All in Ideas and Opinions

Opinion | The miseducation of Michigan: How state fails kids in black history

As Black History Month unfolds this month and schools ramp up teaching about the subject, there’s still plenty of disagreement across the state and nation about how best to teach the subject. Should African-American history lessons focus on the struggles such as slavery and the civil rights movement but not also give greater attention to the accomplishments of African Americans?

For teens in juvenile hall, a new book club is a place to relax – and an opportunity

The teenage detainees at the Juvenile Justice Center in Fresno don’t have a lot of choices – certainly not about what time they wake up to begin their day with stretches and push-ups, nor how long they can linger over breakfast before they go to classes, nor, on weekends, whether they clean up their cells.

But once a month, 10 of them choose to discuss literature.

In Pursuit of Justice for Children

National research shows that nearly half of the youth in the juvenile justice system are performing below grade level in reading and math, many are marginally literate or illiterate, and most have a history of significant truancy and grade retention. About two out of three students drop out after exiting the juvenile justice system.

Here are several strategies that can make a difference.

In a Utah Courthouse, Justice for Youth Comes With Shackles

Under a 2015 amendment to Utah’s juvenile-offender laws, shackles for minors were restricted only to those judged a flight risk or who might harm others. A subsequent rule enacted by the Utah Judicial Council, allowed a judge to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a youth should be shackled to be restrained in court.

Yet that judicial rule has an exception for “exigent circumstances.” And in Manti, court officials say the outdated Sanpete County Courthouse presents security issues that require them to routinely shackle youths.

The National Prison Strike Is Over. Now Is The Time Prisoners Are Most In Danger

Over the last few weeks men and women across the United States – and even as far away as Nova Scotia, Canada – have protested to demand humane treatment for the incarcerated.

In 2016, when prisoners engaged in similar hunger strikes, sit-ins, and work stoppages, their actions barely registered with the national media. As someone who regularly writes about the history of prisoner protests and prison conditions today, this lack of interest was striking.

There’s overwhelming evidence that the criminal-justice system is racist. Here’s the proof.

Of particular concern to some on the right is the term “systemic racism,” often wrongly interpreted as an accusation that everyone in the system is racist. In fact, systemic racism means almost the opposite. It means that we have systems and institutions that produce racially disparate outcomes, regardless of the intentions of the people who work within them.