Collectively We, As a Nation, Can Reduce Gun Violence

Last Friday 20 children aged six and seven were systematically executed by a young man, who has been politely defined as suffering from a personality disorder, but who in another time would simply have been referred to as a mad man. His baby-killing arsenal included a Glock 9-mm handgun, a Sig Sauer 9-mm handgun and a Bushmaster 223-cal semi-automatic rifle. Our president brushing tears from his eyes, said,  “The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful, little kids … They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”

“Our hearts are broken.”

The president wept. We, as a nation, mourned. But we as a nation have tolerated a country where gun-related homicide deaths are 20 times greater than any other Western nation.

bullying kids

A Q&A With Child Advocate Judge Gail Garinger About Bullying

Leonard Witt, executive director of the Center for Sustainable Journalism and publisher of Youth Today and the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange recently spoke with Judge Gail Garinger while at a symposium hosted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Garinger is now Child Advocate for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. LEONARD WITT: You talked about the idea of bullying – and it’s on everybody’s mind right now – and you’re a little bit worried the legislators are going to over-react. Can you talk about that a little bit? JUDGE GAIL GARINGER: As you mentioned, I’m from Massachusetts, and what we saw in Massachusetts was a very tragic situation involving a suicide of a young woman who had been continually bullied in the school.

Bart Lubow on the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI)

Bart Lubow, who has been working for more than 20 years to reduce the number of youth being sent to detention centers, told a gathering of 700 attendees at the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) conference in Houston last week that now, “may prove to be a unique moment in juvenile justice history, a time when, as a nation, we shed some of the system’s worst baggage – including our unnecessary and often inappropriate reliance on secure confinement” of youth. Center for Sustainable Journalism Executive Director Leonard Witt, publisher of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and Youth Today, caught up with Lubow to get his take on JDAI initiatives that have expanded to 38 states across the country and become the most widely replicated juvenile justice system reform project in the nation. Learn more about Bart Lubow, Director of Juvenile Justice Strategy for the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Leonard Witt

Show Me Your Papers, It’s Not Kids Play, It’s UnAmerican

Martin Castro, chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, while giving a talk recently in Lawrenceville, Ga., made a little joke. He said one in six Americans is a Latino — he paused and then added that the other five out of six Americans soon will be related to that one. He is correct. Your neighbors and co-workers today will likely become your in-laws tomorrow. Hence, I, and lots of others folks, would argue that any political group that angers the Latino community does so at its own peril.

Leonard Witt

Help Save Children’s Lives, Join Our Community

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is made up of people like you who are interested in doing what is best for at-risk children, including the people who work with children. We believe doing what’s best means staying well-informed about what’s going on in government, courts, schools, nonprofit treatment and prevention programs, and following new research and initiatives that could benefit children and families. We called the JJIE.org, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange because we believe our audience collectively knows more about juvenile justice and child welfare issues than we do. Plus we want to provide a place for everyone to share their ideas, research, expertise and experiences with our 17,000 unique monthly visitors. Many of you have written comments, which bring new and unique perspectives to the solid journalism we do each day.

June 3, 2011

“Defending Childhood” Public Service Announcement to Star Attorney General

Memo to Wile E. Coyote: Violence Won’t Make Kids Like You

One Man’s Journey Through Crime, Drugs, Schizophrenia and Rehabilitation

Hornberger Advice: Juvenile Offenders Need Alternatives to Prisons

Juvenile Justice Expert David Schmidt Discusses Juvenile Life Without Parole

Hornberg

Hornberger Advice: Juvenile Offenders Need Alternatives to Prisons

Nancy Gannon Hornberger, executive director of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), says research shows that it is important to “keep the kids out of heavy duty lockup as much as possible.” In this video interview conducted by Leonard Witt, she says “Reclaim Ohio” is a project that saves money and has better outcomes than the bars and chains approach. See subheads and time split guide below the video. Time splits to help guide you through the video:
Introduction 00:00
Conference theme: Developing sentencing alternatives to harsh punishment 00:30
Research shows that normal settings for sentences work best 01:20
Settings built on relationships is better than bars and chains 02:10
Reclaim Ohio is best practice example; cuts lockups and saves money 3:04

Juvenile Justice Expert David Schmidt Discusses Juvenile Life Without Parole

Are sentences of life without parole for juveniles a death sentence? David Schmidt thinks so. See the short version just below. For more information on topics on like why a kid convicted of triple murder should still be released by the age of 21 see the full interview at the bottom of this page. Here are the time splits for the important topics Schmidt covers in the longer version below:

Life without parole – 00:33
Judge still could give 150 years – 1:20
Are we tough enough on kids – 1:38
There are dangerous young people – 2:03
Consider the individuals – 2:20
The New Mexico model and a triple murder – 3:00
Life without parole is a death sentence – 5:00
2,500 kids in jail without parole in 27 states – 5:50
Supreme Court acted cowardly – 7:05
Judge’s and prosecutor’s power – 8:00