Juvenile Detention

Seeking a Second Chance: Children Sentenced to Life Without Parole Seek Justice Before International Tribunal

Seeking a Second Chance: Children Sentenced to Life Without Parole Seek Justice Before International Tribunal

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU & Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:47pm
By her thirteenth birthday, Barbara Hernandez had lived with an abusive, alcoholic father and been molested by her mother’s second husband.  At fifteen, Barbara dropped out of school and moved in with her boyfriend James, who beat her and coerced her into prostitution. Barbara’s life with James had taught her that she had two choices: obey him or face physical abuse.  So when James instructed her to buy him a knife and lure a man into their home, Barbara obeyed.  While she was in another room, James stabbed the man to death.  Despite Barbara’s youth, troubled background, and the fact that she did not physically commit the crime, Barbara was tried as if she were an adult and received the harshest sentence possible in the State of Michigan, life without the possibility of parole.  She was just sixteen, and about to spend the rest of her life in prison.  In Barbara’s words, she was sentenced to a “long slow death.”

From Filthy Boys Prison to New Beginnings: Hill Staffers Walk a Mile in Youthful Offenders' Shoes

By Jennifer Bellamy, Washington Legislative Office at 10:47am

Recently, the juvenile justice community organized a site visit to the Oak Hill Youth Center and the New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel, Maryland, for key congressional staffers and staff in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency…

The Solitary Confinement Scorecard

The Solitary Confinement Scorecard

By Hilary Krase, ACLU National Prison Project at 1:06pm

Over 30,000 prisoners in California have refused food to protest it. Innocent men freed from death row report that it drives people insane, killing everything inside of them before they ever see the execution gurney. Architects have called for…

Reform in New York's Juvenile Justice System

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 4:12pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Yesterday, the Justice Department released a damning new report (PDF) about the horrible conditions in juvenile prisons in upstate New York. The story made the front page of the New York Times, and in…

Groundbreaking Senate Hearing Shines a Light on the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Groundbreaking Senate Hearing Shines a Light on the School-to-Prison Pipeline

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Kimberly Humphrey, Washington Legislative Office at 10:23am

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights will hold a landmark hearing entitled, Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline. It is the first time a congressional panel will look at this disturbing…

Prosecution Is Not the Way to Save a 10-Year-Old Child

Prosecution Is Not the Way to Save a 10-Year-Old Child

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:54pm

When children under 12 engage in exploitative sexual behavior, it is often a result of abuse or exposure to sex acts that they themselves have experienced. These children need mental health treatment and family interventions, not probation and blacklists.

Why…

You Won't Believe What We're Doing to Kids

You Won't Believe What We're Doing to Kids

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 11:08am

Imagine yourself at 13. Maybe you'd just started 8th grade. Maybe you'd just seen your first PG-13 movie. Now watch this:

Everyday across the country, kids as young as 13 are held in solitary confinement…

In the Name of School Safety, Let's Not Repeat the Mistakes of the Past

In the Name of School Safety, Let's Not Repeat the Mistakes of the Past

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office & Alana Kuhn, Law Clerk, Washington Legislative Office, ACLU at 9:18am

Every parent should be able to send their child off to school knowing that he or she will spend the day in a safe environment.   For many parents across the nation, however, that peace of mind was shattered by the unthinkable tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.  Today, the House of Representatives will take up the issue of school safety with a hearing in the House Education and Workforce Committee.  The ACLU has submitted a statement suggesting ways to ensure that schools are safe places for students to learn, grow, and thrive.

New Pope Washes the Feet of 12 Kids in Prison: An Easter Reminder for the U.S.

New Pope Washes the Feet of 12 Kids in Prison: An Easter Reminder for the U.S.

By Ajmel Quereshi, Staff Counsel, ACLU at 10:34am

Last week, while Christians around the world were preparing to celebrate Easter, the newly elected Pope Francis visited Casal Del Marmo...

All Kids Sentenced to Die in Michigan Prisons Get Second Chance

All Kids Sentenced to Die in Michigan Prisons Get Second Chance

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:38pm

363 men and women in Michigan are currently slated to die in prison because of tragic mistakes they made as kids.  In each of these cases, Michigan law gave the judge no choice but to automatically sentence them to life without even the possibility…

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