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I want you to take a moment and think back to when you were 21 years old.
Generation Z, that was yesterday.
I'm not talking to you, but everyone else.
Think back to when you were at peak foolishness.
Now, aren't you so glad that you're friends?
Couldn't whip out their cell phones and go live on Facebook?
Yeah, I know that.
I am.
This is me on my 21st birthday.
This was around 7 p.m. Yeah, it was all up.
Hell from there.
If I don't seem that embarrassed about the fact that I was a hot mess as a 21 year old will, it's because I'm not.
When I looked around, everybody around me was a hot miss.
All of us.
If we're keeping it real, when young people are upstanding adults, what do we do?
We give them awards, we put them on specialist, we might even invite them to give us talks.
The truth of the matter is that most young people don't have that much sense.
They like to do things like silly prank so that they can go viral on the gram.
Generation Z, welcome to my Ted talk they might even dine and dash, and occasionally they might engage in a game day brawl.
I'm not endorsing it.
I'm just saying it happens and the science supports it.
Developmental psychologists have been telling us for decades that the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until we're in our mid twenties.
So prefrontal cortex, let me nerd out for a moment here.
What is that?
The prefrontal cortex is the part of our brains that we rely only when we're planning or we're making tough decisions.
When we don't have that prefrontal cortex fully developed, we have to rely on things like our emotions or rewards for doing the right thing or even social acceptance, a k a peer pressure.
So if we know this about brain development, why is it that we apply it so selectively?
Why is it that when a new 18 or 19 year old commits a crime, we rushed to lock them up or we give them high bonds that we know they can't afford?
And when we're doing this, who in the world do we think that we're benefiting?
So, less than two and 1/2 miles away from where I'm standing right Now we have over 500 young adults that are sitting behind bars for non violent offenses.
These are people that haven't been found guilty of anything, and they're not accused of things like murder or rape.
They're accused of things that might be a bit familiar to me and you things like disorderly conduct or criminal assault or theft under $500.
As a matter of fact, we had a 21 year old sit behind bars for over 30 days for a theft under $500 offense.
Because he couldn't afford his bond and his parents couldn't or wouldn't pay it for him.
And so he said, and taxpayers spent over three $1000 keeping him there.
And you guys, this isn't some unique circumstance that I had to go dig deep for.
Shelby County, Tennessee spends about $6 million every single year, detaining people just like him.
$6 million.
That's money that could be going towards education or transit or potholes, and instead we're spending it on jail sales, and I'm not picking on Memphis and Shelby County.
I wouldn't do that.
This is a national crisis across our county all year We're spending about $6 million detaining nonviolent young adults.
$6 million.
All that's a problem, but is not something that's focus solely on Memphis and Shelby County.
This is a national problem.
Stay with me off across our country.
Were spending about $3 billion detaining nonviolent young people.
That's three billion with a B.
Yeah, and it's not working.
Our national recidivism rate is high nationally, about 77%.
Yeah, that's crazy.
77% of the people that we lock up today.
Five years from now, they're gonna be locked up again.
No, we can't.
We can't keep doing that.
But when you look at the 18 to 24 year old population, it skyrockets toe 85%.
Y'all locking up our young adults.
It is not only crippling our communities, but it's also killing our local economies.
I'm gonna keep it real with young.
I've never seen the inside of a jail cell.
My mom and my step dad did everything in their power so I could stand off here until you guys that today and when they didn't know what I was up to my because of Ian, he will periodically check in and talked me off the ledge having them in my village.
It's a privilege that I don't take for granted.
That 21 year old that I was talking about, he didn't have that same privilege.
We like to believe that our jails are chock full of big, dark and scary people, but the truth is, they're really just like meeting you young and dumb.
But Austin there also poor.
So what can we do?
Tow level?
The playing field?
What can we do to ensure that everybody has the opportunity to make mistakes is a big challenge, but luckily we have counties all over this country.
They have committed themselves to trying to take a stab at that challenge.
So they've been invented something called young Adult Courts.
Young adult courts are problem solving courts that are modeled after other specialty courts that you guys might be familiar with, like Mental Health Court or Veterans Court.
You have a special judge who works with trauma informed public defenders, social workers and counselors to do everything in their power to keep young people from seeing the inside of a jail cell.
And it works in Philadelphia.
There, young adult diversion program cost him about $6000 per defendant, the $6000 compared to the $40,000 that they were spending before they created that program.
Brooklyn, New York They launched their young adult court a few years ago.
Since then, they've had over 2000 participants, and they have a 97% success rate.
That means that less than 3% of their participants walk away with a criminal record.
You guys, this is revolutionary work, and when you look at Omaha, Nebraska or San Francisco or Orange County, California, it's the same thing where there's a young adult court, there's a success story.
So how do we scale it?
Yeah, when I think about that 21 year old who sat in jail for months for stealing department store merchandise, I get mad.
But then I think about my son Joseph.
Like me, Joseph has an amazing village, but also like me.
He's gonna make mistakes, and its friends might, too, and it shouldn't matter.
Their families tax bracket.
It shouldn't matter that family's willingness to support them or ability to support them.
It shouldn't matter the color of their skin.
They should have the opportunity to make mistakes be held accountable, grow, thrive and sore.
They all Should I guess what I'm saying?
It is.
I believe that young adult courts kind of feel that gap where there is one, they kind of function like our communities, family of accountability.
And I don't mean like parents, parents are too strict.
I don't even mean like brothers Brothers are the type that spy on you.
And then they wait until you're most vulnerable, get a big old pillow and then beat you over the head with it.
We don't need big brothers thinking more like my big cousin, you know, kind of cool lay bet, but they're listening.
They're taking notes, and they when they realize that you're getting a little too close to the wage, they pull you back because they want to be there to remind you that who you are today, it doesn't have to define who you become tomorrow.
Yeah, let's be our communities.
Because in I think we will all benefit from it again.
I'm Danielle Linus.
This has been a highlight of my professional career and thank you guys for being a part of it.
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Let's Grow Our Cities by Decriminalizing Immaturity | Danielle Inez | TEDxMemphis

6 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 21, 2020
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