Home | About | Donate

End All Youth Detention and Torture at Rikers Island Now


End All Youth Detention and Torture at Rikers Island Now

Marian Wright Edelman

Solitary confinement is pretty horrible for anybody, but it's especially horrible for a child. It is psychological torture.

-- Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, author of Just Mercy

When you go over the three years that he spent [in jail] and all the horrific details he endured, it’s unbelievable that this could happen to a teenager in New York City. He didn’t get tortured in some prison camp in another country. It was right here!


Thank you for your dedicated work on behalf of children abused by The System.

What happened to “the speedy trial” guarantee?

Perhaps if “crimes” that involved merchandise valued at less than $250 were processed with fines instead of pushing the entire Draconian apparatus at kids, the jails and prisons would not be full. Then, Public Defenders might have a chance to properly defend those in need of an adequate defense.

That a kid could be tossed behind bars for a controversy over a book bag turns the system into the street mugger willing to take an innocent life for the price of a pack of cigarettes. It’s indecent and inconceivable that acts of this level of depravity can still wear the imprimatur of Justice/System.

Just further proof of how low this nation has sunk under the influence of white collar criminals from bankers that steal the public’s pensions, to warriors that fabricate cases for war, to a media that lies to protect trespassers, to political “lawmakers” who only serve their paymasters, to too many macho guys taking out their inferiority complexes on those they can overpower.


This is just wrong on many levels:

  1. Juveniles being jailed with adults. He should have been held in a juvenile facility.
  2. Lack of a speedy trial.


I don’t think there’s anything new here. This fact makes it all the more appalling. Prisons have replaced our former social services. Since corporations began subcontracting a large number of jobs to prison labor, prison populations have increased to meet the demand. Does it surprise you that we imprison children? We’re the generation who decided to strip our poor – the majority of whom are children – of the most basic human rights of food and shelter. Our middle class demanded “law and order” at any cost. We have built a prison system that makes the old Soviet gulag look puny in comparison, and in spite of this, Americans insist that this is a land of freedom and justice.