California: Maureen Washburn (headshot), policy analyst at Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, smiling blonde woman with green top, gray coat.

More States Need to Halt Prosecution of Youth as Adults

This month marks one year since the passage of Proposition 57, a California ballot measure that prohibited district attorneys from filing charges against youth as young as 14 directly in adult criminal court through a practice known as “direct file.” The initiative passed with 64 percent of the vote, signaling strong popular support for curtailing prosecutorial authority and expanding access to the rehabilitative benefits of the juvenile justice system.

The Long Wait: With Little Hope Left of Parole, Inmates Look to the Courts for Release

On a summer day in 1970, two Chicago Police officers assigned to the “walk and talk” team, meant to improve relations between police and the community at the Cabrini-Green public housing projects, were walking across a field when gunfire erupted. Surrounded by the high-rise buildings, snipers fired on the men, killing them both.

Violent Videogames May Alter Players’ Brains Over Time, Research Shows

In the continuing debate over the dangers of violent videogames, new research shows the brain function of gamers is actually altered in as little as one week of play. Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine found a direct relationship between playing videogames and subsequent changes to portions of the brain associated with cognitive function and emotional control, according to Science Daily. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Researchers randomly assigned 28 young men aged 18 to 29 into two groups of 14. The young men had little previous exposure to violent video games.

MSNBC Documentary Gives a Voice to Kids Sentenced as Adults

There are many imperfections in the nation’s criminal justice system. So many, it’s hard to know where to start. Take your pick: The public defender system; death row; life without parole or the whole idea of housing convicts together in hopes of rehabilitating them. Poke around a bit. You’ll find some disturbing problems. None, however, will shake you to the core like seeing a child doing hard time behind bars, serving a sentence twice as long as he is old.