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Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:47 PM

Juvenile Judge: My Court Was Inundated w/ Non-Dangerous Kids Arrested Because They ‘Make Adults Mad'


Juvenile Judge: My Court Was Inundated With Non-Dangerous Kids Arrested Because They ‘Make Adults Mad’

The United States is not just the number one jailer in the world. It also incarcerates juveniles at a rate that eclipses every other country. Evidence has long been building that schools use the correctional system as a misplaced mechanism for discipline, with children being sent to detention facilities for offenses as minor as wearing the wrong color socks to school. A juvenile county chief judge testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that these are not isolated incidents, but rather systemic trends that bombard prosecutors and courts with a glut of cases in which kids pose no danger but merely “make adults mad”:

When I took the bench in 1999, I was shocked to find that approximately one-third of the cases in my courtroom were school-related, of which most were low risk misdemeanor offenses. Upon reviewing our data, the increase in school arrests did not begin until after police were placed on our middle and high school campuses in 1996—well before the horrific shootings at Columbine High School. The year before campus police, my court received only 49 school referrals. By 2004, the referrals increased over 1,000 percent to 1,400 referrals, of which 92% were misdemeanors mostly involving school fights, disorderly conduct, and disrupting public school.

Despite the many arrests, school safety did not improve. The number of serious weapons brought to campus increased during this period of police arrests including guns, knives, box cutter knives, and straight edge razors. Of equal concern was the decrease in the graduation rates during this same period—it reached an all-time low in 2003 of 58%. It should come to no one’s surprise that the more students we arrested, suspended, and expelled from our school system, the juvenile crime rate in the community significantly increased. These kids lost one of the greatest protective buffers against delinquency—school connectedness.

I also witnessed an increase in kids of color referred to my court. By 2004, over 80% of all school referrals involved African-American students. The racial disparity in school arrests was appalling and I felt I was contributing to this system of racial bias by not doing something.

-snip-


Full article here: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/13/1329481/juvenile-judge-my-court-was-inundated-with-non-dangerous-kids-arrested-because-they-make-adults-mad/




A Good Read.

2 replies, 990 views

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Reply Juvenile Judge: My Court Was Inundated w/ Non-Dangerous Kids Arrested Because They ‘Make Adults Mad' (Original post)
Tx4obama Dec 2012 OP
Mnemosyne Dec 2012 #1
Igel Dec 2012 #2

Response to Tx4obama (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:07 PM

1. Chilling. Thanks Tx! What a country! nt

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Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 07:19 PM

2. Indeed.

Oddy, I work at a school that's mostly white.

In the last year, I've seen perhaps a dozen fights (or the consequences of fights--kids in in-school suspensrion or transferred an alternative school).

I haven't seen any between two white kids. I've only seen a couple between a white kid and kid of color.

Sometimes a disparity in outcome is the result of a difference in choices.

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