National Public Radio, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

Today, we will talk to Laura Saunders, a child and adolescent psychologist from Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living. She’ll tell us how violence affects the development of both children and their families. We’ll also talk with Jeffrey Butts, a researcher at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Lou Gilbert, the director of a Hartford program that works with children who’ve witnessed violence, as well as Robert Plant, a Department of Children and Families director of community services, who can talk about what that state organization is doing with this population.Continue reading National Public Radio, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

WHYY—Youth Courts and the Value of a Jury of Their Peers

Research shows that young people who participate in youth court or teen court programs may have lower rates of recidivism. Adults involved in the programs attribute much of their success to the influence of positive peer pressure and the value of giving young people a voice in the process. Joining Radio Times host Marty Moss-Coaneus to tell the story of youth courts are Jeffrey Butts of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who has evaluated teen court programs across the country; and attorney Gregg Volz, who has implemented school-based youth courts in Chester.Continue reading WHYY—Youth Courts and the Value of a Jury of Their Peers

WBEZ Chicago – New Study Examines Alternatives to Juvenile Detention

The number of kids sent to youth prison from Cook County declined dramatically between 1997 and 2004. According to a new report out today from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, that’s thanks to a cluster of reforms that divert youth away from pretrial detention and into more community-oriented forms of supervision. Jeffrey Butts is a research fellow at the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children. He’s looked at the numbers behind the report, and done some crunching of his own. He says policy reforms are only part of the reason for the decrease.Continue reading WBEZ Chicago – New Study Examines Alternatives to Juvenile Detention

American Public Media – Crime and the Gap Between Rich and Poor

The FBI says violent crime rates are rising. The increase is occurring as the gap between rich and poor is the widest its been since World War II. Steve Henn looked into whether expanding economic inequality could be causing crime to increase. …  But Criminologists say in some ways, this is all kind of predictable.  Jeffrey Butts:  “The transition zones between wealth and poverty are where the opportunities for crime are greatest.”Continue reading American Public Media – Crime and the Gap Between Rich and Poor

NPR – Have Girls Really Grown More Violent?

[T]here’s been only a small increase in girls who commit an assault that involves a weapon or causes a serious injury. Jeffrey Butts of the Urban Institute says these facts challenge the idea that a change in girls’ behavior is the major reason for the rise in arrests and detentions. “Behavior changes contribute somewhat to it, but very slightly,” Butts says. “The largest reason for the change is that the juvenile justice system itself is becoming less paternalistic — meaning that police officers, prosecutors, judges are less likely to treat someone differently because she’s female than they may have 20 to 30 years ago.”Continue reading NPR – Have Girls Really Grown More Violent?

NPR – Neighborhood Crime

Noah [Adams] talks with Jeffrey Butts, a juvenile crime specialist at the Urban Institute about ways to combat the cycles of crime and violence found in places like the public housing neighborhoods in Baltimore. Butts says one approach is to focus on place rather than person. He also describes alternative methods of dealing with juvenile offenders, including restorative justice programs. Finally, he and Noah talk about the role that concerned citizens — like Ms. Sylvia Holland of Baltimore — play in keeping their communities safe.Continue reading NPR – Neighborhood Crime