Connecting Us to Social Justice Work Around the Country
Issue #5: February 15, 2020
Juvenile Justice: Address the complex needs of youth in system
Here is a terrific, candid Editorial by Michael Diaz, a judge from King County (Takoma-Seattle) acknowledging the need for juvenile justice systems to be open, innovative and acknowledging of the challenge. He does't present clear answers, but posits with clarity:
"The continued transformation of the system and redemption for these kids require that we confront the grim reality of these cases, and that we reject easy answers and superficial caricatures as unproductive."
I have no idea if I'd agree with Judge Diaz on each case that comes before him, but I admire his willingness to state the truth and acknowledge the failure of any system that doesn't meaningfully address the wide-ranging needs of our students.
Our View: Maine should stop using youth prison for ‘care’
The editorial board reminds its readers: " Prisons are not built to provide care, and there is ample evidence that holding a young person in a prison setting can damage them for life. If they have a mental health issue, as many youthful offenders do, prison will make it worse. If they are having trouble in school, getting yanked out of their classes and community won’t help. And the longer they stay, the more likely they are to end up back behind the barbed wire.
The problem is that Maine has not invested in its community-based programs, leaving law
enforcement, judges and corrections officials without viable options. If there were enough
group homes, specialized foster care placements and community mental health and
substance use disorder programs, we wouldn’t need a place like Long Creek for the
relatively few youth who need a secure setting. But since those programs don’t exist, we are
pouring money into a facility that is making the problem worse."
Along with this plea from the Editorial Page, a state representative in Maine is proposing a law that would limit the age at which a youth could be adjudicated in the juvenile justice system to 12 (younger than 12 would all be handled in family court) and would only permit youth 14 years or older to be held in detention. Here is that article.
Oh, this sounds so familiar to the challenges we face in Louisiana.
The RFK Post, Issue Number 1!
The Pedagogy of Confidence with Yvette Jackson
Identify and activate student strengths
Focus on high intellectual performance
Build on existing skills and knowledge
Situate learning in students’ lives
Acknowledge the impact of culture
Assess growth in every learning experience
If you have time or enjoy listening to podcasts, I encourage you to click HERE to listen to a recent interview she gave. She has great stuff to say, particularly about culture and relevance and making learning make sense in the lives of your (our) students. If you'd like a copy of the book after reading the article or listening to the podcast, shoot us an email and we'll make that happen.
Issue 4: January 20, 2020
This edition once again highlights what communities around the country are doing to support juvenile and criminal justice and reform, and tries to offer some context between the challenges we face locally, day-to-day, in New Orleans with larger and long-standing injustices--and the efforts to overcome them.
The Injustice of the Moment is not an Aberration: Michelle Alexander
I am Proof that Children Shouldn't be Prosecuted in Adult Court: William Bentley
From Vel. R. Phillips School in Milwaukee's Juv. Detention Center: Podcasts and Letter...
Let the Public In: Calls to Make our Jails and Prisons Transparent: Neil Barsky, Vinny Schiraldi
From the Public Welfare Foundation: Funding Alternatives to Reduce Reliance on on the Justice System in Oakland
Losing our Black Youth in New Orleans: Ernest Johnson-Unbuntu Village
Issue 3: December 15, 2019
Reporting for Work Where You Once Reported for Probation: The Credible Messenger Movement Takes Hold
Sending Some Love: Preview audio recordings to help you get into the holiday spirit
Anquan Boldin and Carl Davis: NFL players call for criminal justice reform for young people
"Overhauling our juvenile justice system is critical. Setting young people up for success after re-entry into society is just as important. That means supporting youth in sealing or expunging their records, pursuing education and employment opportunities, and encouraging youth voter registration." This Op-Ed calls for Democratic presidential candidates to make juvenile justice reform part of their platform and reform agendas. Read their full op-ed here: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/2019/12/11/nfl-players-say-presidential-candidates-need-lead-justice-reform-davis-boldin-opinion/4353417002/
We Must See Our Students as Asset Filled Beings-
Although the authors of this article are primarily focused on working with ELL students, their messages are right on target for our work and our students, even the most hard-to-reach. Here is a link to the full article. http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2019/12/15/we-must-see-our-students-as-asset-filled-beings/
Dr. William Barber Launches the Poor People's Campaign and March on Washington--June 2020
Ashtabula County Juvenile Court--Ending Juvenile Detention For Good
Issue 2: November 19, 2019
Juvenile Justice in Georgia, Parts 1, 2 and 3--and an Editorial and a Plea for Action
Part 1: This part examines the tragic, violent teen years of a youth caught up in the Georgia system from the age of 13 https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/deadly-consequences/kZuvlFOFT4hiUNxFZ83sKK/
Part 2: This part highlights the incredible work being done by Judge Steven Teske and his colleagues in Clayton County, GA. https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/second-chance-court-shows-promising-results/Re7Wn6P6cdqYOLv6vSloFO/
Part 3: This part highlights the racial and political underpinnings of Georgia's punitive juvenile justice system. https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/how-fear-politics-forged-georgia-punitive-juvenile-laws/yGje1sJbc2I5VV9wbYxcpL/
From the Editorial Board: Bring Criminal Justice Reform to Juveniles--A plea for state leaders to find a new, better way https://www.ajc.com/news/opinion/opinion-bring-criminal-justice-reform-youth/ZrtdIyjrEkyP7hFt0CxGVO/amp.html
The Connector: November Newsletter from our friends at the Vel. R. Philips School in Milwaukee
Hamilton County's Youth Councils take a leading role...
This article is also a part of a larger series that the City Beat has been running about the need for, and attempts at reform there.
Demario Davis leading the charge for fair funding for the Public Defender Service here in New Orleans
This is an incredibly critical issue for our kids, their future, our future. We should all be joining Demario in calling for fair funding for our students public defenders.
College Beyond Bars: Four-part documentary about the Bard Prison Initiative
Introduction-November 3, 2019
Prison: The Washington Post Magazine features writing and articles from current and formerly incarcerated individuals
Even if you don't have time to read the full issue, I encourage you to click on the link, take in the artwork...consider reading an article that strikes you. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/lifestyle/prisons-incarceration-in-us/?can_id=8a72644c545b5a5a37969d956911f82e&email_referrer=email_654184&email_subject=you-dont-want-to-miss-this&link_id=3&source=email-you-dont-want-to-miss-this-12
Unsung: Advocacy and protest songs written and produced by JJ students from around the country-
Rethinking Juvenile Justice: A healing centered approach
Titan Tribune -- Student newspaper from our partner school in Dade County (Miami), Florida
Enjoy the latest edition of the Titan Tribune, a newspaper written by students at the Miami Youth Academy (MYA), the school located inside of the Dade County Juvenile Detention Center. As noted, the class and newspaper is a collaboration between MYA, Exchange for Change and Miami, and the Dade County Public Schools. Exchange for Change is a Miami non-profit that teaches writing classes in youth and adult detention facilities. Our friend and colleague Dan Wynne is the lead teacher at Miami Youth Academy; he supports the class and helps out with design and layout. Enjoy a great student newspaper here: https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/3/#inbox/FMfcgxwDrtxxNtMKGWrWskjqLWwZXzMT
Ear Hustle Podcast, Last Episode of Season 4: Tell Christy I Love Her
This episode really hits home for me. It's hard to listen to, it's incredibly close up and violent. It feels like this could happen to any of our kids--in New Orleans, in DC, Chicago, and in so many cities where we are working.
It's also about redemption, understanding, and the power of restorative practices. Here it is: https://www.earhustlesq.com/episodes/2019/10/16/tell-christy-i-love-her
Gimme Five: The XQs bi-weekly newsletter...
You can subscribe to the XQ newsletter and keep up with their work by clicking here: https://xqsuperschool.org/