National Catholic Register — How Restorative Justice Helped Make the Justice System Work Better in Seattle

If done properly, restorative justice can foster “the most natural human response to crime — to try to talk things through and resolve the conflict,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Continue reading National Catholic Register — How Restorative Justice Helped Make the Justice System Work Better in Seattle

New York Times — A 7-Year-Old Was Accused of Rape. Is Arresting Him the Answer?

There appears to be little, if any, organized opposition to raising the age of delinquency. But those who resist say doing so would hamstring the legal system, according to Jeffrey A. Butts, the director of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center. In rare cases involving a particularly dangerous child, he said, incarceration may prevent them from being a risk to others. Continue reading New York Times — A 7-Year-Old Was Accused of Rape. Is Arresting Him the Answer?

New York Post — Teen Busted Nine Times Could Get Sweetheart Deal — For Graduating High School

“In general, courts and legislatures do tend to leave a little wiggle room for judicial interpretation, and of course prosecutors always hate that,” said Jeffrey Butts, head of the Research Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Continue reading New York Post — Teen Busted Nine Times Could Get Sweetheart Deal — For Graduating High School

Orlando Sentinel — Limited Visits to Juvenile Facilities Worry Advocates

Not being able to see family in person for a prolonged period can be incredibly harmful for children, said Jeffrey Butts, a research professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He called it a destructive practice that prioritizes the institution’s needs over the children’s. Continue reading Orlando Sentinel — Limited Visits to Juvenile Facilities Worry Advocates

Injustice Watch— City Watchdog: Juvenile Diversion Program has Failed to Meet Goals

“It makes me sad to see that some of the issues we identified ten years ago are still hindering the effectiveness of the place,” said Jeffrey Butts, a criminologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, who conducted the earlier evaluation. Continue reading Injustice Watch— City Watchdog: Juvenile Diversion Program has Failed to Meet Goals

New York Public Radio– The Docket: The Tessa Majors Case and the State of New York’s Juvenile Justice System

The Tessa Majors case is a test for New York’s recently-enacted Raise The Age law, which barred the state from automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Jeffrey Butts, who leads John Jay College’s Research and Evaluation Center, told Floyd that this is the exact kind of case that the law’s critics could use as leverage to reverse it. Continue reading New York Public Radio– The Docket: The Tessa Majors Case and the State of New York’s Juvenile Justice System

Easily Overstated

Policymakers, advocates, and even some researchers claim that youth confinement rates across the United States dropped in recent years due to changes in policy and practice. Such claims remain unproven, but voters and elected officials are inclined to accept them as factual because they are offered by reputable agencies and repeated in news media sources. Without reliable evidence, however, the notion that state-level youth confinement rates fall primarily in response to progressive policy reforms is merely appealing rhetoric. Continue reading Easily Overstated

Albany Times Union — Reason for Drop in Youth Arrests Hard to Pin Down

Over the last five years the number of police stops and arrests involving Capital Region youths has fallen more than 45 percent, according to state data. It’s a stunning drop — but one without a clear single reason, say law enforcement and juvenile justice system professionals. Several factors are likely in play, including an overall drop in crime in the country, changes in the drug trade, increased use of alternatives to incarceration and changes in youth culture, said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, tracking trends, and something definitely feels different than it did 20 years ago,” Butts said. Continue reading Albany Times Union — Reason for Drop in Youth Arrests Hard to Pin Down

Bangor Daily News — Maine Kids are Actually Bringing Fewer Weapons to School

The decline in possession of weapons at school and in the prevalence of weapon-related threats in schools also holds true for overall juvenile crime, according to Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. “One popular theory is that the drug trade was much more dangerous 30 years ago. Kids that lived in neighborhoods with active drug sales going on often felt that they needed to have a gun on them to protect themselves,” he said. “The daily threat from street-corner drug sales has gone way down.” Continue reading Bangor Daily News — Maine Kids are Actually Bringing Fewer Weapons to School

Miami Herald—Lockup guard slugged a skinny kid. Prosecutors say it’s justified. Here’s the video.

An expert in juvenile justice policy and research said that prosecutors’ justification for declining to press charges suggests an office-wide bias in favor of officers. “The memorandum from the state attorney uses language revealing the intent of the office, which is to minimize the violent nature of the attack,” said Jeffrey Butts, who is director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Continue reading Miami Herald—Lockup guard slugged a skinny kid. Prosecutors say it’s justified. Here’s the video.

Testimony to New York City Council

New York State’s Raise the Age legislation is an important opportunity to improve public safety, but it is just that – an opportunity. The success of Raise the Age depends on the efforts of every partner in the larger justice system, from police, to prosecutors, probation agencies, and the broad network of service providers who work with youth to keep them from becoming more deeply involved in the justice system. Continue reading Testimony to New York City Council

City Limits—Program Keeping Convicted Youths Closer to Home Enjoys Success, Faces Cuts

That longstanding approach was problematic at best, according to Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College. “We’re setting ourselves up for failure when we take a young person who is 14- or 15-years-old, send them hours away from their family, and break all their ties to their communities,” he says. Continue reading City Limits—Program Keeping Convicted Youths Closer to Home Enjoys Success, Faces Cuts

Miami Herald—Florida Juvenile Justice said it Would Weed out Bad Hires. How Did This Guy Slip Through?

“It’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ culture with some of the people they have managing these facilities,” added Butts, who has worked with policymakers in 28 states, largely on youth justice. “With strong kids controlling the weak kids — and the staff controlling the strong kids. “You are using violence to try to teach kids not to use violence.” Continue reading Miami Herald—Florida Juvenile Justice said it Would Weed out Bad Hires. How Did This Guy Slip Through?