The Prison Arts Coalition is an awesome national network of people making art and facilitating the making of art in and around the American prison system. PAC provides support and guidance to people who are interested in developing prison arts programs or people looking to support incarcerated and formerly incarcerated artists. This week we interviewed Wendy Jason and Becky Mer, PAC’s managers, on the organization’s roots, the biggest issues they are tackling, and more:
Juvenile In Justice: How did the Prison Arts Coalition get started?
Prison Arts Coalition: At various prison arts gatherings, practitioners often talked about the need for a central place with information and, if possible, exchange. At a Critical Resistance conference in Oakland in 2008, a few former Prison Creative Arts Project students and other practitioners committed to starting a website. For the first year or so, rotating facilitators acted as administrators of … Read More »
[Highlights from the week's juvenile justice and justice related articles, reports, videos and more that are worth your time.]
via Gizmodo: ‘This Ad Has a Secret Anti-Abuse Message That Only Kids Can See’
In an effort to provide abused children with a safe way to reach out for help, a Spanish organization called the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation, or ANAR for short, created an ad that displays a different message for adults and children at the same time. Video embedded below, or watch it here: http://gizmodo.com/this-ad-has-a-secret-anti-abuse-message-that-only-kids-493108460
via the Campaign for Youth Justice: ‘In Remembrance of Kirk Gunderson: Remembering My Son this Mother’s Day’
A heartbreaking and moving piece written by mother Vicky Gunderson, whose son Kirk committed suicide while incarcerated. This piece serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of family involvement in the youth justice system. Vicky writes, “Every … Read More »
A youth prison in Maryland where many of the cells, referred to as rooms, have chalkboard walls free to be drawn on. A California Youth Authority facility where young people serving “juvie life” sentences tack complex photo collages to the walls above their beds and desks. A cell at a detention facility in Multnomah County, Oregon where an 18” painted square on one wall delineates where young inmates can hang photos—all of the other wall space must remain blank. These are all examples of spaces in youth confinement facilities where children are permitted some creative control. My organization, Juvenile In Justice, having documented more than 200 facilities in 31 states in the U.S, can state with some confidence that the range of visuals/art in the youth prison system is overall pretty bleak.
Art can play a significant role in the process … Read More »
Every day in the U.S children under the age of 18 are held in solitary confinement. This is not an irregular occurrence but a relatively common practice used to isolate, separate from the general population, observe, and punish. Sometimes they get a mattress, but are prohibited from laying on it during the day. Frequently the cells are cold, temperature being an intentional punishing element. In an isolation cell at a youth detention center in Miami the temperature was a brisk 59 degrees. The young boy in the cell, pictured below, was wearing only his cotton t-shirt and shorts. He was cold. He said that he had been in his windowless isolation cell without books or study material for over 72 hours, only coming out for two hours to bathe and exercise.
The existence of the isolation cell in our society is a … Read More »
Last week, we brought you inside Santa Maria Juvenile Hall to meet S.D, a 17-year-old awaiting sentencing for a violent crime committed with a group of older boys when he was 14. S.D was facing 60 years to life, now he has taken a deal of “juvie life” which means he will stay in the California Youth Authority until the age of 25. To get the deal S.D had to testify against multiple other members of his gang, which has put him at serious risk even inside the juvenile hall…
A couple days after talking to S.D at Santa Maria Juvenile Hall Richard met with his mom who lives in Santa Maria and tries to maintain a normal life in spite of the rocky years she had with her son leading up to the arrest– from camping out in the ‘hood … Read More »
President Obama’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) preserves critical federal juvenile justice funding and recommends new investments to help states enact effective reforms. The recommendations put forth by the Administration will help states implement evidence-based strategies to reduce youth incarceration and foster better outcomes for youth, to reverse the school-to-prison pipeline, and to support public health and community-based approaches to violence prevention.
However, Congress must ACT on these numbers. Please sign and circulate these petitions today to tell both the House and the Senate that you support investing in our youth.
Take Action Now:
Sign the petition to the House – http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-the-house-support-critical-juvenile-justice-and-delinquency-prevention-funding
Sign the petition to the Senate – http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-the-senate-support-critical-juvenile-justice-and-delinquency-prevention-funding
Justice for Families is an organization doing important work nationwide to support families with youth in the system, including training family members to be advocates for reform and helping them to testify for their own children and for larger policy change.
Justice for Families needs YOU to demonstrate your support for new legislation that supports families by signing their Families Bill of Rights
The Justice for Families Bill of Rights includes 5 major rights:
1) Right to Notification–families have a right to be notified anytime significant decisions are being made about their loved ones or questions are being asked that could result in their child’s suspension, expulsion, arrest or prosecution.
2) Right to Participation–families have a right to participate and give input in these critical hearings and decision making points. Given this right
school disciplinary and juvenile justice processes shall be conducted using language and … Read More »