mostly positive reviews, a coalition is suing saying the proper process wasn't followed in issuing the rule. 11 April, 2010. Modern Healthcare. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20100412/MAGAZINE/100409950#
"Typically a dry and tedious endeavor, the federal rulemaking process has gotten a little more interesting for mental health parity advocates in the past few weeks. Behavioral healthcare providers, managed-care organizations and associations are still interpreting the federal government's interim final rule for mental health parity legislation that became effective April 5 as they prepare for a public-comment deadline in early May. ...” (Read more)
Suicide Prompts Call for Youth Mental Health Aid. 11 April, 2010. Boston Herald. http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20100411suicide_prompts_call_for_youth_mental-health_aid/srvc=home&position=7
"Manuel DaVeiga’s violent death has exposed a chasm that experts fear may swallow similar at-risk youths who, like DaVeiga, need mental-health treatment but lack the maturity to get it themselves and the support at home or in the community to get help...” (Read more)
After 18, Foster Kids Face Tough Road Ahead. 8 April, 2010. Talk of the Nation: National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125729965
"New research shows that less than half of former foster youth are employed at 23, and only six percent have finished college. Mark Courtney, research and development director at Partners For Our Children, and Jeremy Long, who aged out of foster care three years ago at 18, talk about the challenges facing kids as they grow up...” (Listen free online)
Study Finds More Woes Following Foster Care. 6 April, 2010. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/us/07foster.html?ref=todayspaper
"Only half the youths who had turned 18 and 'aged out' of foster care were employed by their mid-20s. Six in 10 men had been convicted of a crime, and three in four women, many of them with children of their own, were receiving some form of public assistance. Only six in 100 had completed even a community college degree. The dismal outlook for youths who are thrust into a shaky adulthood from the foster care system - now numbering some 30,000 annually - has been documented with new precision by a long-term study released Wednesday, the largest to follow such children over many years...” (Read More)
Transition Out of Foster Care Needs Support. 6 April, 2010. Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011540625_apusfostercare1stldwritethru.html
"Tasha Collett spent most of her teen years shuffling between so many different foster families that she's lost count of just how many there were. By the time she aged out of the Iowa system at age 18, she ended up living in homeless shelters, on and off. Not exactly a foundation for success. But Collett, now 21, still managed to land an apartment and a part-time job at a drug store. She's also studying to become a registered nurse at a medical college in Des Moines...” (Read More)
Freed From Prison, Some Juveniles Have No Place to Go. 31 March, 2010. Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-03-31/news/ct-met-juvenile-prison-trapped-20100331_1_juvenile-prisons-kurt-friedenauer-troubled-youths
"Nearly 10 percent of the inmates in Illinois' juvenile prisons ahve essentially completed their sentences - in some cases more than a year ago - but are stuck behind bars because they have no place to go, state records show. Many of the youths are being held longer in one of the state's eight juvenile prisons because officials cannot find an appropriate placement in a transitional living program or other kind of facility. Others are still in prison because officials found the homes of families or friends to be unacceptable, or because families simply refuse to take them back, according to records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act...” (Read More)
Mental Health Experts Applaud Focus on Parity. 29 March, 2010. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/health/30mental.html?scp=1&sq=mental&st=cse
"Even without the new health care law, mental health advocates were getting ready to celebrate parity - a law requiring benefits for substance abuse and mental illnesses to be on par with benefits for medical illnesses. But that law, passed in 2008 and taking full effect only this July, did not cover everyone with insurance, and it offered no help to the 32 million uninsured Americans. Now mental health advocates are almost giddy. The law signed by President Obama last week expands parity to a much wider pool...” (Read More)
The Rules about how Parents Should Make Rules. 29 March, 2010. National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125302688
"The rules in 8-year-old Cameron Slaughter's house are clear: Children must do their homework when they get home from school; bedtime is 7:30; and stabbing one's brother with a pencil is not permitted. Though Cameron, like most 8-year-olds, doesn't always execute these rules perfectly, when pressed, he does say that he appreciates them. They keep you safe, he explains, so they are good...” (Read More)
A Young Man Diverted. 24 March, 2010. Inside and Out, WBEZ Chicago.http://insideandout.chicagopublicradio.org/content/young-man-diverted
"All last week our Inside and Out series looked at what happens when young people land in Illinois' youth prisons. But there are also kids who start on a path towards prsion, take a peek, and decide it's not for them. Sometimes they have help taking that peek. One place that can happen is at what are called diversion programs run by Cook County's Probation Department that take hundreds of kids every year who've been arrested and help them avoid stepping before a judge. Today we hear the story of a young man who's re-thinking his future, and trying to get away from the negative pulls of his neighborhood...” (Listen to more)
Growing up Behind Bars: Life in Prison for Teens. 16 March, 2010. CNN's American Morning. http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com:80/2010/03/16/growing-up-behind-bars-life-in-prison-for-teens/
"As Dwayne Betts addressed thousands of students at last year's University of Maryland's commencement ceremonies, his thoughts then and now are how far he has come in his life, how five years before that moment, he was locked up in prison. 'When I was 16-year-old...I carjacked a man at gunpoint'... Although no one was physically hurt during his crime, Betts was prosecuted as an adult. Carjacking in Virginia carries a maximum sentence of life... 'I think that for me and most young people who find themselves transferred to adult court, their case could definitely be handled in juvenile court...” (Read More)
After Victory over Disney, Group Loses its Lease. 9 March, 2010. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/education/10baby.html
"For a few days last fall, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood celebrated a big victory: the tiny advocacy group had successfully pushed the Walt Disney Company to offer full refunds to everyone who had bought the company’s popular Baby Einstein videos from June 2004 to September 2009. But it did not take long for trouble to follow. The group has been evicted from the Harvard-affiliated children’s mental-health center in Boston that had housed and sponsored it for more than a decade.
Campaign officials say they were forced out after Disney made contact with health center officials. Neither Disney nor officials of the center, the Judge Baker Children’s Center, would comment about the eviction...” (Read More)
For Juveniles in Family Court, Judges Seek Safer Alternatives to Prison. 7 March, 2010. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/08/nyregion/08family.html
"Standing to address Judge Daniel Turbow in Family Court in Brooklyn, a city prosecutor confidently listed the reasons why the 16-year-old boy in the courtroom should be sent upstate to a juvenile prison. He was a member of the Bloods, the prosecutor said, and he later joined another gang. He was arrested once for grand larceny and twice for assault. He went to school drunk andspat on the dean of students. “He admits to going out to Bergen Beach to rob people,” the prosecutor continued, as the courtroom fell silent. “He stated that this is the way that he gets his money.”
Judge Turbow, looking anguished, was still reluctant to issue the harshest penalty: sending the teenager to a juvenile prison run by the state. A recent series of reports on the grim conditions at upstate juvenile prisons has made the decisions of Family Court judges even more difficult. The reports detailed violence, broken bones, suicidal behavior and deficient mental health services at the prisons, which recently had a combined population of 777..." (Read More)
Pierce County Reaches Settlement over Jail School. 11 February, 2010. The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011044770_apwajaileducation.html
"Pierce County has settled a lawsuit concerning educating kids in the adult jail. The county has agreed that a program started at the jail last fall by Tacoma Public Schools will continue..." (Read More)
For Detained Youths, No Mental Health Overseer. 10 February, 2010. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/nyregion/11youth.html
"Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson has been the administrative judge of the New York City Family Courts for nine months, in charge of the judges responsible for the detention of dozens of young people charged with crimes, the vast majority of whom suffer from some form of mental illness. But it was not until last September that she was informed of what struck her as a startling fact: The State of New York does not have a single full-time staff psychiatrist charged with overseeing the treatment of the 800 or so young people who are detained in the state facilities at any given time..." (Read More)
Revising Book on Disorders of the Mind. 10 February, 2010. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com:80/2010/02/10/health/10psych.html?ref=todayspaper
"Far fewer children would get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Binge eating disorder and hypersexuality might become part of the everyday language. And the way many mental disorders are diagnosed and treated would be sharply revised. Those are a few of the changes proposed..." (Read More)
Changes Proposed in how Psychiatrists Diagnose. 9 February, 2010.The Seattle Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/nyregion/04juvenile.html?scp=3&sq=&st=nyt
"Don't say 'mental retardation' - the new term is 'intellectual disability'. No more diagnoses of Asperger's syndrome - call it a mild version of autism instead. And while 'behavioral addictions' will be new to doctors' dictionaries, 'internet addiction' didn't make the cut..." (Read More)
Officials Bar Shackling of Juvenile Offenders. 4 February, 2010. New York Times Magazine. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/nyregion/04juvenile.html?scp=3&sq=&st=nyt
"State officials issued an order this week prohibiting the shackling of the vast majority of juvenile offenders held in state custody after a court ruling that staff at New York's youth prisons were routinely violating rules..." (Read More)
Washington's Mental-Health-Care System Needs Resources, Family Input. 27 January, 2010. The Seattle Times [OPINION]. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2010910293_guest28monfried.html
"The Washington Legislature should change the law so families are better able to help their loved ones with mental illness, write guest columnist Martha Monfried. And lawmakers must not cut further a system that tries to help the mentally ill..." (Read More)
Juvenile Offenders Shackled Illegally, Judge Rules. 26 January, 2010. New York Times Magazine. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/juvenile-offenders-illegally-shackled-judge-rules/?scp=2&sq=juvenile%20justice&st=cse
"The agency that runs [New York] state's juvenile prison system routinely violates the law by shackling youthful offenders when taking them to court even in cases in which the youth poses no obvious threat, a state judge ruled on Tuesday..." (Read More)
Protecting Children from Detention Abuses. 22 January, 2010. The Philadelphia Inquirer [OPINION]. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/82341642.html
"We have learned from the Luzerne County scandal that children need lawyers when they appear before a judge. A recently released Department of Justice report shows why they also need access to lawyers when they are sent to juvenile detention facilities. The report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that..." (Read More)
City Signals Intent to Put Fewer Teenagers in Jail. 20 January, 2010. New York Times Magazine. http://www.nytimes.com:80/2010/01/21/nyregion/21juvenile.html
"The Bloomberg administration plans to merge the city's Department of Juvenile Justice into its child welfare agency, signaling a more therapeutic approach toward delinquency that will send fewer of the city's troubled teenagers to jail. The integration of the agencies is effective immediately..." (Read More)
The Americanization of Mental Illness. 8 January, 2010. New York Times Magazine. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10psyche-t.html?ref=magazine
"AMERICANS, particularly if they are of a certain leftward-leaning, college-educated type, worry about our country’s blunders into other cultures. In some circles, it is easy to make friends with a rousing rant about the McDonald’s near Tiananmen Square, the Nike factory in Malaysia or the latest blowback from our political or military interventions abroad. For all our self-recrimination, however, we may have yet to face one of the most remarkable effects of American-led globalization." (Read More)