As 2013 concludes and 2014 begins, JJIE has compiled a selection of some of our most compelling stories from the last year. Collectively, these articles tell of issues in juvenile mental health, improvements in alternative forms of treatment, the danger of stop and frisk, and more:
As he grew up, Kharon Benson became accustomed to his father’s absence. But, when he was 10 years old, his mother handed him a letter and revealed a family secret. In September, reporter Gwen McClure interviewed Benson and wrote about the work Sesame Street was initiating to help kids with incarcerated parents.
“I want these gang members to know it ain’t the only way,” Rico, a 27-year-old standing in the doorway of a dusty bodega on Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn, told reporter Clay Duda. It’s small victories like these that the outreach workers of Save Our Streets (SOS) Crown Heights work toward everyday, dedicating their time to act as role models and mentors in an attempt to tamper the spread of gun violence within a 40-block area of central Brooklyn.
“I heard a bunch of stories about stop and frisk and they seemed unbelievable. But when I started covering the story and saw it for myself, I realized that these outlandish accounts of people being stopped and searched apropos of nothing were actually happening,” photographer Robert Stolarik told reporter Daryl Khan, who wrote about the time Stolarik spent cataloguing this controversial practice.
Termaine and Elijah: Two Troubled Teens and the Promise of Intensive, At-Home Family-Focused Treatment
In the spring, JJIE interviewed two young men who had recently participated in these types of family-focused, at home treatment programs, as well as their caregivers and service providers, and told their stories.