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Juvenile Justice News

Once Rikers Island Took Kalief Browder’s Life, His Siblings Knew Their Mother Was Next

Ms. Venida Browder’s house collected sounds that cemented lifelong memories within its walls. In her Bronx abode, the matriarch raised seven children who would go on to keep the seams in tact in the fabric of family. Sounds of fun times passed through every nook of the two-floor house, but sounds of despair also found a space within her home.

One lawn at a time: D.C. seniors get help from juvenile offenders headed home

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) helped mow 81-year-old Evelyn Young’s lawn Saturday to raise awareness about a new city program in which youths reentering society after time in the juvenile justice system provide lawn-care services for senior citizens.

Oops, We Took 20 Years of Your Life by Mistake. Have a Nice Day.

The recent and tragic suicide of my friend and fellow exoneree Darryl Hunt is a stark reminder that no monetary compensation can make up for the psychological toll of wrongful conviction. When a wrongfully convicted person is released from prison, it’s often to a throng of reporters clamoring to capture images of an emotional reunion with his smiling family and friends, and lawyers. These images instill a sense of vindication and a happy ending. But what is too often unseen is how difficult it is to re-enter society after years or decades of confinement -- especially if you are innocent. These are the unseen scars, and too many states pay them inadequate attention, or none at all.

Op-Ed: Our Work To Reform The Juvenile Justice System Is Not Yet Complete

Over the last few years, evidence-based reforms at the local, state, and national level have endeavored to reverse some of the harmful laws and policies that emerged during the tough-on-crime decades.

Our Criminal Courts Are Failing Juvenile Defendants

Getting in trouble and getting punished is a natural part of adolescence. But for some teens the punishment is worse than the crime, executed not by a stern parent but by a county judge who leaves them defenseless.

Out Of Time: The System Failed Kalief Browder, But It Doesn’t Have To Fail Others

Spike TV’s docu-series TIME: The Kalief Browder Story walked viewers through the unimaginable and horrifying experience that Kalief Browder endured at Rikers Island for allegedly stealing a backpack in May 2010. Because of a bag, a faulty identification from the victim, and a vicious justice system, Kalief spent three years of his childhood in the prison system while his case was wrapped up in a number of technicalities and misrepresented information.

Part 1 of “Young and Arrested”: A Boy in Prison by Age 14

Streetlights glare inside Lieutenant Shane DeJarnett’s white unmarked SUV as he cruises through Pine Hills  past houses, and churches and pedestrians. As Orange County’s nighttime sheriff, DeJarnett keeps a close eye on what is happening in this mixed-income black neighborhood on the west side of Orlando.

People in Charlotte prepare for 'Raise the Age' law

People in Charlotte gathered Saturday to discuss changes to who is classified as an adult in the criminal justice system. North Carolina law says 16 and 17-year-olds are considered adults in the court system.

Physicians Have ‘Critical Opportunity’ to Prevent Youth Incarceration, Improve Patients’ Adult Health

Youth and adults who have spent time in prison have distinctly worse health statuses than those who did not, according to research recently published in Pediatrics. One of the study’s authors explained the dual role physicians can play to keep their young patients out of prison.

Poor white kids are less likely to go to prison than rich black kids

Article on The Washington Post

It's a fact that people of color are worse off than white Americans in all kinds of ways, but there is little agreement on why. Some see those disparities as a consequence of racial discrimination in schools, the courts and the workplace, both in the past and present. Others argue that economic inequalities are really the cause, and that public policy should help the poor no matter their race or ethnicity. When it comes to affirmative action in college admissions, for example, many say that children from poor, white families should receive preferential treatment, as well. 

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Priorities Check: Education vs. Incarceration

“Don’t tell me your values,” Vice President Joe Biden has said. “Show me your budget and I will tell you your values.” If this is true, and I believe it is, then, as a nation, we have to ask some hard questions about how we value education versus incarceration. 

Prison for kids doesn’t work, and good alternatives are out there

Imagine a California without youth prisons because we don’t need them anymore. Young people would still make mistakes, some of them tragic. But instead of being taken from their families and schools, they would receive community-based counseling, mentoring, job training and opportunities that build on their strengths, enabling them to become productive adults.

Prosecution of Young People as Adults Defies Spirit of Supreme Court Ruling

Article by Marcy Mistrett, CFYJ CEO, on the Annie E. Casey Foundation Blog

Fifty years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the rights of children prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. In Kent v. United States, the Court determined whether a child had a right to be heard and, if so, the right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

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Pulling Back on the Barbaric Use of Solitary Confinement

The Justice Department took a farsighted step last year when it banned the use of solitary confinement for young people in federal prisons. The decision — based on research showing that isolation promotes mental illness and self-harm — followed the widely publicized suicide of Kalief Browder, a young man who had been unjustly accused of a minor crime and sent to New York’s infamous Rikers Island jail complex, where he spent two traumatic years in solitary confinement.

Raise the Age bill nears final legislative passage

The Raise the Age Bill is moving closer to final legislative passage, as it has been approved by the House Criminal Justice Committee without objection. The measure would increase the age at which someone can be tried as an adult for nonviolent crimes from 17 to 18. Executive Director for the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights Joshua Perry supports the bill. He says a mistake at 17 shouldn't ruin someone’s life.

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