A summer of success
From closing the Beaumont Juvenile Correction Center in Virginia to the official launch of Youth Justice New Jersey, this was a summer of success. As young people return to school this fall, we cannot forget those who remain locked up in old, outdated, and ineffective youth prisons. Together, we must continue to build a youth justice system that promotes education and rehabilitation, not incarceration.
In Connecticut, girls talk about how to change youth justice at A Voice and A Choice for Girls
The Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance kicked off a productive fall with the release of “The Girls’ Report: How young women want to change the juvenile justice system.” The report gives insight into what girls would recommend that advocates and community leaders should do to end youth incarceration. You can read the full report here.
Issues surrounding youth justice continue to make headlines across the country, and this includes news both good and bad. This is a reminder of the progress we have made, and also of the work that remains ahead. From Wisconsin to South Dakota, here is a rundown of the latest news in youth justice:
Teen inmate at Wisconsin’s Lincoln Hills blasted with pepper spray 12 times in 6 months (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
A teen inmate was hit with pepper spray 12 times in six months, according to a state Department of Corrections report that shows chemical agents were used on juveniles more than 100 times in the first half of the year.
Head of Wisconsin’s Troubled Youth Prison Steps Down, Remains With Facility (Milwaukee Public Radio)
Wendy Peterson has served as superintendent of Lincoln Hills & Copper Lake Schools since April of last year. Next week, she’ll begin working as the facility’s education director.
Youth Justice Milwaukee says it hopes Peterson’s departure is “just the beginning of the end for Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake.” The organization says changes at the facility are “not enough to truly end the harm caused by locking up young people.”
South Dakota’s Juvenile Justice reforms led to fewer children sentenced (Argus Leader)
Significantly fewer children are being turned over to the state Department of Corrections, thanks to juvenile justice reforms implemented in 2015.
Data from the South Dakota’s Governor’s Office on the impact of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative show a decrease of more than 50 percent in the number of children committed to the Department of Corrections after being found guilty of a criminal offense.
A Voice For Connecticut’s Delinquent Girls (WNPR)
Juvenile justice reform often focuses on changing a system in which the majority of delinquents are boys. But how do courts and community providers address the needs of girls?
Our Criminal Courts Are Failing Juvenile Defendants (The Nation)
According to a new analysis of youth in court systems, criminal-defense lawyers for young people in many communities are substandard, prohibitively costly, or just completely unavailable. Every day, kids who haven’t even grasped algebra are left to navigate on their own a system that confounds even the most skilled attorneys.