We ask you to join us as we seek to learn more about the current state of the juvenile justice system and use this information to bring about reform.
— Farnel Maxime and Morgan Barney

SJ Juvenile Justice Fellows

 
 

A Message From Our Juvenile Justice Fellows

The juvenile justice system in the United States stands as one of the prominent bastions of injustice, racial inequality, and perpetuated violence for children. Among other injustices, solitary confinement, physical abuse, suicide risk, and more occur in youth prisons everyday. These injustices are happening to youth who are in need of more than correction but rehabilitation, mentorship, and restoration. As Fellows, we desire to advocate for those affected by the widespread injustices that occur in the juvenile justice system. We envision a juvenile justice system that restores youth to their community and honors human dignity. Our aim is to bring awareness and encourage action from our readers. This task cannot be done alone. Will you join us? 

 
Farnel Maxime is a senior Clarendon Scholar and Presidential Fellow at Gordon College with a double major in political science and philosophy. He cares deeply about the city and hopes to work within a metropolitan area after his time at Gordon.

Farnel Maxime is a senior Clarendon Scholar and Presidential Fellow at Gordon College with a double major in political science and philosophy. He cares deeply about the city and hopes to work within a metropolitan area after his time at Gordon.

Morgan Barney is a junior Maclellan Scholar at Covenant College, currently studying international studies. She co-founded Save Our Sisters, an organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking in Moldova, and advocates for women trapped in sex slavery.

Morgan Barney is a junior Maclellan Scholar at Covenant College, currently studying international studies. She co-founded Save Our Sisters, an organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking in Moldova, and advocates for women trapped in sex slavery.


We will update this page as we learn of injustice and of citizens who are working as members of families, churches, and political communities to seek justice.


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In The News

  • At the age of 17, Texas resident Cody McCary, was charged with four felonies. In Texas, 17-year-olds can be charged as adults. Even though he only spent a year in jail his record still presents him as a convicted felon, making it extremely difficult for him to find a job and take care of his family. Read his story here.

  • A federal court lawsuit has been filed against the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons over conditions in the two facilities. They allege that guards use pepper spray so indiscriminately that it affects inmates up and down corridors. They also claim that the youth prison is in violation of the plaintiffs’ right against unreasonable search, against cruel and unusual punishment, their right to due process.

 


Legislation in Progress

The House passed H.R. 1809, reauthorizing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act on May 23. The Senate has received the bill. H.R. 1809 would allow the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to spend $1.1 billion over the next four years to provide programs to “reduce juvenile justice delinquency, assist runaway and homeless youth, and locate missing children.”

Some states have been active in seeking reform as well:

  • California: State Senators Holly Mitchell and Ricardo Lara are working on eight proposals that “center on prevention, rehabilitation and keeping families together.”
  • Missouri: Senate Bill 40 and House Bill 274 would allow 17-year-olds to start in the juvenile system, and would place those charged with the most serious crimes to be certified as adults.
  • Florida: A civil citations bill passed in the Florida Senate. The bill would require officers to issue civil citations instead of arresting non-violent juvenile offenders and an arrest or conviction would not go on the juvenile's record. 
  • North Carolina: NC House passed a "raise the age" bill that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds who have committed misdemeanors and non-felonies to enter the juvenile system, rather than being tried as adults.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Continuing the Conversation

Read about how organizations like Youth First, the Just Policy Institute, and Human Impact Partners are working to make the juvenile justice system more just. 

Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview

Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview