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Juvenile Justice (62 found)
Note: These stories are from YCteen and its sister publication, Represent, which is written by and for youth in foster care.
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In the wake of the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's murder, Geraldo Rivera went on TV to say that black and Hispanic youth shouldn't wear hoodies because it makes them look menacing. Olivia is outraged and argues that Geraldo's logic is demeaning and ridiculous. (full text)
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After Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer who says he shot in self-defense, Anthony points out that feeling threatened and actually being in danger are two different things. (full text)
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This imaginative novel about a teen in foster care, pulls you in with its violent, strange, and dramatic plot—and then gets you to think about your own choices. (full text)
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Najet, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence, describes the mandatory anger management course she has to take while behind bars. (full text)
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YCteen reporters interview teens about whether they think Mayor de Blasio should continue New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices. (full text)
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Cutting school can hurt your family and your future income, and can put you at risk of ending up behind bars. A new report by teens. (full text)
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Tuli explores how tough school discipline policies and lack of educational support can lead to an increased risk of incarceration for kids who are already struggling. (full text)
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Margaret examines the damaging effects of zero tolerance policies on students, and questions whether they actually keep schools safe. (full text)
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Linda questions whether the New York City Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy does more harm than good. (full text)
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Jovon reviews a film about teens wrongfully convicted in the 1989 Central Park jogger rape case and considers whether the same thing could happen today. (full text)
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In 1991, one of the wrongfully convicted teens, Raymond Santana, published a poem in our prison newsletter. Meanwhile, teen reporter Tracy Rainford argued that the boys' confessions seemed coerced. She turned out to be right. (full text)
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Yusef Salaam was convicted and then exonerated in the 1989 rape of a Central Park jogger. Here, he describes the experience. (full text)
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In his book "I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup," David Chura, a former English teacher at the Westchester County jail, shows how the juvenile justice system, instead of rehabilitating traumatized teens, treats them inhumanely. (full text)
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Valencia feels like a failure after years of hearing her grandmother's put-downs. She's sent to an RTC, where she meets supportive people who help rebuild her self-esteem. (full text)
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The writer thinks jail is a joke—until he gets sent there. (full text)
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After being arrested for assault, Fred is sent to a residential treatment center, where he eventually learns ways to deal with his anger and his violent past. (full text)
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Catherine is brutally attacked by a girl named Sara, suffering facial fractures as a result. None of the friends they have in common will reveal Sara's full name, so the police can't find her. Catherine wants Sara locked up, not out of revenge, but so she can change her behavior.
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Olivia issues a call for New York State to reform its juvenile justice system, by fixing underlying problems in impoverished high-crime neighborhoods, and by providing alternatives to incarceration that address the deeper issues, usually untreated in prison, that drive youth to commit crime.
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An interview with Judge Michael Corriero, who explains why he supports alternatives to incarceration.
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A brief look at how alternative-to-incarceration programs work.
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Three teen inmates from a secure detention center write about how they ended up there, and where they hope to go.
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When Catherine visits the Bronx Residential Center, a juvenile detention facility, the building doesn’t feel like a place to punish people. The Center takes a nurturing approach, matching troubled boys with mental health professionals help them work through their traumas.
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New brain research confirms what the writer knows from personal experience—teens have lower impulse control than adults.
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The “Missouri model” of juvenile justice emphasizes youth development, rather than harsh punishments—and it’s been highly successful.
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Outraged by the unfairness of the juvenile justice system, Olivia embarks on a campaign to educate people.
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Teens in a youth leadership program describe the humiliations of the juvenile justice system and how they hope to change their lives.
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Police and teens describe how young people should conduct themselves if they are stopped by the police.
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Juanita profiles Josue A., 17, who describes his efforts to straighten out his life after being arrested for a mugging.
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The writer describes the nightmare of being arrested for selling drugs.
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Norman isn’t proud to admit it, but he was once a world-class shoplifter. Therapy helps him overcome the addiction.
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Gia describes her nightmare journey through the criminal justice system before the charges against her are dropped.
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Sheela interviews two young people who turned away from lives of crime and now make motivational presentations to other youth.
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Allen visits a police precinct to see what cops are really like.
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A day in the life of a young inmate.
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In jail, Bönz meets another inmate who teaches him a lesson about accepting responsibility for one’s actions.
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In an interview, Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Gladys Carrión talks about her efforts to reform New York State’s juvenile justice system.
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Diamonique pays tribute to her two lawyers, who checked in with her, fought for her, gave her good advice, and inspired her to stay out of trouble. (full text)
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Najet is serving an eight-year term in prison for attempted murder and several other charges. She describes a day inside, including working at the mosque, studying for college classes, and avoiding other inmates. (full text)
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The author was incarcerated three times, at an after-school outpatient program, at a residential treatment facility, and finally in adult jail on Riker's Island. He explains which punishments inspired him to straighten up. (full text)
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The author joins a gang when she's 13, drawn to the loyalty and protection they seem to offer. Instead, the gang puts her in danger and disappears when she gets locked up. (full text)
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Former gang member Sean "Dino" Johnson, who now works at a violence prevention organization, talks about how he turned his life around. (full text)
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The author meets a gang leader on a dating website and is drawn into the gang. The boyfriend cheats on her and then turns on her, and she gets locked up. (full text)
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Marlo writes about an education specialist at his residential treatment facility who encouraged him to apply himself and get to college. (full text)
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Marlo's lust for money gets him in trouble, but he learns to redirect that desire into a plan to become an accountant. (full text)
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A criminal history can be an obstacle to getting into college and, in some cases, getting financial aid. However, it shouldn't stop you from applying. (full text)
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MaryLee Allen of the Children's Defense Fund explains the concept of "cradle to prison"—how foster children are pushed by systems toward jail—and how to change that trajectory. (full text)
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Valencia was full of anger from her abusive upbringing and got into a lot of trouble. Some staff wrote her off, but a judge gave her a second chance. (full text)
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The author joined a gang and was sentenced to a juvenile detention facility. The complete loss of freedom convinced her to seek success in school rather than the streets. (full text)
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Project Ready is an alternative-to-detention program in New York City that includes an after-school program and a community monitoring program. Interviews with kids there and lower re-arrest figures suggest that it's working. (full text)
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After getting into a lot of trouble, Quotesia is sent to a residential treatment facility. She initially hates all the rules, but looking back, she sees they helped her and gave her a new appreciation for school. (full text)
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Youth Power! is a peer advocacy group for youth in the foster care, mental health, juvenile justice, and other systems that make people feel stigmatized. (full text)
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Fred presents teen ideas on how to prevent youth from becoming repeat offenders.
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Why kids who have parents in prison are at risk of ending up in prison themselves.
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Patrick describes how he fell into a life of crime, and how he got out.
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Mariah shows how foster care, and her search for a sense of belonging, led her into trouble with the law.
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Family court lawyers discuss the pressures they face in their often overwhelming jobs.
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Family court in California is client-friendly, housed in a beautiful space with lots of activities for the kids. And, unlike in New York, the youth get to speak directly to the judge to tell their side of the story.
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Max is arrested for no good reason. He spends 24 hours behind bars and ends up feeling kidnapped by prejudiced cops.
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Christopher joins a dangerous gang when he’s 13. After going to jail and seeing a relative killed in the drug trade, he turns his life around.
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Christopher begins to forgive his mom, and they start family therapy together. (full text)
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When a social worker threatens to put Shawan, 14, into foster care because his family can't control him, he runs away from home, lives on the streets, and falls into a life of crime. But when Shawan gets arrested, he finds he can't run from his painful past.
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When Sandra is arrested she gets sent to a drug rehab program and is able to overcome her addiction.

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