Archives

Uncategorized

Public News Service has a good story on its website this morning that highlights a newly released report from the folks at Action for Children NC entitled “From Push Out to Lock Up: North Carolina’s Accelerated School-to-Prison Pipeline”:

“Discipline practices at some public school systems in North Carolina are preparing students for prison instead of a profession, according to a report released Wednesday by Action for Children North Carolina.

The problem stems from a trend for school systems to involve the juvenile justice system, even for the most mundane discipline problems, instead of dealing with the problem internally, according to Deborah Bryan, the organization’s president and CEO.

‘School districts are strapped,’ she says. ‘They’re short-staffed already, so it is a challenge already for them to deal with some of these discipline behaviors.’ Read More

Uncategorized

This was just released by the good folks at the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children:

For Immediate Release                                                                                                 

Juvenile Justice consolidation could have negative consequences for youth

RALEIGH – On Tuesday, 9/10, the Department of Public Safety announced the consolidation of the Divisions of Juvenile Justice and Adult Corrections into a single division, raising questions about the Department’s ability to focus on the unique needs of youth. Read More

Uncategorized

The Winston-Salem Journal posted an editorial this morning that follows up on an encouraging story in Raleigh’s News & Observer over the weekend about juvenile crime.

As the Journal notes in describing the state’s successful move away from the “lock ‘em up” approach favored in years gone by:

“The change took children out of prison-like environments and put them into therapeutic centers with educational opportunities and counseling on how to handle the problems that life throws at us. In short, we stopped being hell-bent on punishing youth, first and foremost, an approach that often simply turned rookie criminals into more efficient criminals. In its place, the state implemented a rescue plan, a program by that concentrated on the potential next generation of adult criminals. State services were used to intervene, rescuing these children before they were lost for good.”

Put simply, state officials have begun to move in the direction of constructing a service system that pays attention. Read More

Uncategorized

Gov. Perdue took some heat earlier this year when she pointed out that the General Assembly seemed to be bent on transforming North Carolina into Mississippi-on-the-Atlantic. As we’ve  noted here and here however, she was actually on the money with her comments.

Today, there’s new confirmation of just how desperately screwed up things are in the state that conservatives in the North Carolina frequently hold up as a model. This is from the folks at Think Progress (who also supplied the photo at left):

“The Department of Justice on Friday uncovered a so-called “School-to-Prison pipeline” in Mississippi, where teachers and principals are shipping off children into the criminal justice system for infractions as small as a dress code violation.”

You can read the entire sickening story by clicking here.

 

Uncategorized

The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled today that sentencing laws which require children convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole are unconstitutional. It is a sign of our times that such a modest ruling — one that still allows kids to be sentenced to life in prison without parole and merely permits judges to consider mitigating facts before imposing such a sentence — would even be controversial.

But, hey, we live in a world in which a Supreme Court Justice — in this case the amazingly reactionary Samuel Alito – can write something like the following (as he did in dissent): Read More