Episode 6: ‘Please Lock Up My Kid’
Status offenses are acts only considered crimes if committed by young people – things like running away, not going to school, or missing curfew. They are designed to keep at risk youth safe, but in practice, they can also become a pipeline into the juvenile justice system for kids who might otherwise not end up there. One of those kids is Maria, a young woman living in Walla Walla, Washington, who refuses to attend school. Washington state intensified its status offense laws after a runaway girl was found dead. It now leads the nation in jailing kids for status offenses.
Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice is supported, in part, by the Anne Levy Fund, Margaret Neubart Foundation, the John and Gwen Smart Family Foundation, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
Co-published with WNYC Studios.