The supposedly immaculate stone walls feel as if they are about to close in on me. I wait on court date after court date for a woman of privilege to apply a sentence or provide a “safe” placement for me. This woman asks questions every time I am dragged into that room by the shackles and cuffs that bind my voiceless frame.
Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week wrongly blaming the Parkland shooting on the Department of Education’s School Discipline Guidance package. This guidance, released in 2014, reminded schools of their responsibility to address racial discrimination in school discipline, which affects students in every state.
Critical thinking skills are an important life skill, as they help people make good decisions, understand their actions and consequences, and solve problems. I speak inside prisons with women, youth and men to talk about life skills.
It isn’t often that a district attorney’s race draws as much national attention as the one in Philadelphia did last fall. While much of the country was bemoaning the new national rhetoric that indicated a sharp departure from America’s centrist values on crime and punishment, Philadelphia was singing a different tune.
It’s fair to say that most of us working in the youth justice field do so because we’re committed to brighter futures for all kids, especially the ones facing the longest odds. We believe in human potential and second chances. We also believe that ensuring young people reach that potential requires policies that keep families together and allow them to flourish, communities that support them and systems that protect them.
At the end of a long week of classes, a 10th-grade girl from student government made an announcement in assembly over the buzz of 300 students. When she finished she passed the microphone to another student council member.
ByRobert G. Schwartz, Diane Geraghty, Stephen Phillippi and Bobbe Bridge |
The work done during the Models for Change Initiative (funded by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation) has embedded structural and practice improvements that continue to influence policy change in juvenile justice toward a more developmentally oriented and equitably responsive system.