In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 26, 2009 / 9 Kislev 5770

Life for Children?

By Cal Thomas

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The United States Supreme Court this month heard arguments in a case that could decide whether a child who commits a crime should be sentenced in some circumstances to life without parole.

There can be no question that some minors who murder are unfit to be released from prison for fear they might kill again. But what about crimes that don't involve homicide? Should a 13-year-old be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole? Such a case is now before the Court.

Perhaps if we focused more on redemption, rather than detention, the results would be different.

A study by Florida State University's Public Interest Law Center estimates that nationwide there are 111 inmates in seven states serving life-without-parole sentences for non-homicide crimes they committed as juveniles. The overwhelming majority, 77, housed in Florida prisons. Not many, unless you're one of the 111.

Over the years we've managed to get the punishment part right, but what about the redemption part? Prisoners have few advocates and often feel abandoned and without hope. Clearly there must be a better way when the number of incarcerated grows every year, along with the cost of warehousing them in places that serve as hot houses of despair and training academies for hardened criminals. Many inmates will be paroled and commit more crimes.


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I solicited success stories from people who work with teen offenders. One response came from Dr. Scott Larson, who serves on the board of Reclaiming Youth International and is president of Straight Ahead Ministries (www.straightahead.org) in Worcester, Mass. Larson writes, "My wife and I took up to seven youth at a time between 1990 and 2000, and 10 of those youth were locked up for manslaughter charges. Eight of those went to college; none were re-arrested. One is a lawyer and serving as the assistant deputy commissioner of Youth Services in New Jersey, two are counselors at a group home, one is a sales manager of a building company and the other five are working various jobs and doing well…"

Larson says under current law, these youth "would all be doing life sentences (10 to 20 years) in adult prisons, though in each case they were present, but not necessarily the shooter in gang clashes." He says his group also works with members of the Bloods and Crips gangs in Lynn, Mass., "and have seen them reconcile and work for good in their community. Gang violence this past year is down 57 percent in this city, which is the third most violent in Massachusetts."

Last September, ABC News' "Primetime" program did a story on the Missouri Juvenile Justice System and an innovative approach that state is taking that has lowered the recidivism rate to 10 percent, the lowest in the country.

Young offenders are not locked behind bars. The state uses a highly relational approach, including hugs from staff and peer groups who express care and concern for them. In addition to appearing effective, the Missouri model is efficient, costing about half the national average, according to Dr. Larson.

A University of Texas study found more than half the states permit children under age 12 to be treated as adults for criminal justice purposes. According to the study, "in 22 states plus the District of Columbia, children as young as 7 can be prosecuted and tried in adult court, where they would be subjected to harsh adult sanctions, including long prison terms, mandatory sentences, and placement in adult prison." Surely this is cruel and unusual punishment for all but the most violent and psychotic killers.

One size fits all sentencing doesn't and it shouldn't. Isn't it better to attempt to reclaim children headed in the wrong direction than to doom them to life in prison without parole? I think it is. Let's hope the Supreme Court thinks so, too.

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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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