|This Week in Northern California: Juvenile Justice|
KQED Public Television 9 Goes Behind Bars: Latest THIS WEEK IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Special Report Turns Searchlight on "Juvenile Justice"
Town Hall Meeting of Juvenile Justice Experts to Explore Issues and Solutions
Guests Panelists Include Barry Krisberg, James Bell, and Russell Morse
San Francisco, California, April 22, 2002 -- What are the repercussions of an ever-increasing youth population in California state prisons and detention centers? What are the politics behind this 'growth industry?' What roles do race and economic background play in whether or not a teen ends up incarcerated? What other options are there to incarcerating kids -- are prevention and intervention reasonable and viable alternatives? Can education even the odds and help keep teens out of jail?
On Friday April 26, 2002 at 8:30 p.m., This Week in Northern California -- KQED's weekly public affairs program -- will air a special report that tackles these issues and others pertaining to youth and the United States legal system, especially in Northern California. Moderated by host Belva Davis, this special report, entitled "Juvenile Justice," will be a town hall-style meeting between a panel of three juvenile justice experts and an extended panel of experts at the forefront of the issue. Two field reports provide context for the discussion and allow a glimpse into some of the personal experiences of the young people who were within the juvenile justice system.
Youth incarceration in California is on the rise. Increasingly, defendants under the age of 18 are being not only sentenced to juvenile detention centers but to adult prison facilities. Prison construction is a growth industry with growing portion of contracts coming from youth related facilities. In Alameda County, a new juvenile facility -- the "Superjail" by opponents -- is being constructed to house this burgeoning population of youthful offenders. While opposition to the new facility is strong, especially among young people, the Alameda Board of Supervisors voted recently to move forward with construction.
What about youth already behind bars? What steps are being taken to help them gain the skills and self-esteem necessary to re-enter society? Through a weekly publication called The Beat Within, Pacific News Service is spearheading an effort to bring language skills to young people behind bars and provide them a showcase for their poetry and stories. Writing workshops conducted in 40 juvenile detention centers around the state provide a chance for the teens to learn verbal and written skills that may have been unavailable to them before.
The panel experts for this special report include: Barry Krisberg, National Council on Crime and Delinquency; James Bell, W. Haywood Burns Institute; and Russell Morse, Youth Outlook, Pacific News Service. The extended panel will be comprised of a cross-section of people who have extensive knowledge of the juvenile justice system and offer a broad range of perspectives and experiences, both personal and professional.
This Week in Northern California will investigate these and other issues through live discussions, interviews and video roll-ins. Viewers will be encouraged during the week of the show to submit questions of the guests via the show's interactive Web site at kqed.org/thisweek.
This Week in Northern California offers insightful, thought-provoking roundtable discussions and news analysis of the latest political topics. Bay Area reporters from diverse media outlets throughout the region open their notebooks to give an inside look at the stories behind the headlines every Friday night. This Week in Northern California debuted on KQED in February 1990. Award-winning broadcast journalist Belva Davis became the host in 1993. Additional funding for this special report is provided by the Anne E. Casey Foundation.
KQED operates KQED Public Television 9, the nation's most-watched public television station (in prime-time), and Digital Television 30, Northern California's only public television digital signal; KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM, the most listened-to public radio station in the nation; the KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources; and kqed.org, which harnesses the power of the Internet to bring KQED to communities across the Web.