Highlights from the week’s juvenile justice and justice related articles, reports, videos and more that are worth your time.
Complex Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Impact and Implications
Complex trauma–possibly the MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE in juvenile justice reform, and our hopes of achieving better outcomes for kids. The current facilities and institutions do little to address trauma that an estimated 90% of youth in confinement have experienced. When trauma is linked to “impaired emotional and behavioral development,” why aren’t we focusing all of our resources on helping kids overcome it?
Capturing Captivity from the Inside
What happens when you give incarcerated youth a camera and the chance to document their lives in confinement? We get a glimpse of what it means to view their experience in confinement from the kids’ perspective, when waking up in confinement is just another day: “Perhaps many of these young photographers, captives, have been in and out of the facility many times. Is the system’s failure to help them improve their outcomes evident in the way they document their surroundings?”
Mercy at the End of a Life
While we at J-in-J mostly focus on youth in the justice system, this Op-Ed takes a look at the opposite side of the age spectrum: elderly prisoners, on the brink of death. The authors make the case for ‘compassionate release’ of the elderly and sick through, well, common sense. “The standard justifications for imprisonment — incapacitation, deterrence and retribution — become irrelevant in a prisoner’s final days or weeks. Elderly people near death do not commit crimes, and refusing mercy to an aged, dying prisoner does not deter anyone from criminality.”
55 Years Behind Bars: Why Mandatory Minimums Need Reform
Mandatory minimums defy the power of a judge to discern who is truly a danger to society. Beyond that, they just don’t fix the problem. The sister of Weldon Angelos, currently serving 55 years, outlines how her brother received over a half-century of time without ever committing or even threatening a violent crime.