July 10, 2014
It’s a simple fact that kids make mistakes. Think back to what you did during your own adolescence: would you do the same today?
Unfortunately, when kids’ mistakes result in involvement with the justice system, the consequences can last for a lifetime. Juvenile records can throw up roadblocks to employment, housing, and higher education, substantially diminishing opportunities for young people to become productive members of their communities. At the same time, conditions such as solitary confinement and involvement in the adult criminal justice system can traumatize youth and make it even harder for them to succeed once they return home.
New bi-partisan legislation introduced this week by Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-Ky) aims to provide these youth some relief.
June 24, 2014
Joe Ligon is a 75-year-old inmate who was condemned to die in a prison in Philadelphia over six decades ago for a murder he witnessed, but did not commit. With no disciplinary infractions and serious health issues, including cancer, he is a gentle man whose continued confinement aptly illustrates the insanity of these extreme sentencing practices.
June 05, 2014
A quick test of your knowledge about the juvenile court process: Did you know that, in juvenile court, you have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses? Do you know what happens during an adjudicatory hearing? Did you know that judges can order a consent decree as an alternative to formally pressing charges against you?
Navigating the juvenile court process is challenging. As you can tell from above, the language used in court is not particularly youth-friendly. Many youth aren't fully aware of their rights in the juvenile court process and what happens if they're "adjudicated delinquent" (the term for being found guilty in juvenile court).