Many people are unaware that teens and preteens can be brought from detention and correctional facilities to juvenile court in leg irons, belly chains and handcuffs, often even before a youth is charged with any wrongdoing. The practice of shackling rarely occurs with adults in criminal court, but is a common sight in juvenile courts across the country and its use is frequently unrelated to any identified safety or flight risks. Shackling interferes with due process and increases poor outcomes for youth. Numerous jurisdictions have successfully reduced or stopped the use of shackles without increasing risk to their communities. On this episode of Spotlight on Youth, guests will discuss why shackling is harmful, explain the national movement that exists to end the indiscriminate practice, and share their efforts and experiences in changing the norm for kids in juvenile court.
Judge Jay D. Blitzman, First Justice-Massachusetts Juvenile Court, Middlesex Division
John D. Elliott, Private Attorney, Columbia, SC
David A. Shapiro, Campaign Manager, Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling, National Juvenile Defender Center