Texas state Rep. Gene Wu is getting frustrated. Legislatures around the country are voting to treat 17-year-old offenders as juveniles while his own state remains in a shrinking — and he says wrongheaded — club that charges them as adults, no matter the crime. Neighboring Louisiana acted last year, as did South Carolina, leaving just seven states nationwide that still prosecute all youth under 18 as adults.
At 15 I know that it seems like you’ve got nothing to live for and so much to die for. From trying to come up as a little homie to living lavish with those Ecstasy pills you’re running through like candy.
I’m telling you now you will never settle the scores for those deaths. In the process of your pain you will only harm innocent people that had no hand in either of your losses.
The director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's* Juvenile Justice Strategy Group sounded an alarm Monday about a slowing of progress and an increase in the length of time youth are being incarcerated in some of the 300 sites of the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.
There is growing interest nationwide in designating specialized prison space for young adults under age 25. Although these projects are often couched in the language of treatment and developmental differences, specialty facilities could expose states to a pitfall of multitiered prison systems: targeting some with superficial reforms, while leaving others out.
Last week, a group of California-based foundations announced a $1.3 million investment into non-profit community-based organizations in 11 of the state’s counties, including Los Angeles, through the Positive Youth Justice Initiative.
And then there was one. New York State legislators voted Sunday night to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18, capping a contentious budget fight and giving supporters of the measure victory after years of frustration. The vote leaves North Carolina as the only state which still prosecutes 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, although that may change later this month.