Highlights from the week’s juvenile justice and justice related articles, videos and more that are worth your time.

Sentencing and the “Affluenza” Factor

When the term “affluenza” went viral in the wake of a 16-year-old being sentenced to rehab and probation for killing four people in a drunk driving accident, definitions were not necessary. It’s no secret that money can buy defendants a multitude of advantages in the justice system, not to mention the inherent privilege of their class status. But as far as how we fix this issue goes, there is room for debate.

READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/02/18/affluenza-and-life-circumstances-in-sentencing?rref=homepage&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Room%20for%20Debate&pgtype=blogs

Crime and Punishment and Obama

A truly compelling examination of our president’s history and time in office in relation to the criminal justice system. This insightful analysis comes from Bill Keller, who is leaving the NY Times to launch The Marshall Project, a promising news organization committed to covering the American criminal justice system. We (literally) cannot wait to see what emerges from this project at such a critical time for the system.

READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/opinion/keller-crime-and-punishment-and-obama.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

ABOUT THE MARSHALL PROJECT: http://www.themarshallproject.org

After Decades of Spending, Minority Youth Still Overrepresented in System

For over two decades, the U.S. has poured millions into combatting overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. Yet, for some reason, the only area of the system showing some improvement is the amount of transfers to adult court—although the number is still far from proportionate to the general population. So where can we invest to lower the numbers of black and Latino youth in the system? Police departments and schools.

READ MORE: http://jjie.org/after-decades-of-spending-minority-youth-still-overrepresented-in-system/

1,400 ‘Lifers’ Release From California Prisons In Last Years

When serving as governor of California, Gray Davis authorized the release of two inmates sentenced to life in prison. Throughout Schwarzenegger’s six-year term, 557 were released. Gov. Jerry Brown, three years into his term, has affirmed 1,400 lifers to be released. Do YOU think this is the right way to deal with prison overcrowding? How can we maintain victims’ sense of security while giving perpetrators real justice?

READ MORE: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/1400-lifers-released-from-california-prisons-in-last-3-years/

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