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Juvenile Justice News

Oregon Incarcerates Youth At Higher Rate Than Most States

Oregon incarcerates young people at a higher rate than almost any other state, according to a new report from the Oregon Council on Civil Rights.

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.

Our Opinion: Raise the Age — It's the right thing to do

We commend the Missouri Senate for recently voting 31-0 on a bill that would raise the age of teens covered by the juvenile system to 18. Currently, state law states those 17 or older and accused of a crime must be handled in the adult criminal justice system.

Our View: Raise legal age for adult status

If your 17-year-old is convicted of a crime — any crime — he or she will be tried as an adult. That means that if jail time is a consequence of the crime, that time would likely be served in a jail or prison with other adults.

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.

Pensacola City Council passes resolution supporting juvenile justice reform

More than 30 people were at the Pensacola City Council meeting Thursday to show their support for a resolution to oppose prosecuting children as adults.

Pensacola pastor lobbies Tallahassee for juvenile justice reform

A Pensacola man joined a delegation that went to Tallahassee last week to lobby that children don’t belong in adult jails.

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.

Proposed budget cuts to Office of Juvenile Justice blasted

Louisiana State Senator J.P. Morrell published a blistering op-ed on February 1 criticizing proposed budget cuts to the state’s Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ). “We can’t afford to give up on our kids,” Morrell wrote. “They depend on us, and we can’t let them down.”

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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