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Juvenile Justice Reform

California Agrees: There's No Such Thing As A Child Prostitute

Yasmin Vafa | Posted 10.05.2016 | Women
Yasmin Vafa

One year ago, we launched a campaign in California, called "No Such Thing As A Child Prostitute." Our goal? To eliminate the very notion of "child prostitute" in both language and in law.

For LGBTQ Youth, Schools' Failures May Mean Higher Risk Of Criminalization

Naomi Goldberg | Posted 08.26.2016 | Queer Voices
Naomi Goldberg

Family rejection, discrimination in our communities, discriminatory enforcement of laws, and hostile school environments all play a part. But let's focus on how the climate in our nation's schools puts many LGBTQ youth at greater risk for being criminalized.

Locked Up: What Is A Youth Prison?

Liz Ryan | Posted 07.11.2016 | Crime
Liz Ryan

In juvenile justice, size matters. Larger isn't better. In fact, it's worse. A youth detention or correctional facility over 25-30 beds is considered large, one of the key traits of a youth prison.

Gault at 50: Ensuring Counsel for LGBTQ Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Naomi Goldberg | Posted 06.13.2016 | Queer Voices
Naomi Goldberg

This blog was co-authored by Christina J. Gilbert, Staff Attorney and Policy Counsel, National Juvenile Defender Center In 1967, the United States Su...

Why Juvenile Justice Reform Is Necessary to Restore Opportunity to Youth

Monique Rizer | Posted 04.25.2016 | Impact
Monique Rizer

Recidivism rates for youth involved in the system have remained persistently high. However, reforming the system would prevent youthful mistakes from becoming life long barriers to opportunity and help young adults get back on track to the American Dream.

Jailing Vulnerable Youth for Status Offenses Helps No One

Yasmin Vafa | Posted 04.13.2016 | Crime
Yasmin Vafa

We must remember that the ultimate goal of the juvenile justice system is not to punish, but to rehabilitate. Today, armed with the latest data of what is proven to improve outcomes for our children, we can, and ought, to do better. It is what we owe to our children in Arkansas and to those all across the country.

West Virginia's Troubling Plan to Confine Children at the Dazzy Vance Mountain Resort

Mishi Faruqee | Posted 12.07.2016 | Impact
Mishi Faruqee

A plan to build a new youth institution in West Virginia has raised a series of questions: Is it ever appropriate to take a four-year-old child from h...

Music To Their Ears: How Creativity Can Reach Incarcerated Teens and Offer Hope

Maud Hickey | Posted 12.02.2016 | Impact
Maud Hickey

While some may feel that incarcerated youth do not deserve something as luxurious as the arts while locked up for a crime, there are just as many arts advocates who see the creative arts as fulfilling a need that will serve all of us better in the long run.

Juvenile Review Board: A Chance for Underage Greenwich Offenders to Avoid a Criminal Record

Katherine Du | Posted 10.05.2016 | Crime
Katherine Du

Prior to the introduction of the Greenwich Juvenile Review Board (JRB) in late 2008, every arrest in Greenwich, Connecticut was processed and sent directly to court.

It Ended Before It Began: Criminalizing a Young Brain

Merritt Juliano | Posted 09.24.2016 | Healthy Living
Merritt Juliano

Trying to identify those circumstances where an 18- to 25-year-old might fairly be treated as a juvenile, difficult though it may be, should be a priority for a modern society, particularly for non-violent offenders with a low outlook for recidivism.

Shackling Juveniles in Transportation: Hobbling Fairness

Sue Burrell | Posted 08.25.2016 | Crime
Sue Burrell

Routine shackling takes away every scintilla of control a young person has over his or her body. It is completely out of step with the research on what works in juvenile rehabilitation.

Youth Prisons Are Factories of Failure: Close Them Down

Patrick McCarthy | Posted 07.16.2016 | Crime
Patrick McCarthy

We need to close every youth prison in this country. Permanently. Every one of them.

Juvenile Justice Reform in NY State: Raise the Age

Catharine Hill | Posted 06.16.2016 | New York
Catharine Hill

As educators, we understand the benefits of letting young people learn from their mistakes. By incarcerating them as adults, we set them on a path that makes further education almost impossible, condemns them to a dismal future and costs society significantly more than evidence-based diversion practices.

End All Youth Detention and Torture at Rikers Island Now

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 06.12.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

Nobody of any age should be held in jail without a trial for three years. No child or adolescent should be held in an adult jail. Yet, a 16-year-old accused of stealing a backpack was kept in one of the most violent adult jails in the United States, Rikers Island in New York City, for three years without a trial. This was morally scandalous and inhumane. Even worse, he spent more than two years of that time in solitary confinement, locked up alone except to go to the shower, the recreation area, the visit room or the medical clinic. This was torture. The suicide of 22-year-old Kalief Browder on June 6, barely two years after his release and return home, was the final horror in his tragic and brutal journey into the depths of the adult criminal justice system in New York.

A ‘More Hawaiian' Way To Deal With Delinquent Kids

Civil Beat | Jessica Terrell | Posted 05.11.2015 | Impact

Angry. Frightened. Sad. When teenagers are marched in handcuffs through a discreet back entrance at the Susannah Wesley Community Center in Kalihi ...

Time to Put Truth and Common Sense Back Into Sentencing of Youthful Offenders

Steve Drizin | Posted 05.01.2016 | Crime
Steve Drizin

Twenty years ago, however, there was a different "truth" about youthful offenders. That "truth" was that the United States was on the brink of a crime wave committed by juvenile "superpredators."

Lead Belly and John Legend to Attorney General Lynch: Redress Juvenile Injustices

Liz Ryan | Posted 06.28.2015 | Politics
Liz Ryan

With Loretta Lynch now taking over the helm of the U.S. Department of Justice as the new Attorney General, it is crucial that she takes John Legend's and Lead Belly's concerns into account and focuses on redressing juvenile injustices.

Time for Justice for Children in New York

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 05.27.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

Under New York's juvenile justice system a child as young as 7 can be arrested for a crime, and a 16-year-old is automatically charged as an adult. These laws are shockingly behind the times -- bad for children and bad for public safety.

Girls in Justice

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 04.15.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

Why are so many girls, especially girls of color, confined in our nation's detention facilities, and what are we as a society going to do about it? We must all work tirelessly to give hope and a fair chance to these girls and all children by promoting policies, programs, and supports that help them and their families, especially those most at risk.

A "Coloring Book" Standard for the Care of Children in Adult Jails?

Marsha Levick | Posted 12.22.2014 | Politics
Marsha Levick

Coloring books have no place in prison, unless in the hands of an incarcerated parent drawing with their child who has come to visit. To give a coloring book to a child inmate is a disturbing, not playful, image.

Prison for Teen Who Lit "Agender" Youth's Skirt on Fire Thwarts Healing

Sue Burrell | Posted 12.21.2014 | Crime
Sue Burrell

The news of Richard Thomas' seven-year prison sentence raises fresh questions about how the justice system intervenes in dangerous, but clearly adolescent behavior.

A First-Hand Look at Juvenile Justice Reform

Eric Kessler | Posted 11.30.2014 | Impact
Eric Kessler

What makes juvenile justice reform so compelling is that it touches on education, public safety, and economic and racial equality, and my colleagues and I have witnessed its promising effects on both individual youth and the social sector at large.

Going to Juvie

Caitlin Rother | Posted 08.31.2014 | Crime
Caitlin Rother

The teenage girls could barely hear me over the screaming roar of the motorized plumbing snake that the county workers insisted they needed to run through the classroom as I was trying to speak to a class at the Girls Rehabilitation Facility.

Why Audrie's Law Is Bad for California

Jeff Adachi | Posted 08.17.2014 | Crime
Jeff Adachi

The case of Audrie Potts, the impetus for Senator Jim Beall's Senate Bill 838, is indeed tragic. But SB 838, which creates a mandatory minimum term of confinement that is unprecedented in California's juvenile justice system, is not the answer.

Kate Abbey-Lambertz

These States Automatically Put Teens On Trial As Adults

HuffingtonPost.com | Kate Abbey-Lambertz | Posted 06.10.2014 | Politics

Keeping youth offenders in adult prisons increases their risk of suicide, sexual assault and returning to prison, and is the result of "antiquated law...