Growing Up to Be Stickup Kids

NEW YORK –By the early 1990s, the crack era that devoured New York City in the 1980s was on the decline and crime rates were similarly falling. But Randol Contreras saw something different on the streets in the South Bronx neighborhood where he grew up. His drug dealer friends, no longer making the same money selling crack, were turning to robbing drug dealers for an increasingly dwindling share of the market. One vice traded for another, more violent one. His book “Stickup Kids: Race, Drugs, Violence and the American Dream,” published by the University of California Press last month, chronicles the downfall of the drug trade and the young Dominican men from his childhood neighborhood that tried to make an often dangerous living in it.

TV Series Brings Neighbors Together to Help Family in Crisis

Back in the fall of 2011, kids bullied Alycin Mabry so severely that her mom decided to home school the Atlanta 14-year-old. At the time, her mom Annise Mabry saw homeschooling as the shining answer the family needed. But today, Mabry says, it’s clear that their struggle was far from over. “Maybe two or three months into the online school, Ali started to become more and more isolated,” Mabry said. “I just couldn’t get her out of the room.

California Non-Profit Treats Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

The California Wellness Foundation has spent decades treating gun violence against youth as a public health issue. In doing so, the Foundation has helped the state of California to become more progressive in its gun law policies. YouthToday spoke with Julio Marcial, Program Director of The California Wellness Foundation, about The Foundation’s approach and successes. Tell me about The California Wellness Foundation Grantmaking Program Focused on Violence Prevention and the PreventViolence.org website. The California Wellness Foundation has been focusing on violence prevention for the past 20 years.

Boy Scout Confidential Files Reveal Patterns of Abuse

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has come under fire as its “Confidential Files” – a blacklist of adults banned from scouting for sexual abuse or molestation — have come to light. The files, submitted as evidence in lawsuits under court order, show the BSA banned about 5,000 people from 1947 through 2004. Sexual abuse scandals within other youth-service oriented programs show similar patterns of behavior, including workers dismissing victims, hiding abuse from the public, putting too much faith in adult colleagues and organizations failing to educate staff about abuse. As the problem becomes more public because of scandals such as the Penn State and Catholic Church child sexual-abuse scandals, it has become more apparent that these patterns of behavior are similar among those who mishandle the problem. For the full story via Youth Today, click here.

JJIE Presents: The Juvenile Justice Documentary Project, in Partnership with Calamari Productions

Aaron, 18 years old and dressed in an oversized, light grey sweatshirt, sits blankly across from Intake Officer Clayton in an Indiana detention center while she asks him questions, his face betraying little emotion and his voice barely above a whisper. “I can’t hear you,” Clayton says, and Aaron repeats his answer, just loud enough for her to hear. As Clayton tells Aaron of an impending charge, shock flickers across his otherwise still face – this was the first he’d heard anything about it. Scenes such as this are common in the work of Calamari Productions. In an effort to continue bringing innovative, accurate insights on juvenile justice, The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has formed a partnership with this award-winning production.

MacArthur Foundation Hiring

Are you passionate about criminal and juvenile justice? Experienced in grantmaking and researching best practices? The John D. and Catherine T. MacArtur Foundation is seeking a Program Officer to continue the Foundation’s commitment to change, improvement and excellence. The Program Officer will work closely with the Program Director in managing grantmaking activities and strategies, evaluating proposals and working to create and meet long-term goals. Apply on their site.