Thursday, 31 October 2013

Cyntoia Brown

Cyntoia Brown 16 year Old Victim Of Sex Trafficking Wrongfully Charged With 1st Degree Murder.
Sign The Petition ·

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Carrie Christie

Carrie Christie 
Carrie Christie's photo.
Jerry Brown OKs freedom for woman imprisoned at 16 for killing pimp
The case of former child prostitute Sara Kruzan, now 35, helped get law passed in California against locking up juveniles for life.,0,4493017.story#axzz2isugd7HE


Friday, 25 October 2013

Beyond Scared Straight: Undercover Deputy (S5, E2)

Hiding his identity, an undercover correctional officer at Queen Anne's County Detention Center in Maryland shows how everyday clothing can identify gang affiliation.
Subscribe for more Beyond Scared Straight:

Love Beyond Scared Straight? Find more of what you love on our site:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

"Cash for Kids": Firms Behind Juvenile Prison Bribes Reach $2.5 Million ... - We turn to the latest news in the so-called kids-for-cash scandal in Pennsylvania, in which judges took money in exchange for sending juvenile offenders to for-profit youth jails. In 2011, former Luzerne County Judge, Mark Ciavarella, was convicted of accepting bribes for putting juveniles into detention centers operated by the companies PA Child Care and a sister company, Western Pennsylvania Child Care. Ciavarella and another judge, Michael Conahan, are said to have received $2.6 million for their efforts. Now the private, juvenile-detention companies at the heart of the Kids for Cash scandal in Pennsylvania have settled a civil lawsuit for $2.5 million. The state has also passed much-needed reforms aimed at improving its juvenile justice system and ensuring such abuses are not repeated. We are joined in Philadelphia by Marsha Levick, chief counsel of the Juvenile Law Center, which helped expose the corrupt judges and represented the families' class-action suit.

"Prisoners of Profit": Despite Widespread Juvenile Abuse, Private Juveni... - We look at a major new investigation into how Youth Services International, a private prison company that runs juvenile detention centers, is rapidly expanding its services, despite a record of abuse and neglect over the past 25 years. Despite allegations that include the neglect and abuse of young prisoners and the bribing of public officials to win contracts, Youth Services International has expanded its contracts to operate juvenile prisons in several states. More than 40,000 boys and girls in 16 states have gone through his facilities in the past two decades. This comes as nearly 40 percent of all detained juveniles are now committed to private facilities, and in Florida, it is 100 percent. We are joined by Chris Kirkham, business reporter at The Huffington Post, where he has just published his new two-part investigative series, "Prisoners of Profit: Private Prison Empire Rises Despite Startling Record of Juvenile Abuse." Kirkham explains: "When oversight is not as strong as it can be, companies are only going to be incentivized to do what the government that's paying them makes them do. And so in these cases if the oversight is lacking, if there is not constant monitoring, I think there is an incentive to cut costs and services."

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The School to Prison Pipeline by Advancement Project

Harsh school policies and practices and an increased role of law enforcement in schools have combined to create a "schoolhouse-to-prison pipeline," in which out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests are increasingly used to deal with student misbehavior, especially for minor incidents, and huge numbers of children and youth are pushed out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This is more than an education crisis; it is a racial justice crisis because the students pushed out through harsh discipline are disproportionately students of color. Students with disabilities and LGBTQ students are also disproportionately impacted by these ineffective policies.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

ForcesForSara Kruzan

FreedomFighters: Sign & Share! This petition is going to the Governor. Let Jerry Brown know that you support him freeing Sara!

#ForcesForSara Tweet it too!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Beyond Scared Straight: Jailed Juvenile (S5, E3)

During the tour, teens are shocked to meet an inmate their age, who details the everyday tedium and terror of life behind bars in Oklahoma County, OK.
Watch More:

Monday, 14 October 2013

Prosecution Is Not the Way to Save a 10-Year-Old Child

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:54pm
When children under 12 engage in exploitative sexual behavior, it is often a result of abuse or exposure to sex acts that they themselves have experienced. These children need mental health treatment and family interventions, not probation and blacklists.
Why then is the U.S. government prosecuting a young boy in federal court for behavior he engaged in when he was just 10 years old? The child, one of the youngest defendants ever pursued by the U.S. Department of Justice, is accused of engaging in sex acts with other young boys on a U.S. Army base in Arizona. Clearly, there are several children here who have been greatly harmed. But involving the criminal justice system in this sad story is likely to do much more harm than good. This is prosecutorial overreach, plain and simple.
This young boy was found delinquent on charges of aggravated sexual abuse against five boys between the ages of 5 and 7. As a result of his conviction, the boy was sentenced to five years' probation, including mandatory psychological treatment. Additionally, he must register as a sex offender in certain states. This label will follow him for the rest of his life: when he struggles to find an apartment that meets sex offender residency requirements, when he has trouble finding a job because of his registration status, and when he is forced to wonder whether he will face ridicule from neighbors, friends, and colleagues who discover he's a registrant. As the ACLU has argued, sex offender registration laws do not prevent sexual victimization and in fact make it harder for law enforcement to focus its resources on the truly dangerous individuals – all while ostracizing registrants and diminishing the likelihood of their reintegration into society. While the mandatory psychological treatment could help this child, the progress he makes may well be undermined by the consequences of having to register as a sex offender.
We struggle to understand how anyone could think that probation, followed by sex offender registration, is the only way to protect other children and save this child. Are these federal prosecutors so fundamentally misguided that they actually believe their actions are promoting justice?
Apparently so. Bruce Ferg, the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, stated that he believed that "this is the best thing that could've happened to the kid." He has asked, "What can we do with this child to make sure this doesn't happen again?"
We're glad you asked, Mr. Ferg. Studies show that adolescent sex offenders are more responsive to treatment, and that the overall recidivism rate for adolescent sex offenders, especially those who offend against young children, is relatively low. The truth is that there is no evidence to suggest that the only way to stop a 10-year-old boy from committing crimes is to subject him to the federal criminal justice system as a pre-teen and sentence him to a lifetime of discrimination as a sex offender registrant. One of the goals of our criminal justice system is rehabilitation, and this goal is even more important when the defendant is a child. There are better ways to help this boy than placing him under correctional control.
Fortunately, this child's fate may not be sealed yet. The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is now reviewing his case, and the question on appeal is an important one. The statute under which he was charged bans sex acts with children under 12, but it does not specify how old the offender must be and provides no clear guidance regarding who is the victim and who is the offender when both parties are under the age of 12. The Ninth Circuit is evaluating whether this ambiguity makes the statute overly vague.
This case presents an opportunity for the Ninth Circuit to address fundamental problems underlying our treatment of juvenile sex offenders. Will we do what studies have shown works – treatment – or subject this middle school-age boy to a lifetime of unproductive correctional control? Given that child sex offenders are often victims themselves, treating them like victims, instead of like criminals, is the best way to help them recover and not offend again.
Learn more about juvenile justice and other civil liberty issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Sara Kruzan - Join Forces for her Freedom

#29. . . and the good news is that the California Governor officially has Sara's case! The full parole board signed off on her file, and it passed the legal review. It just needs a signature from JB!

Want to express your support of Sara's freedom to the Governor?
1.) Call Jerry: Phone: (916) 445-2841
Leave him a message! Ask whom your speaking with.

2.) Send Mail: Cards, postcards, handwritten letters
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

3.) Fax It Up: Fax: (916) 558-3160

4.) Email:
Please email the Governor Of California.

Click on this link to email Gov. Jerry Brown:
Check the, "Have a comment" box for purpose of communication
Choose the Subject: Parole - Governor’s Review
Check the box at bottom of page, if you would like a reply. Of course you do! (share your replies)
Check the "PRO" box...meaning you SUPPORT Sara.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Cyntoia Brown life begins at 16

l - Copy
media_a5c992df971a453bac35a2f3e27b9236_t607 - Copy
UYo7BnudyzCbPB0Dd7jETjl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVaiQDB_Rd1H6kmuBWtceBJ - Copy
images - Copy

 Cyntoia's story is not unusual, According to the Juvenile Justice Foundation there are at least 2250 juveniles in the U.S. sentenced to life without parole for offenses committed when they were under 18 years of age. Cyntoia Brown of Nashville is but one of them ..

Tennessee State Attorney General, Department Of Justice: Give Cyntoia Brown A New Trial

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Lawsuit Challenges Solitary Confinement of Youth With Disabillities

Children are locked in cells for 23 hours a day, given only 30 minutes twice a day outside of their cells, and denied an education. This may sound like a story from a maximum security prison, but it's happening today in Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall.

In this video parents talk about the problems at Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall. One student experienced a mental breakdown after solitary confinement. Another student has fallen farther behind in school because of solitary confinement.

Disability Rights Advocates, Public Counsel and Paul Hastings LLP have filed a federal lawsuit to restore the education and end the discrimination against hundreds of students held at Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall. Learn more at or

What Happened to My Son Should Never Happen Again

By Grace Bauer, Interim Executive Director, Justice for Families at 4:02pm
Imagine you have a 13-year-old son. And now imagine the worst that could happen to him. I'm a mother, and I've lived through it.
When my son Corey was 13, he was raped by another young prisoner. Cell guards stood by and watched, taking bets on which "kid would win." Corey lost the fight.
After something this horrific happens, kids should get support. Instead, Corey was placed in solitary confinement.
At the time, we actually felt relief when we heard he'd been placed in "protective custody," one of the many names juvenile facilities use for solitary confinement. In those early days we had no information on the damaging effects of solitary. We thought solitary would help to keep Corey safe from the rampant violence in the facility.
Instead, what we have seen since is that solitary hurt my son a great deal.
Once, Corey was an honor roll student who was well-liked by his teachers and peers. But after just a few short months in juvenile detention, he became fearful and anxious. The physical abuse left him with physical scars; but it is the emotional damage, caused by the extreme isolation and exposure to horrific violence at such a young age, that concerns me the most.
When he first came home, Corey was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and deep depression. He would strike out blindly in his waking moments out of fear of being assaulted. He cried out in his sleep and suffered from nightmares. Even our family's love and care could not erase the horror he experienced or heal his wounds.
After this first period behind bars, Corey has returned to juvenile facilities several other times. He has been locked alone in solitary in every facility he has ever been in, often for extended periods of time.
As a mother who witnessed the long-term impact of my son's time in solitary confinement, I know that children should never be locked alone. I feel deeply concerned that the federal Bureau of Prisons has refused to release any information about whether kids under its care are being subjected to solitary confinement for extended periods of time. There could be many more kids, suffering as my son did – we simply do not know. And if we do not know, we cannot help.
A couple months ago, my organization, Justice for Families, joined 40 other concerned groups and sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to ban solitary confinement for children in the custody of the federal government. Last month, Robert L. Listenbee, Administrator of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) responded to our request. In his letter, Listenbee said that DOJ knows that "isolation of children is dangerous and inconsistent with best practices and that excessive isolation can constitute cruel and unusual punishment" and that DOJ "intend[s] to examine the status of Department efforts in this area."
I couldn't agree more that the solitary confinement of children is dangerous, wrong and violates basic human and constitutional rights. And I applaud OJJDP for its commitment to look into the issue. But this should just be the first step. Here's what needs to come next:
  • The DOJ must tell the public about whether and how it uses solitary confinement on children.
  • It must ban the practice for children in federal custody.
  • It must use its power to encourage state and local facilities to do the same.
For my family, seeing the impact of solitary on my son has been devastating. Other families with kids behind bars in federal juvenile detention should have the guarantee that the U.S. government will never subject their children to solitary confinement.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Attorney General Eric Holder to ban the solitary confinement of youth in federal facilities.
Learn more about juvenile detention and other civil liberties issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. 

Friday, 4 October 2013

"For Their Own Protection": Children in Long-Term Solitary Confinement

Go to for links to resources mentioned below and more information and videos.

"Why lock somebody up while you're locked up? You're trying to kill their spirit even more," says Michael Kemp, describing his six-month stay in solitary confinement at age 17.

Solitary confinement was once a punishment reserved for the most-hardened, incorrigible criminals. Today, it is standard practice for tens of thousands of juveniles in prisons and jails across America. Far from being limited to the most violent offenders, solitary confinement is now used against perpetrators of minor crimes and children who are forced to await their trials in total isolation. Often, these stays are prolonged, lasting months or even years at a time.

Widely condemned as cruel and unusual punishment, long-term isolation for juveniles continues because it's effectively hidden from the public. Research efforts by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition have struggled to uncover even the most basic facts about how the United States punishes its most vulnerable inmates.

How can a practice be both widespread and hidden? State and federal governments have two effective ways to prevent the public from knowing how deep the problem goes.

The first has to do with the way prisons operate. Sealed off from most public scrutiny, and steeped in an insular culture of unaccountability, prisons are, by their very nature, excellent places to keep secrets. Even more concealed are the solitary-confinement cells, described by inmates as "prisons within prisons." With loose record-keeping and different standards used by different states, it's almost impossible to gather reliable nation-wide statistics.

The second method is to give the old, horrific punishment a new, unobjectionable name. Make the torture sound friendly, with fewer syllables and pleasant language. This way, even when abuse is discovered, it appears well-intentioned and humane.

So American prisons rarely punish children with prolonged solitary confinement. Instead, they administer seclusion and protective custody. Prison authorities don't have to admit that "administrative segregation" is used to discipline children. Just the opposite, actually. It's all being done "for their own protection."

Seclusion? Protecting children? Who could argue with that?

For starters, there is Juan Mendez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture. Americans are accustomed to the U.N. investigating incidents of prisoner abuse in other countries -- which Mendez has done in faraway places like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. But increasingly, his inquiries are focused on American prisons.

Mendez spoke publicly about Bradley Manning's deplorable treatment in solitary confinement. Now he is calling on the United States to ban isolation for minors, which he considers, "cruel, unusual, and degrading punishment." It's a recommendation he shares with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology.

The ACLU report, Growing Up Locked Down, is one of the few detailed, comprehensive examinations available. This devastating and detailed look at solitary confinement for minors has led to this online petition that will be presented to Attorney General Eric Holder in October 2013.

Because the prison system is so opaque, reform has been slow in coming. A congressional hearing on solitary confinement, chaired by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last year, heard testimony from mental health experts, questioned the director of federal prisons, and brought a replica of a solitary confinement cell onto the Senate floor. In recent years, seven states -- Maine, Connecticut, West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Alaska -- have enacted laws to restrict the use of punitive isolation on young people. As awareness of the magnitude of the problem grows, more reforms are likely to follow.

If we believe that juveniles are inherently less responsible for their actions than adults - and more susceptible to rehabilitation - then it follows that their punishments should be less severe.

Given the severity of the punishment, prohibiting solitary confinement for young people is a first step. The greatest challenge remains demanding greater transparency from a prison system that wields total control over its most vulnerable inmates.

Runs about 13:15 minutes.

Produced, shot, and edited by Todd Krainin.

Still photography of juvenile inmates by Steve Liss. Incidental music by ERH at Freesound.

Go to for links to resources mentoned above, downloadable versions, and more videos.

Subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live.


Cell 36 Palestinian children locked in solitary confinement in Israel

wo Palestinian teenagers talk about their experiences of being held in solitary confinement within Al Jalame prison, northern Israel