Tag Youth Incerceration

NYT: Brooklyn Judges Struggle Not to Send Juveniles to Prison

The juvenile incarceration system is wrecked, and there are no easy solutions. An excerpt from this morning’s New York Times:

Standing to address Judge Daniel Turbow in Family Court in Brooklyn, a city prosecutor confidently listed the reasons why the 16-year-old boy in the courtroom should be sent upstate to a juvenile prison.

He was a member of the Bloods, the prosecutor said, and he later joined another gang. He was arrested once for grand larceny and twice for assault. He went to school drunk and spat on the dean of students.

“He admits to going out to Bergen Beach to rob people,” the prosecutor continued, as the courtroom fell silent. “He stated that this is the way that he gets his money.”

Judge Turbow, looking anguished, was still reluctant to issue the harshest penalty: sending the teenager to a juvenile prison run by the state.

Cuffed for doodling on school desk

Yet another reason among the 15,090 annually that I’m joining the CUNY Law Chapter of the Suspension Representation Project:

Rachel Monahan, Cuffed For Doodling on a Desk, N.Y. Daily News, Feb. 5, 2010, at 4.

Alexa Gonzalez, a student Junior High School 190 in Forest Hills, Queens, was handcuffed and detained at police precinct for doodling on her desk with erasable marker.

A 12-year-old Queens girl was hauled out of school in handcuffs for an artless offense – doodling her name on her desk in erasable marker, the Daily News has learned.

Alexa Gonzalez was scribbling a few words on her desk Monday while waiting for her Spanish teacher to pass out homework at Junior High School 190 in Forest Hills, she said.

“I love my friends Abby and Faith,” the girl wrote, adding the phrases “Lex was here. 2/1/10″ and a smiley face.