ASPIREist is a new half-hour reality feature news show. Each episode has three features ranging a wide variety of topics. The purpose of the show, according to its website, is to “empower 21st century viewers to take action on issues that matter.” Each feature ends with a way for the viewer to take action about that particular issue.
The first episode features Clint Smith, a researcher of the intersections between race, education, and incarceration from Harvard University. His feature called “The New Jim Crow,” like the Michelle Alexander book, focuses on issues similar to what Bryan Stevenson talks about in Just Mercy. He talks about the the racial inequality in the criminal justice system, children in prison, and the greater problem of mass incarceration. View the feature below.
One of the show’s other personalities is Shiza Shahid, a previous Go Big Read speaker. To view her features, visit the ASPIREist YouTube page here.
James Dold, an advocate for this legislation from the nonprofit organization Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth had this to say: “Finally, Nevada law has caught up and recognizes that children are different than adults and those differences need to be taken into account.” The law goes into effect on October 1, 2015.At the end of May, Nevada became the 13th state to end life without parole sentences for offenders younger than 18. The bill was sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker John Hambrick, a Republican from Las Vegas, Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson, a Republican from Las Vegas, and Assemblyman Pat Hickey, a Republican from Reno. The bill was passed by the state Legislature with a unanimous vote.
As part of this work, the EJI seeks to end the practice of sentencing children under the age of 14 as adults, to end the placement of anyone under the age of 18 in adult prisons, and to end life imprisonment without parole and other excessive sentences given to children. In an effort to spread awareness of children in prisons across the country, EJI, put together a publication called All Children are Children: Challenging Abusive Punishments of Juveniles.The United States is the only country in the world to sentence children to die in prison. Currently about 10,000 Americans under the age of 18 are in adult prisons. As of 2014, 14 states had no minimum age for adult prosecution. The Equal Justice Initiative is working to provide legal assistance to juveniles sentenced to die in prison, to end juveniles being placed in adult prisons where there are at a higher risk of assault and sexual violence, and to challenge the prosecution of young children as adults.
To read All Children are Children: Challenging Abusive Punishments of Juveniles click here.