Burning down the House The End of Juvenile Prison
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Description: Usually, when high school age teenagers have a scuffle on the basketball court, they are benched for the game. When Brian got into it on the court, he and his rival were sprayed in the face at close range by a chemical similar to Mace. He was locked in a solitary confinement cell and denied a shower for 24 hours, while the weaponized chemical seeped in to his eyes and skin, creating permanent damage to his skin. For a month afterward, he suffered in solitary confinement, with almost no human contact at all.The United States leads the world in imprisoning youth. Police arrest nearly two million juveniles a year, and one in three American schoolchildren will be arrested by the time they are twenty-three. In a clear-eyed indictment of the youth prison system, journalist Nell Bernstein shows that there is no right way to lock up a child. The very act of isolation denies delinquent children the thing that is most essential to their growth and rehabilitation: positive relationships with caring adults.Bernstein introduces us to youth who have suffered horrific violence and psychological torture at the hands of the state. Too many will never recover from the experience, creating a cycle that leaves the public less safe, not more so. But Bernstein presents them all as fully-realized people, not victims. As they describe in their own voices their fight to maintain their humanity and protect their individuality in environments that would deny both, the young people whose voices enliven the pages of this book offer a hopeful alternative to the doomed effort to reform a system that should only be dismantled.This book from the acclaimed author of All Alone in the World will become a clarion call to shut down our nation’s brutal and counter-productive juvenile prisons and bring our children home.
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List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 6/3/2014
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.50" tall