The Children’s Beat – Annie E. Casey Foundation

A Child No More

by Patricia Edmonds

When journalists write about young offenders facing grown-up sanctions, Jeffrey Butts says the coverage often goes something like this: “The reporter finds a law-and-order, lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key source and a sobbing liberal, heart-on-their-sleeve, ‘oh-these-poor-children’ source. Then the reporter gets a few quotes from both sides, writes it up, and thinks the job’s done,” says Butts, director of the program on youth justice at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.