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Juvenile detention

Survivors Of Sexual Assault In Juvenile Detention Are Speaking Out

The prevalence of sexual violence in the US prison system is so widespread and accepted that it’s often made the butt of jokes in popular culture. Yet the reality is that countless survivors of the prison system carry the scars and traumas of sexual abuse—and for many, the perpetrators of these crimes were the very prison staff charged with their protection. Juvenile victims of the prison system are no exception. In Maryland, several adult survivors of sexual abuse as juveniles in state custody have filed a class action lawsuit demanding justice.

Teenagers’ Detention At Angola Exposes Fractured Juvenile System

This week the state of Louisiana was expected to transfer a group of mostly Black boys out of the former death row unit of Louisiana State Penitentiary — a maximum-security adult prison also known as Angola. But a federal appeals court on Wednesday temporarily paused a judge’s order requiring the state to move the children out of Angola by Friday. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center and several law firms, pushed for a year to stop the state from detaining children at the prison, which is located on a former slave plantation. The legal advocates praised a federal judge’s mandate last week that Louisiana officials move the teens out of Angola and back to a juvenile-focused facility by September 15.

Juvenile Sentencing In The US Is Barbaric, Racist, And Ineffective

“The United States is the only country in the world that permits youth to be sentenced to life without parole,” the Juvenile Law Center notes. “Sentencing children to die in prison is condemned by international law. For children or adults, a sentence of life without parole is cruel, inhumane, and denies the individual’s humanity. For children, the sentence also defies law and research confirming that youth are different than adults and must be treated differently by our legal system.” While many individual states have banned the practice of sentencing juvenile offenders to life without parole, 22 states still permit it, and the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court has shown a troubling openness to overturning past precedents regarding juvenile sentencing.

Grace Is Out Of Jail And Back In School

Oakland County, MI - Ten minutes before her debut and three months after she became known as the Michigan girl sent to juvenile detention for failing to do her online schoolwork, Grace* hurried into a bustling doughnut shop in suburban Detroit and plopped into a leather chair next to her mother. She straightened her headband and searched her pockets, unsuccessfully, for lip gloss. She tapped a few final notes into her phone. Then, ignoring her mother’s request to sit up straight, Grace leaned in toward her laptop and, for the first time since her case gained national notoriety as a symbol of racial inequities in the juvenile justice system, she began to speak publicly about what had happened to her.
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