Image courtesy of Just Kids Storybank Blog.
Image courtesy of Just Kids Storybank Blog.

via Just Kids Maryland: the Just Kids Storybank Blog 

From Just Kids Maryland comes a new site and resource aimed at stopping Maryland youth from being automatically prosecuted as adults. Featuring kids talking about their experiences in the system, photos and more… The site is just getting started but let them know you are interested in this important work by checking out their site and staying tuned as they continue to build it.

visit the site HERE. 

via the Huffington Post: ‘Mississippi Bill Would Allow Two Teachers, Staff Per School to Carry Concealed Weapons 

A disappointing bit of news for a state that could use a lot better than allowing educators to carry concealed weapons. The Mississippi Youth Hip Hop Summit, a non-profit organization in the state, writes this about the bill, “This is what we are dealing with in MS. The state with the worst public education system, highest teen pregnancy rate, highest teen HIV/AIDS and STD/I rate, and other markers of societal progress and success is certainly being proactive in their attempts to ensure easy access to deadly force in our public schools.”

Read the article HERE. 

Image courtesy of the Winston Salem Chronicle.
Image courtesy of the Winston Salem Chronicle.

via the Winston Salem Chronicle ‘Juvenile Drug Court Uses Pineapples to Give System-Involved Youth Fresh Start’

Judge Hartsfield keeps pineapples on her bench as a symbolic (and edible) gesture of a fresh start for all who enter her court. About this ritual she says, “Since the pilgrims came in colonial days, the pineapple has been a symbol that means welcome… I want everyone to feel welcome and to be very comfortable on this journey… There are going to be some slips – there are going to be some falls – but the pineapple tells us that we’re all welcome here and we’re all working together.”

Read the article HERE. 

via Campaign for Youth Justice: ‘Forget-Me-Not This Valentine’s Day’
Think above and beyond a dozen roses this Valentine’s day and support CFYJ in sending valentines to children in adult prisons around the country. According to CFYJ, “Over 10,000 kids will spend this Valentine’s Day in an adult jail or prison, often in solitary confinement where they cannot communicate with others, let alone their loved ones.” $25 provides stamps for Valentine’s Day cards for 50 incarcerated youth.
Get more information on donating HERE

via Open Democracy: ‘Our youth justice system’s fatal flaw: it is harming children’

The good news is that the UK incarcerates WAY less children than the US (1,500). The bad news is that the prisons are not doing well for those children: between 2011 and 2012 three children took their own lives in juvenile prisons in the UK. Further, the author writes, “Despite the drops of the numbers of children in custody, the recorded incidents of self-harm soared by 21 per cent. There were 1,725 recorded incidents of self-harm in custody during the year – 33 reports a week.”

Read the entire article HERE. 
via JJIE: ‘Advocates Cheer Listenbee as New Federal Head of Juvenile Justice

Good news: Obama has appointed a reform-minded, long-time champion of limiting the detention and incarceration of juveniles to head the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Read the article HERE.


a poem from The Beat Within: ‘The Never-Ending Cycle’

I was once a victim of solidified powder
200 milligrams of white prescription power
Sedated and senseless; it hurt to open my eyes
This tranquilizer made me feel like I wanted to laugh and cry
As time passed, the psychiatrist upped my dosage
400 milligrams—the feeling was quite explosive
I stumbled about, drooling, passing out in class
For three straight months, this drug kicked my ass
Then my body became quite used to the beating
They advanced it times two at an IEP meeting
800 milligrams of drugs, the maximum legal limit
I was a fiend for drugs and the doc was there to give it
Addicted to feeling controlled by the pill
My family and friends both thought I was ill
All of a sudden I became nasty and mean
If you said my skin was white, I’d argue it was green
Senseless anger, I didn’t know what was next
But my doctor told me it was just side effects
I believed him until I threatened the ones I love
Then I realized that my problem was made up
So I made the decision not to let them control me
I flushed my meds down the toilet, where they should be
Now locked up in Juvenile Hall, they put me back on meds
I was craving for a high, so it went right to my head
I popped ‘em like M and Ms, even chewed them like candy
I needed an outlet and the drugs were quite handy
Then my PO told me that “drugs” were part of my probation
They were imperative to my relocation
Then I started to feel ill, a constant head cold
Though eighteen years young, I still felt old
I went to bed drooling and woke up feeling like shhh
So I told my doctor that I was through with it
Soon after, I found out that the system lied
He was trying to manipulate me
while my head was in the sky
I quit for good and the effects soon went away
But not before I tripped out for three straight days
Now my parents are saying,
“… off. We don’t want you at home”
And my dad is too scared to call me on the phone
So I get stuck alone, waiting for help
So maybe some pill would help the hand I’m dealt

-Scorpion, Marin

Read more poetry from the Beat Within HERE.


The Short list is published weekly on Friday mornings and is comprised of a brief list of juvenile justice and justice related links to articles, reports, videos and more that are worth a look/read.

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