JPay Blog

Kids and Jails, a Bad Combination

One success in the justice system has been the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act passed by Congress in 1974 which sets protections for young people caught up in a criminal justice system built for adults. Although working, it’s in need of a serious upgrade – and it may get one soon with the introduction of a bill to reauthorize the act for the first time in over a decade.

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25 Comments

  1. Melissa Blackburn

    June 23, 2016 - 11:57 am

    Hello everyone, I’ll start by saying this is a great site for those of us who have loved ones incarcerated. Not only to communicate but to help eachother whether it be advice or just support. My husband is serving a 5yr sentence, he was just transferred to the Fl reception center yesterday, I’ve been told this will b the worst part of this process n given the fact that he is unable to call home for 2- 3 weeks I’m lead to believe that that’s true. I dont understand why he is isnt allowed to call home? Communication is vital to the inmate and their families, I understand every facility must have rules and procedures but 3wks with no contact is ridiculous. I also heard that they won’t even get mail for the 1st week, does anyone know if that’s true? I am and will continue to do anything & everything I can to get both of us they this but any tips/info anyone can give me would b greatly appreciated. Also, once he’s transferred to his main camp I will apply for visitation, I have a 20 month old daughter, what are your thoughts on kids her age visiting? I dont want her to forget her Daddy, it would kill him.

  2. Deborah Lee

    June 7, 2016 - 10:14 am

    My heart goes out to all the parents whose children are behind bars with ridiculous sentencing that all could have been reduced or given a pass probably if they had a different skin color or enough money to pay for a private lawyer or maybe the cops who arrested your children were racist or the judge thought it was a way to teach them a lesson. Whatever the reasons may be the question that still remains is what are the parents doing to prevent this from happening to another parents child? what solutions have parents and community members come up with to try to alleviate this epidemic? We all know the problems but what we need to do now is find solutions. Parents need to take back their communities, we get so caught up in everyday life that we fail to realize the damage our society has on our own families. We need to have peaceful demonstrations, petitions against the justice system and what it’s doing to our families, we need to have more community supported businesses that allow our children to see that they can have a better life than being in the streets, parents need to be parents and stop making excuses as to why they failed to be there for their children, we need to have more community based activities such as barbecues, carnivals and peaceful demonstrations. Parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives because at the end of the day it is us who have the power to aid in changing the directions our children choose. I’m not talking to a specific person I’m just speaking in general. We can’t talk about all the problems unless we’re out there trying to find solutions or making some kind of change in a positive way to save our children. And yes I know what it’s like to have a loved one locked up and caged away like an animal. The system sucks and it ill continue to suck until we the people stand up for what is right! Thank you for your time!

  3. judi

    June 1, 2016 - 9:40 pm

    i understand all comments and feel for all. to the women who asked about children visiting jail or prison. i can tell you from experience if they can only talk on the phone and see only thru a screen it is a bit hard but if the children want to go don’t deny them. now a prison visit is different some prisons they can sit next to them(open visits) some thru a glass with a phone. Still i believe it should be the childs choice. it is benificial to both prisoner and child. when a child see that there is no glamour or special privilages in jail or prison it most likely to deter them from wanting to get in trouble.

  4. portable sinks

    April 30, 2015 - 11:01 pm

    In times of trouble leniency becomes crime.

  5. Jennifer

    April 12, 2015 - 10:21 pm

    Hi I was hoping someone might have some info for me, My son is doing a 7 year sentence an 85% crime at Dick Conner. He called me said his case worker gave him a letter from Molly Rausch Guarantee Employment out of Edmond Oklahoma the letter stated they have been looking at his case and waiting on his transition script and not to get his hopes up but they may get his time reduced wants him to write them a letter in his own words of what took place leading him to DOC.. ???????????????

  6. Nechesa Dean

    April 9, 2015 - 5:26 pm

    My son was is 16 years old he has never been into trouble and is usually a good kid. He has been bullied in schools since the fifth grade so it is a struggle to get him to go to school. I understand his pain and it hurts to send him but, he needs his education. He finally got friends and I cannot tell you how happy I was at the time. However a few weeks ago one of the friend aunt and uncle told my son and his friend to go into their neighbors house and get some saws. Being naïve the boys both did it. When asked about it the boys admitted to doing it and were arrested. They both spent the weekend in Juvenile detention and went to court the following Monday. My son was called up first and was told by the prosecutor she felt he was a threat to society because although this was his first offense it would have been a level 4 crime if he were an adult. Plus he skips school a few times this year. The boy with him went next the prosecutor told him she saw know reason he shouldn’t go home on house arrest until both boys are sentenced. I was shocked. They will both get their sentence in a couple of weeks I’m hoping for the best but, I’m scared. Is this normal for two kids to commit the same crime together both first offense and one gets a slap on the wrist and the other get thrown behind bars?

  7. RRF

    April 8, 2015 - 1:55 pm

    My son at the age of 17, just graduated from High School in 2007, was charged as an adult and was not sentenced until after he turned 18. Under extenuating circumstances he killed the 23 year old adult that was bulling him that night. My son received min 5 yrs max 20 because the Judge saw the extenuating circumstances. The Parole board will not grant him parole because of the family who keeps on lying. He has not been any trouble in prison and the guards respect/trust him. Idaho is very ancient in the way they do paroles and it is making my son institutionalized!! Also the Parole board changes members every 3 years so there is no consistency.

  8. Jennifer

    March 31, 2015 - 1:21 pm

    Look I can see it both ways my children were victims of horrendous sexual assaults by a 14 yr old neighbor. The investigator compared him to the night stalker. I wanted and thought he needed to be put away for ever. 38 felony counts is what he was arrested for. At 14 he knew what he did was wrong. He deserves to be put away, everyone involved says he will reoffend. He got 2 yrs in Juvy… Not much justice for my kids and the other 5 victims…
    On the other hand my bf is serving 25- life on a 3rd strike. Non violent. He has been locked up since he was 22. No one died he didn’t have the gun and the shooters been out for several years. He leads the ministry and is an amazing dad to my kids from in there. He made a dumb decision as a many kids do, that forever changed all of the lives that touched his. The offense carries 2-4 max if not for the 3rd strike. The first 2 were at 18 stealing from cars for drug money… So the punishment doesn’t fit the crime!

  9. Carolyn

    March 29, 2015 - 11:35 am

    Hello everyone, I’ve read the comments left here and my heart goes out to all of the parents here who’s children are incarcerated. It’s easy for someone on the outside looking in to tell you about your shortcomings while raising your children well let me break the chain of stereotypes that children who are incarcerated come from broken homes no structure no guidance these depictions are so untrue. My husband and I raised our children in an loving, nurturing GOD FEARING home, our children went to church every Sunday had family devotion and I they watched us work for everything they needed sometimes two to three jobs at a time. Now my 16 year old tried as an adult sits in an adult prison and mind you when I saw he was headed in the wrong direction I looked for programs, mentors, any and everywhere I could to help me keep him out of this position and I was told there is no help for children over 13 in Cincinnati Ohio because once they’re over that age they are unreachable. That was truly a smack in the face no programs to help but plenty prison space to destroy. This that we are doing venting and all is good but we have to go much further than this, let’s be the voice our children can’t be, let’s get petitions sign to stop our youth from being over sentenced and tried as adults. Start locally and if that doesn’t work take it to the supreme Court and if that doesn’t work let’s stand at the White House gates until something is done to help our children. I for one will be praying with and for you all but I’m sure you all will get to see me and know of me because my crusade starts tomorrow not only for my son but for every child that is caught in and has to deal with the injustice of the so called justice system. God Bless you and never stop fighting for our youth.

  10. ELISHA

    March 26, 2015 - 1:56 pm

    IS IT A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR CHILDREN TO GO TO? I AM JUST UNCERTAIN OF TAKING MY CHILDREN TO SEE THEIR FATHER IN A JAIL SETTING. WILL THIS ALLOW THEM TO THINK THAT BEING THERE IS OK? UNSURE. PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.
    THANKS

  11. Amber Stoots

    March 22, 2015 - 12:46 am

    It is not just the flaws of our judicial system or lack of policing of the streets. Statistics reveals majority of us grow up and remain in or close to the same economic class as our parents. Yes, parenting plays a huge role in how our offspring behave. However, genetics play a factor as well. We have children from loving stable homes committing minor to the worst of crimes and children from broken homes becoming highly successful roles in society. I think the biggest issue is the law is so grey. Different strokes for different folks; mainly relating to those who can afford proper defense verses those stuck with a court appointed lawyer, who really works for the state.Too many are being punished excessively while so many get off way to easy. As well as not enough preventive actions are being provided by the government. Why? They millions a year housing prisoners. When can start guiding our youth instead of punishing them for a life they did not ask to be apart of? Lets spend less time seeking out kids breaking rules and spend more time seeking out parents who allow it. Sorry I am very tired so this may be jumbled but i am sure the ideology of my words is clear. I wish you all continuous strength for your loved ones incarcerated and yourselves.

  12. Nancy Clark

    March 18, 2015 - 9:29 am

    I know a young man who was the youngest of 4 sons, the good one who went to church with his mom, who, 2 days after his 15th birthday insisted on riding with an older brother and his friend, to try and keep his brother out of trouble. They didn’t say where they were going, but after the fact they went to rob a drug dealers home while he was away. They made the younger brother stay in the car. Turned out the dealer came in and a fight erupted and the older friend had a gun , killed the drug dealer. Admitted to police he did it, other boys did not know he had a gun, took the blame, but all were charged with murder . 15 year old kept in juvenile detention until 18, the tried in adult court, sentenced to life without parole. How can this happen in a civilized society? This was 15 years ago and I expect the courts were trying to fill up the private prisons that proliferated in small towns about that time.

  13. Kathy

    March 10, 2015 - 1:29 pm

    I think there by far is to many young kids young adults 21 & under in county and state prisons

  14. Linda Rose

    March 4, 2015 - 10:57 am

    My son was sent to prison in 2000. He was 20 years old. His sentence was 50+ years. I hope & pray to Jehovah that he will be paroled soon. Thank you for letting me vent.

  15. keneth lamar robinson

    March 3, 2015 - 7:20 pm

    Where is he

  16. Petrice Henderson

    February 20, 2015 - 5:47 am

    A bad combination yes it can be; followed on internet threw a gmail account, also twitter and facebook, youtube and telephone. The computers for internet use; all have a human being behind them. Prison walls and schools the household may not be built for computer. Typing and a sewing machine bring the times to suit and robe; the tradition and classical theory. Spelling and correction in uniform; let’s say complaints at a concert, Indianapolis can allow Artist to have a time with instruments and humans.

  17. MVega

    February 12, 2015 - 11:31 am

    My son, at age 17 disobeyed a police officer (he was asked to put his hand behind his back and he refused 3 times) and was charged with Resist/Obstruct, which is a 2 year felony. He is now serving a prison sentence of 16-24 months. Isn’t there a better way to spend $31,775 dollars instead of keeping a non-violent offender involved in a victimless crime in prison?

  18. Aaron Earl

    February 8, 2015 - 1:47 pm

    I must agree with DJ’s post. It is not the job of the police to prevent the occurrence of crime. To expect them to do so and to blame them for not having done so obscures the truth. The truth is that the respect that children and adolescents have for other members of their own families, their neighbors and for other members of society is what keeps them from acting criminally towards them and this respect is LEARNED. When parents fail to teach their children the proper rules of conduct, they allow other influences to steer their children’s behavior. Even though there are statistical “outliers” in the data (as there is with ANY body of complex information), the demographics demonstrate a solid correlation between child & adolescent criminal behavior and the presence of factors that reduce the amount of quality rearing that child receives from one or both parents.

  19. Alma

    January 30, 2015 - 10:23 am

    Our laws are very outdated. How are you to tell me that someone who deals drugs gets more of a sentence than someone who has raped a child?
    The drug dealer got 10 years; did no harm to anyone, and the rapist gets 2 to 4 years!?!? What is wrong here?

  20. DJ

    January 20, 2015 - 11:35 am

    I read the post by Nancy and I have to say this. The police/government’s lack of governing is not the reason for these juveniles committing crimes. We are not living in a society where the police department are like the Pre-Crimes Division in the movie Minority Report. Police don’t have prior knowledge that someone is thinking about committing heinous crimes. Lets put this in a broader perspective, where/what are the parents of these children doing to guide their offspring? Many of them are incarcerated, substance abusers, mentally impaired or down right neglectful. There are also the parents who have laid down a good foundation for their children to build on and yet they get involved in criminal acts. This is not a police matter until it becomes a police matter. Police are not the blame here for juveniles getting involved in bad behavior. Many of theses children are acting out due to learned bad behaviors, physical/sexual abuse, and/or mental health issues. I do admit I have issues with sentencing children under the adult system and that has to be changed. I believe each case should be evaluated by the totality of the circumstances on a case by case issue and not a blanket “you committed murder so now you’re going to be charged as an adult;”it does not compute to me.

  21. Nancy

    January 16, 2015 - 1:05 am

    Youths without guidance is even worst. It is the youths that are slinging guns and committing murders because they mimic what they see. If the police or government govern the streets there will be no need for these laws. Today youths don’t stand a chance at a normal life because they have nowhere to turn or no place to go to do what kids should be doing. This world out of control and the government truly care less. They go home to there big house with there fat bank account and set back and smile it’s sad. If I can change anything or just make a wish it would be for youth 1 or more youth center with programs in each city that have high violent crimes. These kids need some place to go other then the streets. Fix the outside and there would be no inside….

  22. Renee

    January 15, 2015 - 11:30 pm

    Keep me informed on what need to be done. My son has been incarcerated since 17 years old and was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison. Some of our laws are so out dated. I think that is very harsh sentence for someone that is a 1st time offender.

  23. Garcia

    January 9, 2015 - 9:59 am

    Please keep me updated. I’m interested in this. I feel young teens being tried as adults and being placed with faults can ruin their lives.

  24. Brenda Bennett

    January 9, 2015 - 8:05 am

    What are you referring to, visits to the prison or kids getting in trouble?

  25. Beverly Warren

    January 7, 2015 - 9:46 pm

    Yes,someone let me know how to be involved and I’m in. Our children are getting into something they’re never understand. We will find ourselves asking what happened to them. Please let me know what I can do. Each and everyone of them will need help to be able to survive.

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