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If Project: “Inspiring story of Starcia Ague, advocate for at-risk and incarcerated youth, premieres tonight!” The IF Project is excited for Starcia Ague whose documentary premieres tonight! Starcia is an excellent example of the importance of the work of The IF Project working towards positive change in the community!

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Cultural “New Book: Disrupting the school to prison pipeline” “Just last week, Senator Dick Durbin oversaw a congressional hearing on disrupting what many are now calling the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” — a web of systems that are pushing low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities out of the public schools and into the criminal justice system. This historic move by Durbin is only the most recent result of years of grassroots organizing and advocacy, and a positive sign that there is political will to do something about this disturbing trend. But what will it take to disrupt this pipeline?”

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From an impossible childhood and “juvie life” sentence, to graduating from a four-year university and becoming a powerful advocate for juvenile justice system change. Starcia has turned her life into a success story. With her degree from Washington State University in criminal justice and a passion for reform, Starcia works to help alter the lives and paths of kids with circumstances like her own. We interviewed Starcia about religion, the mentors that changed her life, and her vision for a paradigm shift in how we think of system-involved youth. Read the Q&A after the jump.”

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Yasmine Arrington ScholarCHIPS founder and executive director features Starcia Ague: This amazing young lady has quite a story. When one goes through all that she has gone through, and is still eventually able to, as some Americans love to say, “pull herself up by the bootstraps,” and not only that, but make a difference in the world, you’ve got a premium jewel on your hands! Her name is Starcia Ague. Read Full Blog Post

Pongo Project Journal: Sharing stories of our work with teens: For survivors of terrible childhood traumas, there is a continuing ordeal into adulthood, in spite of their accomplishments and satisfactions. Starcia said to me that if there is one thing she could change about her life it wouldn’t be the time in jail or anything like that, it would be the continuing emotional and physical effects of childhood abuse. Read Full Blog Post -Story of a fighter: From juvenile jail to WSU Starcia Ague, who was among the juvenile offenders written about in last week’s cover story, “Kid Crime, Adult Time," took another step away from a troubled past last week when the state Clemency and Pardons Board voted unanimously to accept her petition for a pardon.” Read Full Article Changing course after serving time: “She’s absolutely fearless,” said Cairy, who spoke as a friend and not a representative of the court. “She knows what she wants and she goes after it.” Read Full Article

The Office of Juvenile Justice Newsletter: Young Adults Share Their Insights on Reentry In her remarks at the Council meeting, Ague said many youth in the juvenile justice system have previous histories of exposure to violence, abuse, and neglect, and that trauma-informed care must be more fully integrated into juvenile justice services and programs. Ague also noted the urgent need for states to improve educational opportunities for youth during confinement, prohibit the sale of juvenile records by consumer agencies, and incorporate the insights of youth into juvenile justice reform. “It’s important to include youth and families at the table, and to show them that their input has been used,” Ague said. Read Full Article

CCYJ believes girls like Starcia can have a far better shot at success than they do today. So we’re planning a pilot project to establish Washington’s first-ever Girls Court CCYJ believes girls like Starcia can have a far better shot at success than they do today. So we’re planning a pilot project to establish Washington’s first-ever Girls Court. “Girls who come into the juvenile justice system typically have experienced a lot of trauma, just like Starcia. These girls need to develop relationships that can support and guide them,” says Wendy Heipt, who manages CCYJ’s Girls+Justice initiative. Read Full Article

New TVW Documentary Chronicles Pardoned Youth Starcia Ague “This documentary has been years in the making,” said David Johnson, TVW's Director of Education Resources, “and it is a wonderful example of what we hope accomplish with the series. Starcia came from a destructive place and transformed into an effective advocate for at-risk youth. Our goal is to show how that transformation occurred.” Read Full Article

Philanthropy New Digest (PND) Open Society Foundations Announces 2014 Soros Justice Fellows The fourteen fellows from six states will receive a total of $1.25 million in support of their work on a range of criminal justice issues, from solitary confinement, to DNA databases, to police misconduct, with each fellow receiving a stipend of between $58,700 and $110,250 for projects lasting between twelve and eighteen months. Read Full Article

Washington No.1 for jailing noncriminal kids, spurred by law named for Tacoma runaway "In her apartment last week, Starcia Ague reflects on the negative effects of having been incarcerated as a teenager after she ran away from her foster home. She is now involved in juvenile justice reform. (Peter Haley, staff photographer.)". Read Full Article

OJJDP News At A Glance Juvenile Offender Becomes Advocate for At-Risk and Delinquent Youth "Starcia has helped educate our legislators on the many unintended and harmful effects of juvenile justice legislation adopted to address juvenile crime in the 1990s," Mr. Yeannakis said. "She will continue to work to rectify other inequities in the juvenile justice system to allow youthful offenders to gain greater access to employment and educational opportunities.". Read Full Article

U.S. Dept of Education Bulletin- Senior ED Officials Learn From Students Involved With the Criminal Justice System: Education Secretary Arne Duncan and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier have recently met with students involved with the criminal justice system both to better understand their educational experiences and to inform work of the Department in the areas of correctional education and prisoner reentry. Read Full Article

A RARE PARDON: Starcia Ague’s journey from a “juvy life” sentence to a career with a full pardon "Let me just assure you in my two terms as governor, I rarely — rarely — have granted pardons.” Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire is indeed conservative with her powers of clemency, but last week she granted a full pardon to Starcia Ague, who was one of four young offenders we featured last year in an Injustice Project cover story called “Kid Crime, Adult Time.”Gregoire, a former three-term attorney general, says that among the factors that swayed her decision were Ague’s youth, her large network of supporters, and her consistent high achieving since her arrest at 15. Read Full Article

Criminal Justice News WSU Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology: WSU Criminal Justice alum road to success In 2013 and 2014 she was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in the U.S. Department of Justice, representing Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii and Washington. Starcia was also selected as a 2014 SOROS Justice Fellow by the Open Society Foundation. A documentary produced by TVW simply entitled “Starcia” recently won a NW Regional Emmy. Interviews with WSU faculty and graduate students in Criminal Justice are prominently featured in that documentary. Read Full Article

The Spokesmen-Review- Pardon would let wayward kids hear Ague’s story: But Starcia Ague presented a case the governor couldn’t refuse. Ague – a young woman who has spent eight years triumphing over a criminal mistake she made at 14 – was pardoned by the governor last week. It clears the way for Ague to become, officially, what she already is actually: a role model. The pardon should get her past the background checks needed to work with kids in the juvenile justice system. Read Full Article

The United States Department of Justice remarks by Associate Attorney General Tony West at the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council: We're here because, even though the last two decades have produced remarkable changes in state and local juvenile justice systems -- with juvenile arrest rates, including those for violent crimes, falling by over 50 percent from 1997 to 2011 (their lowest level in over 30 years) and youth confinement rates declining by half during that same period even with our success, we're here because 60,000 young people are still confined in juvenile detention and correction facilities on any given day and when they are released they will need support to successfully make that transition to productive adulthood and stable lives. We're here because of young adults like Osbert and Starcia. Read More Here

Open Society Foundations Award Fellowships to 14 Visionaries Working to Reform Criminal Justice in the United States: Recipients include an ordained pastor, lawyers, journalists, and people who have spent time in prison Read Press Release

Don R. Crawley/ IT Author and Speaker: “Defying the Odds: The Tenacity of Starcia Ague” I want to share a story from the new edition of The Compassionate Geek about a woman who defied the odds and is re-making herself into a great model of tenacity, perseverance, and compassion. I first heard about Starcia Ague in a story on KUOW-FM here in Seattle. Read Full Blog Post

Evergreen Magazine: Not Your Typical Women In Radio

Today, as producer of “KUOW Presents” on Seattle’s flagship NPR station, she’s still digging into stories that resonate with the community. She’s explored Seattle’s segregated past, violence in films, claiming queer space, and youth violence intervention. She’s interviewed poets, a naturopathic doctor and a Vietnam veteran priest, and fascinating people like Starcia Ague, a UW researcher who, after going to prison at age 15, turned her life around by fighting for the right to take college courses in jail. Listen Here

The 4th annual Norm Maleng Advocate for Youth Award Breakfast: Keynote speaker Starcia Ague challenged breakfast guests to fight for kids like her. Growing up as the daughter of an addicted, neglectful mother and a drug-dealing father living in a meth house, Starcia had to fight just to survive. And when she made a terrible mistake at the age of 15 and was sent to youth detention until her 21st birthday, she fought for the education she knew was her only chance to succeed. “There must be reform so that juvenile mistakes won’t have lifelong consequences for young people who have truly been rehabilitated like the system intends and are committed to turning around their lives,” emphasized the 23-year-old Olympia native, whose compelling story captivated guests. Read more of Starcia’s compelling story. Read Full Article

A Guidebook for Implementing Juvenile Justice 101

Juvenile Justice 101 is a program that provides justice-involved families with essential information about the juvenile justice system, one-on-one support, and connections to community resources. It is run by caregivers of children who went through the juvenile justice system. The development of Juvenile Justice 101 was initially conceived and supported by a MacArthur Foundation Models for Change Grant and facilitated by the University of Washington. Read More

Engagement Project Engaging Youth for a Lifetime of Success: Youth n’ Action Engagement Project: Engaging Youth for a Lifetime of Success. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Read More

American Journal of community psychology: Defining Engagement in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Youth engagement in substance use treatment is an important construct for research and practice, but it has been thinly and inconsistently defined in the literature. Most research has measured engagement by initiation, attendance, and retention in treatment. Because youth generally enter substance use treatment as a result of compliance with external requirements, defining engagement in this way might be insufficient. This qualitative participatory research study describes five focus groups with 31 adults working with youth in substance use treatment. Focus groups were designed and conducted by youth researchers in collaboration with university-based partners. Read More

OJJDP Juvenile Justice Journal: Transitions of Truants: Community Truancy Board as a Turning Point in the Lives of Adolescents “School dropout represents a major turning point in a person’s life that could be seen as an initial step on a difficult pathway to reduced conventional opportunities. The challenge is to identify interventions that can successfully reintegrate students back into a school setting in a manner that encourages continued attendance and involvement. One such program is the West Valley Community Truancy Board in Spokane, Washington. In addition to the truancy board process, the program employs a court-appointed officer to mentor students and manage the overall process of identifying and attending to the risks and needs that promote truancy.” Read Full Publication

Washington State Disproportionate Minority Contact Assessment University of Washington, Seattle, WA In 2011, after a competitive process, the Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice (WA-PCJJ) contracted with the University of Washington's Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy (PBHJP) to conduct this assessment. The assessment looks at rates of disproportionality at several important decision points in the juvenile justice system, combined with stakeholder interviews for 12 jurisdictions: Adams, Benton/Franklin, King, Mason, Pierce, Spokane, Skagit, Whatcom, Clark, Kitsap, Thurston, and Yakima. View PDF

Spokane County Toolkit for Community Truancy Board Replication  Community Truancy Boards positively impact students’ lives through a process that supports students and their families.  Community Truancy Boards in Spokane have significantly impacted hundreds of vulnerable students who, without this intervention, may have been permanently disengaged from learning and dropped out of school.  The Community Truancy Board program is especially attractive for replication because it can be accomplished without additional funding through re-allocation of existing resources. View PDF

Juvenile Justice 101: Addressing Family Support Needs in Juvenile Court Juvenile courts have a complicated relationship with the parents (and guardians) of justice-involved youth. While they are often responsible for court fees and encouraged to accompany their child in court, parents have limited rights in juvenile justice proceedings (Emerson, 2009). In addition, parents are often unfamiliar with the court process and are unaware of their role and those of other court personnel (Hillian & Reitsma-Street, 2003). This lack of awareness results, among other problems, in parental confusion about the role of the defense attorney. Because the juvenile court recognizes the youth and not the family as the only legal defendant, an attorney may be appointed to represent and guide a youth through court hearings. Meanwhile, parents are not provided formal support and may be excluded from some client/attorney meetings (Feld & Schafter, 2010). As attorneys are often the first contact for families, this exclusion and general lack of information about the process can be stressful and frustrating for guardians.View PDF

Real Women, Real Voices: Where the People Meet the Policy symposia are a groundbreaking events focusing on the issues, concerns and needed changes affecting incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women. The panels feature currently and formerly incarcerated women discussing the effects of incarceration and the carceral state on themselves, their families and their communities.  In less than a year, “Real Women Real Voices: Where the People Meet the Policy” Symposia have been held at the law schools of Columbia University, American University, Loyola University in New Orleans, Yale University and Vanderbilt Divinity School.

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Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women call for clemency

With President Obama soon leaving office, the future of incarceration policy and the Clemency Initiative is uncertain. Many groups worry about stagnation or reversal of past progress in this field. The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls held a symposium Friday evening in the UW William H. Gates hall to highlight the issues affecting incarcerated women. Both currently and formerly incarcerated women shared their personal experiences.The event first introduced the daughters of many incarcerated mothers and fathers who described the suffering incarceration has wrought on their families and communities.

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