Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Colleges and Universities Screening For Crimes

Michael over at Corrections Sentencing gives us several different items, one in from the Real Cost of Prisons that alerts us to the fact that colleges and universities are screening folks for past misbehavior.

Along with SAT scores and extra-curricular activities, college-bound students increasingly are being asked to divulge information that may not be so flattering: their arrest and discipline records.

Since late summer, the Common Application, a form used by about 300 institutions, has asked students and guidance counselors whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime or disciplined at school.

Kids with rocky pasts may not make it beyond 12th grade.

In an effort to weed out troublemakers before they hit campus, colleges with their own forms also are requiring prospective students to disclose behavioral black marks. More, including Temple, Rowan and Rutgers Universities, are contemplating it.

Real Cost of Prisons Article here

And here's a study that shows how kids with ADHD are more likely to start drinking earlier than their peers. I wonder how these two stories will end up working together. (I printed the whole article because the link is hard to follow)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research confirms that children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for alcohol problems later in life and indicates that drinking problems may begin around age 15.

Having parents who abuse alcohol, and increased levels of stress in the family, add to the likelihood that teenagers with childhood ADHD will develop alcohol problems, according to the study.

Dr. Brooke Molina, from the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh and colleagues followed 364 children diagnosed with ADHD into their teenage years (age 11-17) and adult years (age 18-28).

"Our findings have revealed that starting around the age of 15, children with ADHD have higher rates of heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems diagnosable as alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence," Molina told Reuters Health.

The 15- to 17-year-old children in the study with childhood ADHD reported being drunk 14 times, on average, in the previous year, versus only 1.8 times for age-matched teens who did not have childhood ADHD.

Fourteen percent of 15- to 17-year-olds with ADHD were diagnosed with alcohol abuse or dependence compared with none of the similarly aged subjects without ADHD.

The findings appear in the April issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

"We also found that by early adulthood, those children with ADHD who continued to have serious behavior problems such as irresponsible behavior, rule-breaking behavior, and unlawful behavior, drink more heavily and have alcohol-related problems too," Molina said.

In related research, Molina's team interviewed 142 adolescents with childhood ADHD and their parents and found that parental alcoholism predicted alcohol use among teenagers. This association was partially explained by higher rates of stress in these families and these connections were stronger in teens with ADHD in childhood.

The bottom line, said Molina, is that ADHD "increases risk for alcohol problems, and that these children are probably best served by ongoing monitoring and involvement by parents and others who may help children with ADHD stay on track academically and socially as they mature toward adulthood."

"Our ongoing work," she added, "is on understanding the myriad reasons why alcoholism is more prevalent in this population. For example, we know that serious behavior problems such as defiance and delinquency usually co-occur with these drinking problems, but we don't know how currently available treatment affects these outcomes in the long run."

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