Juvenile Justice: An Issue that the Young Generation Cares About

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Criminal Justice, Education, Education Reform, Juvenile Justice, Prison Conditions

Since the paperback publication of I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup I’ve been doing a lot of events at schools and colleges, talking to students who feel very strongly about the need for our criminal justice system to be reformed when it comes to young offenders. They are keenly aware of the injustice of locking kids up in prisons with no opportunity to change their lives around.

Indeed, they should be concerned. It is their generation that is being incarcerated, and it will be their generation who will be the responsible both morally and economically for those young people as they keep returning to jail and then become adults in the system.

I find their concern and passion about this issue heartening. Many wish to become professionals in the criminal justice or human services field so that they can make a difference. Others are active in social justice movements. Their intelligence and compassion around these issues is inspiring.

One such student has written extensively about this issue on her blog, Colleen’s Blog. It was brought to my attention by a colleague because this high school senior as a part of a social justice curriculum read my book and wrote extensively about the issues it raises. Aside from the great insights this blogger expresses I think her posts are worth reading because they show that not all our schools and their students are failing, the way the education reformers keep warning us.

With young people like the ones I’ve been meeting and talking with and students like Colleen I hope that the next generation will not be obsessed with being “tough on crime” but rather with being “smart on crime.”

  1. […] Benjamin Chambers posted about this interesting story. Here is a small section of the postI have done readings and led discussions on juvenile justice and kids at risk at community gatherings, libraries and churches as well at professional conferences. I have also spoken in various college and university classes on a wide … […]

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