At Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center in Brooklyn, barbed wire and tall unclimbable fences enclose the housing building, basketball courts and outdoor areas, like in every jail or prison. Detention hardware and security cameras are all over the place, like in every jail or prison.
By the time she was posing for pictures on the stage of a Hyatt Regency Washington ballroom just blocks from the Capitol with two teenagers with oversized black hoodies that had the words “We Are Not Gang Members” emblazoned on them, the Trump appointee to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention had done a lot of explaining.
Mariah Charles woke up on Tuesday faced with a difficult decision. Does she take a plea to a crime she didn’t commit or go to trial — face the two officers who slammed her to the ground, arresting her on her way to school — and risk losing.
Ninety-nine percent. The number sent an audible gasp throughout the City Council chamber. Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea had just read off the percentage of people of color on the NYPD’s controversial — and until now — largely secretive gang database.
It’s lunchtime on a recent Wednesday at Venice High School. Twenty or so students are sitting at their desks with full plates of food looking up at the teacher. No one is looking at their phones. They listen attentively to the man up front, who is giving them a writing prompt.
Doniesha Thomas is in her bedroom, crouching on the floor and peering into a pet carrier that appears empty. “He’s in there, all the way back,” she said, reaching in to find the kitten she rescued from a nearby vacant lot the day before, though she says she dislikes cats.