Synopsis: There are millions of people incarcerated in American prisons – many of them juveniles sentenced to long terms alongside adults. Should children be tried as adults and sent to adult prisons? Are they mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions? Or should they be treated differently than adults who commit serious offenses? Our guests discuss why we have so many people incarcerated and how juveniles – even those who commit murder – should be given another chance.
Many school-aged children in the U.S. end up in juvenile detention or expelled from school for offenses ranging from arriving late to breaking the dress code to fighting in the hallway. Once “pushed out” from school, these children are often headed down the road to a life of poverty and more serious crimes. A good portion of these kids are African-American girls who, our guest says, are unfairly targeted for discipline because of a misunderstanding of their behavior. We discuss this phenomenon and also talk to a professor who has studied the effect that extremely strict school rules have on the students and the teachers who are made to enforce them.