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UN Report Faults Practices Common in U.S. Juvenile Justice

Mishi Faruqee and Shaena Fazal

WASHINGTON — The United Nations top investigator on torture has delivered a scathing criticism of juvenile justice practices common in the United States, including routine detention of youths, solitary confinement and sentences of life without parole for children.

“The detention of children is inextricably linked — in fact, if not in law — with the ill-treatment of children, owing to the particularly vulnerable situation in which they have been placed that exposes them to numerous types of risk,” Juan E. Méndez told the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Continue Reading →

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What is Re-entry and Aftercare for Youth?

JJIE Hub Ad Aftercare-Reentry

What do you think should happen when a kid is incarcerated? If you’re like most Americans, you think rehabilitation should be a top priority for youth correctional facilities, according to a recent poll conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts. But are kids actually getting what they need in facilities to ensure they don’t commit new crimes when they return home? Evidently not:

Two-thirds of these youth don’t return to school after their release from secure custody. Even though parents and families are the most important factor in determining youth success in reintegrating into the community, only one in three families report being included in any release plans made for their children by juvenile facilities. Continue Reading →

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Georgia First Southern State to ‘Ban the Box’ for Government Jobs

Georgia Governor's Mansion

Georgia is now the first state in the South and the 14th in the nation to bar state agencies from using a criminal conviction as grounds for disqualifying prospective employees. The policy is commonly known as “Ban the Box.” Six states ban the use of such policies by private employers. According to Georgia Justice Project, a legal and social services advocacy group based in Atlanta, 3.8 million Georgians, one in three citizens, have a criminal record. “The research is clear that the best indicator of whether a person with a record will be rearrested is their ability to secure stable employment,” the organization said in a press release. Continue Reading →

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Current Juvenile Justice System ‘Designed to Erode Humanity’: Author

Burning Down the House

Just as the “superpredator” label had unfairly distorted perceptions of her young newspaper staff, writer Nell Bernstein said, youth incarceration as a whole is “a system custom-designed to erode humanity.”

“Once you put someone in an orange jumpsuit and put a label like ‘offender’ or ‘delinquent’ on him or her, it’s very easy to start thinking of that person as a different kind of child,” she said. Continue Reading →

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