We Need To Do Something About the More Than 60,000 Children Sitting in Jails Across the Country

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ISTOCK

It should be a crime that America locks up so much of its youths.

Right now the United States has more than 60,000 children sitting in jail, lost in a broken system that has led our country to incarcerate more children than any other nation.

Why are we turning our backs on the youngest, most vulnerable members of society, locking up 2 out of 3 of those who are convicted of nonviolent offenses? Why are 80 percent of children who are imprisoned black or Hispanic? And why are we punishing these children so harshly, dooming some of them to solitary confinement, where they are left torturously alone, causing severe physical and psychological harm?

These are the questions explored in our sister network Fusion’s Investigative Team’s documentary, Prison Kids: A Crime Against America’s Children. Airing Oct. 4 on Fusion, the film, narrated by actress Gabourey Sidibe and introduced by Russell Simmons, will take a look at how minorities and the poor are overrepresented in America’s broken juvenile-justice system, and how young people trapped in this system are often exposed to physical and mental abuse.

As part of the project, Fusion is also launching a multiplatform campaign calling for a Ban on Solitary Confinement for minors. Fusion is joined by Univision, The Root, AllDefDigital, the MIT Center for Civic Media and several grassroots organizations, including Incarcerated Nation Inc., the Hispanic Leadership Agenda, Koch Industries, the Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights, the Student Alliance for Prison Reform and the Campaign for Youth Justice. The campaign kicks off this Sunday, Sept. 27, and will run through Tuesday, Oct. 27.

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Source: The Root