Friday, August 19, 2022

Play

A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.

Play

Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.

Play

More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

Debate Over Youth Prison Sentences Continues in New Mexico

Play

Friday, September 24, 2021   

SANTA FE, N.M. -- A New Mexico legislator is optimistic a bill will pass in the 2022 session to prohibit life sentences for juveniles convicted of crimes.

This year, a bill to end life sentences and mandated earlier probation eligibility for juveniles easily passed in the Senate, but died without a vote in the House.

Sen. Bill O'Neill, D-Albuquerque, a juvenile justice advocate, thinks teens who have committed crimes should get a parole hearing if they show signs of remorse or redemption.

"If you're a juvenile, you are a child, and you should not be sentenced to life without parole," O'Neill asserted. "A person should at least be eligible, if they've worked on their stuff, and they committed a crime at age 16."

O'Neill previously sponsored a bill approved by the governor, which prohibits private employers from inquiring about someone's criminal history on an initial job application.

About 75 New Mexicans are currently serving sentences longer than 15 years for crimes they committed before they were 18, according to the New Mexico Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.

O'Neill admits it is difficult to hear the stories of victims of crimes committed by young people, but he noted the behavior often can be explained.

"The perpetrator is oftentimes from a horrific upbringing; poverty, drug abuse, sexual abuse, etc.," O'Neill noted. "That behavior doesn't come out of left field."

The group "Leaders Organizing 2 Unite and Decriminalize" or LOUD said to create a more fair and equitable juvenile justice system, policymakers need to do more to educate themselves about the experiences of young people who've been incarcerated.

Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans participated in a new initiative that provides free schooling for people who want to become certified nursing assistants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …


Health and Wellness

Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…

Environment

The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …


A new Indigenous academy in South Dakota, geared for younger students, says it wants the kids to have a deep sense of belonging, higher engagement and motivation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…

Environment

Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …

hearing aids are not covered under Medicare or most insurance plans. (EdwardOlive/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021