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First, watch Missouri’s Different Approach to Juvenile Justice via ABC News. Second, become familiar with the Report issued by the Department of Justice on the treatment of juveniles at Rikers Island in New York. Here is a link to the report: http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/August14/RikersReportPR/SDNY%20Rikers%20Report.pdf
There are a number of articles that have been written about Rikers, several of them focusing on the mistreatment of juveniles specifically–in the Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, etc. so I expect you to do some research to learn as much as you can about it.
You are an advisor to the Mayor of New York and a special consultant on criminal justice issues. Write a letter to the Mayor arguing for reform at Rikers for juveniles. Draw on any information we have covered in class, including the video on Missouri’s Approach to Juvenile Justice. Apply your expertise from course material and discussion (statistics, theories, research), knowledge from the video, and use your persuasive writing skills to argue for a change in policy/practice at Rikers. Be sure to illustrate in your paper that you have a sophisticated understanding of the range and variation in services/programs/conditions in different states and localities (NY, Missouri).
Just a reminder to cite your sources and do not plagiarize (I take this very seriously–everything must be in your own words unless it is in quotes). Follow the paper guidelines in the syllabus.
***Interesting Fact***Virginia has adopted the Missouri Model and is in the process of closing their large correctional facilities for youth. Over the past few years, under a new forward-thinking director, Virginia has begun moving committed juveniles (those sentenced to juvenile prison) to facilities/detention centers closer to home. In other words, when possible, committed youth are serving their sentences in detention homes so that they can be closer to their families, which is thought to be important to the rehabilitative process.***