Being a ‘Good Person’ Won’t Undo Your Implicit Biases

To become a champion of racial equity and social justice takes more effort than one might think. As a culture, we laud individuals with good character, attributing such virtue as a necessary component to ending the inequities that afflict society. We rely on our intuitive wisdom that tells us, “If you want to make a difference in this world, be a good person!”

L.A. School Police, District Agree to Rethink Court Citations of Students

This story originally appeared on iWatchnews.org by the Center for Public Integrity. In the wake of critical news reports, Los Angeles school police and administrators have agreed to rethink enforcement tactics that have led to thousands of court citations yearly for young students in low-income, mostly minority neighborhoods. The Center for Public Integrity and the Los Angeles-based Labor-Community Strategy Center each performed their own analysis recently of previously unreleased citation records obtained from the Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department, the nation’s largest school police force. The Center found that between 2009 and the end of 2011, Los Angeles school police officers issued more than 33,500 tickets to students 18 and younger, with more than 40 percent handed out to kids 14 and 10 years old. That was an average of about 30 tickets a day.

Los Angeles School Police Citations Draw Federal Scrutiny

This story originally appeared on iWatchnews.org by the Center for Public Integrity. Alexander Johnson arrived at Barack Obama Global Preparatory Academy to pick up his 12-year-old after school on May 19, 2011. When his son didn’t appear, Johnson went inside the Los Angeles middle school. What he found was devastating. His son and a friend had gotten into a physical altercation over a basketball game, and school staff had summoned not parents, but police officers.

Los Angeles to Vote Feb. 22 on Ending $250 Truancy Fines

This story was originally published by the Center for Public Integrity

In a policy debate watched nationally, the city of Los Angeles came closer Monday to getting rid of most — but not all — controversial monetary fines for students who are tardy or truant from school. For several years, students in Los Angeles have complained about hefty $250-plus fines for being tardy, and about police officers who staked out schools to catch students sometimes only minutes late. The ticketing also requires students to go to court, with parents, during school hours, so they miss more class time and parents miss work. On Monday, the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted to set limits on how police enforce the city’s 1995 daytime curfew law and to stop imposing the $250 fines, which, once fees and court costs are added on, can rise to $400 or more for one violation. The curfew amendments — if they get full city council approval on Feb.

Los Angeles Moves Haltingly Toward Ending Truancy Fines

This story was originally published by the Center for Public Integrity

 

Juvenile judge tries to alter failed policy with "rationality." LOS ANGELES — Fifteen-year-old Juan Carlos Amezcua was just five minutes late for school, and already at the corner by Theodore Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles when a police cruiser’s siren went off last Nov. 16. The consequences of what happened next — handcuffing, allegations of rough treatment and a $250 daytime curfew ticket — are still resonating here. In January, Amezcua and his cousin, who was also stopped by police en route to school, saw their tickets dismissed in juvenile court.

Youth Violence Can Be Reduced By Increasing Alcohol Controls, Studies Suggest

Make access to alcohol more difficult and young adults are likely to commit fewer violent crimes. That’s what two studies by University of California at Riverside researchers showed recently, according to an article published by CBS Los Angeles. The first study, which examined 91 of the largest American cities in 36 states, found a link between alcohol store density and violent crime among teens and young adults aged 13-24. In the second study, researchers found higher rates of violent crimes in neighborhoods near alcohol outlets with more than 10 percent of freezer space for single-serve containers. The researchers described the effect as “modest,” yet crime did increase in areas with a higher percentage of single serve alcohol containers.