“With this round of grants in particular, the Art for Justice Fund is emphasizing support to women and children,” said Gund. “We know that children whose parents get trapped in the criminal justice system are more likely to be incarcerated later themselves. We need to break this vicious cycle that is devastating the lives of individuals, families, and entire communities.”
Youth Media Clips
Connecticut’s efforts to keep juveniles out of the criminal justice system appear to be having a long-term positive effect, a University of New Haven lecturer said Monday during the Connecticut State Forum on Public Safety.
The chief justice of the state’s highest court asked recently whether the state’s juvenile justice system is failing Maine’s troubled kids.
A bill co-sponsored by state Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, would give judges the authority to decide whether 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old defendants should have their misdemeanor cases heard in juvenile court. The goal is to place emerging adults into a developmentally appropriate justice system, to reduce recidivism and prevent deeper criminal involvement, Wallace said.
In the closing days of the General Assembly an important change to our system of criminal justice was approved by overwhelming margins — 32-1 in the Senate and 139-4 in the House. With Gov. Eric Greitens’ signature added in his final hours in office, strong majorities of lawmakers from both parties have reversed a long-ago decision and approved the “raise the age” bill. The measure changes the age at which a young person automatically is charged as an adult in criminal courts from 17 to 18.
Being a teen charged as an adult is a lesson in dizzying mixed messages. You’re too young to vote or drink, maybe even to drive, and you’ve been told that kids can grow and change. Yet your own future is set out in the starkest terms: years or decades in prison followed by a lifelong criminal record.
The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University partnered last fall to interview nearly 50 researchers, national experts, and system leaders from across the juvenile justice continuum to solicit their ideas about how juvenile justice systems could significantly improve outcomes for youth.
California’s seemingly perennial problem with youth incarceration is rooted in the everyday decision-making of its 58 counties. Some counties are much more reliant on incarceration than others, choosing to prioritize the use of taxpayer funds for detention over community-based programs that ensure a safer and healthier California. This implementation is out of step with juvenile justice trends and best practices.
In 2015, 36 percent of Hispanic high schools students and 27.3 percent of black students reported feeling so sad or hopeless every day for two or more weeks that they stopped doing some of their usual activities, according to the state Department of Public Health’s 2015 Connecticut Youth Risk Behavior Survey. By comparison, 22.6 percent of white students answered the same.
“Kids don’t belong in prison. We know from the data that when children are incarcerated they usually become repeat offenders,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “This data-driven review will help us provide youths the best chance to successfully transition to a crime-free, productive adulthood.”