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ProPublica report about kids jailed in TN county “just boggles the mind,” says former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance

A recent disturbing investigation by ProPublica and Nashville Public Radio details how young black children were charged for “a crime that didn’t exist” in central Tennessee’s Rutherford County. Digging deeper into the county’s juvenile justice system, they uncovered a systemic abuse of power that failed Tennessee youths. Former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance calls this an example of the school-to-prison pipeline. She calls the situation extreme because of the “notion that a judge with marginal qualifications was able to disregard the law, disregard students’ constitutional rights.” Wherever we see private prisons, we see a “push to fill the beds.”

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