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

via the Miami Herald: ‘Fred Grimm: For kids in isolation, a shrug from Florida lawmakers’

A boy in isolation at Miami Dade Regional Youth Detention Center, Florida. Richard Ross / Juvenile In Justice
A boy in isolation at Miami Dade Regional Youth Detention Center, Florida. Richard Ross / Juvenile In Justice

Crummy news from Florida. A Senate criminal justice committee hearing last week on Florida’s rampant use of solitary confinement for children resulted in nothing. The proposed legislation to regulate the practice was put aside without a vote and while it’s scheduled again for next week it’s not expected to pass. Many kids spending long periods of time in solitary confinement are held within adult jails– where an isolation cell is used to keep the juveniles separate from the adult population. We’re talking children, 17-year-olds, being kept in concrete cells for 23 hours a day, for weeks and months. Apparently, the Senate panel was way more interested in hearing from a rep from the Florida Sheriff’s Association complain about the financial burden of decreasing solitary confinement. As Fred Grimm notes, “Apparently, putting an end to the psychological torture of juvenile prisoners would put just too much stress on the DOC budget.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/27/3310172/fred-grimm-for-kids-in-isolation.html#storylink=cpy

[VIDEO] Ok, some good news via Ted Talk: ‘Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion’ 

Rita Pierson’s funny/loud/lovely TED Talk “Every kid needs a champion” is a combination celebration of teachers and a call to action– as she proclaims, “Every child deserves a champion. An adult that will never give up on them.” Will this be easy, nooo, but is it necessary? A huge, resounding yes. At just over seven minutes, you must watch it [embedded below], but here’s a highlight, a motto she taught her students to BELIEVE in, “I am somebody. I was somebody when I came. I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful. I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here!”

Watch Ms. Pierson’s TED Talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion.html?qsha=1&utm_expid=166907-24&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ted.com%2F 

A complex tale of religion, culture and school funding via JJIE: ‘Public Kid vs. Private Kid Divide In One New York Community Turns Dangerous’

Robert Stolarik for JJIE.org
Robert Stolarik for JJIE.org

“In Ramapo, New York, a town divided by race, religion, and culture, a demographic split has allowed public money to pour into private religious schools, resulting in huge cuts to the already decimated public school system. Community leaders fear that the cuts, which will essentially eliminate all non state-mandated programs like music, sports and art, will create a school-to-prison pipeline.”

Read the article here: http://jjie.org/public-kid-vs-private-kid-divide-in-one-new-york-community-turns-dangerous/

Strange and beautiful videos via Dazed Digital: ‘ Tribute: a series of youth films’

This collaboration between Dazed and filmmakers Vince Haycock and AG Rojas resulting in short flicks on kids worldwide is worth a look. The films capture a dreamy, hazy, adolescent world. One follows young skaters in Los Angeles, another a pair of teenage pals in Germany.

Watch the videos here: http://www.dazeddigital.com/tribute

A significant report from the Human Rights Watch: ‘Raised on the Registry’ 

This startling report from the HRW describes how harsh public registration laws often “punish youth sex offenders for life and do little to protect public safety.” Problematic laws require children as young as 12 to publicly register as sex offenders, which in many cases will follow them for life. Prohibiting them from leading normal lives, working certain jobs, and attending school. Nicole Pittman, a Soros Senior Justice Advocacy Fellow and the author of the report states, “Of course anyone responsible for a sexual assault should be held accountable. But punishment should fit both the offense and the offender, and placing children who commit sex offenses on a public registry– often for life– can cause more harm than good.”

Read a compendium and/or the entire report here: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/01/us-more-harm-good
[The Short List is published on Tuesday mornings and features highlights from the week’s juvenile justice and justice related articles, reports, videos and more that are worth your time.]

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