Professor Carla Barrett appeared on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” to discuss the treatment of teenage inmates on Riker’s Island and ways to improve the current state of juvenile justice. A recent report by the United States Attorney in Manhattan found the New York City Department of Correction violated the civil rights of male teenagers at Rikers Island by failing to protect them from routine violence by correction officers. Barrett indicated that Riker’s Island was not a facility designed to detain juveniles and doesn’t have trained staff to deal with this population.
To watch the NY1 segment, click here.
Barrett’s research focuses on the efficacy of Alternative to Incarceration programs, the over-criminalization of urban youth (stop-and-frisk policies, over-policing in schools, the school-to-prison pipeline) and the unintended consequences of punitive criminal justice legislation on young people. Her book, Courting Kids: Inside an Experimental Youth Court, is based on fieldwork in the Manhattan Youth Part, a specialized criminal court set aside for youth (under 16) required by New York State law to be prosecuted as adults. The book focuses on the lives of those coming through and working in the courtroom, reflecting the costs, challenges, and consequences the “tough on crime” age has had, especially of young men of color.