Week in Review: Prison Reform, Homeless Students and Youth Employment

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Critics Point to Problems in Louisiana’s Reformed Juvenile Justice System

Orlean Parish Prison

Richard Ross

Youths at a juvenile facility in New Orleans that has broken air conditioning. The cells at their narrowest portion measures about 6 feet wide.

On paper, Louisiana is called a “model” state by reform agencies, almost achieving what criminologist Barry Krisberg calls the “American juvenile justice ideal.”

But people close to the system say Louisiana’s reform efforts haven’t gone nearly far enough to be considered a model for anything.

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Rikers Island

Rikers Island is Eliminating Juvenile Solitary Confinement. Now What?

For years, New York City’s Department of Correction has worked to conceal its practice of putting adolescent inmates in solitary confinement. But last week, the agency announced plans to eliminate such confinement for 16- and 17-year-old inmates.

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Homeless by Patricia Chourio - 4-edit

[Photos] Homeless After Class

While many university students were concerned about parking or trying to avoid long lines to get their books, Jalyn was trying to find a place to live. She and her family have been homeless since the summer of 2012. Her story, and that of another student living homeless at KSU, are covered in the latest photo essay by JJIE’s BOKEH.

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Field Notes: ‘You are conscious, but you are not intelligent’
Last week, the John Howard Association, Illinois’ only nonpartisan prison watchdog and justice reform advocate, released “In Their Own Words, a report that chronicles the journey of six young serious offenders through Illinois’ criminal justice system, from arrest to incarceration.

OP-ED: Even Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect — And That’s OK
It is often uncomfortable to be viewed as an “expert,” especially when you know more than anyone that you don’t have specific answers to their situation.

No Country for Young Men
West Virginia confines juveniles at a rate 42 percent higher than the nation, and has had the largest jump in youth incarceration since 2001. The state places offenders as young as 10 in facilities such as detention centers and group homes.

Guns, Race and Children: Facing Up to the ‘Ugly Truth’
In an interview with The Crime Report, Sybrina Fulton, mother of slain teen Trayvon Martin, says “each step … draws us a little closer to getting some kind of justice.”

OP-ED: Why Youth Employment Matters
The youth workforce development and juvenile justice reform fields have a lot in common and similar goals: They are both working to provide services and enhanced resources to increase positive life outcomes for vulnerable youth.

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