Saturday, June 09, 2007
School to Prison Pipeline
Pipeline to Jail
By BOB HERBERT
The latest news-as-entertainment spectacular is the Paris Hilton criminal justice fiasco. She’s in! She’s out! She’s — whatever. Far more disturbing (and much less entertaining) is the way school officials and the criminal justice system are criminalizing children and teenagers all over the country, arresting them and throwing them in jail for behavior that in years past would never have led to the intervention of law enforcement.
This is an aspect of the justice system that is seldom seen. But the consequences of ushering young people into the bowels of police precincts and jail cells without a good reason for doing so are profound.
Two months ago I wrote about a 6-year-old girl in Florida who was handcuffed by the police and taken off to the county jail after she threw a tantrum in her kindergarten class.
Police in Brooklyn recently arrested more than 30 young people, ages 13 to 22, as they walked toward a subway station, on their way to a wake for a teenage friend who had been murdered. No evidence has been presented that the grieving young people had misbehaved. No drugs or weapons were found. But they were accused by the police of gathering unlawfully and of disorderly conduct.
In March, police in Baltimore handcuffed a 7-year-old boy and took him into custody for riding a dirt bike on the sidewalk. The boy tearfully told The Baltimore Examiner, “They scared me.” Mayor Sheila Dixon later apologized for the arrest.
Read more . .
Bob Herbert Arresting Children Politics Police State News Criminalizing Childhood Bush
Posted by egalia at 7:20 AM