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Stop Locking Up Children, Americans Say


Stop Locking Up Children, Americans Say

Nika Knight, staff writer

Americans "overwhelmingly support" shuttering hundreds of number juvenile prisons and replacing them with community-based rehabilitation and prevention programs, according to a poll announced Thursday by Youth First, a new campaign to close youth prisons nationwide.

"We believe that youth prison model should be abandoned and replaced with more humane and less costly alternatives to incarceration," Liz Ryan, president of Youth First, said during a Thursday press conference.


Richard Wershe is 28 years into a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense which occurred when he was a minor (17 years old). Rick was arrested for doing what a drug task force had previously encouraged and paid him to do starting when he was just 14 years old. Why should Rick have to spend another day behind bars for the mistakes he made as a kid??

"In May 1987, when he was 17, Wershe was charged with possession with intent to deliver eight kilos of cocaine, which police had found stashed near his house following a traffic stop. He had the misfortune of being convicted and sentenced under one of the harshest drug statutes ever conceived in the United States, Michigan’s so-called 650 Lifer law, a 1978 act that mandated an automatic prison term of life without parole for the possession of 650 grams or more of cocaine. (The average time served for murder in state prisons in the 1980s was less than 10 years.)

Sentencing juvenile offenders to life without parole for non-homicide crimes was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010, by which point such sentences were already exceedingly rare; the court was able to locate only 129 inmates serving them nationwide. Michigan eventually acknowledged the failures of the 650 Lifer statute—the governor who signed it into law, William G. Milliken, has called it the greatest mistake of his career—and rolled it back in 1998. Those already serving time became parole eligible and began to be released. Wershe is the only person sentenced under the old law who is still in prison for a crime committed as a juvenile. Prominent and violent kingpins and enforcers from Wershe’s day in Detroit have long since been freed. And yet Wershe has remained incarcerated, for more than 27 years." - From 'The Trials of White Boy Rick' by Evan Hughes.


Information, documents, links, etc related to Rick Wershe and his case:
www. facebook. com/freewhiteboyrickwershe


One of the key components in all of these so called "free trade deals" is protecting a Corporations profits. All of them have clauses that allow a Corporation to sue a Government if any changes in Government policy results in the loss of future profits.

These detention centers tend to be run by private for profit Corporations. They also harness the labor of the children incacerated for free under the guise of "rehabilitation'


Locking up kids for crimes is blaming an unaware neophyte in a complex world for the failings of a system. For example, if you're born into a lower class urban violent neighborhood in Chicago and are constantly being threatened, which in turn causes you to attain a gun because your life is scary in all sorts of horrific ways and you are powerless to change it, and then shoot someone for whatever reason because you have adapted to a terrifying reality. You were born into an artificial unfair situation and learned to adapt to it to survive, this is what a brain does. And it is blaming human nature for crimes of the powerful that knowingly created a situation and simply didn't care enough to correct it even when it has more than enough resources to do so. It's exactly the same as mistreating an animal repeatedly and when the animal bites in retaliation out of fear, you kill it for its crime.

This is not an excuse for behavior, but it is a reasoning for behavior, which is something our legal system doesn't understand and is incapable of weighing. The system is there to maintain the system, and that is all. It doesn't care about human beings, it cares about keeping the established powers in control, and if that system must incarcerate small children to maintain that power then that's what it will do.


Welcome to Fascist ameriKKKa!


The Huffington Post does NOT ALLOW anyone other than those using Facebook(owned by people who go out of their way to find ways to avoid paying AMERICAN taxes-in my opinion) to log in and comment on their site. I say they do not deserve any advertising from anyone out here.

That said, I approve of the info you have shared and applaud your efforts to inform the public. The ALEC is solidly behind for Profit Prisons and we should always be sure to make their tidy little efforts known, too. Remember, if it is a right wing idea, "...Koch-brothers-funded front groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).." very likely support it.


America is a liberal nation and the will of the people is being ignored on all issues --

for the benefit of corporate fascists --

This up coming elections is headed toward giving us TWO corporate fascists to choose from.

The Trade Agreements are intended to destroy democracy in the US by destroying sovereign

That has long been the aim of the Koch Family -- over 100+ years -- and of their John Birch

Wealth like theirs is always capable of buying corruption and finally delivering fascism.


get police out of schools!!!