child in prison

Illinois High Court Deadlocked Over Juvenile Sentencing

The case in which the court cannot agree upon the sentencing involves a 14-year-old boy, only identified as J.M.A., who pleaded guilty to stealing a gun, a car, and an iPhone. It raises the questions of whether, under Illinois law, a judge must clearly outline in the court record that committing a juvenile to a detention facility must be the “least restrictive” sentencing option.


Kentucky’s Youth Justice Overhaul Gets Mixed Review

An Urban Institute study of Kentucky’s landmark youth justice reform law passed in 2014 found that nearly nine out of 10 youth completed diversion programs and avoided formal court involvement. Nevertheless, race and ethnic disparities in the diversion programs were “significant and persisted,” and recidivism rates didn’t statistically change.


Youth Corrections Chiefs, Prosecutors Call for Shutting ‘Inhumane’ Youth Prisons

More than 40 youth correctional administrators joined prosecutors from over 30 jurisdictions in a call for the closure of youth detention facilities across the country. A report accompanying their statement Thursday said the over-incarceration of young people increases their likelihood of recidivism, damages their health, and stunts their ability to find employment.

Incarcerating Youth Should Be ‘Last Resort’ During Pandemic

The American Academy of Pediatrics says in a policy statement that the coronavirus pandemic is a compelling reason to rethink how authorities deal with justice-involved youth. “Those incarcerated for substance use or other nonviolent offenses…may be better off remaining in their community with services in place,” wrote Dr. Mikah C. Owen, the lead author.