And, we are back — almost

A great group of devoted Indiana attorneys are taking over this blog to keep all of the faithful followers updated on what is happening in juvenile law in Indiana and nationally.  Look for new posts soon!

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For Everything There is a Season

I launched this blog almost two years ago and today will be my final post. Sometime in March 2015, I am scheduled to be appointed juvenile court magistrate in Wayne Superior Court No. 3. Blogging cannot be part of that new role. So, this blog will be disabled in a few days and fade from view.

I do not walk away from this easily, as I have enjoyed blogging immensely. I am humbled by all of the people who have followed the blog and shared kind words or provocative thoughts. Hopefully, someone else will pick up the mantle and continue to share what is happening with juvenile justice issues here in Indiana and nationally.

My parting thought is this: please remember that all of us have a duty to help those who cannot help themselves.

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National Juvenile Justice Prosecution Center

The McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University will house the new National Juvenile Prosecution Center, which will work in collaboration with the University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, the National District Attorneys Association, and the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators, and AEquitas.  The Center will provide comprehensive trainings on topics unique to working with juveniles, including adolescent development, neuroscience, juvenile sexual assault, early intervention strategies, and much more.

See also this article about the program’s new leader.

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Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice Journal

The Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice Journal is published four times each year and focuses on juvenile justice and school violence prevention.  It is an interdisciplinary publication with an audience that includes those in the fields of criminal justice, education, psychology, social work, behavior analysis, sociology, public health, and others.

The January 2015 edition includes articles on bullying, gang involvement, parole officers and female juveniles parolees, and the “disproportionate impact of “getting tough” on crime.”

One of the most read articles from the journal overall is Violent Video Games, Delinquency, and Youth Violence: New Evidence, by Matt Delisi, Michael G. Vaughn, et. al. (2013).

Posted in Adolescent Development, Detention, DOC, Education, School-to-Prison Pipeline, Schools/Education | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement

The National Partnership for Juvenile Services, the National Institute of Corrections, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention partnered to publish the Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement.  The Desktop Guide addresses a wide range of topics including admission practices, mental health and medical care, education, and many more.  The information is broken into two parts:  background principles and concepts and quality practice guidelines.  Each chapter is authored by experts from around the country.

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National Mentoring Resource Center

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has partnered with MENTOR: The National Resource Center.  Many resources are available, which include:

  • Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, which gives recommendations for implementing quality programs based on research and practitioner experience.
  • A volunteer referral service
  • Recommended readings
  • Online tools
  • A calendar of mentoring events from around the county.

See also the MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership for more tools and information, including information on the annual National Mentoring Summit and links to local programs.

In Indiana, the Indiana Mentoring Partnership, that is part of the Indiana Youth Institute, offers many more resources, including the Indiana Quality Mentoring Standards and access to local programs.

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Elkhart 4 Oral Argument – February 26, 2015

The Indiana Supreme Court has set the “Elkhart 4” felony murder cases for oral argument on February 26, 2015, at 10:30 a.m.  On that day, the oral argument can be viewed online by going here.  The Court’s summary of the case follows:

“Appellants and two other teenagers participated in a burglary of a house chosen because they thought the owner was not home. One of the teenagers was shot and killed by the homeowner. Following a jury trial in the Elkhart Circuit Court, the appellants were convicted under Indiana’s felony murder statute, Indiana Code section 35-42-1-1. The convictions were affirmed in Layman v. State, 17 N.E.3d 957 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), transfer pending and Sharp v. State, 16 N.E.3d 470 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), transfer pending. Appellants have petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over the appeal.”

For a prior post about the facts of the case and a summary of the relevant law, see this prior post.

For links to the transfer petition and responses, see this Indiana Law Blog post.

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HB 1304 — Many Juvenile Topics — Committee Hearing January 28, 2015

HB 1304 is a significant bill in terms of juvenile law this legislative session.  It includes many of the suggested changes from the Interim Study Committee on Criminal Code and Corrections, including:

  1. Modifying IC 5-2-6-24 to require the Criminal Justice Institute to “track the number of direct file charges of juveniles in adult courts.”  The term “direct file” is shorthand for the list of crimes for which the juvenile court has no jurisdiction as specified in IC 31-30-1-4.  The crimes include: murder, kidnapping, rape, some robbery charges, criminal gang intimidation, and some weapon charges.  If a sixteen or seventeen year old child is arrested for any of the listed crimes, the child is taken to the jail — not the juvenile detention center — and any charges are filed in criminal court and not juvenile court.  The requested data would shed light on the number of children who automatically are treated as adults due to these “direct file” charges.
  2. Adding intellectual disability to the qualifications for a forensic diversion program, if it was diagnosed prior to the eighteenth birthday
  3. Modifying the minimum age for certain types of waiver to criminal court.  The term “waiver” is shorthand for a process in which the juvenile court waives jurisdiction over a child and the case is transferred to a criminal court following a hearing in the juvenile court.
  4. Requiring that custodial interviews of juveniles by law enforcement officers be video and audio recorded.
  5. Requiring that the juvenile court make a specific finding of danger to the child or others in order to shackle a child during a juvenile court proceeding.
  6. Eliminating the statutes that allow status offenders (runaways and truants) to be sent to the Indiana Department of Correction for violation of a court order.

The bill is set for a committee hearing on January 28, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. at the State House.

Posted in Anti-Shackling, Confessions, DOC, Legislation, Waiver/Transfer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Courts and Juvenile Justice Webinar – January 28, 2015

On January 28, 2015, from 3-4:30 p.m. ET, the webinar, “Courts and Juvenile Justice,” will be presented by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services.  Content will focus on strategies to prevent youth contact with the juvenile justice system, improving services for confined youth, and supporting juvenile reentry into the community after a period of confinement.

To register, go here.

For additional information about the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, go here.

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SB 46 — Self-defense Circumstances Limited

Senate Bill 46 (2015), if passed, would modify IC 35-41-3-2(g) to further limit when a person is justified in using force against another in self-defense.  The proposed section would not read:

“Notwithstanding sections (c) and (e), a person is not justified in using force if one (1) or more of the following apply:

(1)  The person is committed or is escaping after the commission of a crime.

(2)  The person provokes unlawful action by another person with intent to cause bodily injury to the other person, or

(3)  The person has entered into combat with another person or is the initial aggressor, unless the person withdraws from the encounter and communicates to the other person the intent to do so and the other person nevertheless continues or threatens to continue unlawful action;

(4)  The person has reached a place of safety after escaping an attack or potential attack and then shortly thereafter: (A) returns to the location of the attack; or (B) seeks out a person involved in the attack.  However, this subdivision does not prohibit a person from using reasonable force in accordance with this section if the location to which the person has returned is the person’s property or residence, or if the person returns with the intent to protect a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force.

(5)  The person is pursuing an attacker or trespasser who: (A) has withdrawn or is retreating; and (B) no longer presents an imminent threat to the person.

Posted in Crimes, Legislation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment