Jeree Thomas, CFYJ Policy Director
When I was finally let into general population, entering into my cottage, I felt like I was walking into a dog pound, all of the youth banging on the doors to get my attention to send threats. While I was passing every door I would look at the kid behind it. All I could see were kids, black like me, that had been turned out due to the system.
- Romelo Gross, formerly incarcerated in Manson Youth Institution
On Monday, April 15th, Connecticut legislators Senator Gary Winfield, Representative Toni Walker, and Representative Robyn Porter joined the young adult leaders of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance Justice Advisors program to discuss how to shift away from holding children in adult jails and prisons in the state.
A recurring theme throughout the event was that the prosecution and incarceration of children as adults has its roots in slavery and racial terror. As a result, the punishment of adultification is most often reserved for black youth. This is true in Connecticut and nationally, where black youth are disproportionately represented in adult courts, jails and prisons. This holds true even as the United States has reduced its daily population of youth in adult jails and prisons by 53% since 2010, from 9,855 on any given night to 4,656.