In this article published on The Washington Post, Patricia Puritz questions why shackling is automatic in juvenile court when” young people do not need to be in handcuffs, leg irons and belly chains for courts to do their business safely and efficiently.” She puts the blame for this degrading and harmful practice which interferes with a fair trial on the attorney general, for they are who could fix the problem. She even gives evidence that when policies are put into place to make it so juveniles are uncuffed during trial, nobody escapes or is harmed. Patricia Puritz is the Executive Director of the National Juvenile Defender Center. This source is useful because it gives data on what shackling young people can cause such as re-offending, and it shows how unfair it is.
This article is an excerpt from Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story Of Justice and Redemption. The excerpt tells the story of Charlie, a fourteen year old boy who murdered a man that was abusing his mother. This man just so happened to be a police officer. Because of this fact, Charlie was tried as an adult for capital murder. When Stevenson went to visit Charlie to see how he was doing and to ask him questions, Charlie broke down and “ it didn’t take [him] long to realize that he wasn’t talking about what had happened with George or with his mom but about what had happened at the jail.” Charlie had been sexually abused multiple times. This made Stevenson furious and he wanted to know who was responsible. Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer, social justice activist, and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. This source is useful because Stevenson has been inside the jails and has witnessed and tried to help the many children who have suffered because of the treatment that they endured.
In an Interview for Frontline, Kurt Kumli blatantly states that “you can’t go into any courtroom in this state (California) and take a look at the kids that are in custody and the kids that are out of custody and deny that there is racial disparity in the juvenile justice system.” He continues to speak of how he believes the reason there are social disparities is because the law and the factors that decide who gets locked up and who doesn’t are skewed. At the time of the interview, Kurt Kumli was the supervising deputy district attorney for the Juvenile Division of the Santa Clara County’s District Attorney’s Office, and had practiced exclusively in Juvenile Court for six years. This source is useful because there are multiple opinions from people on ‘Both Sides of The Bench’, including Kurt Kumli. This is a good source for information that challenges the topic.
Sarah Burtrymowicz and Jackie Mayder tell the story of Toney Jennings who was arrested at sixteen. As a special education student, Jennings had extra help in school. While “ those services should have carried over to the justice system” Jennings never attended class while in jail and at twenty still could not read or write. Burtrymowicz and Mayder give insight on what schooling looks like when it comes to prison and how exactly students who need extra help fall through the cracks. Burtrymowicz is the Senior writer for investigations, and Mayder is the Multimedia editor for The Henchinger Report. They both focus on K-12 education and their work has been featured on websites such as NBCNews.com. This is a useful source because the people who wrote it focus on the topic that it is about, and it shows a solution for the problem.
Michelle Chen describes the difficulties that juveniles face when put behind bars. From false confessions, not being able to afford a lawyer, and being manipulated into signing away their rights, “the punishment is worse than the crime executed not by a stern parent but by a county judge who leaves them defenseless.” Chen believes that although policymakers are beginning to make changes that address these barriers, the kids most in need of justice remain silenced. Chen is a contributing writer for The Nation and studies history at the City University of New York Graduate Center. This is a useful source because it has credible links, and valuable information that is easy to decipher.