The young woman sat on a mattress in the middle of the floor of her bedroom in North Baton Rouge. Open in front of her was the diary she started after her friend, Jordan Frazier, was shot and killed by a Baton Rouge Police officer during a traffic stop. The entry was dated June 27, 2017, just more than a week after his death.
The number of young people locked into adult jails and prisons has plummeted nearly two-thirds since 2009 and the number automatically sent to adult courts for criminal trials has fallen by nearly half from 2007 to 2014, a new report says.
While the man behind the landmark decision that ended mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles waits for a new sentence, other inmates given the same term are getting a shot at eventual freedom.
In 1993, Louis Gibson was arrested at age 17. He was sentenced to life without any chance of parole.
Today, Gibson, 41, is a model inmate, one of a select few living at the Louisiana State Police Inmate Barracks in Baton Rouge, where he does maintenance on state police aircraft.
Grace Bauer had her entire world turned upside down when her son entered one of the nation’s harshest juvenile justice systems. Fueled by a burning desire to alter the system, she soon became one of the nation’s most impassioned crusaders for sweeping juvenile justice reform. Editor Note: This story is a continuation of the series Mental Health and the Juvenile Justice System: Progress, Problems and Paradoxes. Readers may also be interested in visiting the Juvenile Justice Resource HUB for more information about mental health and the juvenile justice system. —
The death of Grace Bauer’s mother in 1998 triggered a cycle of grief that fully consumed her life for the better part of 15 years. “It became the mark we would measure time by,” she said. The pain, she said, was especially severe for her eldest child, Corey, who was 11 when his grandmother died.
Around the nation, states continue to grapple with the reality of budget shortfalls with a hodgepodge of cuts to various programs, including juvenile justice.
North Carolina’s Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is being forced to cut spending by 10 percent while eliminating roughly 275 positions, a 15 percent decrease in work force, under the new FY 2012 budget.
Also gone are 75 beds from the state’s seven youth development centers, raising concerns that serious offenders may end up back on the streets to make room for new juveniles entering the facilities.
Alabama’s Department of Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention has a FY 2012 General Fund roughly half that of FY 2011. The department saw a 74 percent drop in state funding and significant cuts from the federal-level.
A new lawsuit alleges the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) and its top administrator retaliated against another administrator for blowing the whistle on poor conditions at youth facilities in Louisiana. The suit, filed Aug. 12 by administrator John Anderson, accused the OJJ and Deputy Secretary Mary Livers of “retaliatory harassment,” according to The Advocate of Baton Rouge. Anderson’s suit contends he complained about “appalling” conditions at three Louisiana youth centers. Anderson was ordered to complete impossible job assignments and reassigned to menial tasks after he refused to sign an affidavit contradicting claims made in a similar suit involving another administrator from 2009, the suit alleges.
Strong antipsychotic medications are being prescribed to incarcerated juveniles across Louisiana despite lacking diagnoses for the conditions they were designed to treat, according to an investigative report by New Orlean’s The Lens. The medications are meant to help with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. After examining their records, The Lens found 22 percent of medications prescribed in eight Louisiana facilities were designed to treat bipolar disorder. But, only five percent of diagnoses were of bipolar, the investigative news site found. No diagnoses of schizophrenia were made. The most common diagnosis (found in 20 percent of incarcerated juveniles) was “conduct disorder.