A Progressive Community Grapples With the Reality of Juvenile Justice Reform
The small crowd carrying signs outside the county courthouse this week was classic funky Santa Cruz, folks milling about in T-shirts emblazoned with rasta and LGBTQ-themed logos, tie-dye and boho styles. But in this era of national protest over racial injustice, the protesters did not seek to reduce sentencing or end mass incarceration.
Bill Would Prohibit California from Sending Youth Under 16 to Adult Courts
A violent riot broke out in the yard on Michael Mendoza’s very first day in a state prison — a stark wake-up call to his new reality. At age 15, Mendoza had been tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison.
The Case for a Young Adult Criminal Justice System, by Tracy Velázquez
The traditional view in the United States – which is codified in law – is that youths become adults when they turn 18. But the reality is that many young adults continue to depend on their families, and most of the experiences that will establish them as independent citizens occur in the years after that.
Chronicle Exclusive: Young Adult Justice, A New Frontier Worth Exploring
In a policy paper published exclusively by The Chronicle of Social Change, juvenile and criminal justice consultant Tracy Velázquez argues that it is time for U.S. systems of justice to explore the notion of creating a third court process for young adults, one that balances the need for accountability with the reality that jeopardizing the future of young lawbreakers is the best way to produce career criminals and intergenerational poverty.