Karen Simon, former Director of Inmate Programs-Mecklenburg County, talks about the struggles 16 and 17 year-old youth faced while being held in solitary confinement in a NC county adult jail.
On June 15, 2016, during post-production of this interview, the North Carolina state prison system ended the practice of solitary confinement for its youngest, incarcerated 16 and 17 year-old youth. While we commend the efforts to cease this practice at the state prison level, many county jails across the state still utilize this practice of isolating our most vulnerable population. Because North Carolina is still one of only two states in the country to automatically treat its 16 and 17 year-old youth as adults in the criminal system rather than the juvenile system, the mental, physical, emotional and psychological harm to youth will continue. Raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction to at least age 18 in NC is the clearest path to provide children with services to help them become productive members of society.
David Brannon, an attorney in Wake County who advocates for juveniles, talks about the systemic issues with the juvenile justice system and recommends solutions.
Brandy Bynum, a life-long activist, youth advocate and board member of Youth Justice North Carolina, talks about the importance of raising the age of jurisdiction in North Carolina and shares ideas on how to ameliorate North Carolina’s accelerated school-to-prison pipeline.
Sharif Deveaux, an assistant public defender at the Wake County Public Defenders Office, talks about his experience defending juveniles and the stigmas and consequences associated with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
Geraldine Alshamy, a life long activist and advocate for education rights talks about what she’s seen in her work over the years and how the school-to-prison pipeline has affected her own son.
Sekithia Wilder, the parent of a 12th grade student from Wakefield High School in Wake County, tells the story of her daughter Britni’s arrest at school and discusses the impact this incident has had on Britni’s life and future.
Scott Holmes, a professor of law at North Carolina Central University, talks about the devastating effects of the criminal justice system on youth.
Mary Stansell, Juvenile Chief at the Wake County Public Defenders Office, discusses some issues with the juvenile justice system and proposes solutions.