Andrea McChristian: Racial Disparities in NJ’s Juvenile Justice System Are ‘Unacceptable'

Institute Associate Counsel Andrea McChristian writes about the racial disparities in NJ's youth prisons for NJ Spotlight:

As a black woman, former teacher, and civil rights attorney, I find the racial disparities in our state’s juvenile justice system, and the policies that underlie them, heartbreaking and unacceptable.

As we outline in our recent report, Bring Our Children Home: Ain’t I A Child?, these stark racial disparities reflect racially discriminatory policy decisions and practices that determine which kids get diverted and which get sentenced to youth prison. These racialized policies, in a material way, are modern day vestiges of American slavery, the convict leasing era that followed, and the more recent reference to “super-predators,” each of which have undermined the right of black youth to be viewed as and treated as children.

To read the full OpEd, please click here.

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