Video: New Mayor, New Juvenile Justice Reforms?

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When should you give up on a kid? Never. That's the answer from Hernan Carvente. He was incarcerated as a teenager but turned his life around, and now works with the Vera Institute of Justice.

But for the thousands of kids under 16 arrested for offenses including robbery, assault, marijuana possession and domestic disputes, their early contact with the criminal justice system may mean a lifetime of regular interaction with the law. Given that most of these young people are black and Latino, a phenomenon known as “disproportionate minority contact,” juvenile justice reform is an agenda item that should fit right into the progressive agenda of New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio.

The non-profit, non-partisan Vera Institute sponsored the first in a series of discussions on Justice in Transition. WNYC’s criminal justice reporter Kathleen Horan moderated a panel that tackled questions like, How do we bring the resources to the community instead of continuing the school to prison pipeline?

Watch the excerpts below to hear from:

  • Newly-appointed Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion
  • Department of Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi
  • Director of Youth Programs at CASES Rukia Lumumba
  • Research Assistant with the Vera Institute Hernan Carvente, who bravely shared his personal experiences of being incarcerated as a teenager and what helped him turn his life around

The next forum, on February 20th will look at initiatives for communities with high rates of incarceration.