Highlights from the week’s juvenile justice and justice related articles, reports, videos and more that are worth your time.
PBS: Fixing Juvie Justice
PBS/Nat Geo documentary about the implementation of community conferencing in Baltimore, Maryland. Inspired by the Maori justice system, this new method of dealing with crime allows all voices to be heard in order to reach a peaceful and mutually beneficial outcome for youths, without going to court. As we would expect, allowing communities to negotiate the outcomes of crime on their terms, as equals, keeps kids out of cells and less likely to re-offend. The full hour-long video is online to watch from now until early September!
READ MORE: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365061048/
U.N. Expert Says Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons Can Be Torture
Juan Mendez, special rapporteur on torture for the U.N. publicly stated that the United States’ use of solitary confinement can classify as torture, saying that it should only be used “in very exceptional circumstances, as a last resort, for as short a time as possible.” Mendez’s statement also advocates for the incarcerated individual’s right to protest, in response to the federal court’s decision to allow the forcefeeding of hunger strikers in California.
How Will States Handle Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole?
Legislating justice is a slow process. Even after last year’s Supreme Court ruling in Miller v Alabama, “at least 15 states have not eliminated mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles.” This USA Today article looks at the nuanced reactions of the different states.
Life Without Parole for Juveniles: States and Courts Weigh In
A much needed chart showing the wide range of responses to Miller v Alabama, thanks to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Not only does it show the current laws dictating how juveniles are sentenced, but also if the law applies to those sentenced to LWOP as juveniles in the past.