In Tennessee, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, juvenile court officials, judges, and district attorneys are reacting to the Report by the Blue-Ribbon Task Force on Juvenile Justice. The Report calls for a major overhaul in the juvenile justice system. Included in the recommendations are (1) improved data collection and inter-agency information sharing (2) a significant reduction in the ability of school resource officers and school principals to make referrals to juvenile court
In Wisconsin, the Madison School Board and the Madison Police Department are preparing responses to a year-long analysis of the Police Department authorized by the City Council. The Report was designed to respond, in part, to opposition to police in the schools. Recommendations include “soft” uniforms for school-based officers, improving communications and data sharing between the agencies and the public; and implementing specialized training for officers assigned to the schools.
In California, a new Report by Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice confirms consistently declining arrest rates for youth in California over a 40 year period. Youth arrests for violent crimes have fallen to less than half the rate reported in 1990. Some attribute the trend to the efforts of law enforcement with youth convicted of crimes and youth in schools to teach them about the dangers and consequences of making poor choices.
In Indiana, two school resource officers in the Hamilton Heights School Corporation have created the “Dawg Pound,” a technology-free room for middle and elementary students. The goal is to get kids away from the negative impact of technology and improve face-to-face communication between kids.