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News Items – October 3, 2018

©Getty Images

©Getty Images

Black youth disproportionately tried in adult court, study finds
The Louisiana Weekly
For several years, New Orleans officials and Louisiana children’s advocacy groups have been sparring, at times quite testily, with Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and other prosecutors about the seemingly high prevalence of African-American juvenile defendants being transferred to adult criminal court. Now, with the recent release of a joint study between the Campaign for Youth Justice and the National Association of Social Workers and the long-delayed implementation of a new state law revising the rules for prosecution of juveniles in Louisiana drawing closer, the scrutiny of such court maneuverings in New Orleans is being renewed. The joint CFYJ/NASW study – titled, “The Color of Youth Transferred to the Adult Criminal Justice System: Policy and Practice Recommendations” – asserts that the process of prosecuting and incarcerating African-American youth continues to devastate Black youth and the Black community as a whole.

Minor Damage: The Criminal Injustice of Black Youth Tried As Adults
The Root
Jaquin was one of the thousands of black children under 18 who are quietly incarcerated in adult jails and prisons each year. Forty-seven percent of the youth transferred from juvenile courts to adult courts are black, despite the fact that black children make up approximately 14 percent of the total youth population, according to “The Color of Justice Transfer” a new report from the National Association of Social Workers. The report highlights the enduring inequities in America’s criminal justice system, specifically the fact that black children and children of color are routinely tried, sentenced and incarcerated as adults, often as young as 14 years old.

Nancy Wahlig is a member:
30 Years of Caring: Providing resources for assault survivors, decades before #MeToo.
When Nancy Wahlig first started her fight against sexual assault, one company was marketing a capsule for women to stash in their bras and then smash to release a vile odor. Because of the very nature of society, the only person who can prevent rape is the woman herself, read a 1981 advertisement for the Repulse rape deterrent. Ideas about how to prevent sexual violence have come a long way since then, and Wahlig has helped lead that evolution on college campuses. In 1988, she started UC San Diego’s Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC), the first stand-alone program of its kind at the University of California. Today, she remains the system’s most senior specialist.

Mona Townes is a member:
Telephone Becomes Lifeline for Mental Health Clients During Florence
North Carolina Health News
Mona Townes, director of the Integrated Family Services mobile crisis team that operates in Carteret County, said her team’s emergency response plan also specifies that her team shift over to responding by phone. “There’s still some areas that we cannot physically get to because, you know, forces beyond our control,” she said. Members of her team were able to offer, “those de-escalating techniques and those coping skills and coping strategies.”

Wendy Barth is a member:
[Video] Life in Balance: What we can learn from millennials, who may be saving the bond of marriage
KTVB [Boise, ID]
Wendy Barth, a licensed clinical social worker in Boise who specializes in marriage counseling and couples therapy, says 75 percent of her clients are millennials. “I think a lot of younger people, because they don’t feel nearly the same stigma that older people do, will seek out marriage counseling earlier,” Barth said. “They kind of expect to have some rough patches in their relationships. They’re not as averse to help, it’s not a bad thing. So they’ll come in sooner and take preventative measures so they don’t get to a bad place.”

Shari Botwin is a member:
What’s the Difference Between Enabling and Supporting?
How Stuff Works
So when many people try to be understanding and not “too hard” on a person in turmoil, it actually delegitimizes the problem because it’s not being recognized, addressed and treated. “This disempowers the one struggling from owning and overcoming their addiction,” says Shari Botwin, a licensed clinical social worker. “We’re not born with the need to rescue people. [Often enablers] were made in their own families to feel like if there’s a problem you have to fix it.”

Frank Palmieri is a member:
Sam Kouvaris: Psychology behind ups, downs of sports
The Florida Times-Union
So somehow, in theory, the message didn’t get out that the Titans game was big. I know the energy wasn’t there in the stadium, in the stands or on the field. The whole thing felt flat. “Entire organizations can have their own adrenaline,” said Frank Palmieri, a licensed clinical social worker in Jacksonville and a Jaguars fan. “There’s an association people have with their sports team. You identify with them. This city has been more and more associated with the Jaguars.”

Mary Moonen is a member:
First responders with PTSD eligible for Workers’ Comp under new Florida law
WWSB [Sarasota]
“If somebody is feeling suicidal, how can they be effective on the job?” asked Clinical Social Worker Mary Moonen. One third of Moonen’s clients are first responders and some are dealing with PTSD. Starting Monday, October 1, some of those patients will be eligible for workers’ compensation insurance benefits. “When somebody can’t bring home their income and the families are already affected by their loved ones PTSD, the stressors pile up,” explained Moonen.

John Bryan is a member:
It’s My Job: John Bryan, clinical social worker and minister, Long Leaf Professional Counseling
The Fayetteville Observer [NC]
“This had something to do with testing when I was in high school. There were several things I tested highest in, and that was ministry, social work and YMCA directory. I have been working in this field since 1975. I was ordained in 1979 at PCUSA and I worked as a youth program coordinator in Indianapolis. I went on to work as a medical social worker at IU Medical Center. I was in ICU, in the clinics and then ended up supervising around 12 to 15 people. I decided to start a private practice in 2009. I started Long Leaf Counseling, and there have been several changes to mental health practice over the past few years. However, for the past 12 years, validated ministry is still very much part of my profession.”

Terri Keener is a member:
Vegas Strong Resiliency Center offers coping tips for shooting anniversary
Las Vegas Sun
As the Oct. 1 shooting anniversary approaches, the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center has offered coping tips for those still affected by the tragedy. The center also will open this weekend and have expanded hours on Monday, which marks a year since the massacre, Clark County officials announced. “Anniversary reactions” for those who’ve suffered traumatic events are common, said Terri Keener, a clinical social worker and behavioral health coordinator at the center, in a news release.

Jacqueline Melin is a member:
Mindfulness Club helps teens combat mental health issues
Cheyenne Edition
In an effort to promote health and well-being among teens, Cheyenne Mountain High School is offering a Mindfulness Club and related workshop to students.… The club’s positive effect has proven so popular that Kenefsky, Meg Frederick and Jackie Melin developed the Mindfulness and Positivity Project Workshop to teach students why and how stress is created and what symptoms constitute stress. Kenefsky and Frederick are certified in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Melin is a clinical social worker and therapist with nearly three decades of mental health, stress reduction and trauma-focused intervention experience.

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