Former juvenile inmate's story highlights justice system flaws

Apr 6, 2015

The Michigan Council on Crime and Deliquency is hosting a forum in Lansing Tuesday entitled "Youth Beyond Bars."
Credit Tim Pearce / Flickr

In the 1990s, many states, including Michigan, began getting tough on juvenile crime.

That meant harsher sentencing and sending more youth to adult prisons.

Between 2003 and 2013, Michigan sent thousands of youth under the age of 18 to serve time in adult prisons.

But many are beginning to question the effectiveness of those “tough on crime” policies.

Advocates for reform say that sending a young person to an adult prison can have devastating consequences.

And many are calling for more rehabilitative options for youth who enter the juvenile justice system.

Those options are the topic of “Youth Beyond Bars”, a forum being hosted in Lansing tomorrow by the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Current State's Mark Bashore talks with T.J. Parsell, a writer and activist who was himself incarcerated in an adult prison at age 17, and with Francisco Villarruel, professor of Family and Child Ecology at Michigan State University.