Second Chances Book Report

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U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention John J. Wilson, Acting Administrator May 2000 Second Chances: Giving Kids a Chance To Make a Better Choice In commemoration of the juvenile court’s centennial, the Justice Policy Institute of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and the Children and Family Justice Center of Northwestern University School of Law profiled 25 individuals who were petitioned into juvenile court as serious delinquents when they were young and then turned their lives around and made something of themselves. The book Second Chances— 100 Years of the Children’s Court: Giving Kids A Chance To Make A Better Choice is a result of that work. Research…show more content…
“I would get letters from brothers who were stationed in Vietnam, who were from places that I didn’t think had blacks,” Brown says. “They would write things like, ‘Hey brother, are you sure your father didn’t have a twin, because he sure sounds like mine.’ And some would say, ‘thanks for writing our story.’” “I realized after reading some of these letters, this wasn’t just my biography. It was the biography of an entire generation of African Americans,” he says. “And that is why it sold so many copies, and that’s why it was such a significant contribution to American literature at the time.” Sadly, the story of today’s AfricanAmerican boys too often includes a chapter with a mother crying on the court house steps as their children are bussed away. But today, Claude Brown knows they are less likely to end up in the nurturing environment he wrote about in Manchild, the Wiltwyck School for Boys in upstate New York (to which he dedicated the book). Instead, they are heading to adult prisons or crumbling juvenile detention centers. The 62-year-old author and intellectual spends plenty of time with young offenders in America’s jails, prisons and detention centers, and thinks he knows at least some of the reasons why it’s hard for them to climb out of the “street

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