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Chad Day's blog posts

posted 07/15/2015

In Arkansas, judges make frequent use of their authority to lock up children known as "status offenders," despite the fact that they haven't broken any laws. Few people outside the juvenile justice system know how easy it is for a child to end up behind bars. Even fewer see the long-lasting impact.

Chad Day's Blog

In Arkansas, judges make frequent use of their authority to lock up children known as "status... more »
posted 07/15/15

Chad Day's Work

How one reporter overcame closed courts and bad data to get the scoop on Arkansas' juvenile justice system, where minor offenses can result in children locked up with far more serious offenders.

In roughly two-thirds of Arkansas counties last year, children went to youth lockups for skipping school, disobeying their parents or running away from home. In the other 27 counties, children who did the same things remained free.

Every year, thousands of kids appear before Arkansas judges, having broke laws that apply only to children. The courts are expected to treat them differently from children who commit adult crimes. Yet hundreds of these kids end up in the same lockups as those who've raped, robbed and murdered.