(Continued from yesterday’s post, which you can read here)
Trying to navigate the system that had taken her son was a nightmare for Tarsha, who was learning as she was going and struggling to make sense of the process. The uphill battle consumed an enormous amount of her limited time as a single mother with another son at home. She communicated with the NAACP and the ACLU, who sympathized with her case but didn’t have the resources to help her fight the system. So she started to advocate on her own. She kept pushing the issue and finally Texas legislators passed SB 103, and he was released at 16, under SB 1550 Texas Disability Release Act. But with his release came a slough of issues. Marquieth had significant Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and attempted to commit suicide twice, twice a week … Read More »
Tarsha Jackson had her first encounter with the juvenile justice system when her son Marquieth was just 10 years old. In his special education classroom in Harris County, Texas Marquieth received a ticket for classroom disruption. It was his first day of school and marked the beginning of what would be a decade-long struggle with the juvenile justice system. By age 16, Marquieth had spent a total of five years in juvenile prisons.
School was a struggle for Marquieth. In his special education classroom, his teachers were not sensitive to Marquieth’s needs and they dealt with behavioral disruptions poorly. Tarsha recalls that few issues were handled internally, with teachers frequently bringing the police in. When he was 10, Marquieth was charged with assault for accidentally kicking a teacher while being restrained. He was placed on 6 months’ probation. After several … Read More »
Eugene Jarecki, documentary filmmaker, interviewed on the Daily Show about his film ’The House I Live In,’ the failure of America’s war on drugs, and the over-incarceration of black Americans.
“The drug war has made it that the non-violent in this country are put in jail in this country very often for longer sentences than the violent. Why?” Also go see the movie! An NYT Critics Pick, in the review the Times writes, “A call to national conscience, the activist documentary “The House I Live In” is persuasively urgent… an insistently personal and political look at the war on drugs and its thousands of casualties, including those serving hard time for minor offenses.”
Extended interview Pt. 1
Extended interview Pt. 2
A new report by the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy: … Read More »
What a morning! ‘Juvenile In Justice: Jailed youths Photo Exhibit,’ written by Scott Sonner with AP has been picked up by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, CBS News and more. A little closer to home, Tyler Hayden’s interview with Richard made the cover of the SB Independent. PHEW! Both articles are excellent and worth reading and we are so excited and grateful to see the work and the issue be so widely publicized. (!!!)
This week, Newsweek/Dailybeast ran a feature “In ‘Juvenile In Justice,’ Children Caught in America’s Prison System.” The article, by Eliza Shapiro, is another great example of how the mainstream media is becoming more aware of the issue of over-incarceration of youth in the U.S.
Despite more attention and advocacy, Ross says his time inside hundreds of juvenile facilities has shown him just how broken the system remains. “The majority of kids [in juvenile jail] are victims,” he says.
Read the entire article here and see the gallery here.
To our friends in California — there are two propositions in the upcoming election that are CRUCIAL to criminal justice reform in our state, Props 34 and 36. In short, Prop 34 repeals the death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In terms of budget, The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates California would initially save $100 million a year, part of which would go to a new fund to help law enforcement solve rapes and homicides more quickly. Eventually, the state would save $130 million annually. Prop 36 revises the Three Strikes Law so people convicted of a third-strike felony will receive a life sentence only when the crime was serious or violent. This reform makes the punishment more appropriate for the crime and will decrease prison crowding.
We endorse voting YES on both props 34 and 36
KQED … Read More »
When an institution is classified as a ‘secure facility’ this is what that looks like. From top to bottom: Metro Youth Services in Dorchester, MA; Fulton Treatment Center in Fulton, MO and New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel, MD and their various secure set-ups. At Metro Youth Services, in the first image, the fence is topped with a combination of coiled concertina wire and straight barbed wire. Metro’s set up is relatively simple compared to the perimeter of New Beginnings in the last image. New Beginnings, built in the last couple of years is lined with a complex assortment of razor wires. Both of these exteriors stand in stark contrast to the fence at the Fulton Treatment Center which curves inward and is topped with a climb-proof wire mesh– a less menacing alternative for children. Another option is to … Read More »