Unlocked: An Investigation Into Juvenile Incarceration and its Alternatives

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Final_Probation Hub Photo_Special Investigation

Unlocked is a multi-part investigation into alternatives to juvenile incarceration–both model programs and cases that raise serious concerns.  From Alameda County in San Francisco’s East Bay, to Wayne County, Michigan, Youth Radio reveals how moves away from juvenile incarceration are affecting youth and the system.

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juvenile hallHow One Juvenile Hall Puts Kids At Risk:

With dangerously low staffing levels among guards, incarcerated teens are exposed to more fighting as well as ballooning use of force by guards. Listen here.



IMG_4049 (2)Pepper Sprayed In Youth Jail

Across the nation, most juvenile incarceration facilities do not allow guards to use pepper spray on young inmates.  But that is not the case in Alameda County, California.

Listen here.



From Probation to Incarceration:

Probation is intended as an alternative to locking kids up. Yet in some parts of the country, almost half of incarcerated youth — the majority of them kids of color — are behind bars because of technical violations committed while on probation. Listen here.


IMG_3604-3Juvenile Probation Reformed:

In 2000, Wayne County, Michigan overhauled its juvenile probation system. Among other changes, the county took a more therapeutic approach, and it’s seen major drops in youth recidivism as a result. Listen here.



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Unlocked: The number of kids in Alameda County’s Juvenile Hall has dropped. But conditions have gotten wors… by Youth Radio


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CHOICES 15 Year Retrospective Wayne County Reform

Monitoring Youth: The Collision of Rights and Rehabilitation by Kate Weisburd


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Reporters: Soraya Shockley, Brett Myers, Joi Smith  Additional Reporting: Rebecca Martin, Olivia Cueva

Senior Series Producer & Editor: Brett Myers  Senior Series Producer: Rebecca Martin  Senior Editor: Lissa Soep  NPR Editor: Kenya Young

Producer: Olivia Cueva  Engineer: Brandon McFarland  Online Producer: Denise Tejada  Interactive Producer: Lo Benichou  Designers: Teresa Chin, Soraya Shockley, Jenny Bolero  Social Media: Bridget Botelho, Asha Richardson, Shyra Gums, Dayonna Martin, Elizabeth Matute  Production Assistance: Zak Rosen, Julia Mitric, Sara Hossaini, Erik Neumann, Sayre Quevedo  Executive Producer: Ellin O’Leary

Unlocked, an in-depth reporting series, was made possible by:

Public Welfare Foundation The California Endowment The Reva and David Logan Foundation The California Wellness Foundation Youth Radio’s generous individual donors

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