juvenile justice

www.BackgroundNow.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

New Hampshire is one of seven states, cities, and counties nationwide to be selected for a training program designed to revamp the state's juvenile probation system.

The training will take place next month at Georgetown University.

The list of attendees from New Hampshire include staff from the Division for Children, Youth and Families, a circuit court judge, the state's child advocate, a public defender, and police officers.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

The Office of the Child Advocate says New Hampshire is making progress in reforming the foster and juvenile justice systems, but some say the state isn't moving fast enough.

At a juvenile justice forum on Friday at the statehouse, advocates touted a group of child welfare bills signed this month by Governor Sununu.

A group of New Hampshire lawmakers has issued their recommendations for repurposing the Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC), the state’s juvenile detention facility in Manchester.

The committee convened in response to a juvenile justice bill passed this summer to address underutilization of the facility, which currently houses around 30 juveniles whom the court deems to be delinquent and violent.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

New Hampshire is weeks away from having a 36-bed drug treatment center for youth.

The Youth Substance Use Disorder Treatment Center, or SUD, is in a renovated wing of the Sununu Youth Services Center, a youth detention center in Manchester. 

With cinder block walls and small bedrooms, the wing has retained an institutional look, but it is entirely separate from the secure detention center, with a separate entrance, parking lot, a space for yoga and meditation, and outdoor fields.

Construction is wrapping up on a new drug treatment facility at the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester.

The 36-bed facility at the detention center will provide services to people ages 12 to 18 with substance use disorder.

Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

The juvenile justice system in New Hampshire is built around the idea of rehabilitation. Instead of going to jail, young people who commit crimes gain access to services like counseling and substance abuse treatment to address the underlying causes of their behavior.

But a blind spot in the state’s juvenile justice system can keep some kids from getting the help they need.