Several States Look to Keep Teenagers Out of Criminal Court

Several states have passed or are considering reforms that aim to reduce the number of teenagers charged in adult criminal court. Some of the most aggressive changes focus on limiting prosecutors’ authority to charge juveniles in adult court without a judicial hearing — a process known as direct file.

After the Doors Were Locked

In California and across the United States, youth corrections systems have often demonstrated an inability to shape their practices to meet children’s actual needs.

From Heartbroken, Scared to Giving Back

It has been 10 years since he and others raised me and were raising other black, Mexican and Chinese troubled kids. I know the work takes a toll on you, for I’ve been in the field for almost four years now, and it has taken a toll on me.

I Miss My Daughter

I know it’s been a while since I said I’d send my story to The Beat Within, but it’s just such a difficult situation. I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so lost for words, my thoughts of sanity sometimes even leave me.

Jailing Vulnerable Youth for Status Offenses Help No One

In February, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, called on the Senate to pass important juvenile justice reform by reauthorizing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).

A Thug Named Steve

The other day I visited a young black man from Philadelphia doing time for an armed robbery.

First, let me say that there is no way I could have imagined spending time with a thug like Steve before I was led into prison ministry — and it's safe to assume most people would feel likewise. That's why I'd like to share what happened.