DRC Abuse Investigations
November 1, 2007 - DRC releases its latest Investigation Report on the State's various child welfare systems, which demonstrates how the lack of collaboration within the State's various child welfare systems can, through ineffective treatment, lead to the continued abuse and neglect of children within the State's custody.
April 20, 2007 - Preliminary report of the findings and recommendations of DRC regarding two allegations of physical abuse of DRC's client.
March 20, 2007 - DRC's ongoing investigation of an allegation of abuse of a fourteen year old African American male with mental illness.
November 5, 2006 - "It's Not Punishment, It's Rehabilitation", A Report on the Conditions at the Alexander Youth Services Center.
Division of Youth Services (DYS)
Juvenile courts in Arkansas adjudicate and commit juveniles to the Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Youth Services (DYS). Read more about DYS Responsibilities mandated by law.
- August, 2009 - The Division of Youth Services has developed a five-year comprehensive strategic plan that promises to revolutionize the juvenile justice system in Arkansas. For the first time in its history DYS is dedicated to serious reform and shiftimg the focus of its system to positive outcomes for youth.
- April, 2009 - DYS Draft of 5 year Juvenile Justice Reform plan available for review and comment.
- November, 2008 - DYS releases their transition plan for juvenile justice reform.
- May, 2008 - Juvenile Justice Reform In Arkansas: Building a Better Future for Youth, their Families, and the Community. A report in collaboration with the Arkansas Division of Youth Services, by Pat Arthur and Tim Roche.
- January 26, 2008 - Three fired at Alexander after scuffle and attempted coverup.
- January 25, 2008 - Alexander center earns national accreditation after 3-day inspection.
- January 17, 2008 - A memorandum of understanding is signed between the National Center for Youth Law and the Arkansas Department of Human Services Department of Youth Services.
- January 7, 2008 - DYS budget for fiscal year 2007.
- December 26, 2007 - Results are released on the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections Standards Compliance Initial Audit, performed November 14-16, 2007.
- October 2, 2007 - Disability Rights Center of Arkansas Outraged about Plans to Expand Beds at Alexander
- September 18, 2007 - DRC releases the recommendations for reforming the state's juvenile justice system, entitled "Conditions of Confinement at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center".
- August 10, 2007 - DYS reply to Arkansas Department of Education containing the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for six of the eight areas DYS was found to be in noncompliance.
- June 29, 2007 - DYS Internal Audit Report
- June 8, 2007 - Letter to DYS with results of the official monitoring of the special education program at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center by the Arkansas Department of Education.
- April 2007 - Group 4 Securicor (G4S) study of the intake and assessment process at Alexander
- December 2006, - KMD Report, State of Arkansas DYS Juvenile Operational & Facilities Master Plan (78p, 3.8Mb)
- Fiscal Year 2006 - Approximate cost of state spending on commitments to DYS facilities
- March 10, 2006 - Risk assessment and classification report of DYS by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
- United States of America v. State of Arkansas, the Arkansas Division of Youth Services and the Department of Human Services, Court Ordered Settlement, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, 2002.
In addition, the Private Corrections Insitute has documented the culture of abuse at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center (AJATC), and other facilities in Arkansas, dating back to 2000 in theirArkansas Hall of Shame. They have also assembled a rap sheet on the worldwide activities of Group 4 / Securicor, the private company currently contracted with the State of Arkansas to administer the AJATC facility in Alexander.
- June 9,2008 - "Alabama Enacts New Juvenile Justice Act" In May 2008 Alabama's Governor signed into law the Alabama Juvenile Justice Act of 2008 which will reduce reliance on juvenile incarceration and expand community-based alternatives. Child advocates, including the Alabama P&A worked with state and local leaders on this 245-page legislation for three years. An analysis is available online:http://www.alacourt.gov/pdfppt/AJJA2008rev1108.pdf
- March 28, 2007 - Senate Resolution 31, REQUESTING A STUDY FOR WAYS TO IMPROVE THE STATE'S JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR YOUTH, is introduced to the Arkansas General Assembly by Senator Broadway.
Juvenile Justice News
- August 14, 2012 - The Department of Justice - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) granted funding to the state of Arkansas for the Second Chance Act Juvenile Offender Reentry Program for Planning and Demonstration Project. The project will target moderate to high risk male and female juvenile offenders' ages 14 to 21 recognized by serious and violent offender reentry initiative program, i.e., rape, homicide, arson, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault; have been repeat felony offender; and/or have a propensity for violence shown while in correctional/detention facility. The purpose of the project is to establish a reentry task force made up of various stakeholders who will come together to develop a reentry program for Arkansas. The plan is designed for a 12 month period and a number of reentry strategic meetings will be held during that time. DYS hopes to pursue the "implementation funding" portion in the future. At the close of the implementation project, DYS expects to replicate the plan statewide. The DYS Strategic Oversight Planning Committee will oversee the project. The Oversight Committee expects to expand their membership by inviting governmental, medical, workforce and grassroots organization to join them. A number of subcommittees will be developed to focus on communications/media conveyance and strategies; finance and budget; mental health, substance abuse and cognitive development best practices; and data collection, information technology and evaluation processes. Members of various organizations, e.g., law enforcement/corrections, mental health, faith-based, educational, and other "front-line" service providers will be trained in the implementation and use of services outlined in the reentry plan. Lamar Richmond, Advocate/Investigator for the Disability Rights Center of Arkansas serves on both the DYS Strategic Plan Implementation Oversight Committee and the DYS Reentry Taskforce.
- October 4, 2011 - DRC is enthusiastic to learn about AR Advocates for Children and Families' (AACF) new grant supporting a public education campaign for rigorous rehabilitation programs to reduce youth incarceration in AR. The state is also to be commended for committing financial resources toward this goal. In as recent as 2006 to 2009 DRC investigated serious abuse, neglect, restraints and seclusion and the lack of special education services of youth with disabilities confined in the Division of Youth Services, Alexander Youth Services Center (now the AR Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center). Please see Paul Kelley's news release on the new AACF grant and about important improvements to this service system, a link to the five year plan, and the importance of providing alternatives to Youth Incarceration.
- July, 2010 - The Kids Count Data Center, an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has released its2010 Kids Count Data Book, a compendium of demographic information about children and families in Arkansas. Some of the findings for last year include the fact there were 52,403 children enrolled in special education in the state, over 7400 children were in foster care, 6700 kids were victims of maltreatment, 636 children were committed to youth services centers, and 813 youth were residing in juvenile detention, 276 of which were only 10 to 15 years old. To see those numbers for the last five years visit the Data Center website. While you're there you can compare Arkansas with the other 49 states, and download or order the complete 2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book.
- July, 2009 - Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children's Exposure to Violence. A Guide for Families is a guide from the Safe Start Center, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), which discusses children's exposure to violence which is a pervasive problem that crosses all ages. The guide provides specific information pertaining to children of various ages, as well as a list of useful resources, informative tips on how to recognize the signs of children's exposure to violence, and helpful advice on helping children thus exposed. It includes a quick reference guide and is available in English and Spanish at http://cart.safestartcenter.org/.
- May 27, 2009 - The federal hearing on restraint and seclusion of children with disabilities in schools. From the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.
- September, 2008 - The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) has released a brief showing that Native American youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system and far more likely than White youth to be arrested, adjudicated and incarcerated. According to the brief:
- Native American youth are 50% more likely than White youth to receive the most punitive measures in the juvenile justice system, namely, out-of-home placement after adjudication or waiver to the adult criminal justice system.
- Native American youth are about 30% more likely than White youth to be referred to court rather than having the charges dropped and 10% more likely to be detained awaiting trial.
- Nationwide, the average rate of new commitments to adult state prison for Native American youth is almost twice (1.84 times) that of White youth. In the states with enough Native Americans to facilitate comparisons, Native American youth were committed to adult prison from 1.3 to 18.1 times the rate of Whites.
- Native American youth are victimized at greater rates than other youth. The 2002 annual average violent victimization against youth (aged 12-17 years) for Native Americans was 145, African Americans 97, Whites 95, and Asians 45.
The brief notes that Native Americans are among the most impoverished racial/ethnic groups in the United States and have a lower reported level of educational attainment compared with the general U.S. population. Read the brief at http://www.nccdglobal.org/publications.
- September, 2008 - Every young person leaving Washington state's Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration residential care needs and receives a period of structured transition and services when they return to family and community. They call this service Functional Family Parole (FFP).
- August, 2008 - Enriching Arkansas Children's Lives Through High-Quality Out of School Activities, Final Report of the Governor's Task Force on Best Practices for After-School And Summer Programs. [pdf]
- July, 2008 - The State of Missouri has developed the most widely respected juvenile system for rehabilitating youth in residential facilities. It has a low recidivism rate and has received national recognition.
- July, 2008 - A new report explores 6 JJ programs that use positive youth-development principles to improve their intervention approaches.
- June, 2008 - The National Juvenile Defender Center releases the 2007 State Juvenile Justice Legislative Review. This Review represents a survey of state juvenile justice legislation — by state and issue — for the 2007 calendar year. The status of all pending 2007 legislation was last updated on May 31, 2008. Visit the NJDC website at http://www.njdc.info/
Plat of the Alexander property
- The legal description and court papers showing the history of the property where the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center is currently located.
KARN Ask the Governor call-in show - October 12, 2007
Listen to Governor Beebe as he explains how he is going to address the problems going on in our juvenile justice system. (mp3)
Resources on Juvenile Justice
- JEHT Foundation
- Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services
- DYS Arkansas Going Home Re-entry Initiative
- DYS Juvenile Justice Reform in Arkansas Final Report
- DYS Arkansas Child Welfare Report Card
- DYS Quarterly Reports
- DYS Statistical Reports
- DYS State Institutional System (SIS) Board Minutes
For further resources visit the Juvenile Justice Directory.