Palo Alto Weekly: When Sentencing Young Lawbreakers, Race Matters, Study Funds

Thought provoking study by Stanford University’s Department of Psychology that found that when people were told that a juvenile defendant was Black, the consequences for the crime were harsher than if the juvenile defendant was White.  More than just proving that racial prejudice exists, the authors of the study worry about the implications of these results on the actual protections for juveniles under a system that is supposed to be considered rehabilitative.  At ACJP, we’ve seen this not just in the sentencing phase of a case but even at the charging stage.  We hope that this leads to a broader discussion of racism and the juvenile justice system. To read the full report, click here.  — Submission Post by Charisse Domingo

When sentencing young lawbreakers, race matters, study finds

Public favors harsher punishments when criminals are black, researchers say
by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly, 6/2/2012

People’s opinions on whether youth who break the law should be sentenced as adults vary significantly when a single word — black or white — is used to describe the defendant, a new study by Stanford University’s Department of Psychology has found.
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Healthy Cal: Fewer Youth in State Detention After Juvenile Realignment

The results of juvenile realignment forced our state to think more creatively and compassionately about juvenile offenders.  As a result, according to this article, the youth prison population went down 88% in the last 10 years.  Hoping the same results happen through the jails realignment.  Submission Post by Charisse Domingo

Fewer youth in state detention after juvenile realignment

Published: January 9, 2012

By Callie Shanafelt, California Health Report

Michael Bryant has been in and out of Juvenile Hall in Santa Cruz since he was 13 years old, when he started drinking alcohol everyday. Now 17, Bryant is doing time in a treatment center after plea-bargaining on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Some counties would have viewed this crime as a second strike and sent Bryant to a state facility. But Santa Cruz rarely sends youth to the state for supervision. In part, that’s because the county is a participant in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a program of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Continue reading

San Jose Mercury News: Law could lighten the sentences of California juvenile offenders serving life without parole

Up on the line for the California legislature to consider is a bill that would open the possibility for juveniles under 17 serving a sentence of life without parole the opportunity to petition the court for a sentencing rehearing.  It is not a promise of release, like opponents of the bill are saying, but it is a chance.  And it is a step in the right direction.  Submission post by Charisse Domingo

Law could lighten the sentences of California juvenile offenders serving life without parole

by Karen de Sa
San Jose Mercury News

California’s practice of locking teenage offenders in prison for life without the possibility of parole would be upended under legislation just a few votes shy of reaching the governor’s desk — a change that would move the state closer to justice in conservative Texas and every other country in the world.

The bill by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would create a legal pathway but no certainty of release for juvenile offenders who currently have no option but to die behind bars.

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