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Young Offenders

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NEWS
September 20, 1987 | By Marlene A. Prost, Special to The Inquirer
Running errands for patients at Bryn Mawr Hospital is not how most teenagers would choose to spend their free time. But for more than 25 youngsters arrested in Lower Merion Township in the last year for underage drinking, criminal mischief or shoplifting, it sure beats the alternative: a fine of up to $300 and a permanent court record. Those are the choices available to many teenagers who appear before District Justice Henry Schireson in his courtroom on Montgomery Avenue in Narberth.
NEWS
September 22, 1998
Cute move. While the White House scandal riveted the nation last week, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives tacked a major misguided rewrite of federal juvenile justice policy onto a little Mom-and-apple-pie funding bill. The measure would greatly reduce judges' discretion in juvenile cases and open juvenile records to scrutiny by school officials and even college admissions officers. It would put more - and younger - children into the adult court system.
NEWS
April 18, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
TO HEAR Alex Piquero tell it, a good chunk of the city's youth have no hope. "Everything around them is a negative point of reference," he said. "They walk out the door and are surrounded by chaos and disorder, and that feeds into their perceptions of not knowing how long they're going to make it. " Piquero, a researcher at the University of Texas at Dallas, recently published a study titled "Take My License n' All That Jive, I Can't See . ....
NEWS
June 28, 2000 | By Martin Z. Braun, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
In an effort to ease overcrowding in juvenile detention centers and reduce recidivism, the state yesterday announced a pilot project that would staff the Camden County public defender's office with social workers. The announcement came at a juvenile-justice symposium sponsored by the Rutgers University School of Social Work and the state Office of the Public Defender. With the help of a $200,000 grant from the state Juvenile Justice Commission, three full-time social workers and four to six Rutgers University-Camden social-work graduate students will work with the public defender's office to steer young offenders into prevention programs rather than detention centers.
NEWS
September 27, 1992 | By Laura Spinale, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The Bucks County Juvenile Probation Department says it needs about $500,000 more than its original, $3 million 1992 budget allotment to service young offenders through the end of the year. The $500,000 represents a 16.6 percent increase over the budget laid out for the department by the county commissioners early this year. William Ford, department director, says juvenile probation needs more money for one simple reason: "There are too many kids being arrested. " During budget season in late 1991, the department had expected to work with between 1,500 and 1,600 youths in 1992, Ford said.
NEWS
December 6, 1992 | By Christine Bahls, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
When Donald Tangora talks about getting restitution from juvenile offenders, he uses terms such as extortion and hit list. Tangora, a probation supervisor with the Bucks County Juvenile Court, talks sincerely about the role the court plays in trying to reconstruct young lives that have fallen afoul of the law. But he assumes a different attitude when talking about restitution and the efforts he and his colleagues are making to return to...
NEWS
December 10, 1999 | By Christopher Merrill, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Juvenile offenders in Chester County are about to abandon their evil ways and embark on the road to responsibility, in some cases picking up litter along the way. That's the idea, anyway. On Dec. 1, the county Juvenile Probation Department unveiled its community-service program, giving young lawbreakers a different method to pay their debt to society. More than 60 community-service organizations across the county, including churches, libraries, fire and police departments, and Habitat for Humanity, have agreed to sponsor the youths.
NEWS
November 16, 2009 | By Marsha Levick and David Fassler
Even in the face of the recent scandal involving the Luzerne County juvenile court, Pennsylvania can be proud of its leadership in protecting children in the justice system. Since 1995, the state has emphasized balanced, restorative justice as a core principle in the disposition of juvenile offenders. Pennsylvania is among a minority of states that allow every juvenile transferred to adult court the opportunity to have the case returned to juvenile court for trial. Because of its progressive record, it was the first state the MacArthur Foundation chose to participate in its juvenile justice reform initiative.
NEWS
November 13, 2009
THE SCIENCE is now undisputed: Adolescents' brains make them more impetuous, more susceptible to peer pressure, and less able to make good decisions. This lessens their culpability for the crimes they commit. But adolescents' brains also make it easier for them to change, and to be rehabilitated. The question before the U.S. Supreme Court - and the country as a whole - is whether to follow the science or cling to "throw away the key" policies that have filled our prisons with many young people who could, if given the chance, be rehabilitated and go on to lead productive lives.
NEWS
July 3, 1994 | By Russell Gold, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Maurice, a burly 19-year-old, had never acted until last year. In fact, he had no contact with theater at all. Now, he's written and starred in a one-act play about growing up in a broken family. It was performed in a claustrophobic room with metal mesh covering the windows at the Bensalem Youth Development Center (BYDC), where Maurice is serving time for "shooting someone," as he put it. It was here that he got involved in an experimental theater arts program, which he credits with helping him talk and think about his past, something the center's therapists had failed to do. The BYDC is a state-operated facility for Pennsylvania's most violent juvenile delinquents.
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NEWS
April 18, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
TO HEAR Alex Piquero tell it, a good chunk of the city's youth have no hope. "Everything around them is a negative point of reference," he said. "They walk out the door and are surrounded by chaos and disorder, and that feeds into their perceptions of not knowing how long they're going to make it. " Piquero, a researcher at the University of Texas at Dallas, recently published a study titled "Take My License n' All That Jive, I Can't See . ....
NEWS
December 30, 2013 | By Darran Simon, Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN Wilson Rodriguez thought he had something worthwhile to say, but he wondered why a young audience would listen to a 21-year-old parolee convicted as a teenager in the bludgeoning death of a sleeping homeless man. He told more than a dozen youngsters in an event hosted by the Camden Board of Education he and his friends "did something horrible and someone ended up dying. " Two or three hands shot up, and questions followed: Why did you do it? How do you feel now? The children wanted to know more.
NEWS
July 28, 2013 | By Nicole Winfield and Bradley Brooks, Associated Press
RIO DE JANEIRO - Pope Francis presided over one of the most solemn rites of the Catholic Church on Friday, a procession reenacting Christ's crucifixion in the improbable location of Rio's hedonistic Copacabana beach, as he headed into the home stretch of his first international trip for World Youth Day. The evening procession highlighted Francis' spiritual side a day after he showed off his rebel streak by calling on young Catholics to shake things up...
NEWS
January 24, 2013 | By Simon Denyer, Washington Post
DELHI - The judicial panel set up in the wake of national protests after the gang rape of a young woman on a bus in the Indian capital submitted its report Wednesday, castigating politicians, police, and the army for failing to protect women and children, and calling for far-reaching changes in the way the country is governed. The three-member panel was established to assuage national outrage over the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student last month, but did not bow to public pressure to propose the death penalty for rapists or to lower the age at which young offenders could be tried; the lawyer for one of the accused rapists in the New Delhi case says his client is 17. Instead, in a 200-page report, the panel slammed decades of apathy and criminal behavior in the way the country was governed and said the nationwide protests were "a call to India to change the a way in which women are treated.
NEWS
June 26, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
The Supreme Court's landmark ruling Monday barring mandatory life sentences for teenage criminals offers the welcome glimmer of hope for parole for thousands of lifers across the nation.   In Pennsylvania prisons nearly bursting with inmates who were locked away as teens, the mandatory-term ruling poses a major challenge in righting a potential wholesale injustice. No other state has thrown away the key on so many juvenile offenders — with around 480 serving life terms for crimes committed before age 18. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has been asked to order the review of hundreds of those cases, and the court has a duty to move decisively in that direction now. Every sentence should be reviewed as a result of the high court ruling, even if the state courts eventually conclude that the life sentences should stand under the narrow discretion the Supreme Court allowed.
NEWS
April 28, 2012
Youth programs We commend The Inquirer for its editorial "Juvenile offenders don't deserve no-parole sentences" (April 21). Research has shown that most young people who engage in crime will grow out of it, and that more serious punishment does not do a great job of deterring other would-be criminals. More effective are alternative programs that address factors that lead to involvement in crime and prevent recidivism. The Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP)
NEWS
April 21, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
The case before the Supreme Court challenging life-without-parole sentences for teens is really about hope. Does the Constitution somehow bar the courts from depriving all hope of release from prison for young offenders who, in fact, are not fully responsible for their actions, no matter how heinous? Judging from recent arguments, the court could be leaning toward yet another landmark decision that would bolster the core tenet of the juvenile-justice system — namely, that youthful offenders deserve a second chance.
NEWS
March 22, 2012 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the world of crime, Guillermo Soto was hardly a standout: 21 and busted for the first time selling drugs in North Philadelphia. But Soto did fit the model for what criminologists call "at-risk": undereducated, unemployed, and, barring intervention, a nonviolent drug offender about to start studying for a "Ph.D. in violence" while serving a mandatory one-year term in a Pennsylvania prison. Instead, Soto and seven cohorts stood before news cameras Wednesday, introduced by District Attorney Seth Williams as the first class of "the Choice is Yours," a $1.3 million pilot program backed by grants from the Lenfest and William Penn Foundations.
NEWS
March 13, 2011 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
While teachers and education administrators recoil in shock over Gov. Corbett's proposal to slash funding, a $1.65 billion cut representing more than a third of all reductions, life at the Department of Corrections is sort of swell. Community and economic development? Whacked. Higher education? Halved. Correctional institutions? Up 11 percent, to almost $1.9 billion. "We need to think smarter about how and when and how long to jail people," Corbett said in his budget address Tuesday.
NEWS
November 16, 2009 | By Marsha Levick and David Fassler
Even in the face of the recent scandal involving the Luzerne County juvenile court, Pennsylvania can be proud of its leadership in protecting children in the justice system. Since 1995, the state has emphasized balanced, restorative justice as a core principle in the disposition of juvenile offenders. Pennsylvania is among a minority of states that allow every juvenile transferred to adult court the opportunity to have the case returned to juvenile court for trial. Because of its progressive record, it was the first state the MacArthur Foundation chose to participate in its juvenile justice reform initiative.
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