The Night My Sister Saved Me

OK, this is a hard one for me to write for a number of reasons, chief among them being the fact that I must hold myself accountable, as well as be held by all who will read this.

Te Wharenui (the carved meeting house) of Manurewa marae.

New Zealand Sees Success With Culture-specific Youth Courts, Family Group Conferences

Experts estimate that only 15 to 20 percent of youth offenders end up in court in New Zealand. For the remainder of the cases, which are often petty, opportunistic crime, police have the flexibility to make decisions based on the context and details of the case, with a focus both on diverting young people from entering the court system and involving their families and communities in the rehabilitative process.

Community Partnership, Hard Work Can Create True Reforms

Cultivating true partnership between law enforcement and community-based providers can support the evolution of these critical systems. We suggest having strong community allies embedded within systems to ensure that policy changes are discussed and implemented as a way to make and sustain systemic change.

Marie Williams

A New Strategy for Juvenile Justice Reform: Local Leadership, Incremental Change

We may not get the hoped-for commitment on juvenile justice reform from the federal government. Despite the best efforts of national advocacy groups, the era of large-scale national reform may well be at an end.
But that doesn’t have to mean a halt, or even a slowing of the wave of reform. There are now unprecedented Left-Right-and-Center coalitions at the state and local levels all around the country that agree on the fundamentals.

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Righting the Wrong: Denny Chow

"The worst thing about prison is accepting it ... You still have this sense of hope that: 'Hey, [being in prison] is a dream; this is not real. There is no way that I am in prison right now,'" said Denny Chow. He remembers coming to terms with his inmate status after being sent to prison for robbery at age 23.

Left to right: Candy Cheatham, daughter of murder victim Cole Cannon; her husband Corey Cheatham; her brother, Sandy Cannon; and sister, Jodie Fuller, discuss Tuesday's hearing for Evan Miller outside the Lawrence County Courthouse in Moulton, Alabama.

Judge Sets Date for Resentencing Evan Miller’s ‘Very Old Case’

More than four years after the Supreme Court ended mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles, an Alabama judge has set a date for resentencing the teen killer whose name is on that landmark case.
Hundreds of other inmates have received new sentences since the justices handed down their ruling in Miller v. Alabama.
The judge could still send Miller back to prison for life without parole at the end of that proceeding.

We Will Support Black, Brown Men Now More Than Ever

We will continue to lift our voices when we see the narrative for our young black and brown men being framed from the lens of criminal behavior, and not from a place of healing, with little to no acknowledgement of the systemic racism and trauma that this population has been through. It is our duty as social workers to fight this fight.

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Report: Youth Lack Access to Quality Defense Attorneys

Better data collection, improved efforts to attract juvenile defenders and well-funded, well-organized defense systems are among the ways to ensure youth charged with an offense have a lawyer by their side when they enter a courtroom, a new report says.