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
When talking about juvenile incarceration facilities with folks, I hear this argument sometimes, “For a lot of those kids, isn’t their life inside those facilities better than their life on the outside? Aren’t those facilities safer and cleaner than their lives and homes? Aren’t they being fed better, more regularly?” Sure. If you look at it just like that, just black and white like that, in some cases it is true. But in most instances, those improvements come with significant downfalls in terms of architecture, best practices, discipline and rehabilitation. A child may be eating the first balanced meal they’ve had in months, but does it have to come hand in hand with punitive disciplinary measures like isolation and confinement? A child may be sleeping on clean sheets, but does it have to be in an 8×10 windowless cell? I … Read More »
[Highlights from the week's juvenile justice and justice related articles, reports, videos and more that are worth your time.]
via the Crime Report: ‘Who belongs in prison?’
“It’s about taking a look at the whole system and re-examining what we should be prioritizing.” Our priorities should not include: non-violent offenders (especially with drug-related offenses), non-violent young offenders, and those with technical violations (violation of parole, for example).
via the Justice Policy Institute: ‘ Two New Reports Show Juvenile Confinement Reform in Five States’
“Removing young people who engage in delinquent behavior from their homes and communities, and incarcerating them in locked facilities is no longer the status quo in five states.” Good news in the world of reform from the Justice Policy Institute. And kudos to Connecticut, Arizona, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Tennessee for reducing incarceration rates by 50% with no increase in juvenile crime and at … Read More »
cool Tumblr from PBS News Hour: ‘The State of Our Union’
This project from the team at PBS News Hour collects diverse opinions on the state our union, what we are most concerned about this year. Anyone can submit and those submissions are punctuated by more formal pieces by PBS News Hour. Our friend at PBS Mike Fritz created a piece on our very own Richard Ross, ‘More people engaged in finding solutions rather than blame.’
Read Ross’s thoughts on the State of Our Union, and check out the Tumblr, HERE.
via Socialistworker.org: ‘The not-so-random violence in U.S cities’
‘”It’s very painful to see your big sister get slaughtered,” said the 10-year-old brother of Hadiya Pendleton, relaying his devastation at the murder last month of the 15-year-old African American high school student in Chicago,’ Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes on Socialist Worker. What it follows is … Read More »
The Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, in Camarillo in Ventura County holds a population of committed youths from all over the state. VYCF is known by those in the field as a problematic facility. The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice cites the facility as a “paragon of dysfunction” and has previously condemned the institution for inhumane living conditions and violence (CJCJ). A January 2012 report from the Office of the Special Master, evaluating the facility, found that “After years of reform efforts…there have not been significant declines in violence and fear at the facility.” The report also identifies key issues that haven’t been addressed that include, “gender responsive programming and facility improvements to avoid a ‘prison-like’ atmosphere.”
C.R, age 11, is heavily medicated on Thorazine. He woke up yesterday morning in a manic state– roaring, flirting with adults, and other manic behavior before attacking someone. He fell while he was playing basketball. When another kid laughed at him, C.R punched him. When staff intervened, he punched the staff. He was but in seclusion because he was a danger to himself and others. C.R’s mother used drugs while he was in uter; he is very small and hyperactive. He was raised by his grandparents. With a kid like C.R, if you get him stabilized, he could be deferred from the system without adjudication as he’s only 11, but he already has a criminal history.
“I’ve been in the system since I was 12. The judge hates me and will never let me go home. I chewed through my cell window and escaped. I opened up some other doors and let three other kids out. Two of them jumped us when we got out and were hiding by some abandoned trucks and cars– one of them is in 19 across the cottage in his cell. Boring here so I lie on the floor and just watch things. They don’t give you no pens, no pencils, no nothing. They aren’t letting me out because I shit on my food tray and they’re pissed.”
- C.R, age 17, Nevada Youth Training Facility, Elko, NV
C.R. chewed out the window of his cell and opened the door from the outside. He is a career juvenile … Read More »