juvenile justice

Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice
YouTube | Fair Housing conference

Updated 4:30 p.m. with comments from Civil Rights Division and react - A 20-month investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice has found the St. Louis County Family Court violates the constitutional rights of children in its custody.

The Rev. Dietra Wise Baker
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

First of a two-part series.

Prison chaplains wear hope on their sleeves. Many talk about ex-prisoners who transform their lives in prison and, after release, become contributing citizens and good parents.

One of the chaplains, the Rev. Dietra Wise Baker said that most judges and others who work in the justice and corrections systems are “loving,” but the system is flawed.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Updated at 1:15 p.m. with further comment from the ACLU.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. with quotes from court administrator Paul Fox.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether the St. Louis County family court is treating all of the children who appear in front of its judges equally.

The department's Civil Rights Division is specifically looking at whether the court is providing due process to children involved in delinquency proceedings, and if all children are treated equally regardless of race.

(via Wikimedia Commons/J. Pelkonen)

Illinois lawmakers are considering a change that would keep more teenagers out of adult court. The measure, which so far has had bipartisan support, would send 17-year-olds charged with non-violent felonies into the juvenile court system.

Since 2010, 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors have been sent to juvenile court, while those charged with felonies are sent to adult court.