This week in juvenile justice: a celebration of peace in a community struggling with gun violence, two great articles examining the roots of the youth immigration crisis, JJIE has a new social media account, and more top headlines from JJIE and around the web.
John Scarabaggio almost didn’t live to see his 22nd birthday. In 2011, he was 21 years old and instead of going out and partying with his friends, Scarabaggio was deep in his struggle with prescription drug addiction, taking up to 50 pills a day to maintain his high. But he overdosed on July 21 that year, and took so many pills that he went into a coma for eight days.
At a children’s summer party last Saturday afternoon at the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway, Penny Wrencher made an introduction between two friends. “This is Nene,” Wrencher said to Taylonn Murphy, “She lost her daughter, too.”
Taylonn Murphy, Penny Wrencher, Shenee Johnson and Vernell Britt have all lost children to gun violence. Last Saturday, they came together at the "Children's Day of Peace" event at Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway. JJIE photographer Laura Bult documented the moving event.
A coalition of civil rights groups filed a nationwide class-action suit last week alleging that putting children into immigration court without counsel violates both constitutional due-process rights and immigration law. Continue Reading →
It is difficult to repair a broken relationship, one built on years of distrust. It is especially tough if you are the parent of a child forever getting caught up in the juvenile justice system, knowing their kid can be harassed and possibly injured or arrested for simply walking down the street. Continue Reading →
At the end of last year, the Illinois General Assembly found itself in uncharted territory.
In response to an ongoing crisis of gun violence in some of Chicago’s poorest communities, Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked Illinois state legislators for increased mandatory minimum prison sentences for illegal gun possession. Continue Reading →
LOS ANGELES — The walls of Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, Calif., were hardly unfamiliar to Prophet Walker. As a teenager, Walker spent nearly half of his six-year prison sentence at Ironwood after he was convicted of assault causing great bodily injury and robbery at the age of 16.
This June, Walker, now 26, returned to Ironwood. However, this time it was not as a prisoner, but as a candidate for state office and a role model to the young men who stand where Walker stood just several years ago. Continue Reading →