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Innocent Until Proven Guilty

NCJ Number
Date Published
0 pages
This videotape covers the differential treatment of black juveniles by police officers and courts in the District of Columbia, and an alternative school program to help young people complete high school and prepare for college.
Statistics cited at the outset indicate that 1 in 13 black men are in the criminal justice system nationwide but 1 in 2 in the District of Columbia. Young black people, especially males, need alternatives to the juvenile justice system that are effective in preventing crime. An alternative high school has been established in the District of Columbia, referred to as See Forever. The school has about 20 students and 8 teachers. Typical classroom sessions are included in the videotape that depict academic instruction and that portray student thoughts, perceptions, and experiences on life choices, commitment, emotions, suicide, and drug dealing and drug use. The videotape also notes the tendency of police officers to make unfounded arrests of black youth in high-crime neighborhoods and the need for young people to realize they can overcome obstacles. In addition, the videotape discusses the issue of fairness and contends young people benefit from expectations, structure, and high standards.