Posted inCourts, Opinion, Race/Racism, State Government

Open the doors to closed juvenile sessions

THE APPARENT DEATH of Harmony Montgomery following her placement with her father in New Hampshire has fueled emotionally charged discussions regarding what happened in court, legal questions about the Interstate Compact on Children, the role of the state Department of Children and Families, and recommendations regarding systemic reform in the pursuit of preventing this kind […]

Posted inOpinion

We need truth and reconciliation

MASSACHUSETTS IS NOT IMMUNE  from the pandemic of systemic racism. Recent reports document that racial and ethnic disparities persist at every level of our juvenile and criminal systems.  In November 2019, the Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board noted that, in spite of decreases in arraignment, racial and ethnic disparities persist at every systemic level […]

Posted inOpinion

It’s time to raise the age

IT’S TIME TO BREAK the logjam on Beacon Hill and raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction above 18. Racial and ethnic disparities exist in both the juvenile and criminal systems, but, according to a 2016 Prison Policy Initiative study, African Americans are six times more likely to enter Massachusetts jails and prisons than whites. […]

Posted inOpinion

Police aren’t needed in schools

IN THE AFTERMATH of George Floyd’s killing, Minneapolis has canceled its contract with city police to patrol its schools. Portland and Denver have acted similarly. As we engage in conversations regarding structural reforms to dismantle American apartheid, we have to consider not only how police should be used in schools, but confront the more fundamental […]

Posted inOpinion

Where you live matters

THE PANDEMIC HAS UNMASKED the reality of the separate and palpably unequal worlds we inhabit and implicates critical issues of race and class. Given our history, this “reveal” should not have been so revelatory. We have learned that African-Americans comprise almost 70 percent of the Covid-19 deaths in New Orleans, Chicago, and Los Angeles; 71 […]