What we’re tuning in to

Have you ever heard an unfamiliar term for the first time only to encounter it again and again within a couple of days? This is called the “frequency illusion” or the “Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon”. When I first applied to CRYJ I was unfamiliar with restorative justice, but soon it kept popping up in my internet surfing, conversations, etc – even before I got hired with CRYJ. When my ears were tuned in, I kept finding information everywhere.

Well, if your ears are tuned in to the world of restorative justice, there are a ton of articles, TED talks, interviews, etc. on the topic. We’ve had a plethora of interesting pieces come across our desk lately. This is what we’re tuned in to:

U.S. House Committee Advances Bill to Support Youth Opportunity, Improve Juvenile Justice System The U.S. House Committee on Education and Workforce unanimously approved a bill recently that would help state and local leaders better serve at-risk youth and youth offenders. This piece of bipartisan legislation reauthorizes and strengthens the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The JJPDA was passed in 1974 as a means of allocating federal funds to state juvenile justice systems for the purpose of education and rehabilitation for youths. This new piece of legislation, Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act, will allow states the flexibility to tailor their programs and services to better suit their specific communities and their needs, as well as supporting and strengthening prevention services for at-risk youth. A win for RJ!

A Silent Epidemic NPR recently released this interactive story outlining the struggles public schools face in dealing with mental illness in their students. Mental illness in youths, whether it is depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc., if left untreated severely impacts their ability to learn, can be disruptive to other students. Although schools would benefit greatly from a network of help – from teachers to counselors to school psychologists to help students suffering from a mental illness get the treatment they need.

Sujatha Baliga: Forgiveness of Unforgivable Acts A wonderful interview with an incredible woman who works through her own anger at her abuser without losing her motivation to help other victims of abuse. She meets with the Dalai Lama himself who asks her, “Do you feel you have been angry long enough?” This is an engrossing read on when anger can serve us, and when it no longer serves us how to let go.

New All-Boys School Opens In Washington, D.C. To Some Controversy  An all-boys public school opens in D.C. with a focus on restorative instead of punitive justice – but is met with controversy. The school is meant to address specific problems within the males-of-color community, through an affirmative college-prep school program but is currently fielding a complaint from the ACLU through a report called “Leaving Girls Behind”.

Jay Z: ‘The War on Drugs Is an Epic Fail’ Jay Z wrote and narrates this video, with illustrations from Molly Crabapple on a brief history of the war on drugs, and how it has failed the American people – namely people of color. The video tries to tackle the question “Why were white men poised to get rich doing the very same thing that African-American boys and men had long been going to prison for?”

Find something you think we’d be interested in? Send it to Kelsey at info@restorativeyouthjustice.org

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