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Juvenile Justice News

Bill to Raise the Age heads to governor

A bill that aims to raise the age of prosecuting an individual as an adult is headed to the governor's desk for signature. SB 324, proposed by Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, on Sunday passed through the Senate by a vote of 33-4. The bill passed through the House June 2 with a vote of 97-3, which sent it back to the Senate for concurrence. 

Black Girls Are 7 Times More Likely To Be Suspended Than White Girls: Report

A new report is further confirming the racial biases black girls face in school when it comes to being disciplined. 

Black Kids Are 5 Times Likelier Than White Kids to Be Locked Up

Since 2001, the number of kids in detention has dropped by more than half across the country—a seemingly decisive victory for juvenile-justice reformers. But digging into the numbers reveals a much bleaker picture. 

Black Youth Are Disproportionately Sentenced to Juvenile Life Without Parole

America is the only country in the world that allows life sentences without the possibility of parole for people under the age of 18.

BOP and Private Prisons: Minor Implications for Juvenile Justice (for Now)

When President Obama announced in August that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) would move away from contracting with for-profit correctional companies, Youth Services Insider speculated that the actual prospect of that was entirely contingent on the next president.

Break, Don’t Remake, the Youth Prison Mold

Once is an incident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern. The old saying doesn’t give a new label to a fourth or fourteenth occurrence. A pattern is a pattern, and it will repeat itself until it is extinguished. In juvenile justice, the pattern is reprehensible. 

Bronx Freedom Fund Wants to Bail Out Young People Before School Starts

 For many teenagers, going back to school means sharp pencils, fresh sneakers, and a stylish new backpack, but for the ones imprisoned on Rikers Island, it represents something they don't currently have: freedom. 

Budget Deal to End Adult Prosecution of North Carolina Teens

North Carolina appears ready to give up being one of the only states that automatically prosecutes 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for crimes.

CALIFORNIA: A question of basic morality (or lack of it) on legal defense for juveniles

There is something deceptively arcane in the details of a report released last week on the criminal defense of juveniles in Los Angeles County, and in a follow-up motion the Board of Supervisors is to take up on Tuesday. Panel lawyers, flat fees, hourly rates, caseloads — that kind of thing.

CALIFORNIA: As LA County ends solitary confinement for minors, artists step in to reimagine the SHU

At Camp Joseph Scott, a juvenile detention center in Santa Clarita, five girls worked on the wall – some standing, some crouching – their arms occasionally crisscrossing as they painted the nature scene. "I find it like a meditating type of therapy," said Anaceli, 17, who was five months into a seven-month sentence. (We're not using last names to protect the identities of the minors). 

CALIFORNIA: California debates banning long-term solitary confinement for minors

California could lead the way in banning long-term solitary confinement for juveniles in jail, ending a practice that experts say severely harms mental health and increases the risk of suicide.
A newly introduced bill, which has support from both criminal justice reform advocates and state probation officials, would bar youth detention centers from placing juveniles in isolation for more than four hours and says facilities could only use “room confinement” as a last resort after exhausting all less-restrictive options.

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CALIFORNIA: End solitary confinement in juvenile halls (LADN)

California legislators should know the name and story of Kalief Browder. Earlier this month the 22-year-old hanged himself with a cord from an air-conditioner at his family’s Bronx apartment. The once normal teen had endured two years of solitary confinement and beatings during his three years on Rikers Island. Never convicted of a crime, he was the subject of a New Yorker profile that offered a compelling case study on why the practice of isolating youth should stop. It achieves no reasonable goal of rehabilitation. And it is too often used as a primary means of control in juvenile halls.

California: New Law to Protect Jailed Youth

Human Rights Watch

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that could prevent hundreds of young offenders from enduring rape, assault, and gang life in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 27, 2014, Brown signed Assembly Bill 1276, which requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to conduct committee-based, specialized review of each person under age 22 entering prison to consider placing them at a lower security level facility with increased access to educational and self-help programs. Human Rights Watch has advocated for passage of the bill. 

Celebrating Youth Justice Action Month: How W&M Alumni and Students Can Help Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System

October is National Youth Justice Action Month. In 2015, Barack Obama signed the first presidential proclamation in recognition of the month, which was initiated in 2008 by a Missouri mother, Tracy McClard, after her 17-year-old son committed suicide while in an adult jail. 

Children Being Housed In Adult Prisons Is an Ongoing Tragedy In America

On the eve of Oct. 17, 2016, 15-year-old Jaquin Thomas was found hanging in his cell at the Orleans Justice Center, an adult prison facility in New Orleans. The teen’s reported suicide came three months after entering the prison on suspicion of murder and a month after being beaten in his cell.

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