Scott County Youth Protest Plans for Larger Juvenile Detention Center | Politics and Elections
While acknowledging that the county needs to replace its outdated juvenile detention, Avery Pearl of the QC Community Advocacy Network argues that a 40-bed facility is not necessary. Pearl and other critics argue that the number of youth incarcerations dropped from a peak in 2019, in part thanks to the success of diversion programs.
“Add fuel to this forest fire”
Building and operating an oversized detention center will only fuel the existing disproportionate incarceration of young people of color and large numbers of Scott County youth sent to adult court, said Alleena Blackwell, 18 years old, graduated from Davenport North High School.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, 70 percent of young inmates were black, according to the detention center’s most recent annual report.
“Black children aren’t inherently more violent, they’re not inherently more delinquent, they’re not inherently bigger risk-takers,” Marcy Mistrett, director of juvenile justice at the Sentencing Project, said in a statement. recent Scott County Juvenile Justice Roundtable.
“A lot of these disparities are the result of systematic racism in the education system,” said Blackwell, who is studying to become a teacher at Western Illinois University.
Following Friday’s verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, Blackwell argued that the nation must re-evaluate “how some children are viewed as criminals in this society while others cannot do harm.”