Highlights from the week’s juvenile justice and justice related articles, videos and more that are worth your time.
OP-ED: The Uneasy Transition From Juvenile Hall to Life on The Outside
More often than not when we hear about the experiences of youth who have been detained, it is not from the youths themselves but the distanced voice of researchers and advocates (not that these voices aren’t both valid and critical–they just don’t carry the same weight.) This article gives us a refreshing first-person narrative on the struggles of returning home, written by Alton Pitre, a young man who spent 18 months in LA’s Central Juvenile Hall.
DEA Chief Should Resign
Pressure for DEA leader Michele Leonhart to step down from her office may seem a little removed from the issue of juvenile justice, but it is a reminder for us advocates to understand the system and stay informed. The DEA has not aligned itself with President Obama’s and Attorney General Eric Holder’s calls for drug policy reform, even going as far as to seize legal industrial hemp seeds. Though Washington is far away, the intricacies and networks of the system affect every city in the country.
Juvenile Justice Foster Care Issues Gain in 2014 Season
Now this is what we are talking about! Florida is setting a standard for the pace of progress for our treatment of youth. The state has recently passed several bills that build on and improve legislation for youth on three fronts: juvenile justice, human trafficking, and the foster system. How can we make this commitment to legislative change a nationwide trend?
Solitary Confinement Study and Reform Act Introduce in Congress
Our nation’s use of solitary confinement has become a more and more visible issue in recent months…which leaves us wondering, how long until our legislators address the concerns of the people? Finally, a bill has been introduced to congress thanks to Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La). It seeks to first create a commission to study the current practices, then create guidelines based upon the findings, a la PREA.
SPLC Uncovers Deplorable Conditions at Alabama Jail, Urges DOJ to Investigate
Please don’t believe—even for a second—that there is a shred of hyperbole in saying that we, as a nation, knowingly throw away lives. There’s really no other way to put it, and few circumstances validate the statement more than confining children with adults. Reading about the odious treatment of youth at Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, Alabama, we think you’ll agree.