Skip to main content

Criminalizing Normal Adolescent Behavior in Communities of Color: The Role of Prosecutors in Juvenile Justice Reform


Abstracted from: Kristin Henning, Criminalizing Normal Adolescent Behavior in Communities of Color: The Role of Prosecutors in Juvenile Justice Reform, 98 Cornell Law Review 383 (January, 2013) (439 Footnotes)
cropped-j690317112
 
ABSTRACT
Over the last quarter century, psychological research has shown that much of youth crime and delinquency is the product of normal adolescent development. Compared to adults, adolescents often make impetuous and ill-considered decisions, are susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures, and have a limited capacity to identify and weigh the short- and long-term consequences of their choices. As most youth mature, however, they age out of delinquent behavior and rarely persist in a life of crime. Because children and adolescents are more malleable and amenable to rehabilitation than adults, the Supreme Court has recognized youth as a mitigating factor in the disposition of even the most serious criminal behavior by adolescents. Most notably, in Roper v. Simmons in 2005, Graham v. Florida in 2010, and Miller v. Alabama in 2012, the Supreme Court relied upon developmental research to conclude, respectively, that the death penalty is categorically inappropriate for youth under the age of eighteen, the sentence of life without the possibility of parole is too severe for youth convicted in nonhomicide cases, and a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole in homicide cases is impermissible because it denies youth the opportunity to present mitigating evidence concerning their development.
Ironically, the developmental research seems to have had little effect in reversing the pervasive overreliance on law enforcement officials and juvenile courts when responding to typical adolescent behaviors, particularly among youth of color. Whereas school officials were once willing to address normal adolescent misconduct through counseling and other in-school interventions, school officials now routinely rely on police officers to manage student discipline. A typical schoolyard fight is labeled as a felony assault, and students who play “catch” with a teacher’s hat are charged with robbery. While teachers, law enforcement officers, and ultimately prosecutors are rightly concerned about public safety, youth accountability, and compensating victims for their harms, these concerns are too often addressed with law enforcement strategies that ignore scientifically supported conclusions about adolescent offending and diminished culpability. These strategies also disregard more effective, community-based alternatives to prosecution that are more likely to ensure adolescents’ successful transition to adulthood.
There is little dispute that racial disparities pervade the contemporary American juvenile justice system. Although black youth comprised only 16% of all youth in the United States from 2002 to 2004, they accounted for 28% of all juvenile arrests, 37% of detained youth, 34% of youth formally processed by the juvenile court, 35% of youth judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of youth sent to adult state prison.  MORE

Short URL: http://www.newsnet14.com/?p=121135


I’m sorry when I was in school, I never once even considered throwing something of the teachers, how is that normal? It’s not.






















..........

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

1914 Germany Afrikaner farmer Agreement

thank you Etienne 
translated from Afrikaner to EnglishTo all the people of the white race all over the world, most of all to the German nation: This is an important agreement Concerning the South African Boer people and the German nation. It has to do with an agreement between the Boer rebellion and the German troops in Southwest Africa. The Boer rebellion were lead by leaders of the Afrikaaner nation (General Manie Maritz, General SG Maritz, General Koss Delarey) and who’ll be fought against the English in the Second Anglo-Boer war from 1899 to 1902, where the Afrikaaner nation under hun president In Paul Kruger ulcers completely humiliated by the English when ze ulcers forced to sign the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902. The atrocities committed against the Boers in the Concentration camps ulcers horriffic to say the least, and at least 30 000 Boer women and Children Were driven from hun farms Which Were torched under Lord Kitchener’s Scorched Earth policies. The attached files are an ima…

Gangs are everywhere, including the burbs, not to worry though 'We Have A Program For That"

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Hardcore Gangs Hit Ohio Suburbs GANGS IN THE ’BURBS
Subversive element creeping beyond Columbus’ borders
Last year, Westerville North High School suspended two students who flashed MS-13 hand signs and drew gang insignia during an English-asa-second-language class. MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is a notoriously violent street gang with roots in Los Angeles. It was formed by immigrants from El Salvador.

Gang crime isn’t nearly as serious or common in the suburbs as in some Columbus neighborhoods, but suburban schools and police departments are increasingly on watch.
"It’s not so centralized in the inner city as it used to be," said Pat Brooks, a veteran Columbus police gang unit officer.

Suburban police call Brooks and his colleagues when they suspect gang activity in their jurisdictions.

Most of the crack dealers in Reynoldsburg are gang members who live in Columbus, said Tye Downard, a Reynoldsburg police narcotics detective.

They go there to make mor…