Highlights from the week’s juvenile justice and justice related articles, videos and more that are worth your time.
Report Found Distorted Data on Jail Fights at Rikers Island
…And the horrific news from Rikers just keeps coming—no hyperbole here. Rikers Island has been known as one of the nation’s worst cages to be locked in; reports of riots, attacks on guards, juvenile stabbings, and worse have echoed across the water and into our consciousness. While all signs indicated that things were dramatically improving from 2011 on, it has been discovered that only the records showed dramatic improvement, and they were false (the most recent in a series of disheartening discoveries).
As Another Young Boy Commits Suicide in an Adult Prison, We Must Rethink the Prosecution of Children as Adults
Two weeks ago, 15-year-old Zachary Proper committed suicide in an adult prison, where he was serving a 35-80 year sentence for third degree murder. Knowing that youth in adult facilities are 36 times more likely to commit suicides than their peers in juvenile institutions, we must face how illogical our current perspective on this issue is: “There is no other instance where children magically become adults because of their behavior; indeed, we steadfastly (and rightly) resist any calls to lower the age at which children can take on “adult” responsibilities…”
Our Public Education System Needs Transformation, Not ‘Reform’
We all know the U.S. needs to change its public education system. We got excited about the promised reforms, and were disappointed when we found out their impact was illusory. But, there is an upside: “The havoc wreaked by so-called education reform has had the upside of crystallizing a movement of parents, teachers, school staffers and kids who are fighting for education justice.”
Only 15 States Have Drug Amnesty Laws to Protect Overdosers, Friends
Rarely can legislation directly and immediately save lives as literally as Drug Amnesty Laws.In 35 states in the U.S., an individual who overdoses can be criminally charged after calling 911 for lifesaving help, as well as friends who might call on behalf of an overdosing friend. As the national discussion around drug addiction shifts from criminal culpability to treatment and recovery, we must recognize that while our ideologies might be progressive, our everyday practices are comparatively archaic.