When Ron started working at Horizon Detention Center in early October, he expected the Bronx facility to be full of “ra-ra, rowdy” teens. To his surprise, the residents were calm, even respectful, and the bright, clean halls reminded him of a dormitory.
On Oct. 1, the first phase of a New York state law known as “Raise the Age” took effect, meaning 16-year-olds can no longer be arrested or tried as adults. A year from now, the law will extend to 17-year-olds as well.
As the first step in New York’s raise the age law, all 16- and 17-year-olds were moved off New York City’s notorious Rikers Island and into more appropriate juvenile facilities by the Monday deadline, according to an announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The sun had just set as Monica Cassaberry let a white balloon fly into the air. She craned her neck and stared into the Brooklyn sky, her face wracked with a mix of emotions, and thought about the last time she saw her youngest child, Jamal.
When thinking about the June 20 murder of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz and its impact on his family and the Bronx community, it is important to acknowledge the tragic loss of life and that there are untold consequences associated with this tragedy. A life was cut short.
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.
Last Wednesday, we ran a story that began, “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.”