This documentary examines alternative approaches to juvenile justice outside of the courts. Peer mediation, community justice initiatives, and a program to inform teens about the legal system and ways to protect themselves -- street law -- are among the methods visited in the half hour. Listeners will be on the streets, in community courts (and training programs), and in the classroom with teens who are learning to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence. Producer: Karen Michel
A Warden's View of Jailing Juveniles for Life
National Public Radio
Originally broadcast March 5, 2005
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the death penalty for juveniles this week. But the former death-row inmates will likely spend the rest of their lives behind bars. More than 11 years ago, NPR's Jacki Lyden visited the Michigan State Reformatory, now closed, talking to young people who were sentenced to life for their crimes. The warden was Pam Withrow, who has since retired. Withrow talks about the consequences of jailing juveniles for life.
Michigan State Reformatory
Aryeh Neier Fellow at Human Rights Watch and the ACLU
Lewis discusses the conditions inside two of the highest security detention facilities in New York for juvenile girls.
Custody and Control: Eye-Witness Account of Abuse in Juvenile Justice
Carrie Chalmers was a volunteer tutor and relays her first-hand account of the educational, health and abuse crises happening at New York state facilities that were designed to rehabilitate juveniles, but instead seem to build and reinforce a criminal nature.
Lansing Girls Residential Center
Custody & Control Video Testimony
Juanita Crawford, 19, who spent a year and a half at Lansing after she was found guilty of reckless endangerment and conspiracy and is now an intern at the A.C.L.U., said in an interview that she was restrained after not moving quickly enough to dispose of her food tray and talking back to a staff member. “He takes you and hooks your arms backwards with a lot of force, and it hurts, and you’re dropped face down,” she said. “It’s almost like getting tripped.”
A U D I O L I B R A R Y
Should Teens Who Commit Serious Crimes Be Tried and Sentenced as Children or Adults?
Four kids, four crimes. Two were sent to adult court, two treated as juveniles. Read their stories. How would you decide?
"If I Get Out Alive"
Lichtenstein Creative Media, Inc.
A one-hour radio documentary, which exposes the systematic abuse and brutality faced by juveniles in the adult prison system. It is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress and child advocate Diane Keaton. The program addresses first-hand accounts from adolescents currently behind bars, rehabilitated youths who survived the system, parents of children who died in adult prisons, legal experts, policy makers and correction officers. The program also addresses the abysmal mental health conditions in prison and jails faced by young people (fifty percent of whom, according to new research, are affected by a serious mental illness) as well as examining alternative sentencing programs that are successful in diverting young offenders from prison.