Coordination and Communication are Key to Improving Mental Health and Criminal Justice in America

Mental health and criminal justice are a tangled mess in communities all across the country. Rather than supporting health from childhood through old age, our social systems show hardly any signs of understanding mental health at all. We don’t systematically recognize or have the capacity to respond to early indications for concern, and instead rely upon law enforcement to intervene …

NEW REPORT FINDS CLASS IS A MORE POTENT PREDICTOR OF INCARCERATION THAN RACE. BUT RACISM DRIVES IT.

IT’S A FACT that African-Americans are disproportionately represented in America’s prisons. In state prisons, where the majority of prisoners are held, African-Americans are incarcerated at 5.1 times the rate of white Americans. But what remains an open question is what explains this racial incarceration gap; what needs to change to eliminate that gap? Is it a racist economic system that produces …

Everyday trauma reshapes Rochester schools’ approach to teaching and supervision

Across the Rochester City School District, adults are being asked to fundamentally recast the way they think about the children they teach and supervise. The new approach, called trauma-informed education, begins with a recognition that many students will not succeed academically unless their teachers, counselors, and administrators give them loving support in calming the harmful effects of violence and poverty. Read …

To understand mental health, start teaching at an earlier age

Mental illness is no longer an obscure term shrouded in misunderstanding. A substantial scientific body of evidence concludes it is a disease. It’s far beyond time to standardize mental health education in students as early as elementary school. Read the full article here.

We Need School in Prison, and States Must Take the Lead

Making education available for all people in prison is essential. When individuals participate in any kind of educational program within a prison, their chances of future incarceration drop by 13 percent. Read the full article here.

Investing in early childhood education now reduces crime later

The evidence shows that high-quality early childhood education programs are critical for our future public safety, and for many of the kids, they are a ticket to a successful life that does not include crime. Preschool can return, on average, a profit to society of $30,000 for every child served, with much of the savings coming from reduced crime costs …

New Prison Program Pairs Mentors With Young Offenders

The pilot program, called T.R.U.E. (Truthfulness to oneself and others, Respect toward the community, Understanding ourselves and what brought us here, Elevating into success) was set up about seven weeks ago for about 70 18- to 25-year-old offenders at the prison. “Somehow and some way in the intervening 100 years in criminal justice in the United States we lost our …

From Princeton to prison, in this jailhouse classroom everyone learns

Dozens of volunteers in the Petey Greene Program spend two hours a week in a state prison tutoring inmates working toward their high school diploma or equivalency. Students are given an opportunity to venture outside the bubble of campus life and make a real difference in someone’s life. The inmates — many of whom have few, if any, visitors — get …