In Case You Missed It: The Week In Juvenile Justice

Our weekly review of juvenile justice news here and abroad.

LIFE AFTER SCHOOL ARREST: “Anthony Martinez was one of thousands of CPS students led away in handcuffs from school by police. He’s hoping to get a fresh start when he starts high school in the fall,” Sarah Karp writes for Catalyst Chicago in Life After Being Arrested In School.

Martinez’ story – a playground fight threatening his future – is not uncommon.

“More so than in other large school districts, Chicago schools are quick to call in police to handle student misbehavior and conflict, according to a Catalyst Chicago analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for the 2011-2012 school year (the most recent available).

“In Chicago, police were called at a rate of nearly 18 cases for every 1,000 students, while New York City’s rate was 8 per 1,000 students and numbers in Los Angeles were 6 per 1,000.”

* Deeply reported, highly recommended.

THREE TEENS CHARGED IN MURDER OF FOURTH: “Three teens charged in the Friday night killing of a 16-year-old boy in the Little Village neighborhood targeted the victim because they were looking for rival gang members, Cook County prosecutors said Sunday,” the Tribune reported.

WHY HE DOES IT: Josh, Ricky, Shenese, Connor and Colin.

DUALLY INVOLVED YOUTH: “Nonprofits in Illinois now have the opportunity to be a national model for program innovation, transparency, efficiency and improved outcomes for those we serve,” Andrea Durbin, the chief executive officer of Illinois Collaboration on Youth, wrote Saturday in the Springfield State Journal-Register.

“Illinois is one of the first states, after Massachusetts and New York, to take advantage of a new public-private partnership called Pay for Success.

“The program attracts private investment into social programs. The investors are reimbursed by the state only after specific results and long-term cost savings are achieved, as determined by tough, independent monitors.

“The state is in the procurement process for its first Pay for Success contract to launch a new comprehensive program to help at-risk youth who are involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in Illinois, commonly known as Dually Involved Youth.”

REDEPLOY ILLINOIS: “Illinois lawmakers hearing about ways to keep young people from being trapped in the juvenile justice system got some figures about a preventive measure called Redeploy Illinois,” the Illinois Radio Network reported Wednesday.

“’Sixty-one percent of the youth that successfully completed the program were not incarcerated within the following three years after completion, compared to only 34 percent of youth that did not successfully complete the program,’ said Karrie Rueter, bureau chief of Youth Intervention Services for the Illinois Department of Human Services.”

RIKERS REBUKE: “In an extraordinary rebuke of the New York City Department of Correction, the federal government said on Monday that the department had systematically violated the civil rights of male teenagers held at Rikers Island by failing to protect them from the rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force by correction officers,” the New York Times reported.

“The office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, released its findings in a graphic 79-page report that described a ‘deep-seated culture of violence’ against youthful inmates at the jail complex, perpetrated by guards who operated with little fear of punishment.

“The report, addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio and two other senior city officials, singled out for blame a ‘powerful code of silence’ among the Rikers staff, along with a virtually useless system for investigating attacks by guards. The result was a ‘staggering’ number of injuries among youthful inmates, the report said.”

Said Bharara: “For adolescent inmates, Rikers Island is broken. It is a place where brute force is the first impulse rather than the last resort, a place where verbal insults are repaid with physical injuries, where beatings are routine while accountability is rare.”

15 TO LIFE: KENNETH’S STORY: Premiering on PBS on Monday and airing all month: “Does sentencing a teenager to life without parole serve our society well? The United States is the only country in the world that routinely condemns children to die in prison. This is the story of one of those children, now a young man, seeking a second chance in Florida. At age 15, Kenneth Young received four consecutive life sentences for a series of armed robberies. Imprisoned for more than a decade, he believed he would die behind bars. Now a U.S. Supreme Court decision could set him free. 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story follows Young’s struggle for redemption, revealing a justice system with thousands of young people serving sentences intended for society’s most dangerous criminals.”


SLENDERMAN RULING: “One of two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls charged as an adult with stabbing a classmate to please a fictional online horror character is mentally incompetent and can’t stand trial, a judge ruled Friday,” CBS News reported.

“The judge also ordered that she be committed for treatment, and said that attorneys have a year to restore her to competency.”

JUVENILE JUDGE MADE GOOD: “Loretta Rush, a longtime juvenile court judge who joined the Indiana Supreme Court in 2012, was unanimously chosen as the state’s first female chief justice Wednesday, setting the stage for what could be a long run at the court’s helm,” NBC Chicago reported Thursday.

* FYI: “She likened her philosophy to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.”

CIA RENDITIONED 12-YEAR-OLD: “This week, the Senate Intelligence Committee is fighting the White House and the CIA over pre-publication redactions made to a Congressional report on the agency’s use of torture and rendition. This debate is very personal for Khadija al-Saadi, who at 12 years old was rendered from Hong Kong to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004.

“Her father, an opponent of Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, was the main target of the operation. The family accepted a settlement from the British government in 2012 for its involvement.

Here is her story, provided to Gawker by Reprieve, an international human rights NGO.”

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