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Intersectionality, Complexity of California Juvenile Justice Dramatized in The 57 Bus’

Originally posted in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE).

CJCJ’s Director of Policy and Development Brian Goldstein authors an Op-Ed on the complexities of youth in our juvenile justice system through the lens of The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives” by Dashka Slater.

From the article:

What should be the cost of a terrible mistake? On Nov. 4, 2013, two young people’s lives tragically intersected on a bus in Oakland, Calif. That afternoon, Oakland’s 57 bus carried Richard and Sasha home after school.

Each had had very different life experiences that led them to this moment, including their race, class, education, upbringing and gender identities. Dashka Slater’sThe 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Livestells the stories of Richard and Sasha, which neither began nor ended when Sasha’s skirt is lit on fire, resulting in serious burns. Instead, the book carefully highlights the complexity and intersectionality of their lives and our juvenile justice system.

However, the book is much more than a relatively simple retelling of a crime and punishment. Slater challenges conventional binary good versus bad value assumptions that were made against Richard, particularly in the immediate aftermath of the fire. Sasha’s parents struggle with the district attorney’s decision to charge Richard as an adult and his eventual commitment to DJJ.

Read the full article on Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) »

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