Page May had only one word for it: torture. That was how she and others with the new activist group We Charge Genocide are classifying police brutality in Chicago in a report compiled for the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the findings of which were presented this week before a crowded room of activists at the Jane Adams Hull House.
Assembled through “dozens upon dozens” of eyewitness testimony and a month of meticulous database scraping, the report had chilling conclusions regarding police brutality on the South Side. Racial inequality and a systemic lack of system oversight took center-stage.
In a sobering decision, the Illinois Supreme Court recently upheld the automatic adult prosecution of a 15-year-old who was living in a state residential home due to long-standing neglect by his family.
They could have been locked up for offenses ranging from theft to assault to armed robbery.
Instead, they planted vegetables at an urban farm, painted a mural to honor a community activist, staged a youth talent show, organized “safe parties” for teens at a local community center – away from the gunfire and stabbings outside.
While many university students were concerned about parking or trying to avoid long lines to get their books, Jalyn was trying to find a place to live. She and her family have been homeless since the summer of 2012. Some days she is able to eat twice a day, others only once. Her financial aid was put on hold because she has not been able to confirm a home address in Georgia.
"There were things going on at Rikers that were pretty horrific, and one of them was the conditions in the adolescent jail. ... it’s so difficult to get access to jails and prison systems that often the voices of the folks most directly impacted are left out of the public debate." Continue Reading →
The John Howard Association of Illinois, an independent prison watchdog and justice reform advocate, recently published a report introducing ways to reform the criminal justice system for youth prosecuted for serious offenses. Continue Reading →
This week in juvenile justice: Louisiana’s prison reform efforts haven’t gone nearly far enough, according to people close to the system. In New York, officials from Rikers Island announced plans to eliminate such confinement for 16- and 17-year-old inmates. The difficult circumstances of two homeless KSU students are shown in the latest photo essay by JJIE's BOKEH. A report chronicles the journey of six young serious offenders through Illinois’ criminal justice system. Continue Reading →