February 06, 2013

Are These Schools or Pre-Prison Detainment Camps?

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Are These Schools or Pre-Prison Detainment Camps

How many Chicago juvenile 
arrests happen at school?
 African American students were arrested at a rate nearly four times that of whites or Latinos

By Linda Paul
February 4, 2013

Arrests on CPS property by age
Source: Chicago Police Department. Final column indicates total juvenile arrests on CPS property.

Tens of thousands of young people get arrested each year in Chicago, and a lot of those arrests happen on the grounds of Chicago Public Schools. Of course, arrests at school happen all across the country.
The connection even has a name: some people say schools are a worrisome 'pipeline' to the criminal justice system for many young people. In fact, last December, Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin held the first ever congressional hearings on the topic. One big worry for people who work with kids is the lingering records kids can get from those arrests. 
I'm visiting the home of Chicago Public School teacher Valerie Collins, and her son, daughter and I are crowded around a laptop on their dining room table. Valerie's kids are both public school  graduates. I'd heard about a YouTube video that showed a really nasty fight at Sullivan High School in Chicago, and asked them to watch it with me.
"It's got a million hits!," Collins is exclaiming. "A million five hits. A million six!" They're listening to a television announcers account: "We have video of this and first of all the video is graphic. Okay, it's literally two girls, 17 and 18 beating up a 14 year old. The 14 year old suffered a concussion."
I'm here to talk to Collins about arrests at school. She's a math teacher at Simeon Career Academy, and before that she taught at both Lakeview and Phillips. I wanted to know if fights like the one we're watching are once-in-a-blue moon events.
Collins says serious fights like this happen at some, but not all, public schools maybe a couple times a year. Her daughter says it "sucks," but while she was in school she became sort of desensitized to such fights, "I wanna say it starts out as a joke because usually the way these, like fights, start off is off of something so ridiculous, so that it gets around the school and then everyone's just like, 'Oh, you know, there's gonna be a fight this period, you know. Let's all go out and see."
"It's worse with cell phones now," Collins adds, "because with cell phones they text people that there's going to be a fight. That's what they do. They text that there's going to be a fight and then unless we find out about it, everybody knows except for the administration. That's what happens." 
There were about 4,600 arrests on public school grounds in 2011. That's about a fifth of the 25,000 arrests of kids 17 and under that year in Chicago.
But of those 4,600 arrests, only 14 percent were for the really serious stuff, the felonies, like robbery, burglary and fights with serious injuries -- like that one on the YouTube video.
Most arrests at school are for the still troubling, but less serious stuff --  the misdemeanors.
"So you've got some smart-mouthed 15-year-old girl, who the teacher says to her, you know, Miss Thang, sit down."
Here's Herschella Conyers, clinical professor of law at the University of Chicago.
"And she says to the teacher, 'You ain't talkin' to me.' And off they go!  And the teacher says, 'I'll put you outta my room.' And the student says, you know, 'I'll whip your ass.' Uh --here come the police ! It's an ag assault. Now. Is the student absolutely wrong? Absolutely. Is there a better way to handle it? Yes."
Conyers says there was a time when conduct wasn't governed by the threat that the police would arrest. "It was, you know, here comes the principal, or God forbid - they're about to call my mother.  In those days it would be, could you just call the police and not my mother, you know?"
There were over 3,500 misdemeanor arrests at Chicago public schools in 2011. The biggest category was for simple battery. That could be a punch, a shove, or a fight --seemingly minor confrontations that these days are taken seriously because they can lead to retaliations. 
Next was disorderly conduct. Basically?  Kids creating a ruckus. No serious injuries.
And the third biggest category? Drug abuse violations. These are usually arrests for small quantities of marijuana, because if it was a large quantity, or drugs like cocaine or heroin-that would be a felony.
That last category, in particular, bothers Conyers' colleague down the hall, Craig Futterman - also a clinical professor of law at the University of Chicago. National studies, he says, show that white kids use and sell drugs at a rate higher than black kids do. And, says Futterman, that's true in Chicago too.
"Where the vast majority of kids who use and sell drugs in high school are white. The vast majority of kids who are arrested for drugs, and or, worse, go to juvenile jail or go to juvenile prison for drugs, are African-American," says Futterman.
Here's what the numbers say about arrests at Chicago Public Schools in 2011.  Almost 75 percent -- three quarters -- of  all arrests were of African-American students. At the same time, in that same year, African-American students comprised about 42 percent of the student body. In fact in 2011, African American students were arrested at a rate nearly four times that of whites or Latinos.
This kind of imbalance is causing a lot of consternation and was a big topic of conversation at Senator Durbin's national hearings last month.
Craig  Futterman and Herschella Conyers think that lower level offenses, the misdemeanors basically, are better handled within the school. By counselors, social workers and restorative justice practices like peer juries and peace circles.
Kristina Menzel is an attorney who represents kids in juvenile court. She says that when principals request arrest, unfortunately it's sometimes a way for the school to pass a problem kid on to another system.
"Now part of the problem is schools don't have money for these services, " Menzel says. "There's not money out there for education like there should be. So the schools use the courts to get services for these kids that are problematic."
There has to be a better way to deal with this, she says, "Since once they're brought in here, they're more likely to re-offend. And if they go to the Department of Juvenile Justice, their probability of re-offending goes up even higher."
As serious as getting arrested in school can be, what happens later can be even more serious.  Follow our story of how a juvenile arrest record can mess up a young person's prospects for finding a job. 
Click Here to Hear Full Story.
While the nation mourns victims of mass killings in Newtown (27 victims), Aurora (12 victims), Milwaukee (6 victims) in 2012, who will mourn the 513 mostly Black and Latino murder victims in Chicago killed in 2012, including 108 youth and children? 

Here is the tale of violence in Chicago in 2012: 
2400 shootings
513 total murders
319 shootings of children
108 murders of youth and children 
19% increase in murder rate 
The Black Star Project mourns 
the 513 deaths of mostly Black and Latino Chicago citizens of America in 2012
Below we honor the 108 youth and children 
killed in Chicago in 2012
NAME                            Age    Date         Community             How Died
1) Devante Watts1912/30/2012RoselandGunshot 
2) Junior Estudillo1912/30/2012Irving ParkGunshot
3) Neriyah Beller412/29/2012North LawndaleArson
4) Joshua Davis1812/25/2012West EnglewoodGunshot 
5) Kentan Scott1512/20/2012AustinGunshot 
6) Jeffrey Stewart1612/9/2012Humboldt ParkGunshot 
7) Porshe Foster1511/26/2012Chicago LawnGunshot 
8) Christopher Jacobs1911/22/2012New CityGunshot 
9) Name Unknown1911/21/2012New CityGunshot 
10) Emilio Palomo1611/18/2012New CityGunshot 
11) Sergio Oliva1511/15/2012Chicago LawnGunshot 
12) Taylor Fitting1611/12/2012RoselandGunshot 
13) Darrell Austin1911/9/2012Calumet HeightsGunshot 
14) Rodney Stewart1711/8/2012AshburnGunshot 
15) Travis Henry1911/3/2012EnglewoodGunshot 
16) Tre Henry1911/1/2012Washington ParkGunshot
17) Devin Harris1910/31/2012AustinGunshot
18) Earl Cunningham1810/30/2012West PullmanGunshot
19) Patrick Robinson1810/30/2012RoselandGunshot
20) Terrance Johnson1710/20/2012Rogers ParkGunshot
21) Terrance Wright1810/19/2012South DeeringGunshot
22) Jamiere Brown1810/14/2012Washington ParkGunshot
23) Modell McCambry1710/13/2012WoodlawnGunshot
24) Jonathan Williams1710/8/2012South ShoreGunshot
25) Derrick Davis179/28/2012Calumet HeightsGunshot
26) Francisco Merino199/27/2012Lower West SideGunshot
27) Dejuan Jackson179/26/2012OaklandGunshot
28) Thaddeus Tucker189/22/2012West PullmanGunshot
29) Muhammed Kebbeh199/15/2012ChathamGunshot
30) Julia Duda2mo.9/15/2012Belmont CraginChild Abuse
31) Jesus Garcia179/8/2012Gage ParkGunshot
32) Joseph Coleman189/4/2012Greater Grand CrossingGunshot
33) Jalen Strogner178/31/2012New CityGunshot
34) Aaron Gaithan198/26/2012WoodlawnGunshot
35) Aaron Gaithan188/25/2012Greater Grand CrossingGunshot
36) Jamal Clayton198/24/2012Greater Grand CrossingGunshot
37) Lucian Dreux178/24/2012Greater Grand CrossingGunshot
38) Alejandro Valdez158/21/2012Chicago LawnGunshot
39) Jaime Ruvalcaba158/21/2012New CityGunshot
40) Alonzo Powell188/18/2012AustinGunshot
41) Taylor Diorio178/18/2012McKinley ParkGunshot
42) Derrick Baker188/18/2012West PullmanGunshot
43) Richard Johnson188/17/2012AustinGunshot
44) Emonie Beasley-Brown3wk.8/15/2012West EnglewoodChild Abuse
45) Anthony Brooms198/14/2012West PullmanGunshot
46) Donata Gooden198/12/2012AustinStabbing
47) Tony Dunn198/8/2012WoodlawnGunshot
48) Sameer Barakat198/5/2012Albany ParkGunshot
49) Cornell Ferguson168/2/2012Humboldt ParkGunshot
50) Johnqualus Turner168/2/2012Humboldt ParkGunshot
51) Quincey Simmons188/1/2012AustinGunshot
52) Iyonna Davis17/28/2012RoselandTrauma
53) Douglas Bufford167/25/2012South ShoreGunshot
54) Aleixi Johnson177/23/2012South DeeringGunshot
55) Akil Partee197/21/2012AustinGunshot
56) Jamauri Askew167/19/2012Auburn GreshamGunshot
57) Nathaniel Gonzalez167/19/2012West EnglewoodGunshot
58) Martin Tejeda167/12/2012Gage ParkGunshot
59) Zachary Berrios187/6/2012PullmanGunshot
60) Ricardo Alcantara187/5/2012Archer HeightsGunshot
61) Adeniyi Adesida187/5/2012AustinGunshot
62) Demetrius Tribett197/2/2012Greater Grand CrossingGunshot
63) Myrion Currie197/1/2012West  Garfield ParkGunshot
64) William Cook196/30/2012Chicago LawnGunshot
65) Lenard Trust176/30/2012KenwoodGunshot
66) Heaven Sutton76/27/2012AustinGunshot
67) Tyquan Tyler136/24/2012WoodlawnGunshot
68) Antonio Davis146/22/2012EnglewoodGunshot
69) Henry Soyege196/18/2012UptownGunshot
70) Shakaki Asphy166/16/2012West EnglewoodGunshot
71) Romelo Golden176/13/2012South ChicagoGunshot
72) Joseph Briggs166/9/2012Chicago LawnGunshot
73) Jamal Lockett166/2/2012South ShoreGunshot
74) Ivan Alanis135/29/2012UptownGunshot
75) Marley Collins195/28/2012North LawndaleGunshot
76) Jaleel Beasley195/27/2012Near West SideGunshot
77) Jaylin Johnson185/26/2012RoselandGunshot
78) Jeffrey Triplett175/26/2012North LawndaleGunshot
79) Nazia Banks125/19/2012South ChicagoGunshot
80) Alejandro Jamie145/18/2012Brighton ParkGunshot
81) Donald Rankin165/4/2012West PullmanGunshot
82) Armaney Cotton24/14/2012EnglewoodChild Abuse
83) Roberto Luna134/7/2012Brighton ParkGunshot
84) Jalen Armstrong184/6/2012ChathamGunshot
85) Brandon Miles194/5/2012AustinGunshot
86) Cedric Bell163/26/2012West EnglewoodGunshot
87) Aliyah Shell63/17/2012South LawndaleGunshot
88) Anthony  Scott193/16/2012West RidgeGunshot
89) Johnny Vargas193/15/2012South LawndaleGunshot
90) Gustavo Reyes193/14/2012West LawnGunshot
91) Joshua Williams163/8/2012Chicago LawnGunshot
92) Chris Wormely173/1/2012South DeeringStabbing
93) Albert Guyton152/28/2012Chicago LawnGunshot
94) George Howard152/27/2012Washington ParkGunshot
95) Damion Rolle142/21/2012Greater Grand CrossingGunshot
96) Jamal Harris192/19/2012South ShoreGunshot
97) Edgar Delgado172/18/2012AvondaleGunshot
98) Deshun Winfert152/5/2012Chicago LawnGunshot
99) Anton Sanders151/20/2012Rogers ParkGunshot
100) Devonte Pippen181/19/2012Chicago LawnGunshot
101) Kurtis Stanton191/17/2012Washington HeightsGunshot
102) Omar Vargas171/14/2012Mckinley ParkAuto Crash
103) Cory Campbell181/10/2012Auburn GreshamGunshot
104) Christian Peggs181/8/2012Greater Grand CrossingGunshot
105) Valentin Bahena171/8/2012Belmont CraginGunshot
106) Mark Watts151/4/2012West EnglewoodGunshot
107) Nicholas Camacho191/2/2012Albany ParkGunshot
108) Christina Thomas6mo.1/2/2012EnglewoodChild Abuse

Please click here to ask the White House to work with The Black Star Project to stop the carnage of Black and Latino children in the streets of Chicago. These children are also Americans!
All of the above murder statistics are from Redeye Homicide Tracker
Black Star Logo
February 2012
Dear Friend of Progress:
At The Black Star Project, the beginning of the year is a time for reflection on past accomplishments and planning for future projects. Our victories in 2012 included many efforts to build families, develop communities, educate students, create jobs, reduce mass incarceration and mentor young Black men. In order for us to continue to grow and to be effective, we need your support now more than ever. Your investment in our work can be deducted from your income taxes to the fullest extent allowable by law.
Some of our accomplishments in 2012 include:   
  • Organizing 1 million men in more than 500 cities across America to take their children back to school on the first day with our Million Father March 2012. 
  • Creating and operating 17 free Saturday University sites throughout Chicagoland that improved the reading and math skills of more than 300 students. 
  • Providing mentoring, motivation, inspiration and guidance to more than 13,000 Chicago-area students through our classroom-based Student Motivation Mentoring Program. 
  • Encouraging students at 30 Chicago-area schools to renounce violence and to resolve conflicts peaceably through our Peace In The Hood Initiative. 
  • Training and certifying 80 formerly unemployed men and women with weatherization skills that have led to 27 people being employed in the field. 
  • Establishing the 2013 Black Male Achievement Agenda that produces strong, positive, educated, independent, contributing Black men. 
With your support we can accomplish much more.  Please become a member of The Black Star Project today and help us continue our nation-leading work in the area of creating better students, better parents, better families and better communities!
Phillip Jackson
Executive Director
Click Here to become a member of The Black Star Project
or you may send checks or money orders to:
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B
Chicago, Illinois 50557