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Advocacy Groups Make Statement on Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Photo credit: David Boyle via Flickr

Editor’s Note: Nine national juvenile justice advocacy organizations collaborated on the statement below in response to the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown. We stand in solidarity with Michael Brown and his family and their supporters in Ferguson, Mo., and across the nation.  Michael Brown’s fate — killed by a police officer and denied justice — is yet another example that black and brown children are not always protected by our nation’s laws and that the justice system works differently for different people. We fully understand how some communities have lost faith in the system. In both Ferguson and other communities, we have failed our youth of color in profound ways. Continue Reading →

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Food Truck Steering Juvenile Offenders Back on Track

Drive Change

NEW YORK — Jordyn Lexton used to teach high school English to minors at Riker’s Island.

Until the day one student said, “No disrespect, I really appreciate what you’re trying to do here, but you are selling dreams.”

At this moment, she realized she wasn’t doing enough “to lower barriers for my students. If young people can’t access opportunities then they’re going to revert back to tactics that got them arrested in the first place. That was the moment for me where I recognized that I wanted to do something very direct when it came to re-entry,” Lexton said. Continue Reading →

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Reporter’s Notebook: Teenage Idiocy a Huge Gamble in Many States

stealing

I was 13, and my girlfriends and I had just begun to hang out with some older boys. It was the summer before the eighth grade, and they were 16, going to be juniors, and they had a car. We’d hang out late at night, each telling our mothers that we were at the other friend’s house, and we’d mostly hang out on the jungle gyms at the park or drive out to the Las Vegas desert and drink wine coolers. Continue Reading →

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Reporter’s Notebook: Life on the Island

Rikers Island

When you step off the Q100 bus on Rikers Island, the scent of saltwater hangs in the air, at least in warm-weather months. Within a few feet, however, you’re staring at cement on cement and inhaling some combination of cigarettes, steaming blacktop and too many people. Continue Reading →

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When Kids Are Killed by Police

Sedonte Ward Scholarship

On a Sunday afternoon this past summer, a little boy who recently lost a baby tooth stood amid a throng of angry protesters marching their way from a house on East 229th Street through quiet residential streets in the Bronx to the 47th Precinct, where police brass waited behind a metal enclosure. The little boy held a bright red sign, difficult to make out since he was so small. Continue Reading →

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Parents Turn Pain into Policy

Sedonte Ward Scholarship

Arlene Ward knew the choice she made that night would change the lives of the young people from the housing projects that define Manhattan’s Lower East Side skyline. She sat in the hospital room where her son’s dead body lay, still warm, a tube jammed down his throat after a gunshot to the chest. it.” Continue Reading →

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Teen Is Used to Being Behind Bars, Imagines Future There

Restrictions at New York City prisons and detention centers leave people with few options with regards to securing personal items while visiting inmates. Rikers Island Prison provide a limited number of lockers, and places like the Manhattan Detention Center  at 125 White Street in Manhattan are unable to provide any facilities for visitors. Local doughnut shops , newspaper stands, and a dispatcher for a van service to Rikers Island have come to the aid of visitors that don't want to leave their phones, electronics, and other contraband at home while visiting family, and friends inside the penal system.
A sign at the bus stop for Rikers Island details items that are not permitted on prison grounds.

NEW YORK — Ruben Rodriguez, a teen from the Bronx, is on Rikers Island, waiting to stand trial for homicide. By the time he returned to the Box (punitive segregation) in late September, City of New York Correction Department Commissioner Joseph Ponte publicly promised to end punitive segregation for Rikers’ roughly 300 juvenile inmates by 2015. Continue Reading →

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