The boundary of Rocky Boy’s Reservation in Montana. Flickr/Nomadic Lass
Melina Angelos Healey
American Indian adolescents in Montana are caught in a school-to-prison pipeline. They are plagued with low academic achievement, high dropout, suspension and expulsion rates, and disproportionate contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This phenomenon has been well documented in poor, minority communities throughout the country. But it has received little attention with respect to the American Indian population in Montana, for whom the problem is particularly acute. Indeed, the pipeline is uniquely disturbing for American Indian youth in Montana because this same population has been affected by another heartbreaking and related trend: alarming levels of adolescent suicides and self-harm.
The statistical evidence and tragic stories recounted in this report demonstrate beyond doubt that American Indian children on the reservations and elsewhere in Montana are moving into the school-to-prison pipeline at an alarming and tragic rate. The suicides of so many children is cause for despair, and the complicity of the education system in those deaths, whether through deliberate actions or through inattention, is cause for serious self-reflection and remediation. This article has been written in the hope that the people of Montana, government officials at all levels, teachers and school administrators, and public interest lawyers will have some of the information they need to take action. Despair, prison, and untimely death should not and need not be the ending places of public education for our most vulnerable children.
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Amy F. Kimpel
Texting on a qwerty keypad phone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Child pornography is exempt from First Amendment protection. However, in the age of “sexting,” social networking websites, and digital cameras, teens are increasingly engaging in behaviors that meet the legal definition of child pornography. Some minors have even been prosecuted and convicted for images they have taken of themselves. This article takes a critical look at the justifications for regulating child pornography created or consumed by minors and raises potential constitutional and statutory challenges to some prosecutions of minors under child pornography laws.
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Education for all children is an oft-repeated political tagline. While politicians claim to be committed to educating all children and states devote taxpayer dollars to improving public schools, education for an entire subclass of children—those with disabilities who are incarcerated in adult prisons—is suffering. These children, entitled to receive an individually-tailored education equal to that of their nonincarcerated peers, rarely receive their legal due. This article explores the failure of states to provide special education to juveniles incarcerated in adult prisons. The article examines this issue on a national level but focuses specifically on New York and Florida—two of the three states with the most juveniles incarcerated as adults—as a microcosm for the broader scope of the problem. The article proposes various ways for advocates and policymakers to attack inadequate special education in prisons.
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