Statistics and Facts from the Division of Juvenile Justice and the Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2003

– In FY2003, 615 youth were referred to the Division of Juvenile Justice for alcohol or drug related offenses, 8% of referrals for all charges. The percentage seems not to vary greatly from year to year and is consistent with national statistics, which indicate about 8.5% of juvenile arrests each year are for drug related offenses.

– Inhalant Use – 10.2% of youth reported ever sniffing glue or using other inhalants, 1995 use was 22.2%.

– Marijuana – 47.5% of youth reported ever using marijuana.

– Alcohol – This is the drug of choice among high school students. 75% of youth reported that they have ever used alcohol and 39% reported current drinking (having used alchol within the last 30 days). More than 25% of youth reported binge drinking within the last 30 days. Binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks in a row, within a couple of hours.

Grading Grown Ups
Alaska ICE Releases Grading Grown-Ups ? Alaskan Style
by Staff

Youth behaviors often mirror that of their community. When youth feel disconnected from their family, school and community, they may act out in ways that cause us concern. While we must hold youth accountable, we must also hold our communities accountable for creating supportive environments where Alaska youth will not just survive, but thrive.

Research has shown that youth are more likely to succeed if they have meaningful relationships with many supportive adults in their lives. What do those relationships look like? What are the most important behaviors adults can engage in to build relationships with youth? How many adults are actually performing those behaviors?

Grading Grown-Ups ? Alaskan Style is a first step to answer those questions in Alaska. In May of 2003, Alaska ICE, in conjunction with Ivan Moore Research, conducted a phone survey to identify the supportive behaviors Alaskan adults believe are most important to do for children and youth. The survey also examined how well adults are actually reaching out, connecting and supporting Alaska?s children and youth by engaging in these behaviors. This survey is based upon a nationwide Grading Grown-ups survey conducted by the Search Institute in Minnesota, which Alaska ICE modified to address the unique circumstances in Alaska and to include questions on adult perceptions of schools, of media reporting on youth, and on the nature of adult-youth relationships.

The purpose of the survey was to identify and measure:

1. What adults believe are the most important behaviors for adults to do that will help children and youth become successful;
2. To what extent they believe adults in their community act on these beliefs;
3. General perceptions adults have of youth, local schools and media reporting;
4. Awareness of resources for children and youth, and
5. Settings where adults know and support youth.

The findings of this survey indicate that Alaskan adults generally agree on which behaviors are important when it comes to meaningful relationships with youth. It also found that, while some adults engage in these behaviors, many do not. Research (and common sense) underscores the need children and youth have for ongoing support from family members and other adults as they grow up. Ongoing support and meaningful relationships lead to greater student achievement, an increase in positive behaviors in youth, and a decrease in risk behaviors. Through AASB?s continued community engagement work around the state, we hope to see more adults follow up on the actions and behaviors that all adults agree are important to build meaningful connections with youth. After all, that is what helping kids succeed ? Alaskan style is all about.

To view the report, please click on the link listed below.

Information compiled from the 2004 Annual Report: Division of Juvenile Justice System Improvements Report, Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005, and the Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory 2005 Annual Report.

Please click on the list to the left for reports and statistics.

Spirit of Youth

Spirit of Youth (SOY) is dedicated to creating and promoting opportunities for youth involvement in their communities by increasing civic engagement, building leadership and providing media recognition for the positive contributions youth are making statewide.

There are three programs within Spirit of Youth:

I. Positive Recognition Campaign

Every teenager nominated receives a letter of congratulations, a CD case and a key chain. Once a year, our Teen Action Council selects the top two finalists in each award category to be honored at our Annual Awards Banquet. 2005 Winners Announced.

II. Positive Media about Youth

Spirit of Youth began in 1997 as a media-based project, to address the growing negative image of teenagers. Since then, hundreds of positive stories about Alaskan youth have spread through television, radio and local newspapers.

Nominations are made by anyone who wishes to recognize a hard-working, inspiring teenager in one of 10 award categories. Over 20 television and radio stations, statewide, are broadcasting these stories!

III. Civic Engagement

The SOY Teen Action Council is committed to also helping the community through a variety of service and civic projects.

During the fall 2000 and 2002 election season SOY mobilized around the Youth Vote project to increase civic engagement by teens. For more information, contact at The League of Women Voters.
The Alaska Teen Media Institute (ATMI) provides journalism training and functions as a teen newsroom where youth work as reporters, editors and producers. ATMI creates a distribution point for teen-related news in Alaska.

Through its programs, Spirit of Youth reinforces the following Developmental Assets: positive values and skills, adult and peer support, constructive use of time, and positive identity.

Youth Risk Behavior Survey

The YRBS is a national survey developed by the Division of Adolescent and School Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with 71 state and local departments of education and 19 federal agencies. Results are use by the Anchorage School District Safe and Drug Free Schools Program, school personnel at the middle schools and high schools, and the health/physical education curriculum coordinator and staff. These results are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of programs in reducing negative student behaviors. The survey provides valuable information about positive behaviors among students.