Investigations

60% of incarcerated kids have child welfare background

The child welfare and juvenile justice systems are meant to help the nation’s most vulnerable children, but the two are rarely in sync, and young people who have been part of both systems make up more than half of those who get in trouble with the law. “Once a child enters the child welfare system, the decisions made for that child by the child welfare system may, in fact, be pushing the kid towards juvenile justice,” said Denise Herz, a criminal justice professor at California State University, Los Angeles and one of the few researchers who has been studying so-called crossover kids, or dual-status youth, for years.

Forced out: Schools feed the juvenile prison population

Black students were suspended from school 3½ times more often than white students during the 2018-19 school year, according to a News21 analysis of 11 sample states and New York City, which collectively serve about half of all U.S. students. Despite making up just 15% of the sample student population, Black students received 32% of the 1.6 million suspensions analyzed by News21. Decades of issuing harsher punishments, including suspensions and expulsions, in the name of school safety has accelerated the flow of kids out of primary and secondary schools and into detention centers and prisons, often referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline.

Virus may bring greater medical and financial risks for undocumented

It’s been a month since Juana stopped taking her key medication to treat the chronic vascular disease that attacks her immune system and debilitates her blood vessels. She has had three heart attacks in the past eight years. Without the medication, Juana said it’s only a matter of time before her symptoms — burning sensations in her legs and feet, severe fatigue and difficulty walking — come back. Without treatment, she could eventually suffer organ failure and die. Juana, who asked that her l

Sewage is the real border crisis for many border towns and cities

People who live in Imperial Beach, California, in Naco and Nogales in Arizona and in Texas communities along the Rio Grande all say the same thing: When it rains, it stinks. The reason is a failing, aging network of pipes and wastewater treatment plants that run from Mexico into each of these communities. When heavy rains fall, the pipes often break and spill raw sewage on both sides of the border, causing not only a putrid odor but public health and environmental concerns...
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