via the New York Times: “After the Violence the Rest of Their Lives”
We know this is from November 5th… but it’s such a good read and just in case you missed it… The article is about a research project that has closely followed for two decades the lives over 1,800 youths who grew up in Chicago and “offers a portrait of both the perpetrators and the victims in struggling, gang-ridden neighborhoods.”
via the NY Times, an Editorial: “How to Cut Prison Costs”
The U.S collectively spends more than $52 billion annually on prison costs. This quick read from last week’s Sunday Review is a good refresher on some of the creative ways states can decrease these costs, while helping make sure that people who are released from prison stay out.
via the NY Times: “A Texas Prosecutor Faces Justice”
A bit of … Read More »
(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 »
Last month we received an email from Marquetta Harrison, from Kansas City, Missouri, wanting to tell her story. In July of 2010, her son Corey Webb, then age 16, was charged with aggravated assault against a public servant—a crime for which he was sentenced to 50 years. In emails with Marquetta, it is clear that her story reveals a state and a system that holds punishment by incarceration in the highest order.
To give you an idea of the criminal system in Texas, here are some statistics accumulated by Robert Perkinson, a Soros Justice Fellowship recipient and author of Texas Tough: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire:
- Minimum number of Texas residents under criminal justice supervision: 740,905
- Total prison population (both violent and non) of the U.K., the most incarcerated country in Europe: 82,241
- Estimated percent chance in 1996 that a … Read More »
Last week we introduced you to Harris County Youth Village, with an image of cots and lockers in a stark, utilitarian room. Would you have guessed that the images above are from the same facility?
I graduated from high school in Louisiana, I was the valedictorian of my class. Then my mom and I were in a shelter, so I ran away. That was nine months ago. My mom was on drugs and drinking heavily. I was hospitalized with a concussion, and got charged with assault on a family member. My mom has visited me three times, but I haven’t seen my dad since I was six. There was a lot of physical and mental abuse. My brother goes to school at Lone Star and works two jobs. My mother now lives with him. I also have a 13-year-old sister who is living with a family friend. I stopped going to school for a while because I felt beneath everybody because I lived in a shelter, but then the lady at the YMCA … Read More »
I am in the 9th grade and will have been here for six months tomorrow. I’m here for Violation of Parole– I had a dirty urinary analysis. I was originally charged with burglary with my brother. I was only supposed to serve three months here, but they didn’t start my time because I was fighting a lot. Then I was in the drug unit for a while. I live with my mom and grandma; my mom comes and visits sometimes. No, I’m not in a gang. My brother is in leadership academy and I dunno know where my dad is.
- JG, age 14, Burnett-Bayland Reception Center, Houston, Texas.